Title: The Big Dark Sky
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
First published: July 19th 2022
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: June 20th 2022
Pages: 390
DNF at 13% (51 pages)

“Sunrise in Santa Fe, New Mexico, sometimes offered at peacock sky that opened the heart to wonder, even if the day included an appointment for a root canal procedure or, in Joanna’s case, the prospect of a car mechanic issuing a diagnosis almost as unsettling as bad news from an oncologist.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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WARNING: unpopular opinion ahead!!

Right… I certainly didn’t expect this to happen when I started reading The Big Dark Sky. I confess that it’s been a long time since my first and only experience with one of his books (2014 to be exact), but it was a good first expression and I’ve been meaning to read another Dean Koontz book ever since. The blurb of his newest story sounded fascinating, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to refamiliarize myself with his writing. I’m not sure if it was simply the wrong time for me to read The Big Dark Sky, but the fact is that this story and me sadly didn’t get along at all. I’ll try to explain briefly why.

First of all I want to stress the fact that I hardly ever have to make the hard decision to DNF a book, and I never take that decision lightly… In fact, I only DNF a handful of books each year, so having to resort to such a drastic move twice in one week comes as a hard blow. Especially when it’s a story I fully expected to have a great time with. Sadly, there was just something about The Big Dark Sky that I simply clashed horribly with. My main issue is with the writing style, which felt so unnatural, wooden and simply like it was trying to hard… A small sample above. I felt so frustrated by the prose that I had a hard time absorbing what was actually said, and add the fact that nothing really made sense (or at least in the first part of the story) it was hard for me to find a reason to keep reading.

I wasn’t a fan of the multiple POV structure either… It felt like there were way too many different POVs to juggle and somehow they also felt way too similar? Things might have improved later on in the book, but after reading the reviews of those people who also struggled with this story I doubt this would have made a difference for me. I tried skimreading to see if I could slowly get used to the writing style and lack of and/or strange plot, but I felt like I was only fooling myself and there was no other logical conclusion than to simply throw in the towel and DNF. The Big Dark Sky and me sadly really weren’t a good fit at all, but I do know that most people did enjoy it a lot better so don’t give up on my account.


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