Reviews of Dark Fiction

Dead Silence by S. A. Barnes

Being that I do enjoy a good science fiction book, a hybrid space horror novel is a creation that feels “made for me”. DEAD SILENCE was everything I had hoped, plus some!

Claire Kovalic is Team Leader on a small space ship, when they pick up a distress signal. Out in space there aren’t many places to get help and when a distress signal is received, it’s something that has to be investigated. That is exactly what Claire has her team do. They discover the very first space luxury liner, the Aurora, which has been lost for over twenty years. What happened to this ship? Why has it been lost for so long? Are there artifacts there, or anything that can be salvaged? More importantly, are there any survivors? You’ll have to read this to find out!

Claire has a complicated history. Due to events that happened when she was a child, she often does not trust what she is seeing. This contributes to the reader questioning if what Claire is experiencing is real or not. We don’t know if this is a case of the mystery surrounding the ship or a case of an unreliable narrator? Her experiences as a child cause Claire to carry around a lot of guilt, and we’re never sure if she should feel guilt or not. As a result though, her past affects every decision she makes now, and as Team Leader almost everything is her decision.

I think all of these issues and guilt made Claire a more likable character. She doesn’t care much for people and her job in space allows her to avoid most of them. As a Team Leader, which is basically the captain, she is always mindful of the risks, but the Aurora presents some she has never faced before. Dead crew and passengers and the unavoidable feelings of dread affect all of Claire’s team, including Claire herself. This story turns into a tale of survival and of mystery-what happened to all of these people? What is happening to Claire and her crew? The answer will definitely surprise you.

All that said, however, I felt the pacing dragged a little bit in the middle, as the reader becomes more and more and more wrapped up in Claire’s mind. By the time the action started occurring, I was more than ready and believe me, that action was a lot of gruesome, horror space action FUN!

I had a great time reading DEAD SILENCE. It provided an intriguing mystery as well as suspense and tons of gory action, and what more could you ask from a space horror book? Nothing!

Highly recommended and I’ m looking forward to reading more from this author!

*Thanks to Tor Nightfire for the paperback ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!

Dead Silence Book Cover Dead Silence
S.A. Barnes
Science Fiction, Dark Fiction, Horror
Tor/Nightfire
02/8/2022
Paperback
352
Tor/Nightfire

Titanic meets The Shining in S.A. Barnes’ Dead Silence, a SF horror novel in which a woman and her crew board a decades-lost luxury cruiser and find the wreckage of a nightmare that hasn't yet ended.

A GHOST SHIP.
A SALVAGE CREW.
UNSPEAKABLE HORRORS.

Claire Kovalik is days away from being unemployed―made obsolete―when her beacon repair crew picks up a strange distress signal. With nothing to lose and no desire to return to Earth, Claire and her team decide to investigate.

What they find is shocking: the Aurora, a famous luxury spaceliner that vanished on its maiden tour of the solar system more than twenty years ago. A salvage claim like this could set Claire and her crew up for life. But a quick search of the ship reveals something isn’t right.

Whispers in the dark. Flickers of movement. Messages scrawled in blood. Claire must fight to hold on to her sanity and find out what really happened on the Aurora before she and her crew meet the same ghastly fate.

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