Author: S.A. Barnes (Stacey Kade)
Publisher: Tor Nightfire
Released: February 8, 2022
Received: Review Request
Warnings: Death, graphic death, suicide, gore, isolation, mental health, PTSD, body horror
There were a lot of reasons behind my desperation to read Dead Silence. The cover, the description, the nostalgia (anyone else getting serious Dead Space vibes from both the cover and description?), and even the implied atmosphere. As such, I went into S.A.Barnes’ Dead Space with really high expectations. Expectations that were not disappointed.
Claire Kovalik is on her final mission. This is her last taste of freedom and the great unknown of space before she’s forced to head back planetside. Planetside is the last place Claire wants to be, and she has good reason for feeling that way.
Luckily for Claire, an emergency beacon calls her and her crew further into space. What they find is totally unexpected, and it puts all of their lives (and sanity) at risk. Yet it is too good a find to turn away from.
“Space travel is boring. As a commweb maintenance team, we are used to it. A boring day is a good day. Boring is what we strive for. When things are exciting, someone is about to die in some new and horrible way.”
Guys. Words cannot describe how much I loved Dead Silence. This was a freaking fantastic read, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone even remotely curious about it. It is the perfect blend of science fiction and horror, with an added boost from the unreliable narrator trope.
On that note, I enjoyed delving into Claire’s backstory. It was dark and fascinating and worked wonderfully to obscure the potential truths at hand. It is challenging to do unreliable narrators well, but Barnes pulled it off here.
The serious sense of nostalgia I felt while reading Dead Silence is interesting. On the one hand, it had powerful Dead Space vibes (and nothing wrong with that). On the other hand, it reminded me of Futurama’s ‘A Flight to Remember.’ Those are two things I never thought I would see combined, yet here we are.
Despite the heavy science fiction elements, there’s something about Dead Silence that feels so very gothic. It’s a combination I never knew that I needed, but now I feel like I can’t get enough of it. I desperately hope to see S.A. Barnes revisit this aesthetic in the future. If so, you better believe I’ll be rushing to read whatever it is!
Thanks to Tor Nightfire for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.