The Muse Book Review Archives

Red Sky reviewed by Christopher Hoare
Interview with Marcus Damanda by Pamela Jenewein
Loss of Innocence reviewed by Cheryl Malandrinos
Audio Classes by DDP reviewed by Lea Schizas
Interview with Michael Perronne
Cholesterol Down by Janet Bond Brill reviewed by Gene Berger
Diverting the Buddha reviewed by Barbara Ehrentreu
Launch Out Into the Deep reviewed by Mary Schneider
The Life Organizer reviewed by Alice Berger
Sixty-Minute Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing reviewed by Marcia Berneger
Swapping Paint reviewed by Christine I. Speakman
Through the Ages and The Sun is Hot reviewed by Christine Speakman


Red Sky

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           

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