A black and endless sky
Book - 2022
"When estranged siblings Jonah and Nell Talbot head out on a cross-country road trip back to their hometown of Albuquerque in the wake of Jonah's divorce, the last thing they expect to discover in the Nevada desert is an abandoned industrial site built around a hole in the earth that seems to go on and on forever. Exploring it, they soon discover an underground cavern filled with corpses both fresh and ancient, indecipherable writing covering the stone walls, and a ghastly altar square... in the middle of it all. After a seemingly-random accident befalls Nell underground, the two siblings emerge from the depths intent on finding help as Nell starts to exhibit strange, otherworldly symptoms - speaking in voices that aren't hers, knowing details about her brother's checkered past that she couldn't possibly have known before. As her condition worsens, Jonah comes to understand that the more his sister changes, the more danger they find themselves in, and when the siblings run afoul of a local criminal organization, the race is on to find help for Nell and escape before a violent, bloody end finds them. But of course, there are far worse things lurking in the desert... some of them living just underneath the skin. Pursued by the murderous gang and a mysterious stranger who knows far more about Nell's condition than she lets on, Jonah's journey home with his sister will cut across desolate backland highways, through casinos and derelict rest stops, ghost towns and abandoned churches. In their desperation, the two of them may find a way out, but they are no longer alone, and survival may cost them everything"--
At the conclusion of his marriage, Jonah decides to take a road trip from California to New Mexico and his sister, Nell, decides to join him. Their relationship has undergone some strain, so the trip is meant to bring them closer. At an ill-advised stop at a biker bar, they get into a brawl, and one of the bikers ends up dead. Nell and Jonah manage to escape, but this is not the end of their adventures. First, Jonah wakes up in the middle of the desert with Nell missing. Then he finds her, unconscious, in a cave with strange markings. Very quickly after this, Nell starts to notice strange occurrences that seem to indicate that she is not entirely in control of her own body. Bikers seeking revenge are still on their trail, and the siblings slowly realize that an unseen force is also following them. The suspense of the chase and the discovery of the entity in Nell are great plotlines, but the siblings rediscovering their relationship is what will keep readers interested. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
Lyons (The Night Will Find Us) burnishes his reputation as a rising horror star with this über-creepy thriller. An opening tease shades what follows; in the Mojave Desert, a team of engineers makes a bizarre discovery—"a massive stone triangle pressed flat into the earth" that appears to be some kind of door. When breaching charges crack the entrance open, black smoke emerges, choking those present and causing multiple fatalities. Lyons then shifts gears to introduce troubled siblings Jonah and Nell Talbot. Jonah's just gotten divorced, and, with no alternative, heads home to New Mexico from the Bay Area. Nell, with whom he's had an often-fraught relationship, agrees to split the drive and keep him company on the road. But both Talbots' reckless streaks emerge after Nell picks a fight in a biker bar, and their subsequent flight leads them straight to the deadly desert location from the prologue. As with the best in the genre, nuanced characterization makes suspending disbelief almost effortless, and Lyons keeps the pages flying with fast-paced chills. Fans of Laird Barron will be especially delighted. Agent: Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency. (Mar.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.
Two siblings encounter an otherworldly force that possesses one of them on a cross-country road trip. They are forced to fight for their lives as they’re pursued across the American Southwest by malevolent forces both supernatural and terribly human.Review by Publisher Summary 2
One of Tor Nightfire's "Horror Books We're Excited About in 2022"!
burnishes his reputation as a rising horror star . . . [and] keeps the pages
flying with fast-paced chills." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
From the author of The Night Will Find Us comes a white-knuckled horror-thriller set across the American Southwest.
Road trips can be hell.
Siblings Jonah and Nell Talbot used to be inseparable, but ever since Jonah suddenly blew town twelve years ago, they couldn’t be more distant. Now, in the wake of Jonah’s divorce, they embark on a cross-country road trip back to their hometown of Albuquerque, hoping to mend their broken relationship along the way.
But when a strange accident befalls Nell at an abandoned industrial site somewhere in the Nevada desert, she begins experiencing ghastly visions and exhibiting terrifying, otherworldly symptoms. As their journey through the desolate American Southwest reveals the grotesque change happening within his sister, one thing becomes clear to Jonah: It’s not only Nell in there anymore.
Pursued by a mysterious stranger who knows far more about Nell’s worsening condition than they let on, the siblings race to find a way to help Nell and escape the desert before they’re met with a violent, bloody end. But there are far worse things lurking in the desert ahead... some of them just beneath the skin.