ARC Review: Dead Space

Dead Space by Kali Wallace
Expected publication by Berkley Books on March 2nd 2021
Genres: Scifi, Mystery, Thriller, Horror, Queer
Pages: 336
Format: eARC (this was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An absolutely engrossing ride! This book is part murder mystery, part thriller and it was difficult to put down, I had to know what happened next.

My contractual commitment to ensuring the safety and security of Parthenope Enterprises and its facilities, operations, and employees did not extend to searching through fluid-stained sheets beneath the bare ass of a twenty-something kid reckless enough to think that paying somebody to drill into his head was a good idea.”

Dead Space follows Hester Marley, a disillusioned AI expert who has survived a horrific tragedy and unimaginable loss and is now injured, indebted, and stranded in the far end of space. Stuck in place until she can pay off her debt, everything changes when a former friend and fellow survivor contacts her.

“This isolated rock in the outer system, this thankless job helping a rich company make itself richer, the pain in my joints where metal met flesh, the medical debt that grew every day, this was it, this was all I had, until I could work my way out.”

I’m not going to say anymore for fear of spoilers, but this book had my heart pounding and me flipping the pages long into the night. Definitely for fans of science fiction thrillers, intrigue and suspense.

Also, the main character is queer and a side character is non-binary, so you know I loved that representation.

However, as I am a white non-disabled individual, I can’t speak towards how the representation of characters of color or a person who is disabled was handled, so I’m definitely hoping to hear what own voices reviewers think about the rep.

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

About the book

Hester Marley used to have a plan for her life. But when a catastrophic attack left her injured, indebted, and stranded far from home, she was forced to take a dead-end security job with a powerful mining company in the asteroid belt. Now she spends her days investigating petty crimes to help her employer maximize its profits. She’s surprised to hear from an old friend and fellow victim of the terrorist attack that ruined her life–and that surprise quickly turns to suspicion when he claims to have discovered something shocking about their shared history and the tragedy that neither of them can leave behind.

Before Hester can learn more, her friend is violently murdered at a remote asteroid mine. Hester joins the investigation to find the truth, both about her friend’s death and the information he believed he had uncovered. But catching a killer is only the beginning of Hester’s worries, and she soon realizes that everything she learns about her friend, his fellow miners, and the outpost they call home brings her closer to revealing secrets that very powerful and very dangerous people would rather keep hidden in the depths of space.

Content Warnings:

Major to moderate — Racism, xenophobia, fetishization of a person with a disability (the main character has prostheses), gore, death, grief, body horror, murder, ableism, cursing, medical content, medical trauma, panic attacks/disorders, violence, stereotyping, confinement, bigotry, talk of war, war crimes, famine, attempted genocide, and sterilization.

Minor — kidnapping, religious bigotry, suicide, and torture.

And I definitely might have missed something, if I did please tell me!

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