One Sentence Synopsis
A group of survivors living in a post-apocalyptic NYC race against the clock to try and save one man’s life while unraveling the mysteries surrounding the catastrophe that caused the end of the world.
“Please excuse the mess”, says Anthony. “The safety of our residents is of the utmost concern. Unfortunately, we had a pair of employees who betrayed our customer service principle, so they had to be retired.”
“We want you to know,” interjects Matthew, “because of your wife’s relationship with our family, the cost to repaid the door and remove the corpses from her apartment will not be taken out of her deposit. Consider it a gesture of apology.”
Bishop considers probing for more information.
Repair the door? Corpses? What the hell happened here?
A dystopian, militaristic story that will keep you tightly in it’s grip.
Back when I first started posting regularly on my blog, I was approached by the author of this book with an offer. It was the first review request I ever received and I was stoked! The fact that it was a science fiction dystopia made me even more excited to read it. I have to take a moment to thank Timothy Minneci for sending me a copy in exchange for this honest review. It was very much appreciated! I should also apologize for taking so long to finally get this review up (the book was released in August 😳). I’ve been having a time trying to corral all my thoughts about The Black Sky into something coherent! But, having finished the book and sitting with my thoughts for a bit, it’s time to get them out!
First and foremost, this book has quite a bit going for it. It has a grim landscape built on the backdrop of Manhattan after an apocalyptic event has crippled the planet. The atmosphere of this book is dark and will have you glad you can escape just by closing it! The things our main characters have to suffer through are intense and it’s written in a way that is incredibly gripping. I think the author did a great job of building up that gritty atmosphere and making you feel the despair of this particular dystopia.
Another aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was the characters. The book is mainly focused on Bishop, an ex-Air Force officer who is sent on a mission to help save the leader of Manhattan. Several other “assests” have been sent out and lost before Bishop, so he knows he very well may not make it back. So why volunteer? Because of the promise of being reunited with his wife, Tessa, who is stuck in the Free Zone outside of the heavily guarded city. Bishop is such an interesting character and has a lot of depth to him. His motivation is clear and never wavers: he loves his wife and wants her back with him. But he also has layers to him that peek out throughout the story. Tessa is also a pretty awesome character, with a lot of heart and brains. The other players in this book don’t feel quite as fleshed out as Bishop and Tessa, but I still enjoyed them (or loved to hate them) overall.
Lamb can kick rocks, tho.
I think one thing that didn’t work so well for me was the pacing. We start off with a lot going on: the setting is getting established, the mission parameters are laid out, and the action gets rolling pretty quickly. But, then, it starts to drag. The bits focusing on Bishop while he’s on his dangerous mission are great! They kept my interest and kept me on the edge of my seat. But there are moments where we are focused on the, for lack of a better word, upper management of Manhattan and a certain character (Lamb… the one who can kick rocks) trying to make a power play. And, honestly, I could not care less. I just found my interest straying during those moments and I couldn’t wait to get back to the action.
Also, there is a lot of military jargon in this book. Like… a lot. To the point that it could be a bit much. Of course, this book is centered around an ex-military man going on a rather military mission, so I get it. But it was still a bit overwhelming to me. It made sense in the story, it didn’t feel misplaced, I just didn’t care for it. Your mileage may vary!
Final thoughts: Overall, this was an interesting story with a lot of action and a very satisfying ending. The pacing does drag a bit when you’re not focused on the central mission and there’s a fair bit of military jargon, but I still think this was a solid book with an intriguing message and fascinating characters. If you like gritty dystopian novels with a militaristic flavor, I think you would really enjoy this book!