Top critical review
Fails to Deliver on Black Rain's Promise
Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2011
Graham Brown's first book, "Black Rain", was a fast-moving, edge-of-your-seat, sci-fi/thriller which I greatly enjoyed. "Black Sun" continues the same basic storyline, with the main characters all returning to look for more mysterious energy stones from the future. This time, they are racing the clock because it appears the stones are tied to the Mayan "end of the world" prophecy for December 2012.
There are some good chapters in this book, when the action is at a local level and our heroes are out doing what they do best. Things fall apart though when the author moves up to national and international politics. You have things like the head of NRI sending a contract worker out to kill a foreign national, and the President authorizing the head of the CIA to kill the head of the NRI. Suspending disbelief is one thing, overlooking abject silliness is another.
Hard science continues to be a weak point for Brown. This time, we have gaffes like GPS satellites in geosynchronous orbit over the Arctic Circle (geosynchronous orbits are always over the equator). It really ruins your mood when you're immersed deep into a suspenseful tale, only to stumble over that sort of blunder. The author should have done his research, and Bantam needs to have somebody on staff to catch things like that before they publish their books.
Don't even think of reading this until you've read "Black Rain", the backstory isn't explained all that well. I hope Brown's next book will be better, but if he tries to run these characters again, I'll take a pass. They started out saving themselves, now they've saved the world, so next time they'll have to save the solar system at the very least. If Brown goes back to crafting a tight adventure on a smaller scale, then I'll be happy to open my wallet and order a copy.