Book Review: Hold Still the Sky by Cameron McVey

Hold the Sky As a recovering scientist, I try to add science fiction novels to my reading list every so often.  The description of Hold Still the Sky seemed to offer much more than the usual good vs. evil, end-of-the-world-thanks-to-science that is present so often.  What was my review of Hold Still the Sky by Cameron McVey?

Summary of Hold Still the Sky.  Worldwide eruptions have clouded Earth's atmosphere. The remnants of humankind live inside domed cities. Biomass guidelines strictly regulate births, copulation and food rations. Amputation of "unnecessary limbs" is viewed as a noble sacrifice. Power is generated by massive solar energy-collecting sails. Hangers are those chosen to maintain the sails at great risk to life and limb. This is the story of Kara, one of the hangers. She's trying to have a baby. Follow Kara, her fellow hangers and others as they deal with the stresses of life in the domes and discover the truth of the transformed Earth. By the end of the story, the world presented in "Hold Still the Sky" will be transformed. You will know the large-scale reasons behind the transformation and experience the upheaval from a personal point of view as the characters uncover the truth.

Hold Still the Sky weaves a complex story through many characters.  Readers certainly follow Kara's story--but, it is only a small portion of the complete story.  While Kara's role was a large one in the grand scheme of things, readers live most of the story through a host of other characters.  At times, I struggled to grasp the need for certain characters or the relevance of certain scenes--but, as their stories build throughout the book, each role and event does add something to the overall novel.  I will admit that I had to reread a few passages--and return to previous passages later in the reading to refresh my memory or clarify pieces of information.  Hold Still the Sky is a twisted, complicated story--but, as you read through the twists and each of the six parts, the story unfolds well.

Hold Still the Sky is more than another science created apocalypse.   There are many of the usual sci- fi elements at work in the book:  good vs. evil battles, world ending disasters, crystal intelligence, aliens, alien/human transformations, toxic environments and such.  All of the whys and whos are not necessarily spelled out in black and white--and readers may be left questioning who/what was actually good.

Would I recommend Hold Still the Sky? This is a complicated story--but, one that I think science fiction fans will enjoy.  It certainly must be read in its complete form--the individual parts lend too heavily to the overall story.  It requires patience and attention as the characters and the action are so subtly interrelated at times.  There is no consistent patterns with the "chapters" of each section--so it is important to get a grasp of the many characters rather quickly.  I found it to be a page turner--once I arranged all of the characters in my mind and the scenes began to relate more and more.  I would like to read more from this author.  While it took some time for me to adapt to his writing style--I think it really added to the unique qualities of the book in the end.

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Meet the Author:

cameron mcveyI have been a fan of fantasy and science fiction ever since I can remember. Growing up I used to fall asleep listening to CBS Radio Mystery Theater and spent Saturday afternoons watching Creature Double Feature on WLVI, channel 56. Also, I collected comics and ended up doing my master's thesis ("How Green Is Your Power Ring?") on the structure of the modern, American, superhero comic book. My mother is a published poet and my father a world-class educator. I caught the "writing bug" from them at a very early age. I can remember scrawling short stories on scraps of paper in my bedroom late at night when I was supposed to be asleep.

My old job allowed me to travel the world. I have been to the Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, the Sahara Desert, Machu Picchu and countless other spots in Asia, Africa and South America. I have also traveled extensively throughout the United States and am, once again, living in the Colorado Rockies. I have been inspired by both my travels and all the people I've met and worked with along the way. My family and friends have encouraged me over the years to make a living as a writer. I am now taking on the challenge of following my bliss. And enjoying every minute of it!

Keep up with Cameron on:

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