Rating: 5 stars
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Recruit medic Brady Garrett was conscripted into the military three years ago at age sixteen. Now he spends his days on the Defender Three, waiting for the day that the Faceless attack again and wishing he were home taking care of his dying father and his little sister. But no matter what, Brady will be spending the next seven years in the military. Life in space, or the big black as they call it, isn’t as glamorous as one would think. Waiting day in and day out to become cannon fodder for the Faceless makes for sometimes tense and uncomfortable living.
Lieutenant Cameron Rushton was kidnapped four years ago by the Faceless, and now he’s back to deliver a message – the Faceless are coming. Battle Regent Kai-Ren, leader of the Faceless, is coming to the Defender Three seeking a peace treaty. Met with skepticism and accusations of treason, Cameron stands his ground, believing that peace is the only goal of the Faceless.
By some strange twist of fate and Faceless technology, Cameron is only able to stay alive with Brady’s help. Acting as a battery, Brady is able to share his heartbeat with Cameron, keeping the lieutenant alive for as long as they have until the Faceless show up. A heartbeat is not all that they share. Brady is having strangely vivid dreams and sharing memories with Cameron. He’s able to sense Cameron. And they are able to communicate telepathically.
Now they’ve got nothing but time. Time together, at least until the Faceless come and kill them all – that’s what Brady thinks anyway. But with nothing but time, Brady has a lot of time to think. Thinking about his family. Thinking about his strong attraction to Cameron. Thinking about how he’s not gay – it’s only biochemistry, right? But it doesn’t matter, it can’t last now that the Faceless are coming. And Cameron’s probably the traitor everybody thinks he is anyway.
Ladies and gentlemen, as a fan of science fiction, I am telling you, this is one of the best works out there. If you’ve never really read science fiction, know that it’s more than a simple science fiction book. It’s creative and different and spectacular. Dark Space is unlike anything out there right now. It’s more than science fiction. It’s a mystery. It’s a romance. It’s a thriller. It’s dark and dirty and scary. But on the flip side, it’s a beautifully told story by a master storyteller.
Lisa Henry got it right when she created Brady Garrett. Brady is every bit of a nineteen-year-old boy. And he reads like nineteen-year-old boy. He’s headstrong and bratty. He’s stubborn and impatient. He’s angry and skeptical. He’s untrusting and secretive. But he’s also loving and protective when someone finally gains his trust. Brady’s past has made him who he is. He’s never had hope for a future. He’s never been truly happy. Brady’s life turns around, slowly, when Cam barges into it. His progression to understanding is painfully slow and endearing. I absolutely adore Brady.
This story is written in Brady’s first person POV, so we only see Cam through his eyes, but from the very beginning I loved Cam. He’s strong and sure. He’s understanding and trusting. He’s patient and caring. He’s a hero even when people think he’s a traitor. He’s such a beautiful character.
The world that the author has created is poignant and powerful, dark and uncomfortable. A world of getting by with no hope in sight, at least for Brady. It’s a world lived in fear. It’s bleak and believable and frightening. I love the fear that surrounds this world. The Faceless aren’t the “we come in peace” type of aliens. They kill mercilessly and they don’t care. They are powerful and seek even more power. They are living nightmares.
The storyline is captivating from the opening line to the very last word. The dialogue is real and believable. The plot is intense. The twist at the end of the story is chilling and amazing. It’s a story that takes readers on a journey of hopelessness and desolation and turns it into a journey of reward and love.
I was enthralled by the spell this author wove in the telling of this story from beginning to end. It’s dirty and ugly and realistic. Dark Space is a wonderful story that I highly recommend to everyone. If science fiction is not your niche, you might think of giving this book a try. It’s more than science fiction. It’s a story of love when love was impossible, of hope when hope was lost. I think you’ll thank me later.
Cover: I love this cover by Mina Carter. It’s dark and lovely. The depiction of Brady couldn’t be any more perfect. It’s wonderfully done.