The Luminous Dead

The Luminous DeadThe Luminous Dead

By Caitlin Starling

Source Purchased

Published by Harper Voyager
on April 2, 2019

four-stars

A thrilling, atmospheric debut with the intensive drive of The Martian and Gravity and the creeping dread of Annihilation, in which a caver on a foreign planet finds herself on a terrifying psychological and emotional journey for survival.

When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck—enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother—meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane.

Instead, she got Em.

Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash—and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . .

As Gyre descends, little inconsistencies—missing supplies, unexpected changes in the route, and, worst of all, shifts in Em’s motivations—drive her out of her depths. Lost and disoriented, Gyre finds her sense of control giving way to paranoia and anger. On her own in this mysterious, deadly place, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, Gyre must overcome more than just the dangerous terrain and the Tunneler which calls underground its home if she wants to make it out alive—she must confront the ghosts in her own head.

But how come she can’t shake the feeling she’s being followed?

This is a book that I purchased sort of on a whim, recalling that I’d heard some good things about it from people on the bookish internet. It sounded like a fast-paced creepy thriller, which is nearly always what I’m in the mood to read.

I am so glad I decided to check this out, because I loved it! It wasn’t quite as fast-paced as I expected and was a bit repetitive at times, but the tension and the growing dread that I felt as I read outweighed my occasional annoyance when I thought things weren’t moving fast enough or when Gyre debated whether or not to trust Em for the nth time.

There were some truly heart-pounding suspenseful moments where I couldn’t read fast enough to see what would happen next! And the caves that Gyre was exploring were so vividly described that I could easily picture the cold, dark tunnels.

This was such a great read, and I’m so glad I checked it out! Recommended!

four-stars

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