I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve special ordered a book from overseas because of a later US release date. I don’t do it very often because I usually have enough books to keep me busy until the US version of a book is released. But that’s not the case for author Mike Brooks. I reviewed his book, Dark Run, back in June, and I was so taken with the crew of the Keiko that when I heard the second book was already available in the UK, I ordered it without a second thought.
Dark Sky is due to release in the US sometime around March 2017. I just couldn’t wait that long. I placed my Amazon.co.uk order and waited. (Note that the word patiently is not in that sentence.)
The wait for Dark Sky was TOTALLY worth it.
You can read my review of Dark Run here. I’m not going to go over the basics of that story or mention specifically the very popular TV show from which it draws comparison. Instead, I’m going to state that the crew of the Keiko have earned the right to stand on their own. No comparisons. This is a crew that Brooks has sufficiently developed, each with their own quirks and strengths and weaknesses… and Brooks weaves and twists these characters together in such a way that I have strong images in my mind for each of them. When the entire crew is together, the story is tight and fast-paced. When the crew are split up on a communist-run mining planet during a revolution, each character remains true to their personalities, their skills, and their inner demons.
I want to be very careful in giving out any specific details because there were some shocking events and revelations in Dark Run that are still playing out in this follow-up story. Crew members are still having to deal with certain facts that were revealed, and a new crew member is still trying to fit in. All that being said, Dark Sky stands on its own with a cleverly written tale that has the crew working both sides of the table as the revolution unfolds. Brooks had me guessing (and worried) up to the very end about the fate of one or more of the crew members and how the situation for the Keiko crew would all resolve.
I reached out to Mike Brooks about the future of the series… he responded that he has five books in mind for the Keiko crew. That was some great news to hear. The bad news (for me) is that I’m now done with the second book and it looks like I’ve got a bit of a wait on my hands for Book 3. The good news for US readers is that Dark Sky will be out in the early part of next year, so you’ve got time to grab a copy of Dark Run to tear through over the upcoming holiday season. (And I’ll remind readers next year when Dark Sky releases in the US.)