Dark Space

Blackstone. Oct. 2024. 350p. ISBN 9798212218795. $27.99. SF
Segura (Secret Identity) and Hart (The Paradox Hotel) offer a thrilling space adventure that mixes real-world politics and space exploration to dramatic effect. The intergalactic spaceship Mosaic is not the Enterprise and is not just out there to boldly go but instead is a ship of compromises between American and Chinese interests that is barely holding together. The novel splits its time between the heroic Lieutenant Commander Jose Carriles and the begrudging bureaucrat Corin Timony back on New Destiny. Carriles just wants to get there in one piece after a terrifying breakdown nearly scuttles the ship. Timony learns of the mishap, meets a cover-up, and hunts for the truth. The novel’s point is to play with expectations; as once it is clear this is not a standard exploration story, then it can become what it is really about—the horror of both what humanity brings to the universe and the terror waiting in the unknown. The fun comes in watching those expectations come crashing down and seeing what remains.
VERDICT This clever science-fiction novel is a perfect choice for readers looking for a perilous adventure with a dash of coziness.
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