Synopsis and Details:
An investigator must solve a brutal murder on a claustrophobic asteroid mine in this tense science fiction thriller from the author of Salvation Day.
Hester Marley used to have a plan for her life. But when a catastrophic attack left her injured, indebted, and stranded far from home, she was forced to take a dead-end security job with a powerful mining company in the asteroid belt. Now she spends her days investigating petty crimes to help her employer maximize its profits. She’s surprised to hear from an old friend and fellow victim of the terrorist attack that ruined her life–and that surprise quickly turns to suspicion when he claims to have discovered something shocking about their shared history and the tragedy that neither of them can leave behind.
Before Hester can learn more, her friend is violently murdered at a remote asteroid mine. Hester joins the investigation to find the truth, both about her friend’s death and the information he believed he had uncovered. But catching a killer is only the beginning of Hester’s worries, and she soon realizes that everything she learns about her friend, his fellow miners, and the outpost they call home brings her closer to revealing secrets that very powerful and very dangerous people would rather keep hidden in the depths of space.
Genres: Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller | Release Date: March 02, 2021 | Publisher: Berkley | Length: 336 pages | ISBN: 978-1984803726 | ASIN: B08FZKKX5Q | Format: ARC | Source: Netgalley
Review with Rating:
I love reading mysteries, I love science fiction, and Dead Space puts those genres together in a fascinating and compelling way. I was immediately drawn into the plot and wanted to understand the main character, Hester. She was an enigma suffering with massive trauma both physical and mental. I love that she had a disability and that it was not one that was introduced and then forgotten just as quickly. It was a part of this character on every page and I thought her struggles were well done. The cast of this story are all unique and there is much representation of queer and nonbinary characters. They are also not introduced just to be “seen,” they are very much a part of the story.
What I loved about reading Dead Space was not just that it had a fascinating mystery set in space but that Hester surprised me on more than one occasion. How she became involved in the investigation was based on self-interest but she did not allow her interest in the case to cause bias. She did not hold back on her discoveries when it would make the person she had known look less than honest. When following clues, she had an open mind and was not trying to prove anything one way or the other, she just wanted to understand what she was supposed to know. Usually, characters with something at stake in a mystery are biased in one direction or another and Hester surprised me with her openness to accept whatever she discovered.
Now, I did enjoy the story but I want to be frank in that there is an undercurrent to this story that is filled with resentment and anger. Dreams were destroyed, there were unbearable losses and that is strongly felt. There is blatant corporate greed and characters who are less than noble. In addition, the ending is more open than I prefer but also ironic in a way that I liked. Still undecided how I feel about that?! Overall, Dead Space does not hold back and it does not sugarcoat the realities of what happens when humanity is allowed to run unchecked. It is a great mystery and had several thrilling moments. Moreover, it is a story that I would recommend to a wide variety of readers.
*Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group & NetGalley for this eARC of Dead Space*
This review is based on a complimentary book I received. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
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About the Author:
Kali Wallace studied geology and earned a PhD in geophysics before she realized she enjoyed inventing imaginary worlds more than she liked researching the real one. She is the author of science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels for adults, teens, and children, as well as a number of short stories and essays. After spending most of her life in Colorado, she now lives in southern California.