It really bites when you just can’t get into a story and it has nothing to do with the book itself. I just experienced this with The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher. Since I had rare moments of free time to read, I never connected to the story-line or the characters enough for me to want to finish the novel.
Back in the day, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland had led the Fleet into battle against an implacable machine intelligence capable of devouring entire worlds. But after saving a planet, and getting a bum robot knee in the process, he finds himself relegated to one of the most remote backwaters in Fleetspace to oversee the decommissioning of a semi-deserted space station well past its use-by date.
But all is not well aboard the U-Star Coast City. The station’s reclusive Commandant is nowhere to be seen, leaving Cleveland to deal with a hostile crew on his own. Persistent malfunctions plague the station’s systems while interference from a toxic purple star makes even ordinary communications problematic. Alien shadows and whispers seem to haunt the lonely corridors and airlocks, fraying the nerves of everyone aboard.
Isolated and friendless, Cleveland reaches out to the universe via an old-fashioned space radio, only to tune in to a strange, enigmatic signal: a woman’s voice that seems to echo across a thousand light-years of space. But is the transmission just a random bit of static from the past—or a warning of an undying menace beyond mortal comprehension?
My apologies go out to Mr. Christopher, because I don’t feel like I gave this novel the best shot. I will hold on to it, and try it again later. Maybe the next try will be a success!
Like I said, I had rare and short moments of free time to read The Burning Dark. Each time I put the book down, I was left puzzled about what was going on. It felt lacking, like parts of the plot line was left open to interpretation, or just skipped to not overload the reader. I don’t have a problem per say with this style; it’s just that with the few moments I had, this tactic was not my friend. I had to re-read a lot to grasp the situation or to remember what was going on. Again, this is probably more my fault than the writing style.
The story-line was very interesting. I have to say, the alien machines were pretty cool. They reminded me of the machines from the Matrix movies. You remember those octopus type things that attacked the ships? They are kind of like that. I was also curious about Captain Cleveland and how his role was going to play out. I even liked the creepy ghost like haunting going on due to the purple star. However, because none of this popped near enough to capture my attention when I could read, it wasn’t enough to help me continue. Mainly because I was more frustrated by feeling lost and having to re-read, that it overshadowed the good aspects of the story. If there had been just a bit more angst and informative scenes with the crew and Captain Cleveland, it would have helped me connect to what was happening.
I truly feel bad about not finishing this novel. It’s one of those times where I just can’t get into the story-line due to my schedule and pitiful attention span. I can see its potential; I just can’t connect to it right now. I intend to pick The Burning Dark up again, once I can give it my full attention.