Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Sleeping Dead - by Richard Farren Barber - A decidedly strange novella

3 of 5 Stars

I always look forward to new releases from Darkfuse, so I was eager to get started on this new novella from Richard Farren Barber.

The story began with Jackson Smith on a crosstown bus on his way to a job interview.  He notices some odd behaviors on city transit, but nothing the bus driver hasn't seen before.  Before he can get to his interview, traffic comes to a standstill as there seems to be a jumper on the bridge separating Jackson from his destination.

Soon, there are other suicides and things quickly escalate.  To this point the story was compelling, the pace was good, and I was curious to see what would happen, but then things got bogged down in the second half of the story as Jackson and another survivor, Susan, look for others among The Sleeping Dead, while doing their best to fight off urges to end their own lives.

I'm not quite sure why I didn't enjoy this novella more than I did.  Maybe, it was just a case of bad timing with the death of Robin Williams by suicide occurring just before I read this story and then having so many characters taking their on lives in the book.  It could also be that I found myself not caring about the characters or it might be the lack of any explanation as to why all this was happening.

The Sleeping Dead is available now from Darkfuse through Amazon.com and you can read it for FREE if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.

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