Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Chris Chambers
Length: 8 hours, 10 minutes
All Brady Garrett wanted was to be back home on Earth and reunited with his little sister, Lucy. He wanted off the Defender and he wanted to be out of “the black” in space. However, he’s still in the military and they are watching his every move. On the Defender, he was being trained as a medic, but back on Earth, Brady’s once again treated as a lowly recruit and he’s on janitorial duty. But he has Cameron and Cam is everything to him, However, Brady doesn’t think he’s good enough for Cam and the rest of the military agrees. The nightmares won’t go away either and Brady lives in constant fear that Kai-Ren and the Faceless will return for him.
Cameron Rushton always wanted to be a pilot and being in the stars was everything to him. The dream changed when he was abducted by the Faceless, but Cameron still looks to the stars from Earth. Cam is happy living his life with Brady and Lucy, but the military is still obsessed with the connection he shared with Brady and they are constantly testing the men and asking endless rounds of questions. When a connection between the men returns, Brady knows it won’t be long before Kai-Ren is back as well and Brady is terrified. The military has their own plan and Brady will wind up in the last place he wants to be, once again fighting for his life with Cam and Lucy.
Darker Space picks up where Dark Space left off and Brady and Cam are once again back on Earth. They have been reunited with Lucy and, while that is exactly what Brady wants, he does not want to still be under constant surveillance from the military. While Cam works a desk job, Brady is mopping floors and being reminded every day of where he came from and how he’s not good enough for Cam. I really like Brady and his struggle to rise above the label that has been put on him due to where he grew up. The military and the enlisted men will never give him a chance and will always see him as a poor recruit and it’s easy to feel Brady’s disdain for all things military. He never wanted to be a soldier, yet Brady is the story of the underdog becoming the hero.
Brady is terrified that Kai-Ren will come back and the nightmares will not stop. The only one that understands is Cam, but Cam also has a different perspective on things. The military is constantly testing them and questioning them and Brady has had enough. When things start to change again telepathically for the men, they try to hide it, but they soon become prisoners of the military.
The book then moves back to space as the men are unwillingly sent back to the Defender. Their mind link, which I find fascinating, has expanded and they now have a lot of company in their heads and more shared thoughts than Brady can deal with. Kai-Ren then becomes more visible, but his interactions are still brief. Kai-Ren is the only Faceless that is mentioned by name and the only one that is on page, and I did wonder where all the others were. While we do get a little bit more and it seems that Kai-Ren is simply curious about humans as he doesn’t understand them, I was looking for a little more at this point regarding what Kai-Ren actually wanted. He kept Cam captive for four years and it’s still not clear what he wants and the entire series is based on humans defending the Earth from the Faceless. There is one more book in the series that may explain more, but at this point I have a lot of questions.
Brady and Cam are forced into a position to fight for their lives from almost every angle and, despite Brady’s fears, he rises up to save those he can’t live without. With a lot of tension and a lot of struggle, both internal and external, Brady becomes the heart of this story and Darker Space is a great accompaniment to this series.
Chris Chambers was the narrator once again and he really adds another layer to this series. The tension he creates with Brady’s fear of the Faceless and how people see Brady added great imagery to the story. He has voices for all of the characters and, while some have subtle differences, they are distinct enough to be clear who is speaking. With an appropriately creepy voice for the few words that Kai-Ren speaks, and sound effects for the Defender, Chambers’ performance is an excellent match for this series.