The Bruise-Black Sky
It’s either a brave or a stupid person who threatens anything Nikolas Mikkelsen loves.
Ben usually overlooks Nikolas’ occasionally jarring dissonance. Not this time. A deep rift, a terrible lie, separates them. Eleven thousand miles from Nikolas, in New Zealand, it’s bitter winter as Ben films the tragic story of a post-apocalyptic gladiator, a victim of his own personal darkness. But on receiving a death threat, Ben suspects the truth of actor Oliver Whitestone’s suicide. Someone doesn’t want this movie made. It’s fortunate for Ben, therefore, that dissonance is a state of unrest, a longing for completion. As if Nikolas would stay at home in disgrace while Ben Rider-Mikkelsen becomes the target of a crazed stalker….
Death’s Ink-Black Shadow
“Learn to love death’s ink-black shadow as much as you love the light of dawn.”
Yeah? Well, Nikolas doesn’t do early mornings.
It takes a certain kind of courage to live as if favoured by the Gods, ignoring the ever-present ghosts of your past – or perhaps not bravery, but arrogance. And maybe not even that. Ben genuinely believes that the past is behind them – that they deserve to enjoy the life they have created. So it’s not hubris that leads him to overlook the signs that Nikolas does not share his faith, it’s love. But Nikolas knows something is coming. He can’t stop it; he can only decide how he will choose to face it. And without Ben’s support, he is entirely alone.
Rating: Narration – A+; Content – B (B-/B+)
Following on from being stranded in Siberia and family betrayal (The Bridge of Silver Wings), and the undercover and amnesia storylines of This Other Country, the plot of this fifth More Heat Than the Sun book is a bit tame by comparison. As always, the real meat of these novels is found in the relationship between Nik and Ben, but the plot used to frame it this time round (in book five) – a murder/mystery – isn’t very interesting and the reveal is both confusing and unsatisfactory.
Note: This is an ongoing series in which the central relationship develops from book to book; as such, this is not the place to start, and there will be spoilers for earlier books in this review.
You can read the rest of this (dual) review at AudioGals.