Sunblind - Michael McBride

Officer Rivera discovers a body in the vast Sonoran Desert somewhere in the Southern United States. Meanwhile across the Mexican Border 25 desperate souls are trying to escape the hell and poverty of their homeland by the promise and attraction of a new start in the US. I was reading this book late at night in a darkened room with the wind and rain beating against the windows and this greatly added to the chill factor and the atmosphere. The story is narrated in two time lines with a matter of days separating both accounts. As Border Patrol Officer Rivera tries to decipher a message carved into the body of an unaccounted alien further south Mayra Visari and a band of desperados attempt to make their way north under the leadership of a young guide known as Il Bufon..."The Joker" The story is mainly about the journey and encounter with an alien force invisible to the eye but deadly when confronted. In this respect I was reminded of scenes from Predator when our muscled up hero Arnold  Schwarzenegger, whilst attempting to rescue some politicians in Guatemala, is pursued by a brutal creature with superhuman strength that has the ability to disappear into its surroundings.

 

Unfortunately when we reach the midway point the story falls into a continuous game of attack and escape as the aliens attempt to destroy/consume the desperate band of illegal immigrants seeing them only as part of the food chain. This type of action soon becomes tedious and a story that started with great promise soon begins to lose my interest. There were of course some enjoyable moments and in particular a snappy narration and quirky  observations..."Altar, Sonora, was a town of evil, a place where dreams came to die and were buried in unmarked graves in the desert"..... "It was only a matter of time before we started dying"....."Our shadows stretched away from us as though seeking release from the fate to which we had been consigned"......."We were the walking dead, an entire procession of weakness and despair".....