I felt very much for Althea, a computer engineer on a top-secret spaceship built by an authoritarian government for a top-secret mission. She keeps her head down so as to not make waves in a culture where everything you do your entire life is recorded and analyzed by someone you don't know but are sure doesn't have your best interest in mind. It's the way everybody has to live, and there are constant rebellions, large and small. Into Altheas' world comes the most disruptive force, which leaves her computer, the one she designed that tries to control chaos and reverse entropy, changed. Changed beyond her comprehension and beyond her control. This happens just as the final rebellion is undertaken. What happens next is in the future, but it will be interesting.
About This Item
Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond—not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship’s electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship.
While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner—the enigmatic Ivan—may prove to be more dangerous. The perversely fascinating criminal whose silver tongue is his most effective weapon has long evaded the authorities’ most relentless surveillance—and kept the truth about his methods and motives well hidden.
As the ship’s systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, it falls to Althea to penetrate the prisoner’s layers of intrigue and deception before all is lost. But when the true nature of Ivan’s mission is exposed, it will change Althea forever—if it doesn’t kill her first.
Praise for Lightless
“Gripping . . . sci-fi flavored with a hint of thriller.” —New York Daily News
“[A] measured, lovely science-fiction debut [that is] more psychological thriller . . . contained, disciplined, tense . . . The plot is compulsive. . . . Lightless is the first of a planned series, and you can’t help looking forward to learning what’s next.” —The New York Times
“ Lightless is full of suspense and fun as hell to read.” —BuzzFeed
“Absolutely brilliant . . . This is science fiction as it is meant to be done: scientific concepts wedded to and built upon human ideals.” —Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of the October Daye series
“The stakes in this story are high—life and death, rebellion and betrayal—and debut novelist Higgins continually ratchets up the tension. . . . A suspenseful, emotional story that asks plenty of big questions about identity and freedom, this is a debut not to be missed.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A taut, suspenseful read.” —Tech Times
“ Lightless is an exercise in lighting a very slow fuse and building the tension to an unbearable pitch while making us guess just how apocalyptic the ultimate explosion will be. . . . It is a high-wire act, a wonderment, and a fine accomplishment from a name we’ll be seeing again.” —Sci Fi
Random House Publishing Group
|Number of Pages|
C A Higgins
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
9.50 x 6.30 x 1.00 Inches
I felt very much for A...
I dont get the publis...
I don't get the publisher's hype about the book being like Alien and Gravity, but as any number of others have done a better job of explaining what the book is about, giving away the plot, and all the other wonderful things people do to "review" a book, I will leave that alone. My review will be limited to this man's opinion that it is science fiction; and good sifi at that. Like good sifi it is a commentary on the future state of civilization. It appears the author believes terrorism in the name of equality will be with mankind for a long time to come. Also, and not one of the reviews I've read mentioned, the birth of AI, an explanation of how it happened, and some foreshadowing of what may be in store for its creators is integral to the plot, and I hope the basis of any sequels. I enjoyed reading the book, the plot was unique, especially in explaining the creation of AI, and should leave the author with several starting points for sequels should that be her wish. Thanks for the chance to read your work, I'll be recommending it to my contacts.
The spaceship Ananke i...
The spaceship Ananke is a 'miracle of engineering, a miracle of physics, a miracle of computing'. Despite its size, the ship requires only three crewmembers, Domitian, its captain and two maintenance crew, Gagnon and Althea. Althea knows and loves this miracle ship as if it was her child but it soon becomes clear that something is wrong with Ananke. The ship should be impenetrable but two intruders manage to somehow make their way onto it. One of them is caught but the other manages to escape. Intelligence officer Ida Stays arrives to interrogate the prisoner who may or may not be aligned with a terrorist group known as the Mallt-y-Nos. Then the ship begins to malfunction and no matter what Althea tries, she can't seem to find the source of the problem - she is losing control of her beloved ship. Lightless by author C.A. Higgins seemed to start out slow at least for me and I almost gave up on it. But then, somewhere near the middle, without even realizing it had happened, I found myself completely engrossed in the story and couldn't put it down. The narrative for much of the book is split between Stay's interrogation of the intruder and Althea's efforts to discover what is causing all of the ship's malfunctions. The fact that the entire story takes place on the ship within narrow corridors, windowless rooms, a makeshift cell and maintenance shafts gives the story an overpowering sense of claustrophobia. Add to this the tension which is strengthened by the chaos that takes over Ananke and is magnified by the physical limits placed on it - the visual and auditory sensations created by lights flickering, alarms wailing, and the very loud tantrums of a very powerful teenaged computer counterposed with Althea's frantic attempts to save her ship and Stay's interrogation- and the impact on the reader is almost visceral. Lightless is a very well-written, intelligent, and compelling scifi novel. I didn't realize until after I finished it but this is the first in a series - if this first book is any indication, this series is shaping up to be one hell of a ride.
Gripping. Written in a...
Gripping. Written in an easy and engaging rhythm, the plot unfolds evenly, calms down a bit and then delivers a final bunch of twists. It has been some time a book didn't hook me like this. It shows that well-known ingredients can still produce engaging stories.
Another one of those b...
Another one of those books where I kept going back and forth trying to decide if I should give it 3 stars or 4. In the end I felt 4 was best since it was a better than average book which is what 3 stars is so for me. Some things to like and some I didn't in the debut scifi thriller. The first 2/3 of the book were a bit slow. The publisher's description said it was Gravity meets Alien. I don't blame the author for that, but wish they did't make that comparison because for me it definitely wasn't. For a scifi book I kind of hoped for a little more science too. Especially from an author who has a physics degree from Cornell. Now on what I did like. As I said the first part was slow, but the author really hit her stride and the last 1/3 of the book flew by! I was not expecting the twist or the change into basically a thriller novel. As a science fan I did enjoy the science that was in there. I didn't realize until I was almost done that this is just book one with two planned sequels. That said it did end at a satisfying point and left me curious enough to want to know where it goes next. I will be checking out book two for sure.
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