Mr Blue Sky

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

This is a very difficult book to review objectively because I love, absolutely love these types of stories. Giant primates, mysterious manimals, all sorts of monsters…yes, please. They can take over a planet or save the girl, it doesn’t even matter to me. I’m always gonna be on their side. Which works great for this novel, because Mr. Blue Sky is by far the most likeable and interesting character in it. And he’s a 7 foot tall giant furry manimal. But at first he’s a boy version of that and his best friend is a girl who lives nearby and they are pretty much inseparable until early teens. And then completely separated. And then reunited again after 20 years to finally figure out the mysteries of their past, their connection and their futures. So in a way it’s a kid meets monster story and I was originally thinking of/hoping for something along the lines of Dweller, but credit to the author this story is absolutely original. In fact there’s a twist about three quarters of the way in that was an absolute game changer and a genuine wow moment. And it has a global conspiracy to boot. It is an authentically good story with something of a mediocre execution. Basically it has some debut glitches such as stilted language/interractions and dialogue and the supporting characters are quite flat and clichéd, particularly considering the glorious furry counterparts they are up against. Does it detract from the enjoyment of the story? Actually (and surprisingly) not significantly, no. But that is, of course, because I loved the story so much and also because pretty much all of the scenes featuring Blue were pure magic. And it is dynamic and quite well paced (nowhere online was I able to find a page count for it, frustratingly enough, and at a guess it’s somewhere in the 350s) and most of it, it’s exciting. Right down to the awesome Empire State Climb worthy showdown. This is just the sort of thing that would be great to see on screen. But it works as a book, the descriptions are vivid enough to let your imagination go into a proper cinematic mode. And it’s just pure entertainment, such a fun story. Mr. Blue Sky the character is superb, Mr. Blue Sky the book isn’t quite, but it’s good enough to provide a backdrop for a very different and very awesome new kind of a leading man(imal). What a wild adventure. Thanks Netgalley.
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I have somewhat mixed feelings about 'Mr Blue Sky' by John Darke. It's the story of Rebecca, a 35 year-old woman who experienced some strange events in her childhood which have been causing her psychological distress ever since. Her life is now settled and routine, until she starts seeing peculiar strangers and experiencing disturbing dreams. She decides to go and stay with her estranged mother, in Benarth, Wales, for a few weeks. This book is not, as the cover and blurb might suggest, a horror story, but rather a thriller. There's an intriguing, idea behind the story and the reader is quickly drawn in. 

Unfortunately there are problems too. Several writing cliches are evident, in particular the protagonist describing herself as she looks in the mirror, over-reliance on the description of clothes and a number of really obvious 'Basil Exposition' moments where conversation is very clearly initiated purely to explain the plot or the backstory. Most egregious of these is the large chunk of time Rebecca spends with a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) therapist at the very beginning of the book. The character has nothing to do besides sitting and listening to Rebecca relate, in remarkably clear detail after some twenty years, what happened to her as a child. After which, the therapist is never mentioned again (I was half-hoping he might turn up at the end in a twist - sadly it was not to be). Finally the dialogue is clunky. The story is sent in North Wales but there's almost no hint of this in the speech. Everyone, with the possible exception of Rebecca's Uncle Jim, sounds pretty much the same. There's also an odd (but inconsistent) lack of contractions which makes the characters sound stilted, Then there's the fact that the titular character, Mr Blue Sky, is constantly referred to as 'Him', with a capital H. Only the pronoun Him is capitalised like this - 'he' is written normally. It's never explained why this should be the case, and it jarred me every time I read it.   

All this said, the pace of this book is really good. There's no time to get bored as we rattle though the plot, which is original and unpredictable. There are some well-executed twists, and in the final act all of the loose ends are tied up fairly satisfactorily (although the timescales seemed off). It also makes a pleasing change to see a middle-aged woman in the protagonist role of a thriller. I hope the John Darke writes more; he can clearly craft a plot and hopefully the other issues will improve in future work.
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I received a copy of this book through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. To be truthful, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book but was drawn in by the cover alone. I can only describe this book as being a type of sci-fi Thriller.
     Rebecca is a 35 year old single woman, living almost 40 miles away from her hometown, once again plagued with nightmares of a terrifying creature calling out to her to come home. So why are they back? This question is only answered by the strong urge that has come over her to go back home for answers. She becomes paranoid and possibly delusional when she suspects creepy men of stalking her despite her uncle's insistence she is full of herself. But is it actually paranoia or is everything she thought to be real from her childhood suddenly coming back with a vengence? Is Mr. Blue real and if he is... How did he come to be? So many secrets unravel in this book and it kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning.
     I was pleasantly surprised by this story. There were no loose ends and everything ended up being tied together quite nicely in the end. I don't know where this author came from, but I really hope he continues writing and I will remain on the lookout for more by him in the future!
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Mr blue sky by John Drake. 
A slow but good read with likeable characters.  
Rebecca Samuels has always suffered bad recurring nightmares.  Her parents ignored her so she left home and her uncle helped her get a place and gave her a job. Why does she keep having these nightmares? What or who is the beast in them? Will she ever find out the truth?
This was one that I couldn't get into but I read it anyway. Then just over halfway through I can't put it down and it all suddenly makes sense. What a twist. 5*. A fantastic read in the end.
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