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May 4, 2024

The Dark Side of the Sky by Francesco Dimitri ~ a Review

by MK French

The Bastion was labeled as a Doomsday cult, but it's a home for lost souls. New members join every year and are taught how to release burdens and create a better world. There are secrets, however, and the Bastion stands against forces that might tear open the sky.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of visionary fiction novel The Dark Side of the Sky by Francesco Dimitri
May 2024; Titan Books; 978-1803362786
ebook, print (368 pages); urban fantasy

The story is told from the POV of Bastion members as well as Zoey and Charlie. At first, it was a bit jarring, because the POV changes were fast and their sections were short. Ultimately, it lets us see what's happening at the same time in different locations across the world, as well as the past and present timelines. We eventually learn the history of the Bastion, Ric, and Becca, as well as the others participating in the humming ritual. 

Zoey lied on her application to join the Bastion team at their Open Feast, thinking to scope out the competition for wellness and complementary medicine retreats. Charlie is a physician whose husband just died of an aneurysm, so her grief is sharp and painful. They both fall under the Bastion's spell and in staying on the farm to learn the techniques that the siblings teach, they see the Other Sky and hear the banging of something that wants to break through. The outside world focuses on the sex, drugs, and cult-like isolation. 

I have to admit, I'm not a fan of most of the characters or the narrative insisting that the siblings are geniuses that the world misunderstands and should admire. But they're compelling, and trying to figure out the truth makes it fascinating to dive into. The way people were drawn in, the conviction that they held, and the way it all spirals really drew me in, and I had to keep going. It's a well-written story and has a zinger at the end to really make you question what happened. 

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 

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