Titanic meets The Shining in S.A. Barnes’ Dead Silence, a SF horror novel in which a woman and her crew board a decades-lost luxury cruiser and find the wreckage of a nightmare that hasn't yet ended.
A GHOST SHIP.
A SALVAGE CREW.
Claire Kovalik is days away from being unemployed—made obsolete—when her beacon repair crew picks up a strange distress signal. With nothing to lose and no desire to return to Earth, Claire and her team decide to investigate.
What they find at the other end of the signal is a shock: the Aurora, a famous luxury space-liner that vanished on its maiden tour of the solar system more than twenty years ago. A salvage claim like this could set Claire and her crew up for life. But a quick trip through the Aurora reveals something isn’t right.
Whispers in the dark. Flickers of movement. Words scrawled in blood. Claire must fight to hold onto her sanity and find out what really happened on the Aurora, before she and her crew meet the same ghastly fate.
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Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 41 members
A haunting story set in space , what more could I ask for? Easily one of my favorite reads of the year so far. While not very complex or flushed out I found myself rooting for the entire ships crew and enjoying the whole cast of characters. While parts of the story were predictable, it never took away from the fast paced fun of this read. Switching between past and present the dual timeline really works for this story, and I COULD NOT put this down. Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this AMAZING book!
When a communications network repair crew lead by Claire Kovalik picks up a strange, distress beacon on the outer edge of known space, they have no choice but to investigate. The crew finds a twenty-year-old lost luxury ship, the Aurora, which could net each crew member quite the salvage reward. However, what the crew stumbles upon is a strange series of events that resulted in the violent deaths of everyone on board the Aurora two decades ago. What caused everyone on board the Aurora to violently murder each other or commit suicide? Kovalik and her crew find out - the hard way. Dead Silence is a science fiction, horror novel about a ghost ship, with a twist. This page-turner of a novel follows Kovalik in her retelling of the events that transpired when her crew found the derelict Aurora; however, Kovalik's memory is unreliable. Throughout the novel, the author expertly reveals small snippets of Kovalik's stellar backstory - which are a definite highlight of Dead Silence. The novel is also split into several parts, each with a very different 'feel'. Readers who enjoy science-fiction and horror genres will greatly enjoy Dead Silence, as well as those who would prefer a thriller. Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this ARC.
As an avid horror reader, this book filled me with more dread than any other book I've read in years. A Ghost Ship story with a twist, this book had me torn between "unable to put it down" and "I need to throw it across the room to keep it away from me." It will, fittingly, stick in your head long after the last page.
Thanks to Netgalley for providing a review copy! I am a horror movie fan. I heard about this book as a comparison to the early 2000’s movie Ghost Ship where ship salvagers find a luxury liner adrift in the ocean. Surprise! It’s haunted. The comparison was enough to make me NEED this book. It did not disappoint! The story had it all- a desolate space setting, haunting location, and plenty of action. This is one of those books that I don’t want to reveal too much in the review- you have to go in not knowing. If you like space/sci fi thrillers and horror/ghost stories- this is for you! (And I wholly recommend a viewing of Ghost Ship after you finish!) 5/5 Also reviewed on my Goodreads page.
This is a very good book, even if you are not a fan of science fiction, there is a lot that happens that should keep your attention. Claire Kovalik, the lone childhood survivor of a virus on a Mars colony, is the grownup team lead on a space ship that inspects/repairs a giant communications network. While in a remote area of space they pick up a distress signal originating from another ship and investigate. The signal is coming from a luxury space ship, the Aurora, that had disappeared 20 years ago with all on board, most of the passengers were of the uber wealthy kind. Claire and her team decide to board the ship to salvage something they can return with to prove they found the ship and to claim the salvage reward. What they find on the ship is very disturbing, all the passengers have died violent deaths. Claire and her team start to experience hallucinations, or is it? The story is told in a present day where Claire is being interviewed by executives of the company she works for and in the past where she relates her memory of what happened. Claire's memory is unreliable to say the least and has large gaps in it. What happened to the Aurora takes place over the last third of the story and it's quite the tale, each revelation keeps the pages turning. Highly recommended! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
Event Horizon meets Titanic in this spooky and thrilling novel. This book succeeded as a haunted house story set in space, with a broken protagonist struggling to overcome the horrors of her past and the new ones she is facing. The book starts off slow, letting the reader get to know the various members of Claire's crew. She has Kane the mechanic, Voller the pilot, Lourdes running communications, and Nysus managing the technology. The five of them stumble on an old distress signal from the Aurora, a luxury cruise liner believed lost years prior. They travel to the ship to claim the ship as theirs, only to discover the horror of what happened to the Aurora's original passengers. Barnes does a great job with the setting of the Aurora, depicting a grand ship that has been decaying over time. It works well as a location that could have ghosts around every corner. In the present, Claire is being interviewed by Max Donovan and Reed Darrow, two representatives of the Verux company, as they attempt to determine what occurred on board the Aurora. She was found in an escape pod a few weeks after her crew arrived on the ship. They believe Claire is lying about what she saw and want to head back there to investigate. I was worried initially at the book revealing this on the first page, but it does not reduce the tension of the first half due to Barnes' effective characterizations and the simmering tension of the crew's exploration of the Aurora. This book was a great mix of science fiction and horror that I hope many more will read. Big thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan for a review copy of this book.
