I recently read a NetGalley book for the purposes of review, Bloodlight: The Apocalypse of Robert Goldner, by Harambee K. Grey-Sun.
I so wanted to like this book. The cover is nice. It starts out telling the story of a boy almost 17 years old who wrestles at school and is kind of a nerd and sort of has a girlfriend, but doesn’t really fit in, and then he starts having these hallucinations and seizures. At that point, the author has asked us to understand the book not as a YA novel (which is good, because it doesn’t do well as that), but as some sort of metaphysical event, which feeds into a strange ending that reads like an X-Files episode gone bad, and not bad in that everyone dies, but bad as in Jumped the Shark bad.
On the one hand, when Grey-Sun is writing descriptions of the brain phases that the main character, Robert Goldner, goes through, his descriptions are beautiful and poetic. In fact, if he just wrote an entire book describing say how an artist views the world or a long LSD trip, he might be getting somewhere, but the story itself is beyond any sort of belief, even for someone who loves sci fi and fantasy and a wide variety of pretty out-there fiction. And the dialogue is awful. It’s so stilted, it’s hard to read it without wincing.
I wavered back and forth between a 1 and a 2 on Goodreads, and stuck with the 2, just because I was really entranced by his descriptions of the epileptic attacks, or whatever they finally were. I had to work hard to make myself finish the book. I was hoping for sense, some clarity. Sigh. No such luck.