It’s the find of a lifetime – an ancient alien spaceship hanging in a forgotten corner of space. For Song this could change everything. She’s got as many problems with her finances as she does in her marriage, but maybe at last her passion for wreck-diving will pay off. One piece of unknown tech could set her whole crew up for life.
The ship conforms to nothing in their records and dwarfs the largest human vessels. Battle-scarred and old before humanity ever reached the stars, it’s a mausoleum of an unknown, long-dead species.
And it’s just winked at her.
Happy publication day to Falling Dark!! I was kindly sent an ARC by the author and this does not, of course, affect my review, which is spoiler free!
Hello again dear reader or listener, today I bring you two words: Space. Whale.
Otherwise known as the truly beautiful cover art for this sci-fi novella that caught my eye a few weeks back. Seriously, that’s one amazing piece of art, a huge congrats to Sarah Anne Langton!
Now then, what about what’s inside? In short: Tom Lloyd presents a tale full of suspense, ghosts of the past that may or may not be an enemy, space wreck diving, and a woman’s fight to make it out alive while battling what is possibly an unseen enemy. Throughout the whole read in fact, I kept thinking of the Alien movie tagline, “In space no one can hear you scream”, and I *loved* that piece of authenticity. You could say that silence itself becomes an enemy in this novella!
The cast of characters was varied enough while also fitting the gang of misfits trope and, by the end of it, I grew quite interested in all of them enough to want another few episodes with this team. Protagonist Captain Song shines the most of course and I found her a grounded and realistic character in her wants, fears, and reactions to the various events befalling her and her team. The occasional hysterical laughter in the face of adversity most of all, given how true to human resilience it is.
All that said, I’d also mention that this novella has two faces to it: a first half that is a slow burn built on the kind of suspense bred by total uncertainty and mystery, and the second half that is permeated with the suspense that comes from having almost all the answers but being on the edge of your seat in trepidation nonetheless, eager to see the outcome of it all.
Personally I struggled with that first half because, even though Lloyd creates an enthralling ambiance and eerie setting that is visually fascinating, I am not fond of present tense narration. I am glad I persevered though because the payoff was a lot of fun in the end, and I’m happy to have met the characters that I did. I can’t really elaborate on that sadly because this novella is the kind that I think works best when you haven’t seen behind the curtain and the smallest detail would give the trick away!
So, dear reader/listener, take my word for it if you would, and give this awesome novella a go, for an afternoon or evening full of intrigue, nostalgia for a past/culture long gone, and a short testament to human perseverance, stubbornness, and empathy.
Until next time,
Eleni A. E.