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Black Moon: A Novel Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
But they're not zombies, no. They're still alive, they just can't sleep, and go crazy (yes, people really go crazy if deprived of sleep for long enough). Why they're prone to fits of violent rage when they see someone sleeping is never quite explained.
But then about halfway through, it turns into some sort of badly disguised literary novel, plumbing the characters' past for trauma, showing how it guides their current actions, with the whole not-zombies thing as just another background feature.
The writing was pretty good, but that plotting was odd. At times we follow through the mundanity of characters' lives, their meals and driving directions, while other times we skip weeks of their lives from one sighting to the next.
And in the end, there's no payoff. One character is just abandoned by the author and never heard from again. Another only gets a single throw-away sentence to explain their fate. Maybe it's a literary fiction thing, but there's no tie-up, no conclusion, just an ending.
In all, an interesting premise was twisted into a faux-zombie-novel, then twisted again into an exploration of the human soul, neither of which was a satisfying read.
The beginning of the voyage with our survivors describing their surroundings and thinking about the coming end of society was good. The following of our heroes however, became disjointed and somewhat boring to me. What started off with a bang somewhere mid-through fizzled for me and the book didn't have its earlier fire. I didn't find myself caring about what happened to those who were searching for their families and the story for me, fell apart.
I thought the first half or so was excellent but the deeper the novel went, the more focus it lost and this affected me as a reader.
Development of both male and female characters is rail thin (one thinks other women are sluts, another is characterized simply by being compared to another character). There's an alt-ish character (he has gauged ears) an everyman, a fat everyman, some distant parental figures and so on. No one in this book is given much to work with
But a novel like this isn't about the characters, it's about the chaos. There are burst of quality but overall very little plotting and murky world-building. The origin of the sleeplessness is the subject of hypothesis and conspiracy, but none of this lives up to the promise of the concept and like the author's constant use of metaphor, quickly becomes an irritation.
On a personal note, I was once on a sleep med with paradoxical effect, meaning it made it impossible for me to sleep, for two weeks.
I doubt many people have experienced something like that, but given that experience I really felt the author has failed to capture the way in which people unravel under prolonged sleep depravation and more importantly the growing dread of the inevitable consequences: madness, dementia, and finally death.
The book does succeed in having something of a dream like quality but, like a dream, the details are often foggy and difficult to remember. I certainly didn't hate it and may recommend the book to the right person but ultimately I feel very blank about the whole affair.
So first, I love this type of end of the world fiction which is largely played out. The fact that Black Moon has such a unique and interesting premise really saves this book from being a complete disappointment. It really could have been so much better. The writing is good, the story follows a couple different characters.
Here is my first problem with the book. Have you ever had a really interesting dream but when you try to explain the dream to somebody else you realize your explanation isn't half as interesting as the dream was to you? That's what a lot of this book felt like to me. Rambling prose about dreams and confused dialogue from sleepless, hallucinating people. It felt like the literary equivalent of wanker guitar solos from a jam band.
My second problem was the resolution or lack thereof. There just isn't much payoff to this book. There is a set up, a couple characters travel around a bit, and at the end you off handedly find out that one died and another most likely died but who knows how.
Also I just have to question the way dreams are described in this book. It seems like the world's dreams are all directed by David Lynch. I sometimes have out of place or funny things in my dreams, but the majority of my dreams don't include people with animal heads making grand statements.
I was probably more disappointed by this book than I just didn't enjoy it. Wouldn't recommend it highly to anyone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Black Moon has a very smooth writing style – for the first third and last third of the book. Both are written well with good characterization, and the story is genuinely... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Mark Gardner
More fantasy than science fiction. The characters are compelling. For readers who love language, this novel drips with the rhythms and alliteration off the place between waking and... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Misty D. Davies
Black Moon is terrifying.
Above all else, it has that. It's the zombie movie trope traded with insomnia. Read more
I wanted to like this book. I really did. A new spin on the zombie genre with insomnia being the cause for the possible end of humanity? Sign me up! Read morePublished 3 months ago by John S. Danknich
This book creates an interesting dystopian future where people have lost the ability to sleep. Insomnia leads to anarchy, anger, and violence, where the main targets are those rare... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Arpita Bose
A compelling start with multiple story lines. But it never really went anywhere. The ending fell flat.Published 4 months ago by Cynthia Hetherington
For his first novel, Calhoun pleasantly surprises by avoiding plot line pitfalls and descriptive cliches in a genre that can at times feel overdone. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Meghan
The premise for this book is intriguing, especially in a world full of run-of-the-mill zombie experiences, whether in print or on screen. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Gabriel Chapman
Got this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my review.
This book is confusing and weird. Read more
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