Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Space Opera Pick: Pitch Dark

Pitch Dark
by Courtney Alameda
Feiwel and Friends
384  pages
ISBN: 97812500085894

Pitch Dark is one of the best books of the year. A science fiction horror story that is chock full of gore, action and moxie. Tuck and his family jettisoned from Earth on the John Muir, a spacecraft. He wakes up from stasis  four hundred years later, and finds himself alone (?)  on the ship. Alone, except for the monsters who used to be human and a few other humans. Most of the crew died, but those who didn't mutated into fast and furious beasts capable of killing with just their voice. Tuck learns to kill them, but must always be wary of attack. An engineer, Tuck keeps the ship running with the hope of someday someone will rescue them.

Laura Cruz is on the Conquistador with archeologists and scientists from post apocalyptic Earth. She's  a teen hacker who sabotages her own ship's mainframe in order to remove a chip that controls her. Another hacker with evil intent is  on board. The Conquistador finds damaged spaceship John Muir and attempts to come alongside it to see if  anyone survived or if it contains any artifacts they need in order to save Earth.

Laura is horrified when her ship collides with the derelict wreck of John Muir. Her mother and family escape the Conquistador in a smaller ship leaving a trail of clues for her to follow. Laura boards the John Muir and meets Tuck. The two of them must  survive the monsters, keep the John Muir intact  and pray for discovery before their supplies run out or the monsters kill them.

The rapid pace of Pitch Dark will keep  pages turning at a furious pace. Teen readers (and adults) who seek a thrill ride will love Pitch Dark. Even this non-SF fan loved the story and the characters, and I read it in one sitting.  Sublime pacing, expert world building and a resounding story make this book a solid five stars. There's no one I'd rather be lost in space with than Tuck and Laura.

Highly, highly recommended for every sci-fi reader and every YA fan. You won't forget this book!

Grades 9 and up for gore and violence.

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