I bought this book as part of a StoryBundle, the first I’ve read so far. It’s a way to get a mixed bag of stories, some which might appeal more than others, but the bundles are usually reasonably priced, and sometimes part of the proceeds go to charity, as well.
My first thoughts: What a strange and thoughtful book this is, bringing together so many parts, all shrouded in secrecy. Strange is really the best description for this book. But somehow, it makes sense (mostly) and it’s definitely an interesting read.
Not Dark Yet depicts an approaching apocalypse–not one with the raging fire quickness of plague or war, but the slow steady crumbling of a cliff into the sea. Some of the characters are fighting to slow this decay, others are ignoring it, and the narrator seems trapped between these opposing groups. Drifting and helpless, he falls into one plan or another, and even his occasional bursts of activity read like instinct instead of thought.
Plot-wise, it’s about an ex-military man named Brandon, who after an ugly incident moves to a cabin in the mountains, trying to escape his demons. While he’s there, he applies to be an astronaut on a trip to Mars, lets his neighbors use his land for an ambitious farming project, and gets involved in some dangerous activities. The story moves around a bit, mostly to give you hints of the past. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to tell what’s going on, because even though Brandon reports happenings pretty matter-of-factly, some of the action is just… well, strange.
He’s pretty peculiar himself, and Brandon hides his past, his current thoughts, and his future goals from everyone, including the reader at times. Ellingsen makes this all work, somehow. Everything hangs together, and forms a cohesive story, just as the random collection of events work as an important part of Brandon’s life.
More thought-provoking than uplifting, expect to end this book with plenty of questions. And yet, it isn’t unsatisfying–just open-ended.