Speed of Dark

A Novel

Fiction - Fantasy - General
296 Pages
Reviewed on 05/09/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Speed of Dark: A Novel by Patricia Ricketts is a fantasy with three different points of view telling a tale of anguish, survival, and love. Mary Em Phillips was ready to end her life after a series of unfortunate events. Her Mamie passed away, her son Petey succumbed to an infection, and her husband Jack left her for another woman. Things couldn’t be worse for her. Lake Michigan called her to its icy depths, and Mary had nothing left in her life to hold on to. However, that changed when Mosely Albright came knocking on her back door, looking for some water and directions to the trains. A black man who lived a hard life, Mosely needed nothing but love whereas Mary Em wanted to end her misery once and for all. The two were as different as could be, but fate had other plans for them.

I loved the narrative and the direction of the story. Speed of Dark has three protagonists - Mary Em, Mosely, and Mishigami (Lake Michigan). Patricia Ricketts gave all three of them a worthy voice that will connect them with readers and is relatable. I was fascinated by Mishigami’s voice. It was heart-breaking and a little vengeful at times. He sought a champion that would fight for the lake, the life inside the lake, and the benefits it provided to the surrounding community. Mary Em’s character was very vulnerable and a little tense, at all times. On the contrary, Mosely was positive, hopeful, and ready to take charge. The two of them were different, but they were a great help to each other. Mary was Mosely’s hope, and Mosely was Mary’s courage to fight on. The author did a fantastic job telling a complex story. Unique and interesting!

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Speed of Dark is the story of Mosely Albright, a missionary who once defied death in a cornfield. Since then, he has made it his goal to help the lost. It is also the story of Mary Em, who cannot find a reason to live. A survivor of childhood abuse, she lost her only son to a bacterial infection and her husband to another woman. But most importantly, Speed of Dark is the story of Michigami, the ever-present, ever-observant Lake Michigan, now defiled by the mindless actions of humankind. On the morning the story begins, Mosely is out searching for his missing friend while Mary Em plans her very last trip to the museum. What happens when their paths cross in a strange twist of fate? You have to read Patricia Ricketts’ novel to find out.

An outstanding book with a profound underlying message, Speed of Dark moved me in unprecedented ways. Patricia Ricketts possesses the incredible power of pulling the reader straight into her story. She skillfully used different vernaculars to present three distinctive voices so that I always knew whose perspective I was following. Ricketts equally excelled in delivering Mosely's and Mary’s commonplace narration and Michigami’s elegant prose. I could acutely feel Mary’s grief and depression slowly corroding her will to live. Yet, her kindness shone through the festering pain. Mosely’s inner light, unconditional love, and the ability to see good in everyone amazed me. The great Michigami captured my heart with his ancient stories and woeful tales of gradual decline. I felt in his waves a child’s playfulness, a lover’s caress, or a call from death itself. The timeless dance of life and death throughout the novel rejuvenates hope.

Vincent Dublado

Speed of Dark by Patricia Ricketts is an intense story possessing a unique voice and creative drive. Mary Em Phillips doesn’t know how to live anymore. She has lost it and deep inside she is crying out for help. All her life she has been careful with everything, but it all seems to be a joke. She has lost her beloved Mamie. She lost her husband Jack to another woman. The final blow is when she lost her son Jack to a vicious bacterial infection. Then Mosely Albright comes into her life. There’s an urgency in him she finds a bit pushy, but there is something about him that could help in finding her way back. And then there is Mishigami, a.k.a Lake Michigan, who tells his story of why he is the most powerful among the large lakes, and why he is trying to claim Mary Em.

Speed of Dark is a wondrous romantic fantasy pulsating with life so that you can feel its heartbeat. It’s a stunningly profound tale, one of those rare novels that establishes a strong connection not only between human relationships but with nature as well. While many romantic fantasies are easy to dismiss, the way Patricia Ricketts writes with a rhythmic flow that tugs at your heartstrings is a triumph in reader engagement. There is something that’s simply heartwarming about a story of nature calling out to you, giving you an escapist feel that you are the chosen one. Another part of this story that makes it powerful is the romantic alchemy between Mary Em and Mosely that celebrates the power of renewal, especially for Mary Em after losing everything. It’s a sparkling tale worth reading as it will make you succumb to its seductively hypnotic storyline.