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SUNFAIL by Steven Savile


by Steven Savile

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-61775-406-7
Publisher: Infamous/Akashic

Poor New York: the power is out, the sun is failing, birds are dropping from the sky, and dogs are running wild. And then there are those mysterious terrorists who have targeted Brooklyn's Fort Hamilton.

Armed but alone, subway worker Jake Carter, a Special Forces veteran, hustles around town trying to decipher signs of imminent doom. "Something is about to happen," his ex-girlfriend Sophie calls from Paris to tell him. He hasn't heard from her since she left him more than 10 years ago, after their time together in Afghanistan. An intelligence gatherer for a powerful shadow organization she just quit, Sophie is on the run from an assassin she trained. Corpses abound, including those who dropped dead when their pacemakers stopped, but for all we hear about the Watchers and the Hidden, self-proclaimed warriors and a dark conspiracy that is out to "write the history of the world," we encounter few people other than the protagonists. And there's a lot more talk about the terrible things that are going to happen than actual incident. The writing is breezy, with plentiful pop-culture references (rest assured someone will hum R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It"), but this kind of sketchy scenario seems better suited for one of the atmospheric TV series for which Savile has written (including Torchwood and Doctor Who) than a novel.

A hip style exercise that should satisfy his followers, the prolific Savile's latest apocalyptic thriller is too thinly drawn to make many new fans.