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Arthur Jeon
Author
Snowflake: A Climate Thriller
Arthur Jeon, author

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

How far would you go to reverse today’s climate change emergency? A scholarship student at a private high school decides he must kill the president as an act of environmental protection.                                  

18-year-old Ben Wallace didn’t set out to become an environmental activist, let alone a presidential assassin. But after a mind-altering experience and two near tragedies, Ben discovers some facts about earth’s rapid global warming and none of it is good news: 

  • “A Species Goes Extinct Every 20 Minutes, Over 26,000 A Year” – Biological Diversity
  • “Worldwide, 7 Million People A Year Die from Air Pollution” – Science Daily
  • “Humankind Has Wiped Out 60% of All Animals Since 1970” – The Guardian
  • “President Sells Off Drilling and Mining Rights in Arctic Wildlife Refuge” – NY Times

Ben becomes outraged by the president’s climate change lies, attacks on climate science, and destruction of the natural world. He decides there is only one solution—a desperate, but necessary act of environmental activism and social justice to protect his generation—Ben must kill POTUS.

At his exclusive private school, Ben becomes a loner, self-isolated from the other students who appear—on Instagram anyway—not to have a care in the world. Not a single student seems to notice the planet is burning. It's all too much denial and lies – he's got to act! Skipping his meds and therapist to prepare for his mission, the actions of this teenage vegan begin to totter between madness and morality.

During the six weeks leading up to his assassination of the President of the United States, Ben realizes he’ll never get close enough to kill the president with a gun. Instead, he hatches a realistic hi-tech strategy, meticulously prepping for the daunting challenge he faces to kill a president.

Throughout this controversial climate change novel, Ben grapples with the philosophical, practical, and moral reasons that make his radical actions necessary. Mr. Hale, Ben's STEM teacher, and a former Navy Seal sees that his best student is struggling and attempts to take Ben under his wing. But Hale makes a fateful mistake by ignoring the signs of Ben's unraveling.

The events tighten into a gripping suspense thriller racing dead-ahead to a shocking conclusion nobody could foresee. This book will leave you questioning life as it is, and whether you too should become a climate change activist fighting environmental destruction and mankind’s extinction.

 WARNINGSnowflake is a Cli-Fi novel and political thriller with a narrative structure that springs from Ben's brief journal entries, a ritual that helps him process his overactive mind into a singular confessional voice. Equal parts climate thriller, think piece, and spiritual journey, the book is contemporary historical fiction – it swims the current of America's craziest cultural waters and terrifying global warming facts. But the climate science Ben cites is real, the politics are true, and the president’s attacks against the environment are accurate. So, as it promotes the truth about climate change, some may find Snowflake a dark and disturbing novel.⚠

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.00 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: The author delivers a topical novel about a teen with intense personal views regarding the state of the world, and a misguided approach to resolving circumstances beyond his control. 

Prose/Style: The troubled, passionate young protagonist’s voice is alluring and immediate. The integration of news headlines and facts relating to the ravages of climate change provide texture to the narrative, while Ben’s increasing desperation is tangible.

Originality: This novel is original in concept and journal-like structure. The contentious political climate referenced throughout, however, will be woefully familiar to readers. While readers may recognize and relate to much of Ben’s concern and anger, pointed allusions to the president currently in power, leave little room for imagination and can sometimes prove detrimental.

Character Development: Jevon’s characters are convincingly rendered, and are very much “of-the-moment.” The author carefully juxtaposes Ben’s clearly ill-advised and dangerous actions as a result of mental illness with his astute awareness of the very real dangers facing the planet. The novel’s strength may ultimately prove to be a weakness: readers living in the world Jevon so aptly captures, may wish nothing more than to escape it.

Date Submitted: July 22, 2020

News
06/29/2020
A Debut Climate-themed Novel ‘Snowflake’ by Arthur Jeon

The Times Of Israel

Get ready for a new climate-themed novel titled “Snowflake” by Harvard-educated (class of 1985) novelist and screenwriter Arthur Jeon. While this blogger is based in Taiwan and he’s based in California, we were able to set up an email exchange about his debut novel. Here is some of what he told me.

“Snowflake" is a climate thriller and firmly lands in the category of fiction trying to communicate our climate emergency, he told me, adding: “Because Benji, the main character, is OCD, and the novel is told through the structure of his personal journal, it is full of real and current headlines as the reasons he must act on climate issues. While the novel has a young protagonist and is therefore a bit of a YA novel, it’s not for anybody under the age of 15. Gen-Z response has been great, as well as responses from mature audiences that like nonfiction and thrillers.”

“I feel like we must urgently get the word out and have spent three years wrapping the latest research in a fast-moving story,” he continued.

A modern-day climate thriller meets think piece, Snowflake chronicles the journal entries of Ben Wallace, a brilliant high school senior who sees the world beyond his years. Some might say he’s an “old soul,” while others dismiss him as a bleeding heart vegan liberal due to his progressive views on climate change, eating meat, hunting, factory farming, pollution, species conservation, and overpopulation.

Often called a “snowflake” or “Soy Boy” (as one school bully nicknames him), Ben must constantly defend himself in an out-of-touch gen-Z world consumed with Instagram, selfies, memes, and TikTok.

As a gifted student who obsessively reads scientific papers, Ben is all too familiar with the present-day attacks on our environment and frequently experiences what he refers to as “obsessive climate spirals” – often triggered by horrifyingly authentic tweets, quotes, and news headlines (i.e. “Humans Speeding Extinction, Altering Natural World at Unprecedented Pace” & “Worldwide, 7 Million People A Year Die from Air Pollution”).

Presented with these terrifying truths regarding “climate chaos” and the fate of the world, Ben predicts a looming environmental catastrophe–humanity’s imminent self-extinction. He recognizes how this impending ecological disaster is provoked by the current President of the United States, who not only passes policies with no consideration for climate change but denies that it exists altogether–putting the entire globe at risk.

After a profound mind-altering experience and two nearly fatal family tragedies, Ben experiences a spiritual awakening as he recognizes how all life is connected and that we’re all simply animals fighting to survive. Radicalized by humanity’s downfall (and perhaps his skipped anxiety meds and therapy sessions), while simultaneously guided by his love of animals, philosophy, and moral justice, Ben pledges to take action in pursuit of his grand “Idea,” as he calls it–to assassinate the president in an ultimate act of environmental defense. This becomes Ben’s daily mantra for six weeks leading up to his grand scheme. Ben recognizes, “If you keep letting something go, it never ends.” 

Confronted with daily media headlines like “A Species Goes Extinct Every 20 Minutes, Over 26,000 A Year,” Ben can’t simply ignore the grim state of the world and “wait for the broken machinery of our system to repair itself.” After all, “What future do any of us have in the face of such destruction?”

But no matter how enraged, this vegan 18-year-old activist makes a rather unlikely assassin as he even feels remorse over the accidental killing of a silverfish. Because of this, he struggles daily with the philosophical, practical, and moral reasons that render his actions not only justified but necessary.

This may seem like a heady mixture, but it’s all wrapped up in a fast-paced and compelling thriller that keeps the pages turning. You’ll find yourself effortlessly consuming information about real-world issues, without feeling like you’re stuck in a classroom.

No doubt, Snowflake is bursting at the seams with facts and inspiration, empowering readers with the knowledge and gall to take action against environmental injustices. Ultimately, Ben envisions a better world and maps out the steps to get there in what eventually becomes a modern-day manifesto, inspiring future generations to come.

 

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