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. From start to finish it was unputdownable. I have found lately that "horror" genre books aren't always creepy and scary, but this isn't one of them. I haven't enjoyed a horror this much since The Elementals or The Deep.
I absolutely love space horror and that’s why I requested this book as soon as I saw it! This book gave me strong vibes of one the best space horror movies ever made, “Event Horizon.” Reading this book has been one wild ride and I devoured it within a day. I just couldn’t stop reading. Every moment was filled with heart thumping dread and a sense of utter eeriness. I don’t get spooked easily, but I was looking over my shoulder multiple times while reading it. It’s like the story of the titanic /ghost ship/ event horizon, all rolled into a giant ball of terror in space. Claire Kovalik and her small space crew discover The Aurora, a luxury space-liner destined for a cruise of the solar system, which has been missing for twenty years. It was boarded by society’s finest and richest people at the time. Claire and her crew decide to board the ship as this is their big chance to strike it rich. They want to take the ship back, to be rewarded for their discovery, and also because they want people to have closure, and find out what happened to their loved ones on board the ship. What they find on the ship is extremely disturbing and mystifying. What terrifying events took place aboard the luxurious ship, that caused all the passengers to die or kill themselves in horrific ways? There’s something not quite right about the Aurora and Claire and her crew will pay a price for coming aboard the doomed ship. I really liked the characters that made up the main cast of the book. Their camaraderie is enjoyable and one almost feels like a part of the crew, reading about them. These are well thought out characters that one actually cares for. I really want this book to be made into a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime, as it’s absolutely perfect material for a TV show. I would definitely recommend this book for sci fi, horror, thriller & mystery fans. I think it has to be one of my favorite horror/sci fi books this year! Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advance reader’s copy of this book for an honest review.
Okay just wow. The spooky atmosphere and mystery in this was wonderful and this book is definitely a new favorite. When Claire's team stumbles across a distress beacon and find the lost Aurora, a luxury liner that has been missing for years ever since it's maiden voyage. No one knows what happened to the ship, but here it is for the taking. They decide to go on board to investigate, expecting the find could set them all up for life. But they aren't ready for what is waiting for them. This book is basically Titanic in space if the Titanic had gone missing only to be found more than years later with unspeakable horrors on board. Even worse, the corporation owning the ship doesn't want the truth getting out. This book hit everything I love in a good space horror. The building tension of what Claire's team will find on board mixed with the horrors they are finding that keeps the story spooky and mysterious. Then the book begins messing with their senses and you aren't sure what is real and what isn't and it keeps you guessing. This is one of those books that left me with some visuals that will stick with me for a while. I also loved the subtle clues pointing to the truth.
