A Black And Endless Sky: Matthew Lyons
Reviewed By Yvonne Miller
Gory and imaginative, A Black and Endless Sky succeeds on so many levels. Life hasn’t been easy for the Talbot siblings. Life, marriage, and escaping the past is constantly tugging at the seams of their existence. Jonah is freshly divorced after his marriage ended without fault but with something always feeling amiss. He heads on a road trip from San Francisco to New Mexico and invites his estranged sister, Nell, along for the ride. Old wounds will be repaired, and relationships will be mended, or will they encounter something they didn’t plan for?
Firstly, the novel depicts a dig that encounters something unprecedented and as a lifelong horror fan you know that isn’t going to end well. Think scenes in The Exorcist – that’s exactly where my mind went. As Jonah and Nell embark on their journey we see desolate landscapes morph into their biggest paranoia, the figures that always lie in their psyche, their burdens to bear. Very few novels have been able to nail home that impending sense of dread that you feel in A Black and Endless Sky – you will be consumed by shadow and only see the grey of the world.
I particularly enjoyed how Lyons compiled the chapters on how many miles they had travelled. It allows the reader to envisage the desolate nature of the landscape and the distance in which you can become unhinged with reality. I relished in the pleasure I felt in not only getting to know the protagonists but also the landscape. The author’s resplendent writing ensured I was hooked for the long haul. It made me shudder. The journey, the motels, the petrol stations, the Volvo – it all took a life of its own and each revealed deadly secrets.
The story interweaves humanity and the supernatural exquisitely well. The narratives are explored by the three predominant characters, Jonah, Nell, and Anna. Each of them has experienced things that would break and crack open the strongest of people. They each explore the impact of demons, abuse, and pain. The siblings live different lives and struggle to understand the core of who the other is, but they are determined to get back on track with each other. Their love for one another comes alive from the pages – we feel the hope, the despair, and the determination to make it through this – alive.
This was a story that threw me for a loop. It was gory, and everything cosmic horror should deem to be. The character development was second to none, one of the best I’ve read lately, and can’t wait to read more from this seriously talented author. Be prepared for a biker gang with a vendetta against the siblings, Anna, a sin-eater who would scare the crap out of any horror movie villain, and a love that will test the constraints of reality and truth.
A Black And Endless Sky
Road trips can be hell.
Siblings Jonah and Nell Talbot used to be inseparable, but ever since Jonah suddenly blew town twelve years ago, they couldn’t be more distant. Now, in the wake of Jonah’s divorce, they embark on a cross-country road trip back to their hometown of Albuquerque, hoping to mend their broken relationship along the way.
But when a strange accident befalls Nell at an abandoned industrial site somewhere in the Nevada desert, she begins experiencing ghastly visions and exhibiting terrifying, otherworldly symptoms. As their journey through the desolate American Southwest reveals the grotesque change happening within his sister, one thing becomes clear to Jonah: It’s not only Nell in there anymore.
Pursued by a mysterious stranger who knows far more about Nell’s worsening condition than they let on, the siblings race to find a way to help Nell and escape the desert before they’re met with a violent, bloody end. But there are far worse things lurking in the desert ahead… some of them just beneath the skin.
Well, what can I say about myself? I’m a 33-year-old married woman and mum to 3 crazy boys, aged 13,6 and 4. My eldest has a genetic condition that causes a visual impairment so as you can imagine life can be very chaotic and provides many challenges along the way but I would 100% never change any of them. They fulfil my life beyond measure.
I adore books – I adore shouting about books! I’m a reviewer of mainly horror and dark fantasy. Whether that’s featuring werewolves, evil creatures or the depravity of humanity, I will read them all.
You can follow Yvonne on Twitter: @coycaterpillar
Please visit Yvonne’s Official Website: www.thecoycaterpillarreads.blog