Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda
Publication Date: February 20, 2018
Summary from Goodreads:
Set against a future of marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound, here is a frightening, fast-paced YA adventure from the author of the acclaimed horror novel, Shutter.
Tuck has been in stasis on the USS John Muir, a ship that houses Earth’s most valued artifacts—its natural resources. Parks and mountains are preserved in space.
Laura belongs to a shipraiding family, who are funded by a group used to getting what they want. And they want what’s on the Muir.
Tuck and Laura didn’t bargain on working together, or battling mutant aliens who use sound to kill. But their plan is the only hope for their crews, their families, and themselves.
In space, nobody can hear you scream . . . but on the John Muir, the screams are the last thing you’ll hear.
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley for and honest review.
I really enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and a great sci-fi adventure that was pretty light as far as the horror goes. The main characters were great, and both of them were quite capable of taking care of themselves and others. There is also a light romance, which was mostly on the back burner as they were fighting for their lives most of the time.
Laura Cruz was a Latina archeologist in training. She is also a computer hacker and a pretty kick ass fighter. She has a great relationship with her parents and her family as well as a close group of friends. Very devoted to all of them and their well being. But Laura has some issues. She picked poorly when it came to boyfriends, Sebastian is rather nasty and unfortunately part of the crew of her ship. His family is funding her family and they will do anything to get their hands on some earth relics, including controlling and blackmailing Laure. But that doesn’t stop her from trying to get out of their clutches. She will also do anything to protect the John Muir ship that they think is empty of life.
Tuck is also very smart and a talented fighter when he needs to be. He also happens to be from the past, 400 years in stasis. His world is totally different than Laura’s. When he wakes up on the ship he finds that some of his family and crew mates were changed into something not human. He spends the months prior to Laura showing up, trying to survive and get the ship moving again. He is also very tough, but has pretty much closed himself off from his feelings. When he meets Laura, he is not sure what to think of her. I also loved that he was very into 1980’s films and tv show as well as other cultural references. He often used quotes from these shows to express his emotions.
The world that has been built here is very interesting. It seems that a few centuries has not been enough to eradicate bigotry and racism. This was not a huge theme of the book, but it is there. Also, it appears that the earth was so environmentally impacted in the future, that chunks of it were placed inside spaceships and carried off, perhaps to new colonies on other planets? This was not really explained well. I don’t want to spoil the story by telling to much more about the John Muir and what it carried. The monsters though were also interesting. They killed with sound, which was quite scary. I did have a minor issue with them though. Apparently they had been human but when they came out of stasis they were somehow transformed into these monsters, not a storyline that I particularly care for. I would have rather they be alien lifeforms that had somehow taken over the ship. That would have been more believable to me.
There were some other minor issues with the ships and what they carried that made me a little skeptical of the story in the whole, but I still was able to enjoy the story and would recommend it to anyone who likes space adventures with a little light horror and romance thrown in.