Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Straight Reading from the Library: Falling Sky by James Patrick Riser

This post is part of a review tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions for James Patrick Riser's YA SF book Falling Sky. James will be awarding a $10 GC to Wild Child Publishing to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour and you can see the other stops on the tour here:


Following a devastating world war, the surface of the planet has been covered in a substance called Dust, a weapon that can break down the physical make up of entire cities, reducing them to rubble and preventing citizens from rebuilding their lost metropolises for several years. In order to survive, humanity has taken refuge in crowded, underground cities.

Ian Blum is a 15 year old boy living in one such city. His crippling social anxiety confines him to a solitary life at home, while his parents are away at their jobs. The person he interacts with the most is his home school professor, Michael Wasley. One night, Ian is visited by a mysterious figure in a dream. The man warns Ian of a great earthquake that will destroy the cities, killing all of the inhabitants. The man charges Ian with the task of getting everyone out.

Soon after, Ian finds out that he isn't the only one who has had this dream and reluctantly joins a group of rebels who has made it their mission to drive everyone from the cities for their own safety, however, no one believes in the stranger's prophecy. Ian and the rebels must find a way to get the people to safety at any cost.


Ian is an unremarkable boy--except for the fact that, in a world where everyone is complacent and finds life easy to live, he suffers from anxiety and then starts having nightmares (which are supposed to have been done away with). His parents are not really involved with him--and Michael Wasley, his teacher, is the only person he can really talk to about his dream. This starts Ian down a road he never dreamt of going.

Michael Wasley is not all he seems, either. He's part of a group that is trying to reverse what people have spent a few decades accepting. But society never wants change, prefering instead to hold on to the status quo--and herein lies the crux of the book.

This was a good book set 20 years in the future. Life hasn't changed all that much, but enough you can tell a difference. Sometimes I would like one of those Somnium machines...nightmares are no fun.

The novella (just 79 pages) is a quick read and an enjoyable way to spend an hour or so--and I like the fact that Riser left it open for a sequel. I'm looking forward to reading more of Ian Blum and the adventures he's still likely to encounter.


James Patrick Riser is the author of Syndrome and Falling Sky, two novellas published by Wild Child Publishing. His short fiction has appeared in the, now defunct, online horror fiction magazine, Necrotic Tissue, and his poetry has appeared in the online poetry journals, Pif magazine, Dead Beats and Four and Twenty Poetry. He lives in Colton, California.

Connect with James on his website and Twitter. His publisher is Wild Child Publishing and Falling Sky can be bought at Amazon.