Independent Author
<i>Dark Eyes Open</i>  <i>by Luis Monzon Pineda</i>
  • © 2024 J.C. Gemmell 0

Dark Eyes Open by Luis Monzon Pineda

Luis Monzon Pineda discusses his novel ‘Dark Eyes Open'

Stacks Image 131
What’s in a title? (Apparently, for me and this book — everything.)

Some writers begin with the title, and some consciously choose to leave it till the end. I believe it all depends on the writer. I took the non-advisable approach of writing the entire book while hoping a perfect title would strike me in the head like a flash of inspiration out of the clear blue sky. I believe that you will likely find that a writer’s overall approach to writing will influence their modus operandi for every step of the creative process, whether big or small.

My approach to storytelling is a mix of structured and organic. If writing a book is akin to embarking on a journey, then I plan out the destination stops along the way but leave room between stops to allow the story and characters to guide the narrative.

The book viewed through the lens of the title and vice-versa

The title DARK EYES OPEN is a play on words that, when broken down, provides a layered impression of the book itself.

“Dark” refers to the nature of the world within which the story takes place — the world of the year 2074, following a series of global disasters, including a pandemic and a third world war. Some of these disasters were man-made, while others were natural events. These cataclysms brought humanity to the brink of apocalypse, up to that very narrow edge, and then back. Now, the world that remains is rebuilding and hopeful but seeped in corruption. “Dark” also relates to the detective noir elements of the book as our main protagonist, Beth Lago, a force for positivity, must keep her intentions secret, hidden, and in the dark.

“Eyes” has a few different significances within the context of the story. The citizens of this Brave New World of 2074 are collectively terrified of their society devolving again into another age of absolute lawlessness like the Dark Times, the period from which they have just emerged. The cities are, therefore, under constant surveillance in this near-future world, yet, the number of incidents of crime continues to rise ever higher. There is a sense of panic compelling every citizen to live in fear.

“Open” harkens back to the Greek mythological idea of Pandora’s Box from Hesiod, in which Pandora, driven by curiosity, opens a forbidden box. Inside this box, there are what, at first glance, appear to be treasures but are, in fact, harbingers of destruction. Like so many things, the technologies of 2074 can be used as both a treasure or a trap. In the end, it will all depend on who is wielding it.
Stacks Image 208
“Dark Eyes Open” when used together, the partial phrase is meant to signal that the dark forces seeking to dismantle the earnest and hopeful world of 2074 are not merely lurking in the shadows, preparing to pounce but instead, like a game of chess, the pieces have already been moved into place in secret, and the threat is imminent. As Detective Beth Lago strives to fight injustice, she inadvertently stumbles upon the movements of evil forces.

The Dark forces have “seen” her and consider her a threat. When Beth’s adoptive daughter, Sara, is kidnapped, both her fate and that of humanity will depend on Beth’s ability to stay alive long enough to stop the evil plot and rescue Sara.

Beth will have to either stop her rogue investigation and hope for Sara’s safe return OR risk it all— step into the roaring fire to save her and upend the coming apocalypse when … DARK EYES OPEN.

A mix of genres

In many ways, DARK EYES OPEN is my love song to the science-fiction genre as it pays homage to its sci-fi elements in a way that also hopefully helps make the genre more accessible to readers who might not normally pick sci-fi as their go-to.

I have also worked hard to ensure that the book’s detective noir/crime influences are presented accurately. As a result, avid readers of those genres have shared that DARK EYES OPEN can be enjoyed as an engrossing standalone detective-crime novel.

DARK EYES OPEN has a bit of something for everyone, and I would be honoured if you chose to add it to your Books To Read list!
For more details about books by Luis Monzon Pineda follow @monzonpb on Twitter.
Stacks Image 230
Stacks Image 232
Stacks Image 5
Subscribe to J.C. Gemmell’s newsletter to discover other independent authors of sci-fi, dystopian and cyberpunk fiction.
Stacks Image 228