BookView Review: Keeping the Stars Awake by Matthew J. McKee

BookView Review rated it:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Publication Date: July 15, 2022

Publisher: Atmosphere Press

List Price: $18.99 paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1-63988-346-2

Genre: Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction

Language: English

Page Count: 302

McKee takes readers into an unnamed protagonist’s journey as a blue-and-green-eyed beauty drags him through the horde of assorted horrors into an unknown realm in his latest novel. One moment the teenage narrator is sitting in front of his computer, the next he is pulled into an unfamiliar land where death is just the beginning of his story. What seems like a dream soon turns into a horrifying reality, with the protagonist learning he is just a character in the novel, and his fate lies entirely in the author’s hands. McKee’s moody story is suffused with an unsettlingly dark atmosphere. As the teenage narrator gets caught into a never-ending cycle of death and life, McKee turns the latter’s search for identity into an exhilarating adventure with danger, chases, escapades, and surprising narrative turns. Though the pacing is uneven, and the protagonist’s story never quite comes together to form a satisfying whole, the latter’s urgent voice, laced with adolescent wit and angst keeps the pages turning. The book is divided into four parts, revealing the events leading to the narrator’s journey through different phases. Unexpected plot twists contribute mystery and terror to this original and strange story about identity, survival, and power dynamic. Uneven but intriguing nonetheless.

***

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