Where Honesty Never Ends.
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.
It’s been thirty years since a shadowy alien armada was defeated in battle; now the Deravans are back to finish what they started: exterminate the human race.
The year is 2247, and Commander Frank Yamane’s grave warnings of their imminent return have gone unheeded. Once hailed as a hero who saved Earth from almost certain destruction, he is now seen as a relic from a past most people would soon forget.
Mired in petty squabbles and clashes over limited resources, the solar governments that still exist are consumed by their own self-interests, while millions of survivors cling to a tenuous existence. Yamane fears an increase in hostilities will break out into open war, and is sent as an ambassador to broker a peace agreement against Earth’s most fearsome rival, the Jovian Alliance.
What he doesn’t realize is that the Deravans are behind it all. Their intent is to eliminate humanity in one fell swoop, and claim what they have craved since the dawn of time − unquestioned dominion over the galaxy.
In this heart-pounding final chapter of the Sky Chronicles, will the Deravan’s insidious plan of conquest finally be realized or can Yamane overcome the impossible one last time and stop them?
Hello and welcome to The Review Board. Today on The Review Board, Mini Truth will be sharing her thoughts on “Sky Chronicles: After the Sky Fell” by Mike Lynch & Brandon Barr.
If I could describe this book in 3 words they would be, “quite the quandary”.
You ever read that one book and think to yourself, “Why does this even exist?”
Wait, that was mean. Let me try again …
“After the Sky Fell” is the story of Commander Frank Yamane and his fight against time to save the earth from imminent destruction. One which will come at the hands of the Deravans. While most believe that Commander Yamane is a had been, there are some that are willing to fight by his side. Namely, Quiroth’toth, Danegeld and a scant few others.
Many things are happening, in this novel; prophecies are being fulfilled, love is blossoming, war is around every corner, and ensuing chaos seems to be the every day norm of the long line of cast members.
This story reminded in some ways of a sort of “Star Trek meets The Fifth Element”, with biblical theology mixed in.
However, all is not what it seems. I guess that perhaps this story was just not for me; I can’t say for sure.
Following I’ll summarize my thoughts in the form of bullet notes.
From the jump, the first thing that transpires, and the very first encounter the reader has with the cast of this book is a battle.
There is perhaps a few minutes of aimless banter between crew members, then all of the sudden you’re hit with an extended battle scene between good and evil.
For whatever reason “plumes of smoke” was a thing.
A Big Bada Boom!
Then all of the sudden the action plummets to give way to what I can only assume is a plot set up. Yet, that too was pretty arid. I suppose my biggest problem with this was the way in which the story was written. You see, the story went from super long, highly boring bouts of dialogues between characters, to sudden gushes of action with no real transition. It threw me off almost every time.
Falling Mother Ship
I have to mention that the lack of proper editing made the story flop quite a lot too. There were many increments that had missing words, misspelled words, misplaced modifiers and bad punctuation.
Sci-Fi or Biblical Fiction?
Alright, I’m all for a story that uses biblical theology to make an interesting science fiction read. However, there is a fine line that can be crossed very easily if not careful. The line is called “Obvious“. Obvious, is not the line you want to cross when attempting to write a book “inspired” by something or someone. In this story the mass use of biblical references was sort of a put off and completely crossed the Obvious Line.
I honestly believe that it should have been presented as a Biblical Science Fiction, but not a Hard Sci-Fi, which is a whole other ball game.
Using biblical names for alien life forms was one of the things that killed it from me, too. I guess, perhaps, it was just done incorrectly. If it were done differently, perchance, I might’ve felt differently about it. I truly wish I had advise on how this situation should’ve/could’ve been handled, but unfortunately I don’t. I just know that it felt and read wrong; at least to me. Lots of times, I was like “Am I in Sunday School or reading a Sci-Fi book?”
I’m also all for Hard Science Fiction. Yeeeet … there were so many references in this book that felt empty. Allow me to explain.
As per the authors, this book could be read as a stand alone novel although it’s a second installment. However, there were many parts in the story that left me wondering if perhaps those gaps had been filled in the first installment. Things that I thought needed explaining. IE: Commander Yamane‘s history, backstory on the other life forms, things of that nature.
The VAST amount of characters had me dizzy. I could scarcely keep them straight. I still can’t seem to get them all straight in my head and I’ve already finished the story. I was like, “Do I need a diagram or something? I mean, really!”
Fighting Against Time
At the beginning of most chapters, with the exception of a hand full, there was a time stamp. They read as follows: name of location, military time, time zone and date. Like so:
“SFS Daedalus, Antara, Homeworld of the Antraian Empire, 0832 Proxima Meridian Rime, April 21, 2247“
At first, I was so confused because I kept thinking to myself, “What the heck is ‘Proxima Meridian Time’? Is that really a thing?” I couldn’t figure it out, so I Googled it.
Low and behold it was something made up by the authors. That’s good, except that it wasn’t. Here is why. I believe that the authors failed at the opportunity to make this believable. The introduction of that time zone was the perfect moment to explain said time zone.
For example: having implemented an idea of the length of time “Proxima Meridian” was akin to would have been a great way to give the reader a sense of urgency.
How long is 1 minute in this time zone? Is this space time or time inside of a gravity force field, which is faster than space time?
Things like that.
The Good Stuff
I do appreciate the originality of the names of the characters. Also, the fact that the authors created several worlds from the ground up. It takes a lot of imagination to do that. However, and unfortunately, that was the only positive thing that I saw in this book. 😦
This brings me to the first question; “Why does this book even exist?“
That is precisely what I thought about “After the Sky Fell”.
Sometimes authors push there stories farther than they need to go. It’s sort of like, there is this serial mentality that drives authors to produce more than one book in a particular story line, when sometimes, having a stand alone book is perfectly okay. This story “After the Sky Fell” read very much like that, as though the authors were pushing the story farther than it needed to go merely because they were in that serial mentality.
This can also be attributed to the fact that inside of the story, many times over, one finds references as to how Yamane (and many others) thought he was over and done with because he’d already saved the world once. Perhaps, that once was all that was needed to give Commander Yamane a good name, if you get what I mean. I say that, because “After the Sky Fell”, didn’t.
With that being said, I give this book, “After the Sky Fell” 4 TRB Stars.