Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Feature: The Void by Brett J. Talley

The Void
by Brett J. Talley
ISBN: 9781936564439
Published July 13, 2012 by JournalStone
Available Format: hardcover, paperback, ebook

My Rating: ★★★★

Publisher’s Synopsis:  In the deepest reaches of space, on a ship that no longer exists, six travelers stare into the abyss . . . and the abyss stares back.

Man has finally mastered the art of space travel and in a few hours passengers can travel light years across the galaxy. But, there's a catch—the traveler must be asleep for the journey, and with sleep come the dreams. Only the sleeper can know what his dream entails, for each is tailored to his own mind, built from his fears, his secrets, his past . . . and sometimes his future.

That the dreams occasionally drive men mad is but the price of technological advance. But when a transport on a routine mission comes upon an abandoned ship, missing for more than a decade, six travelers—each with something to hide—discover that perhaps the dreams are more than just figments of their imagination. Indeed, they may be a window to a reality beyond their own where shadow has substance and the darkness is a thing unto itself, truly worthy of fear.

I’ll admit, I felt like the first bit was pretty slow and sometimes hard to follow. I did read the ARC rather than the final product, so some of the errors and such might have been tweaked out afterward, but it wasn’t terribly distracting—not like some things I’ve come across, for sure! The swapping from first names to last names, and vice versa, did confuse me a little at first, but then I learned the characters and had no problem.

Once things really started happening, I couldn’t put the book down. In fact, I read the last sixty-five percent or so in just a few hours.  Late at night. Just before bed. And I quickly started thinking maybe reading a creepy book about crazy nightmares might not be the best choice I could have made. But, I was okay. J

I don’t think The Void outshines That Which Should Not Be by far, but I still admire Brett’s writing skills and his ability to absolutely creep someone out. I think maybe the sci-fi aspect wasn’t really as interesting to me (as opposed to the mythological feel of TWSNB), and the jumping from one character to another and to different times and places made things a little harder to follow. The character and scene shifts were much more defined in TWSNB, and the narrative flowed a little more smoothly.

I hate to keep comparing the two novels and I hate that it seems I have more negatives than positives.  I really did like the book. I really did love the ideas behind the book. I’ve always been a big “dream” person. And who hasn’t wondered what might be lurking in the shadows? I absolutely enjoyed the short story that was the inspiration for the book. And Brett is still one of my favorite authors. I’m just hoping that his next novel will showcase his talents a bit better. :-)

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for an interview with Brett, where you'll be able to enter to win a signed copy of one of his books!!!