Cover Image: Dead Silence

Dead Silence

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is different from anything I've ever read. It's an interesting mix of sci-fi and horror. The overall feel is spooky, so it was great for this time of year. The ultimate reveal was a bit disappointing, and the ending wrapped up a bit too neatly.
Was this review helpful?
This book deserves all the freaking stars. I absolutely devoured it in two sittings and had to force myself to put it down at night. Imagine Titanic meets Ghost Ship in space and you’ve got Dead Silence. It was the perfect spooky book and I loved the scifi horror elements. I’d been wanting a book to scare me and this one DELIVERED. It creeped me out so much, it actually gave me chills at one point, and I don’t scare easily while reading. Definitely a five star read!
Was this review helpful?
I have never read a horror survival story in space!
This was great. Loved the whole vibe. The writing was good. The story itself was well written and thought out. 
The characters were your typical 'stuck in a horror movie" cliché type characters, but the atmosphere and the killer were grade A atmospheric.
Was this review helpful?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I saw hints of horror and sci-fi influences without the story being tired or feeling like a knockoff. It was one of the best books I've read all year. Excellent space horror.
Was this review helpful?
A patchwork of sci-fi horror's greatest hits, from plot points to character names. Above all, it's Ghost Ship meets Event Horizon. Barnes hinges everything on an unreliable narrator in charge of an ill-fated crew, and this keeps you hooked and turning the pages quickly for answers. While the atmosphere is spooky and the lingering questions gripping, the ultimate reveals disappoint and its conclusion far too tidy. Even still, it's a brisk and entertaining read.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 Stars. 
Claire is the LT of a maintenance crew ship. They’re almost done with their mission when they hear an outdated distress call a few days travel away. They agree as a crew to check it out and it ends up being the luxury space-liner The Aurora (a space ship comparable to the Titanic but in space) that has been missing for twenty years. They agree to go aboard and take some valuables via a “salvage claim” so 1). they can become rich when they get back home and 2.) so people believe what they found. 
Aboard the ship they find terrible things that had occurred when the ship went missing and they all start to see violent hallucinations, ones that because of Claire’s traumatic past has seen before. Claire has to keep her crew safe and get back to safety. 

I could not put this book down. Perfect for the lover of sci-fi mixed with horror. I would have given this 5 stars except for bits of romance thrown in that I can see was possibly necessary, but I didn’t feel like it fit the flow or theme. I also hated the ending. Or at least how quickly it came up. You have 200+ pages of mind-blowing detail where you can visualize the entire novel, where it could end in so many possible ways, and it was just done so quick that it broke the magic. I’m sure others will love the ending/epilogue l, but I felt it just fell too short of what Barnes had painted up until those last few pages. 
Either way, it was so good. A onion slowly unraveling to a great story. I’ll have to check out more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
Part syfy, part horror story of a space salvage crew that finds an abandoned luxury vessel 20 years after it was reported missing. All of the crew and passengers are dead. Then, the salvage crew starts seeing things that shouldn't be there. I thoroughly enjoyed this scary novel.
Was this review helpful?
Dead Silence was so much fun to read. It hit me right in the sweet spot: a mix of horror, sci-fi, and mystery.   I went in knowing very little about it, and I don’t read a lot of sci-fi horror so when I stumble across one I’m always excited.

The Aurora is such a fantastic setting: a ghost spaceship with a previous life as a luxury cruiser.  Claire is a great character: a giant mess, but capable and brave.  The supporting characters were well-drawn enough to make me care about them and keep me unsure what they were up to.  

I won’t say more because this is one best enjoyed without knowing too much.  There’s some wonderfully grisly imagery, creepy moments, and a satisfying conclusion to the mystery of the Aurora.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Nightfire for providing me with this review copy.
Was this review helpful?
In Space, Your Screams Can Last Forever

It's been some time since a science fiction novel's left me feeling this jumpy and jittery. My mind's blown to the point where I've found my reading experience difficult to describe. Rare, vivid, and full of shocking, mindbending suspense, Dead Silence is scary as hell. 

Claire Kovalik is introverted and prickly, not fitting easily into any kind of social situation. She's the kind of flawed, vulnerable underdog who makes a reader root for her even though she may have done terrible things. And 'may have' is the operative term since, in her medicated state, ghostly visions entangle with broken memories and make it difficult for the reader to trust in her version of events. 

Her narrative allows strobing glimpses of present, past, and maybe never, like slides shifting crazily in a projector. Her last spacewalk; an involuntary stay in the corporate Tower psychiatric facility; orphaned on the Ferris Outpost, the tragedy of her childhood; her last day on the Lina, the day they encountered the Aurora.

In the hands of lesser writer, it could have been hard to follow, but it absolutely isn't. Despite the disjointed presentation--in fact because of it--the tension builds to an incendiary level that I suspect will be hazardous for readers with heart problems. Or night terrors.

The author has masterfully married an action-packed survival story of an encounter with a ghost ship to a woman's struggle with a predatory, plutocratic dystopia. Be warned, this is not a young adult novel, despite the genre's prevalence in that category.

