By Joseph Bendoski
It is 1988. Do you remember the scare Orson Wells gave America broadcasting War of the Worlds? That was considered a Sky Fall Event. William Stephenson has spent his life studying Sky Fall events, including the most recent in Portugal. The CIA is interested in this latest incident and sends in a team to help and learn from Stephenson. But is everyone’s motives true? Who put the latest Sky Fall event into motion and why?
As a premise, I think it’s pretty good. But the way it was laid out was...well, I find it difficult to explain. Really. I didn’t know what to make of it. Something seemed off, not totally left field stuff, but just leaning just shy of plum. Let’s see if I can delve into it in other categories.
Jay Nichols: works for the CIA
Trevor Benson: Nicknamed Costly. Works for the CIA
Silas Cooper: black hair, smokes cigars, works for the CIA
William Stephenson: Thin grey hair, average looking, wears hearing aids
Okay, there are a few other characters named Alvero, Jones, Alice, and Casey. They’re all CIA but they’re all a bit weird and, like I said...off. I didn’t know whether Alice was a total whack-job or cleverly clever. Jones was enigmatic and I didn’t understand the role of Casey.
There is an afterward to the book that mentions William Stephenson was an actual person who was a spy in WWII. The character in this book is loosely based on the real man.
One problem I had with these characters is I didn’t understand them. They were introduced and they did things and then I never felt the follow up with them. Just my opinion here. Nichols is a newbie agent, yet seems to turn pro pretty quickly, within months.
I just never was able to grasp any of the characters or feel close to them. The Afterward mentions in an earlier version that Nichols was actually named Nickels. There is one time that I caught the second spelling still in there.
Because Alice was so different, her voice came through well. So did Silas’. I didn’t have any problems with dialogue other than sometimes I didn’t quite understand the purpose of some of it.
Profanity. Titled Chaps and chapters are headed by quotes from Stephenson’s book.
Misspelled words and run-on sentences. Some sentences would have worked better with a period and separated.
To be honest, I enjoyed the anecdotes/small excerpts from Stephenson’s book at the beginning of the chapters more than the story.
I tried to grab onto some thread but found it difficult. There are a few twists here and there but, and I hate to be repetitive, the whole book seemed off, shaky, not on solid ground, hard to fully comprehend what was going on, and the reasons for it.
Take a chance or don’t. I just don’t know about this one.