Sweet, Sweet Sleep

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sleep. It’s a precious commodity that we perpetually take for granted until it is taken from us. But what would happen in a world where most everyone suffers from insomnia and they continually lose control over their functions until they resemble not much more than a zombie? If you’ve ever  wondered about that, this is a rudimentary basis behind Kenneth Calhoun’s Black Moon. And might I say that I am rather fond of the cover art in the way it helps to convey the story visually.

With insomnia running rampant through most people, the sleepers, such as Biggs, Lila, and Chase, are in danger of becoming the targets of acts of violence from those suffering from the ravages of insomnia. No one is quite sure what has triggered the mass outbreak of the crippling insomnia, which makes it rather difficult to attempt to find a cure. But scientists previously involved in studying sleep, alongside Chase’s ex-girlfriend Felicia, experiment with a potential cure. As each of the characters battles against the insomniacs and degrees of sleeplessness, their paths become more concrete as the world around them becomes more subjective and hallucinatory.

I was captivated by not only the premise of the narrative, but also with the manner in which it was written. The language was fitting of each character and maintained the pacing of the suspense of learning what each sleeper would be faced with next. By having each character’s thread of the story beginning as a seemingly separate narrative with the only common attribute being insomnia, I was reminded of the way that The Walking Dead focuses on particular characters each week and throughout the season ties all the seemingly disparate actions together into a more cohesive whole.

And I actually rather preferred how everything wasn’t tied up in a nice cookie-cutter ending and left things open to interpretation; however, there were a few instances of less specific writing that raised some red-flags with me. For instance, Lila is said to be a high school student, and she is of a smaller stature, but when Felicia meets her and calls her a young girl, I was confused by it. True, Felicia’s perspective undoubtedly plays a part in how she’ll describe Lila, but for continuity’s sake, she’s not a young girl–particularly not with what she’s seen and lived through.

Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.


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