Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy. Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them. For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday, I have my eye on an intriguing-sounding science fiction/horror debut, The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling.
A thrilling, atmospheric debut with the intensive drive of The Martian and Gravity and the creeping dread of Annihilation, in which a caver on a foreign planet finds herself on a terrifying psychological and emotional journey for survival.
When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck—enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother—meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane.
Instead, she got Em.
Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash—and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . .
As Gyre descends, little inconsistencies—missing supplies, unexpected changes in the route, and, worst of all, shifts in Em’s motivations—drive her out of her depths. Lost and disoriented, her control giving way to paranoia and anger, Gyre severs her connection with Em and the outside world. On her own in this mysterious, deadly place, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, Gyre must overcome more than just the dangerous terrain and the Tunneler which calls underground its home if she wants to make it out alive—she must confront the ghosts in her own head.
But how come she can’t shake the feeling she’s being followed?
The Luminous Dead is an interesting upcoming novel from first-time author Caitlin Starling. Set to be released in April 2019, The Luminous Dead caught my eye just last night and it is definitely one I am keen to review. I really loved the cool-sounding synopsis for this book and think that this one has some excellent potential. I am not the biggest fan of the horror genre, but the idea of a dark physiologic thriller in space really appealed to me for some reason.
I am deeply intrigued to see how the science fiction, horror and psychological thriller elements will come together in this story. From the synopsis, it sounds like the plot will be mostly focused on the interactions between the two main characters, Gyre and Em, and become a bit of a psychological battle between them. It further sounds like both characters are going to have some mental issues, and both are slowly going to break down. This plot basis will hopefully lead to some great storytelling and a deep dive into both of these main characters’ psyches. I am also very curious to see what’s on the planet with Gyre and I am eager for some sort of epic reveal.
Overall, I am curious to see how The Luminous Dead will turn out and I will be very interested to see if Caitlin Starling’s writing will live up to the awesome-sounding plot synopsis attached to the book. I will hopefully get a hard copy of the book from the publisher before its release date, but I am also tempted to check out the book’s audiobook format, as I find that audiobooks with the right narrator are an amazing way to enhance the experience of a book’s horror element. Check back here in a couple of months to see what I thought of Starling’s intriguing idea, although I am sure I will have some fun with it.