Thursday, April 17, 2014

Black Moon

Black Moon / Kenneth Calhoun
London: Hogarth, c2014.
277 p.

Insomnia as a plague... when no-one except for a few outliers can sleep, and they all begin to suffer the psychotic effects of sleeplessness. Panic, confusion, and murderous rage when a sleeper is discovered. Apocalyptic disaster, no cure except for a semi-cure in an isolated scientific compound.

This is indeed a black story. We follow a few key characters, in a small area of California, as they begin to understand the scope of this disaster, and then we follow them to the end of their stories. So many people die in this book! We have women dying all over the place, main characters drifting out of reach of those who might save them, others choosing to leave their place of safety and dying horrible deaths. The only survivors are a few scientists and one man who makes his way there, the only one who still sleeps a natural sleep, and dreams.

I found this a very fast-paced, thrilling read, lots of detail, lots of excitement and terror. But after I finished it I was dissatisfied with the book overall. There were plot holes, there were too many deaths, and there didn't seem to be any reason for the plague, or any point to telling this story. There was no hope at the end, there was no real cure, and nobody seemed to come to any kind of larger understanding from all their experience. I don't mind a good apocalyptic tale but there was too much gore and not enough point to this one for my tastes.

Great for a quick read when you want something not too deep and quite thrilling to read, but quite forgettable in the end.


  1. WOW -- I was just about to go to amazon and make sure I put this on my Wishlist [it's how I keep track of books I want] until I heard what you said toward the end. Now I'm not so sure. I really can't stand when books [or movies] have too many obvious holes in the story. That really bugs me.
    However, I thought of Jose Saramago's Blindness -- which is such an excellent book, but the plague [in this case, of blindness, the contagion of which is a seeing person observing the blind one] is never ever explained. Yet I loved the book. I find the concept here in this one, insomnia -- to be so fascinating.

    1. Oh, well, you might like it anyhow -- it was clever, and I liked the premise. It doesn't come close to Blindness (but then who can) but there are still interesting ideas in it.

  2. I often find a thriller to be interesting in premise, but disappointing in follow through. It's hard to catch two important aspects of a book, plot and writing, in one read. Certainly Gone Girl fell apart for me...

    Thanks for the encouraging comments during the read a thon!

    1. Yes! Often the premise is wonderful and the story doesn't quite live up to it... I couldn't get through Gone Girl, I liked The Silent Wife better.

      Hope you enjoyed your readathon!


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