Posted 20 hours ago

Dead Silence

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Dead Silence is convincingly carried and narrated by central character Claire Kovalik, who is damaged, unpredictable and blessed with a fascinating childhood backstory which gradually unpeels as the plot moves on. In fact, if I have any complaint, it is that at times the story feels like a cross between an unproductive therapy session and suspense story, with not enough forward momentum on the internal elements.

And, the best thing about the characterization was how well the author handled the main character, Claire. While being interviewed by two Verux corporate investigators, Max and Reed, Claire details how her crew had found and investigated the Aurora, hoping to claim its lucrative salvage rights. Barnes’s Dead Silence is a creepy and incredibly at­mospheric horror novel that bridges the gap between Gothic horror and extreme horror while simultaneously exploring the role that past trauma and PTSD can play when someone who suffers from them is exposed to fresh trauma.Although it is set in space, the value of salvaging the most famous spaceship in history is a fascinating idea and the characters rightfully spend some page time on discussing this and the monetary value of discovering a vessel as unique as the Titanic or the Marie Celeste. Such is Tony’s love of books, he has spent well over twenty years working as a school librarian where he is paid to talk to kids about horror. Ensure you listen to the sample before deciding to spend a credit as you may prefer the written version instead of the audio. In the end, never having to hear her utter another whoa is me diatribe was more worth it to me than resolving the mystery at the crux of this book.

The novel flows well with split narratives of ‘present’ and ‘before’, keeping the readers on their toes, which nicely breaks up the sequences on the Aurora with Claire’s broken recollections. Their salvage claim could solve the entire team’s problems and take away all worries about the future. Barnes does a good job of setting up our story, with our protagonist Claire at the end of her run as a Team Lead for a corporate space mission, who is worried about what she does next, as she has no money and no prospects due to a checkered past.

Just the thought of being permanently gravity-bound and surrounded by so many people again makes my breath rush in and out faster. If you’re a scaredy cat like me and want to try your hand at a horror book, this is definitely a great one to start with.

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