Nine Shiny Objects – Brian Castleberry

This is why I always regret not writing reviews right when I finish a book – now I’m scrambling to get all these up before the wrap up post (some will have to be shared tomorrow and throughout the week)

Thanks to Custom House Books for the free early copy in exchange for my honest review

NINE SHINY OBJECTS – Brian Castleberry (Releasing June 30th, 2020 – Today!)


Book Description:

A stunning literary saga in the tradition of Don DeLillo and Jennifer Egan—a luminous debut novel chronicling the unexpectedly, eerily intersecting lives of a line of dreamers over the course of half a century that reveals the divided heart of modern America itself.

June 26, 1947. Headlines across America report that an aviator from Idaho witnessed nine pulsating lights flying over the Cascade Mountains at speeds surpassing any aircraft built by humankind. Days later, a desperate Chicago pool hustler, inspired by the news, hitchhikes west in a fever-dream search for a possible extraterrestrial sign. From those he inspires along the way to the Cascades comes a new community—“The Seekers”—devoted to creating a society where divisions of race, ethnicity, and sexuality are a thing of the past.

Believing that utopia will begin in a community of their own creation, The Seekers attempt to settle in the suburbs of Long Island. One night, a stranger arrives and a horrific crime ensues. In the decades that follow, the perpetrators, survivors, and their children will be forced to face the consequences of what happened.

Like an eroding Atlantic seashore, a Cascade mountain snowflake, and the branching crimson streaks in bloodshot eyes, Nine Shiny Objects is a fractal: a novel of intimate reveries that replicates to form a larger portrait of America’s cleaved soul—the perpetual clash between the optimism of those who seek inspiration from spacious skies and the venom of others who relish the underworld—not only via conspiratorial maneuverings, but the literal unearthing of the dead.

My Thoughts: 3/5 stars

While I was very intrigued by the synopsis, I will say honestly that I didn’t really know what to expect when I was starting this book. NINE SHINY OBJECTS almost feels like a collection of different stories with a connecting theme to them. Each was a different character’s point of view and had some recurring characters between them. This made some difficult to keep track of, but I was usually able to keep it all straight in my head.

I really liked the concept and what the author was trying to portray, and who doesn’t love a book with some cult elements? It was very interesting learning the bits and pieces we did about The Seekers. Since I’m really middle ground on this, I want to keep the review short and sweet. What I did enjoy was the author’s writing style. While there were parts I felt weren’t necessarily needed to progress the story, everything still had a nice flow to it.

I can see this either working or not working for readers. I’ve seen divided reviews and I think that’s always a good thing and creates nice discussions. If the synopsis piques your interest then I recommend giving this one a try and seeing for yourself where you fall!

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