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Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun

by Catherine Van Bergen (follow)
Fiction (373)      Debut Novel (22)      Epidemic (1)      March 2014 New Release (1)     

Imagine how your life would be if you fell victim to sleep deprivation. Imagine a population starved of sleep, and going insane- even killing for that elusive chance to close their eyes and fall unconscious. This is the reality that the human race faces in Calhoun’s highly original debut novel, when an epidemic of insomnia threatens humanity. No one knows what has caused it (society’s strong dependence on drugs? A government plot? Something in the water?) and so far, no one has worked out how to cure it. Sleeping pills have no effect and nearly everyone is affected- this insomnia doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor, male and female, elderly and young.

But there are a few people- sleepers- who for some reason, have built up a resilience to this epidemic, and are able to sleep just like normal. These people have to hide their ability for fear that they will be killed by the insomniacs, whose irrational anger borne from lack of sleep makes them murderous in the presence of someone who can do what they desire most of all at this time. The sleepers have to disguise themselves, mimicking the disjointed speech and stumbling walk of the affected, in order to survive in this almost zombie-like new world. Society has collapsed and humanity is a mere shadow of what it once was.

This book follows several characters as they struggle to traverse this unpredictable new social landscape. Matt Biggs has never had trouble falling asleep, and when the epidemic hits, he finds that this is still the case. But his wife Carolyn has always suffered from insomnia, and this only worsens. One day, after she has suffered through six sleepless days and nights, Biggs wakes to find her missing, and sets out in search of her…

Lila is a teenager-and a sleeper- living on an army base. Her father is a specialist who helps Marines with sleep issues, but even he is not immune to the insomnia plague threatening the world. Desperate to protect their only daughter, her parents decide to send her to a base they have heard of, where there are other sleepers just like her. But unexpected circumstances mean that Lila is soon on her own and fending for herself…

Chase is hesitant to believe the rumours of a sleepless world, but when his friend Jordan offers him the chance to create a lucrative business from others’ misfortunes, he is more than happy to get involved. He hopes he will be able to win back his ex-girlfriend Felicia with his new business, but he isn’t prepared for what a society on the brink of exhaustion is capable of…

Felicia works with researchers at a sleep institute, and like everyone else, is struggling to understand how and why the epidemic has happened. She, along with a group of world-renowned specialists work at finding a cure so that they can save humanity, but will they be able to solve the problem in time? And what will they lose to do so?

We all know how lack of sleep can affect the mind- causing speech to slur, our thoughts to jumble and basic motor functions to become more difficult or even cease. In Black Moon, the author has created a chaotic world where all of this occurs and more. What makes this story so frightening is that it has the potential to become an actuality over time- who knows what an intolerance to certain drugs may lead to in the future? This is an excellent debut novel with a different take on your usual ‘zombie-style’ fiction- highly recommended.

Published March 2014

#Debut Novel
#March 2014 New Release
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What an interesting premise!
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