Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: Black Halo by Sam Sykes

Having recovered the tome of the undergates from Ulbecetonth and her fish demons Lenk and his companions set sail to rendezvous with their ticket home. However after spending a few days becalmed tensions begin to rise once again amongst the group. They are soon attacked by a sea monster, their boat destroyed and the group scattered on an island filled with the bones of creatures from a long-forgotten war. The companions are divided, beset by their own inner demons as well as everyone else trying to kill them.

I really think Sam Sykes is still in the learning stages of his craft, there are glimpses of a very clever writer in this book but that writer often struggles to get out. Each of the companions have their own internal issues and proceed to bitch and internalize about it throughout the entire book. Again there are glimpses of some very interesting developments but the whole emo thing they all have going on gets tiresome very quickly.

At times the book reads a bit like a YA adult novel not in terms of content but delivery. There is a huge difference between mature and adult and Sykes doesn't always make this distinction well; ie toilet humour can be very tiresome.

Sykes writes very good action scenes and I would have liked to have seen more of this but these are few and far between. Considering the book is over seven hundred and fifty pages long the plot barely advances at all which is extremely frustrating.

Overall Sykes has undoubted potential but his second novel has some issues that make it rather frustrating and the plot moves at the speed of a dawdling glacier. 6/10.

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