Aboard a space station in the midst of being decommissioned, ageing fleet veteran war hero Ida Cleveland is assigned, minus the decoration and glory that should come with having saved a planet. His past heroics dubbed lies by the skeleton staff marines counting down the hours to their eventual departure from the derelict Coast City. Faced with unwelcome hostility and a deep sense of isolation, he forms a bond with the reclusive Izanami, a young woman who shares Ida’s obsession with a mysterious signal from afar.
Said signal appears to be from a long dead cosmonaut and only comes about as a result of Ida’s tinkering with a space radio. Little does he know, this seemingly innocuous communication is tied to a much larger mystery, one that goes outside the boundaries of sci-fi and into the blood curdling world of suspenseful horror.
Author Adam Christopher (EMPIRE STATE, HANG WIRE) envelopes the reader in a shroud of atmospheric darkness that pays homage to the horror/sci-fi mash genre of fiction as well as brining a little bit of action and thriller elements aboard the creepy deep space station.
What started out as a space opera of sorts fuelled by a world breaking battle in the skies above a planet in danger of being consumed by larger than imaginable mechanical alien spiders evolves into a much more interesting and deeply engrossing tale of survival, horror, and military conspiracy.
Being on a sci-fi kick at the moment, THE BURNING DARK ticked all the right boxes for me. I would’ve liked more page time dedicated to characters like Zia Hollywood (a rich VIP who arrives at the station as a guest under somewhat questionable rationale) and Serra (a psi-marine whose back-story warranted further elaboration) but that’s a minor comment in what looks to be a very promising and unique series from Adam Christopher.