Friday, February 21, 2014

Review: Three Days of Night

Title: Three Days of Night
Author: Wren Roberts
Genre: science fiction (novella)
Price: $2.99
Publisher: KYSO Books
Point of Sale: Amazon
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib

First, full disclosure:  Wren Roberts is a member of my writers group.  Having said that, if I didn’t like her novella Three Days of Night, I wouldn’t be writing a review of it. 

The novella is set on the world of Nibiru, which orbits the double star Sotiras and Oligos.  The world spins much slower than ours, resulting in a night that’s 72 hours long.  Unfortunately for Farina, our teenage girl narrator, the Anunnaki have taken over on Nibiru.  They are human, and bear more than a passing resemblance to our modern-day Taliban.  Farina, as a girl and not Anunnaki, is doubly vexed by the Anunnaki.  One of that religion’s tenants is that women can’t be out after sundown.

Farina, of the first generation born of Nibiru, dreams of fleeing her oppressive existence and going to Earth.  Perhaps not surprisingly, the Anunnaki are not letting women leave, so Farina has to attempt to sneak out.  At the end of the first day of night, Farina makes her break.  Things don’t go to plan, in part due to surprising betrayals. 

I found the story very gripping emotionally.  I am not a fan of the Taliban, and the Anunnaki are entirely too Taliban-ish for me to like, but at the same time they're not cartoon villians.  I also found Farina very realistic.  She’s a teenager in action and words.  Her circumstances are forcing her to grow up, but perhaps she’s not making the transition fast enough.

I found the ending unexpected and ambiguous.  I am frankly not clear if what being described is real or a hallucination.  To a certain extent, this confusion is an artifact of the first-person narration, but to a certain extent it’s a deliberate choice on Wren’s part.  All I can say is that the ending worked for me.  Well, actually the whole piece worked for me, and I highly recommend it.

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