Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes

Dead Silence


Dead Silence
by S.A. Barnes

Horror/Suspense/Science Fiction/Thriller/Mystery

343 Pages

Published by Tor Nightfire (8th February 2022)

Purchase from | Booktopia | Fishpond AU* | Book Depository | Dymocks | QBD | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Amazon UK |

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My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Actual rating of 3.75

Claire is days away from unemployment, her sole purpose in life is going to be gone. Death seems kinder. So when her crew pick up a distress beacon out in the edges of known space, they take a chance on it. What they find is something they never thought possible. The Aurora – a luxury space liner that disappeared more than twenty years ago. Salvaging this find could set Claire and her crew up for life. Once on the Aurora however, they soon realise that all is not well. Strange whispers in the dark, messages written in blood, and flickers of movement throughout the ship of the dead. Claire needs to hold onto every thread of sanity she has left in order to keep herself, and her crew alive before what happened to the rest of the passengers happens to them.

When I saw the tagline for this book, I HAD to have it. Ghost ship meets Titanic. What horror fan could turn away! This synopsis made me think of Ghost Ship crossed with Event Horizon so I was so keen to get into this as soon as it rocked up on my doorstep.

So right off the bat we’re in space with Claire and Co on their last mission as robots will be taking their place to do repairs. Straight up I got the feeling that Claire wasn’t super stable. We gradually learn the kind of life she’s had up to this point, so I can understand why. Straight up she’s considering suicide over being unemployed and grounded as she can think of nothing worse. So I feel like she became a somewhat unreliable narrator from the get go. We meet the rest of her crew and I loved all of them. They each had very distinct personalities and voices, I do wish that we got a bit more out of them though. While I felt they were developed well enough, I wanted a little bit more from them, I wanted to get to know them better and feel like they weren’t given much of a chance to develop into what they could have been. I also found Claire to be a bit of an abrasive character who was unlikeable at times, that’s not to say that I wasn’t rooting for her and her team, because I was, there was just a couple of instances where I wanted to throttle her a little bit.

The story is told through alternating time lines for most of the book. We have present day which is after the events that transpired on the Aurora, and the recent past which follows the crew from hearing the distress beacon up until whatever happens, happens. I thought this was a clever way to tell the story, as we also got to see what happened after the events of the horror so to speak, which in regards to horror movies, you generally don’t see. So I felt like this added an extra dimension to the story which was nice. I do kind of wish that we weren’t reliving the events on the Aurora, I was kind of hoping that we’d be following the story in real time, if that makes sense. It probably doesn’t, and that’s fine haha.

The horror elements were well done but I feel like it barely scraped the surface. There were some definite creepy moments and the atmosphere of the story was fantastic in the Aurora scenes. I do feel that the creepy atmosphere was lost when we jumped back to present day though. I wanted a bit more depth from the horror elements. I feel like if the book was longer, we would have gotten that, though I also understand not wanting to drag a story out past its prime. I just wanted more I guess. What I got was incredibly well done, though I must admit, I was a teeny bit disappointed once the reason behind everything was revealed. It was still a creepy idea, but I feel like it lost something once we knew the ‘why’ behind everything.

The story itself was very well written and it was just a downright enjoyable read if I’m honest. Even though some aspects left me wanting a little more, it was still a fast paced story that kept me glued to the page. The mystery was well written and I feel like it all tied in together nicely even if it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping it’d be. There is a hint of a romance story line here which did feel a little out of place at times, but in the end it helped endear Claire and the love interest to me a bit more as I became invested in their outcomes.

All in all, while this didn’t turn out to be as amazing as I hoped it would be, it was still a super enjoyable read and I’m so glad that I picked it up. I’ll definitely be looking out for more books from this author in the future as I feel like they have a wonderful voice and shows great promise

View all my reviews

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