Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

Laura's mother is the captain of the Conquistador, a spaceship that has just located a treasure.  The USS John Muir left Earth over 400 years ago and has been lost all this time but the Muir contains soil that will help to regrow life back on Earth.  Laura's excitement is tempered by the device implanted in her throat that forces her to submit to the will of her enemies.  In an attempt to hack into the ship's computer to free herself from the device, Laura discovers that another group of hackers have already taken control of the ship and put it on a collision course with the John Muir.  When Laura comes to after the crash she discovers that the Muir is infested with zombie-esque creatures who destroy infrastructure and kill people with their piercing voices.  Luckily, she runs into Tuck, a survivor on the Muir, who is able to help her survive and work with her to defeat all their enemies.

I read an ARC of this book from NetGalley and I'm not sure why I requested it. (Although it does have an amazing cover!)  I was not a big fan of Shutter by Alameda so that should've been a clue right there.  But the description sounded great and I love sci fi so I overrode my instinct and requested it anyway which was a mistake.  I can't say for sure what it is about her writing that doesn't do it for me but there's something.  But I know that it's a personal issue specific to Alameda's writing so I can't be super-critical of the book overall even though I was dreading reading it.  In fact, as I was describing sections of the book to my husband, I could tell that the plot lines were interesting and that there were some unique parts.  (He's going to read it and will probably be a fan.)   I was intrigued by the idea of the subjegator but wish that we'd learned more about the Smithsons who put it in her and more details on why they decided to use it on her.  Those bad guys should've really been built up but they were almost incidental.  Was Sebastian using her the entire time or did he actually like her at some point?  As for the other bad guy, I saw that coming but I think my teens will be surprised and outraged with that twist.  Just a "meh" for me.  However....

My feelings toward the book became warmer and fuzzier when I read the author's note.  I love Alameda's introspective description of how political became personal during the writing and all the symbolic touches she included in the story.  So, while I might not mesh with her writing style, I now love Courtney Alameda as a person.

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