Book Review: The Dark Above by Jeremy Finley
By Brian BandellJuly 8, 2019
In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed novel that grabbed fans of X-Files and Stranger Things, Jeremy Finley returns with The Dark Above, another thriller full of aliens and government cover-ups.
Aliens are attacking Earth in The Dark Above by Jeremy Finley, and their most dangerous weapons are human beings.
Some people grow up social media stars because of their talent or charisma, but William Chance can’t escape the spotlight because he survived an alien abduction. Jeremy Finley’s science-fiction thriller The Dark Above places the young man at the center of an alien invasion that utilizes people as devastating weapons.
This novel is the sequel to Finely’s debut, The Darkest Time of Night, and it will likely take a few chapters to catch onto this story for unfamiliar readers. Once the plot gets rolling, the intense action and moral dilemmas facing the characters makes for an exciting read.
Fifteen years past his abduction and return, William has gone into hiding from the public, including his family, as a farm laborer in Little Rock, Arkansas. Not only does he tire of the constant media coverage, but he’s also worried something the aliens placed inside him could active and harm other abductees, including his grandmother Lynn Roseworth.
William experiences vivid dreams, where hurricanes, fire, disease, and violence plague the population. These closely resemble real events happening around the world, including in the U.S.
Once again, he was in the storm.
The wind struck with such force that it burned. William’s ears rang from the muscular howls, forcing him to want to cower. But his limbs refused to move, like the pole of a battered flag enduring the worst of a churning squall. He immediately regretted looking down, for among the choppy whitecaps, something slithered, spreading out like black veins in the deep.
In the far distance, as always, was the bracing city. And even from the distance he could see the hint of white, the eyes of someone watching the impending catastrophe.
William screams until he awakens. Later, he learns a hurricane is heading towards New Orleans, again.
Soon, William meets Lily, a young girl found wandering alone in a remote part of North Dakota with a terrifying power. She can make people die from cancer within seconds. The girl can’t control her abilities, but William can.
The moment William meets Lily, a mysterious government agency with men in black suits comes after them. Eccentric billionaire and alien conspiracy fan Quincy Martin helps the abductees evade capture, all while cracking jokes about how obscenely rich he is.
The government agents are manipulative and sometimes violent. Yet, their intentions appear good. The world is full of human ticking time bombs. They are keeping abductees under lock and key because they know those people could be turned into weapons. William insists on being free and stopping the aliens himself, but their grip on him might be too overwhelming.
His family faces a similar problem. Grandma Lynn strives to keep William out of the government’s grasp, although she knows better than anyone what the aliens are capable of. His aunt, Senator Kate Roseworth, decides the government should detain all of the abductees, including William. There are some scenes of Lynn against Kate, her daughter, but this story could have used more of this family feud.
With Lily by his side, William could kill anyone they see. That would be the easiest way to escape, but William wants to end the aliens’ onslaught, not initiate it. He hopes his dreams will guide him to other abductees. However, they’re not all as affectionate towards him as Lily.
Aside from the chase scenes and the spectacular demonstrations of alien powers, this novel makes great use of the media as a weapon. Broadcast cameras and crowds with their cell phones out can disarm federal agents better than any weapon. That’s no surprise coming from Finley, a broadcast journalist with WSMV-TV in Nashville.
His second novel is a show worth tuning in for.