Ghost Station

Tor Nightfire. Apr. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9781250884923. $27.99. HORROR
Ophelia is a psychiatrist in the year 2199, specializing in treating space explorers who suffer from ERS, a disease that presents itself in violence—most notably, a mass killing of 29 people. She joins a mission to claim a planet that held sentient life in the past to study the crew who are mourning the mysterious loss of a crew member on their last trip. They are holding on to their secrets tightly, but Ophelia is an expert at keeping secrets herself. The horrors of the isolation and loneliness of space travel are enhanced by Barnes’s writing, as she only allows readers to see Ophelia’s unreliable point of view and utilizes slow-burn pacing to perfection, expertly building the world and relentlessly intensifying the dread. Barnes simultaneously slips in small doses of terror that get and stay under readers’ skin, until the entire narrative explodes and holds them entranced for its final act.
VERDICT Barnes (Dead Silence) is quickly cementing herself as the go-to author in space horror. This will appeal to fans of sci-fi/horror hybrids that are heavy on the planetary-exploration details, such as David Wellington’s Paradise-1, and also readers who enjoy the psychologically intense polar horror of Ally Wilkes.
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