I was fortunate to receive an ARC courtesy of SA Barnes and Tor Nightfire via NetGalley. I'm enthusiastically offering my review and recommendation, uninfluenced by anything except my reading experience: Dead Silence is an excellent book! If you love science fiction, horror, and psychological thrillers, it's among the best of all of them. I hope it will be made into a film!
Was this review helpful?
When I saw the synopsis of this book, my first thought was: "Horror and science fiction? COMBINED??? SIGN ME UP!!!". I am so glad I received an ARC (thank you, TOR Nightfire and NetGalley). This was surreal. The best way to describe this psychological horror novel would be: The Shining meets the Titanic meets Alien. 
As a rule, I love murder mysteries set in space (Tamsyn Muir's Locked Tomb series is my favourite series of all time) and this did not disappoint in the least. Reading "Dead Silence" was a breathtaking experience; one that made me question my own sanity and understanding just as the characters were questioning their own. I read it (nay, devoured it) compulsively. I genuinely could not put this book down. It was incredibly creepy, and the ambiance of the setting was immaculately terrifying. I just know this will be a hit with fans of both genres.
Was this review helpful?
This was an exciting, couldn’t-put-it-down read. It was definitely a horror novel with sci-fi touches; meaning that it will most likely appeal to horror readers and open-minded science fiction readers. There is a fairly low level of gore and violence, with much of it in the past with descriptions of the outcome. This means that a reader who might be turned off by extreme violence or gore (like me) will be able to read this. [Note, there IS some gore/violence that happens on the page, so consider yourself warned. But it’s not as visceral as most horror movies I’ve seen.] A steady level of dread and suspense (much like the first Alien movie) helped move this along and made me quite unsettled at times. The last third of the novel might disappoint some readers (I’m almost always disappointed by the reveal in thrillers), but I still recommend this to anyone looking for a solid thrill.
Was this review helpful?
Oh man. So much good material to work with here. Great ideas. Unfortunately, this was too many good ideas all forced into one book. There is ghosts, insanity, space, pandemic, conspiracy, hallucinations and a touch of romance. Too many paths were taken in this story. Which means none of them ever fully developed. Like a taste test for ice cream. You end up liking every flavor and can't pick just one.

*Thank you to Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Nightfire via NetGalley for the digital reader copy.
Was this review helpful?
He points a trembling finger to the far side of the room, and all of us look. 
The space is empty. 

So, sci-fi isn’t really my thing…Unless it’s horror, which is why I was really intrigued when I received a copy of this book from Nightfire for an honest review. 

Dead Silence follows our main character Claire and her four crew mates who are aboard the ship LINA. It’s Claire’s last rodeo, that is until one of the crew mates picks up an emergency signal from AURORA, a long lost ship. What starts off as a small mission to make themselves rich, soon fogs into things appearing at the corner of their eyes, loud noises echoing across the ship and events they can’t begin to explain. 

This book was a mixed bag for me, I really loved the first half of the book because it was creepy, there was moments that were making me nope the hell out, it felt like i was watching a top notch horror film, but the second half really fell flat for me. I started to lose interest as things became more known. There were some points throughout the novel that took me out of how stressful and scary the situation was, and I sometimes found it hard to root for Claire in certain circumstances.  

However, I do think Dead Silence is a solid sci-fi horror novel, it’s full of frightening passages, it’s well written and the visuals Barnes gave were haunting, especially during the first half of the book.
Was this review helpful?
Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes is an enthralling and engrossing read with a great plot and characters! Well worth the read
Was this review helpful?
Dead Silence is the perfect blend of sci-fi and horror, and I read it in one sitting. The Aurora was a luxury space-liner that has been missing for 20 years. Passengers included celebrities, influencers, government officials, and tech giants. Everyone disappeared without a trace. While finishing up a job, Claire’s ship picks up a mysterious distress signal. Upon finding the vessel, Claire’s crew decide to salvage what they can.

This book was super creepy and I loved the atmosphere. It reminded me of Dead Space, a video game I love dearly. The jump between past and present was well done and the pacing kept my heart pounding. 

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This scratched every horror itch I had. It was right up my alley. I LOVE the whole premise of an abandoned ship, house, spaceship or whatever and this was so well done with the unreliable narrator, who unlike other horrors was believable and well thought out.
Was this review helpful?
The perfect mix of horror and sci-fi, Dead Silence is unputdownable from the first chapter. I found myself compulsively reading a chapter whenever I could just to know more. Counting down the days until I can get my own copy.
Was this review helpful?
Loved, loved, loved this. Fans of the films Event Horizon or Ghost Ship are sure to enjoy this one, as well as sci-fi horror fans. I was initially intrigued by the premise, and by chapter four I knew this would be a cover-to-cover read for me. I enjoyed the characters, the dread filled atmosphere, and chilling imagery. 10/10 would recommend this one.
Was this review helpful?
It has been a long time since a horror book gave me the creeps, but this one delivered. Throughout the whole first half of the book I was constantly feeling a chill in the pit of my stomach, like I was being watched. The fear the characters felt was easy to relate to and feel myself. 
I loved the pacing of this book and I think it really just added to the creep factor with the alteration between now and the past. I finished it in basically 24 hours total
I did not see the ending coming at all, we went from full on horror to a sci-fi battle for business feel, but I actually love how we got there. This had a great balance of horror and space opera that reminds me of The Expanse.
Was this review helpful?
A story unlike any other.  Dead Silence presents itself like many space horror but in its depths, you will find a tale of love, trauma, mystery, and self-discovery. One of the best books you'll read all year.
Was this review helpful?