March 20, 2014 by mmileti
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Acclaimed author Adam Christopher brings us the start to a new series with The Burning Dark. Unlike his previous books, this novel is a Sci-Fi/ horror crossover. It is an interesting new addition to the Sci-Fi genre that takes the setting and overarching plot line of a space opera with the feeling of a ghost story. Christopher employs a writing style that utilizes internal monologue from several different points of view, but that has a pervading chilling aspect that seems to seep into every scene.
This book takes place on the U-Star Coast City, a space station in the backwater near a toxic star. Coast City has been decommissioned, and now holds only a skeleton crew waiting for a final ride back to civilization, and a new posting that actually matters. After saving an entire planet from an alien race known as the Spiders, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland (Ida to his friends) finds himself relegated to Coast City with a crew that doesn’t trust him, or believe that he is a war hero. After the station’s system starts to malfunction, and the strange star makes communications almost impossible, Ida builds himself an old-fashioned space radio that unfortunately only reaches the ghostly voice of a strange woman. Throughout Ida’s problems with both his crew and his ship, strange alien shadows and ghostly figures haunt the empty station, putting both Captain and crew on edge.
I found this book to be both engaging and well written. Christopher is able to infuse a sense of wrongness and unease into even the most mundane scenes, and even though the summary for this novel sounds relatively simple, the plot is intricate and sets the stage for a series that is bound to set on an epic scale. The book’s characters are also well developed, and it is easy to become immersed in their world, their emotions, and their fears through their internal monologues, especially when the reader becomes accustomed to the rhythm of Christopher’s writing.
Even though I enjoyed the book, I felt that the ending was a bit anti-climatic after such a large build-up and mysterious nature of the plot. The novel is fast paced throughout almost the entire book, but seems to fade off rather quickly in the last quarter of the novel. The tension that has been building is also released during this time, leaving the reader ready for the book to end rather than itching to read the next novel in the series. Despite this, I am still looking forward to reading the next book in the series, and I have high hopes that Christopher will gain back his momentum for The Burning Dark’s second installment.
Overall I would rate this book a 7/10, but I think that the series has great potential to become even better in its subsequent releases.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.