Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Shale is in trouble – the creature-filled darkness known as the Roil is expanding, consuming the land, swallowing cities whole. Where once there were 12 metropolises, now only 4 remain.
It’s up to a drug addict, an old man and a woman bent on revenge to try to save their city – and the world.
Thoughts: The concept behind this book is a fascinating one, in which darkness is slowly taking over the world and transforming everything within it to something foul and violent and, in some places, genuinely creepy. The dead walk. Tiny moths flutter in your eyes and mouth and take over your brain so that you become a sentient extension of the Roil itself. And the shrinking pockets of humanity have to do their best to survive the Roil while also surviving all the other problems inherent with corrupt politicians and drugs and violence and all the other worldly vices.
A fascinating concept indeed. It’s regretful, then, that I found this book falling short of what I saw as its initial potential.
This book mostly suffers from a lack of descriptive consistency. Some things are beautifully described, and there’s no doubt of what characters are seeing, feeling, doing. Other things are glossed over. And I’m not talking about small things, either. The only clear picture I have of any of the Roil creatures is the Vermatisaur, and that thing appeared for about 5 pages. Things that appeared more often had brief descriptions of how they moved, how a part of their body looked, but nothing that could bring it all together in my mind.
The world of Shale and its history felt similarly. It felt like this was a book of hints, glimpses of some deeper story that could have made the whole thing so much richer if they’d actually been elaborated on and expanded instead of just glossed over and passed by. While reading this, I felt uncomfortably like I must have missed something. A previous book, some necessary prequel that would have clarified half of the finer details mentioned here. I felt like it was taken for granted that the readers would all be in the author’s mind, knowing what he knew and thus there was n need for elaboration.
It didn’t work that way. And I’m really sorry to see that, because as I said, the basic premise of the story was fine, and the kind of thing that you don’t want to read alone once the sun’s gone down. I don’t suspect I’ll be continuing on to the second book of the series after this rather inconsistent introduction.
(Provided for review by the publisher via NetGalley.)