Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Review: Black Moon

This book came to me in one of my favorite ways, it just stared me down on the new release shelf at the library. I kept looking, then walking away. Finally, I picked it up and read the inside sleeve:

"Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs know. Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed..." What the heck is going on here? I internally bellowed, then moved to another area of the library, further in the back.

I grabbed a bit of light reading off the shelf, knowing it had come time to read something light to balance some of the other stuff I've read recently. As I got back to the front of the library, it stared me down again, again I opened the flap and read further:
"He ventures into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness..." I continued to read, placed the book back on the shelf, took two steps toward the circulation desk and then went back and grabbed it. I don't know if it was the eye on the cover, the unique concept I saw on the inside cover or some mysterious aura - regardless, I felt compelled to give this book a go.

What I loved most about this book is that it does not suffer from what so much of what has flooded the book and especially the film world in the last few years - an amazing lack of originality. The originality concept alone grabbed my attention and even held if for the most part. I made a point of not reading any other reviews of this book until I finished it and I am glad that I did so.

I agree with some of what's been said, it's not perfect - but really, who the heck am I to make such a claim? In the end, there was never a time I didn't want to see this story to it's end and while I wish I were somewhat more fulfilled at the end, I still feel like the originality was enough to keep me interested throughout.

There came a point where I started to see this book as an alternate take on the all to common, especially in the current mainstream, zombie story and it turns out, others saw this as well. For me, zombies are so over done, I have zero interest in anything to do with them but this book really is much more than any of that. One of the key elements that makes this story interesting is that as far out as the underlying concept of insomnia as an epidemic may be, as it is depicted in Black Moon, it feels to me like something that could really happen and that, adds just the right amount of terrifying to the already interesting.

The back flab bio of the author, Kenneth Calhoun, indicates he is from my neck of the woods and teaches as a college just a hop, skip and a jump from where I work. A fine first novel worthy of a read in my all too humble opinion.

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