Dead Silence is one hell of a book. It was advertised as The Titanic x The Shining but set in space which works, though Ghost Ship x Event Horizon might be more accurate. From start to finish, this book knows exactly what it wants to be, and it delivers every step of the way, which was a marked contrast to this reader’s previous book. S.A. Barnes does a fantastic job of immersing the reader completely in both the past and present timelines. This trick often does not work well, but in this particular case, the writer managed to flip back and forth in a way that kept the tension up and kept the story going forward. The logic behind the story, that which drives the plot, makes a refreshing amount of sense. There was no issue with the suspension of disbelief. The main character, Claire Kovalik, has one trait that sets her apart from the traditional MC in these types of books. One that could have been poorly handled but wasn’t. While she does check many of the traditional boxes for the tortured but enduring strong female lead, Kovalik does not feel like a cliché. There are no excuses here, and though the character does have a bit of a ‘woe is me’ thing happening, it is completely understandable. “But I will say this: once you’ve been in a position to watch everyone you’ve ever known die […], you realize not only that life is precious but also that death is absolutely inevitable. […] I prefer facing that particular unavoidable reality rather than pretending it doesn’t exist.” Barnes’ prose is on point with Dead Silence. It never tips to purple, and there are delightful lines that will send a happy shiver up horror lovers’ spines. Like: “Well, are you sure this is even the right Claire?” Lourdes asks. “She’s over there, too.” A whisper of fabric against fabric traces her movement as she stands. “Claire. Wait, come back.” We are all going to die. Dead Silence is a story of corporate greed and desperate people being driven to pull off the impossible in order to get ahead. There is a romance subplot that softens the edge of the story just enough to keep a thread of hope running through it. The pacing is perfect. The characters are fairly typical for the most part, but they work well in the story. The very idea of a luxury cruise liner ‘lost’ in space and then being found the way this particular ship is found is a great take on a familiar tale. Recommended for fans of space adventures gone wrong, though it might quite possibly find a home in the hearts of some who are always looking for the next Firefly-esque crew to root for. Banged up clunker ship and all. Overall, Dead Silence is one of the best sci-fi horror tales that Sci-Fi & Scary has experienced in recent years.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought I knew how it would unfold, but it gave me quite the twist and I loved that. Amazing worldbuilding. Excellent main character. A whole lot of tension and creepy stuff. A total winner!
Sad to admit but this was my first space horror novel! And I'm here to say I'm.officially hooked! Hells Bells Dead Silence was freaking amazing! I believe I have found a new genre! So thank you! 😘 Barnes really knows how to hold a readers attention and never steers away! This story was the best story I've read in some time! As for the characters I really enjoyed them. And how much the characters developed throughout the book. Very interesting! All in all this book was a great psychological suspense read. The writing was beyond interesting and intriguing. It held my attention. And I loved the story. Thank You for the chance to read and review! I'll post to my accounts closer to pub date!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a story about the ghost in the machine. This is a horror story on a massive scale: Ghost Ship, meets Event Horizon, meets The Sixth Sense. Ghosts, capitalism & a luxury liner in space! The creeping sense of pervasive dread & atmospheric terror are expertly created- I enjoyed every frightening minute! Thank you so much Netgalley & Macmillan-Tor/Forge. for this e-Arc!
Thank you so much S.A.Barnes for sending me a free ARC copy of Dead Silence. I've heard nothing but great things about this book. if you like books that are very spooky and filled with mystery then I would definitely recommend you read this book. it has everything you could want in a spooky book.
I received a copy of this novel through netgalley in exchange for an honest review… So here goes… Dead Silence has now become one of my top 10 reads this year. From the second I saw the cover, to reading the copy about the book I knew this would hook me from the start. It’s a little bit Event Horizon, a little bit Pandorum and a whole lot of fun. The story ebbs and flows just like the inhale and exhale of the main characters. The imagery the authors words gives to your brain makes you feel like you are right there with the Crew of the LINA, and the twist… the twist will leave you questioning all the way until the end. Absolutely fabulous read. Highly recommend.
The blurb for this touts "Titanic meets The Shining!" but mentions nothing about the Alien franchise. It totally should have. The corporate sleaze underlying that space series has a match in Dead Silence. Claire has already been a Company victim once, as a child, when her settlement didn't get needed supplies and consequently perished. She also carries a secret shame from that ordeal, and she never learned to play well with others. But her Company job is almost at an end, and they're going to put her out to pasture. On her last voyage, though, she and the crew pick up a distress beacon. From a long-lost luxury vessel. Which they can claim for salvage. They juuuuust need to go aboard and get some evidence...Claire can't account for what happens next, and then, she's sent back into the fray. A ghost ship, corporate greed, and shallow consumerism make a lethal combination. Will anyone survive? Ooh, this is a shivery and delicious read, even if one of the underlying culprits is pretty obvious early on.