The Sky So Big and Black Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Sky So Big and Black

Tor, Aug 2002, 24.95, 315 pp.
ISBN: 0765303035

In 2095, the One True controls humanity at least those living on the earth in a hive like collective intelligence. Mars is one of the few locales in which mankind retains free will though the environment still requires terraforming to make it more habitable. On Mars, Teri Murray informs her father Telemachus that she wants to drop out and marry her boyfriend Perry, but needs her dad's permission, as she is legally a minor. Her father opposes both ideas so Teri remains in school when she learns that her beloved Perry is already married.
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Teri accompanies her dad escorting a group of youngsters on a special training trip. However due to a sunburst, communications die. Not longer afterward, many of her companions including her dad die. Teri takes charge of the survivors and begins the journey to safety only to find weary despondent gene-engineered humans and conclude that someone sentient attacked Mars with the sunburst.

THE SKY SO BIG AND BLACK is science fiction at its most exciting and thought provoking best. The story line first appears as a futuristic coming of age tale, but quickly expands into several varying layers to include the survivalist trek, the sunburst attack, and the starving Marsformed genetically engineered mutants. John Barnes writes a triumphant story that keeps readers wondering what next and how did the author successfully tie everything back into a cohesive interesting story worth re-reading to grasp all the nuances.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Sky So Big and Black

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   an adult (general) Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   surviving natural elements on planet Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen


Which planet?    -   Mars Not Earth, in Solar System?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   an average amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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