Aaron Bunce's Reviews > Fear the Sky

Fear the Sky by Stephen     Moss
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Feb 10, 2017

did not like it
bookshelves: dnf

Fear the Sky sounds interesting enough. The synopsis hooked me, after all, and being on a huge sci-fi kick, I eagerly added it to my Audible library. Oh boy. Disclaimer: I gave up on this book at 20%, roughly 12 chapters in. You might say, "you didn't give it a chance." But I counter, at 20% in, I had already dedicated over 4 and a half hours! If a book can't hook you in that time, there is a problem. Or many problems!

Fear the Sky moves at an arduous pace, not unlike tree sap in the cold seasons. Copious exposition is used to describe the "object" moving through space, the odds of its trajectory, and how it would unlikely hit earth, and if it did, the odds of it making impact with the ground. This part wasn't uninteresting, but I grew impatient, wading through gobs of information and waiting for the story to start. Then we're introduced to our main character, or at least one of them. He's a PhD student working at a USAF monitoring station, and splitting his time between complaining about insufficient bandwidth and using government computers to search for porn. This is how memorable he is as a character - that I cannot remember his name. It should be no wonder, though. If you read the synopsis for the book, not only is the entire plot of the book spelled out for us, but nowhere are any of the character's of interest mentioned! Seriously? Strange. I know there are a lot of characters, evidently, but a story has to pivot around a few, strong, character's voices, and one would think they at least be included in the synopsis. Instead, we are treated to a spoiler-filled description, which like Moss's writing style, leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination.

That brings me to my next point - the writing. Moss's prose isn't bad, or he has a really good editor. But he insists on spoon feeding us every, tiny, bit or detail. Anything he feels we need know, we know. Even, mind you, information that isn't recognizable to the characters moving the plot along. We call this unearned information, and there is a lot of it. There is no nuance, - please don't mistaken nuance or subtlety for snarky or clever writing. Clever or snarky writing for its own sake is simply self serving. While reading, I found myself constantly imagining how the scenes, or elements, could have been written, and how the right approach could have crafted an incredibly intriguing and mysterious story. But that's just it, there is no intrigue, no mystery. Instead, the 3rd person/omniscient point of view jumps into every character's head, tells us exactly what they are thinking, and ultimately leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. Good writers craft stories of people who are close to, or are affected by mysterious happenstances, and the story unfolds around them to reveal the larger plot at work. This story, gives us pretty much everything upfront, holds our hand along the way, like an automated, slow moving, guided tour. Achievement unlocked: imagination disengaged. For me, once that happens, I officially remove myself from the book.

R.C Bray isn't a horrible narrator. He has a good voice, But I found his tone to get a little monotone, and at times, it, mixed with the writing, lulled me into a stupor. It is one of the first audiobooks I've ever listened to that didn't hold my attention, and when I realized that I had missed something, or been distracted, I wasn't worried about backing up and investigating what I'd missed. I won't bother with any more of Moss's books. Granted, this is all my personal preference. Take each review for what they are, a person's personal reaction. If it's all the same, I recommend moving along, or giving the sample a good, hard listen. This book is not for everyone.

This is the first book, in any medium, I have ever returned.
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Reading Progress

December 10, 2014 – Shelved
December 10, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
February 7, 2017 – Started Reading
February 7, 2017 –
20.0% "I am struggling with this book from the start. If the omniscient third person wasn't bad enough, Stephen Moss feels the reader needs pretty much everything spelled out for them. I am not one of those readers. I like nuance, I like mystery, and subtlety. We don't get to figure anything out for ourselves. I may not have the fortitude to finish this one."
February 10, 2017 –
20.0%
February 10, 2017 –
20.0% "I had to give up on this book at 20%. There is no nuance to the writing, no subtlety. If I want to be spoon fed every pertinent fact about something, I'll read instruction manuals. I'm surprised this book has so many 5 star reviews. I'm also not saying that it is wretched, horrible stuff. It's just not for me. This book marks the first time I've returned a book in any format."
February 10, 2017 – Shelved as: dnf
February 10, 2017 – Finished Reading

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