Snowfall (The Snowfall Trilogy, Book 1) by Mitchell Smith | 320 Pages | Publisher: Tor Books (March 1, 2003) | ISBN 081257933X
Suspense novelist Smith (Reprisal) delivers a dark, creepy tale of human survival set several hundred years after an apocalypse caused by a change in Jupiter's orbit. Almost a sci-fi yarn without the gadgets and gizmos, Smith's thriller focuses on groups of people kicked backwards down the stairs of knowledge and discovery, trying to maintain a society in the face of starvation and invasion. North America is divided geographically by an ice wall a mile high that runs east to west, and culturally by competing clans, fiefdoms and kingdoms that trade and war with each other constantly. The Trappers are a fur-clad band of hunters who live in the frozen wasteland of the Colorado mountains. Their knowledge and language come from stories told by elders and from a few old books salvaged after the apocalypse generations before. When invaders from the north penetrate the ice wall, the Trappers are attacked and displaced from their territory. Under the leadership of a renegade named Jack Monroe and a doctor, Catania Olsen, the Trappers flee south toward the unknown lands of the Warm-time people. Through harsh and unfamiliar terrain, the desperate Trappers journey to find a sanctuary where they may live in peace, but they meet only death and brutality at every step. Amid the blood and gore of barbaric battles, costly encounters with more advanced societies and bitter character conflicts, Smith reads the palm of the future and finds that it looks none too bright.