Depending on how you look at it, ‘Black Moon’ by Kenneth Calhoun is either horror or Science Fiction. I tended to go along with the latter at first. The reader is thrown into a situation where the majority of people have become insomniacs and without that necessary REM sleep are becoming increasingly agitated, manic and dangerous. Almost out of the Wyndham school of change for the worse. Those few who can sleep and are often looking after their loved ones are finding it harder to sleep because, short of tying them up, don’t know quite what they will find when they wake up. Taking point with that is Matthew Biggs who leaves his wife, Carolyn, tied up while he seeks supplies only to return to find she’s escaped and he has to go looking for her.
The story then switches to Chase who looks like he took Viagra to stay awake and his chasing down his girl-friend Felicity and me getting increasingly confused as to what is going on. It felt as though Calhoun gave up on his original idea, couldn’t develop it further or realised it was becoming too zombie-like and went into straight drama.
I couldn’t help coming away from this book thinking that as a first time novelist that Calhoun couldn’t match the idea he sold to the publisher and if the dark facemask given as a freebie might have made more interesting way to read this book. A shame for so much potential.
(pub: Hogarth/Random House. 274 page hardback. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78108-014-5)
check out website: www.randomhouse.co.uk