by Rachael Byrd
Published by Double Dragon E-Books
This is a novel for lovers of dark fantasy and bizarre tortured characters.
The action flows quickly and the character interactions are tense and dramatic. Multiple characters, multiple POVs, make the
interweaving action a maze challenging the reader to follow.
The plot wends a convoluted path between gods, goddesses, werewolves, and
mythological creatures – all intertwined with some modern street people in a nightmare vision of New York. Everything
seems connected in some distant destiny – just out of reach.
This youthful exploration of torment and evil is filled with the stuff of
nightmares. Creatures, once human, now caracatures of mythological beings, struggle against one another for dominance –
sending ripples of their vile contest onto the human world across the River Styx. Hatred seems to be the sole motivation in
the Seven’s twisted expedition to kill Death.
I can’t pretend that I liked Red Sky, it’s too dark for my taste,
but if deep Gothic horror is your bag, you will find an intense portrayal between these pages. A series of towering images,
words fitting together like threads of a tapestry, holding tantalising glimpses of meaning hovering just out of reach. But
in the end, although filled with dark poetic visions, this ambitious novel unfortunately proves too much for the novel craft
of the young author. She hasn’t quite managed to bring the reader along with her flight of imagination. It is, however,
a worthy attempt that promises powerful writing to come.
For her next work, I suggest the author brings the reader closer to a smaller
number of characters and moves her writing further away from multiple changes of POV. Red Sky is an unbridled exercise of
youthful imagination – it’s now time to rein that in with tighter and more disciplined writing.
Christopher Hoare - Muse Book Reviewer