Friday, 1 February 2013

Rameau Reviews: Dark Space - Lisa Henry


Are you interested in reading an M/M, scifi, military, mind connection, mostly character study book with creepy angels aliens? 

That’s how I recommended this book in a tweet the day after I finished reading it. I threw after a warning about sibilant hisses galore but forgot to mention the rape triggers. I also might have persuaded someone by saying “you’ll like the ending” vaguely implying I was less than satisfied. And I was, but it didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying everything else.

Dark Space is set in an unknown future where humans fight a terrifying alien race called the Faceless. There are space stations that orbit the Sun (presumably) at the edges of our solar system and keep watch. These stations are manned—quite literally—only by human men because women are too precious to be put in danger like that. This was the world building detail that most annoyed me, but if the alternative was reading about poorly constructed female characters I’d suspend my disbelief for a short book any day.

Some of the world building details I liked were every single thing that made Brady Garrett the nineteen-year-old conscripted recruit three years into his ten year military service—fifteen should he choose to become an officer—trying to keep his head down, and out of trouble while helping out at the medical bay. I loved the idea of stark class differences, refugee camps, factories, and all the problems that were only implied instead of infodumped on the reader. That includes the alien race, which—as creepy as they were—was nothing compared to the Weeping Angels.

Cameron Rushton is an officer—three or seven years older than Brady depending on how you look at it—and a prisoner of war who has just been returned to home. Or as close to it as Defender Three, Brady’s space station, is. The doctors make a mistake and Brady becomes a temporary human pacemaker to the man who no one trusts. They’re locked together in a room and have to spend prolonged periods of time together adapting to this new situation. Their connection forces them to learn much about themselves and about each other. 

Because it’s an M/M novel, sex is a big part of that learning process. And because I liked it, you can expect to read about dark themes, and horrible things being done to the characters. 

The pacing is pretty much perfect. Whenever I started to think “that’s a bit much” the author would make shift that not only made sense within the story but also advanced the overall storyline. There weren’t any unnecessary scenes or exposition for the sake of exposition. The repetition that was there—like Brady thinking of his home and family—felt natural to the cycle of human psyche and the way humans think. We get stuck on something, move on, and come back to it when the time is right again. Brady also didn’t accept the mind melt connection unreservedly. He had doubts and he fought it, but he also learned to trust his own judgement about the connection. 

And the heartrending goodbye… Well, I’ll let you read about that on your own.

4 stars



Series: N/A
Pages: 216 (ebook)
Publisher: Loose ID LLC
ISBN: 9781623001124
Published: December 4th 2012
Source: Bought

26 comments:

  1. Oh! The faceless sound creepy. I can't imagine living in fear from them.
    Glad you enjoyed the world building and pacing, seems key for this kind of book.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was supposed to be a strike through formatting for the first angels. Oh, well.


      Thanks. The Faceless are creepy and remain somewhat a mystery even after the ending, which part I actually liked.

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  2. Glad you enjoyed this one. I don't really enjoy anything military so not sure I'd like it but then again you never know.

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    1. I didn't think I'd particularly enjoy the military aspect either, but after reading A Soldier's Duty by Jean Johnson and liking that, I decided to give this a chance, and I'm glad I did.

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  3. Not something I would pick up normally (m/m) but I like the sound of the world and the back story. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. If you ever change your mind ;)

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  4. OK when I read the first sentence I was telling myself no, I have a problems with Si-fi/Military and mainly with space so maybe not...

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    1. Scifi Military Space Opera, as the author calls it. But you know your own tastes best.

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  5. A great review! Still the M/M romances are rather more miss than hit for me and angels, creepy or otherwise, are just...well... not nice. So overall not my story.

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    1. It's always a bit difficult to come up with a M/M book to recommend to you, and no, I wouldn't start with this one.

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  6. I was thinking that you didn't like it at first. Hm... rape triggers and horrible things being done to characters makes me pause. I usually don't like those things no matter what genre. The rest does sound interesting tho... I'm on the fence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rape scenes were mostly flashbacks and not graphic. Well, there's the description of the situation but the author doesn't really take you into the moment and make you experience it. It really depends on your tolerance level.

      As for the horrible things being done to the characters, it's mostly emotional anguish, and a few violent situations. Again, it's nothing I'd describe as graphic, but bones are broken.

      Let me know if you'd like to know more.

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  7. SIgh...this sounds interesting but I am not sure it is right for me. I don't think I would like the dark themes.

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    Replies
    1. If you don't like dark themes, then I don't think this is a book for you.

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  8. Replies
    1. Var så god. Never studied German.

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  9. Replies
    1. It was different from what I've read so far.

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  10. Not sure this one is for me, but I do like dark themes.

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    1. Depending on your tolerance level for dark themes you'd either be thrilled or disappointed. Most of all it's story of two men learning to trust each other and themselves.

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  11. This sound good! Great review!

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    1. Thanks. I hope you'll like it.

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  12. I've never read M/M at all, but if any book would lure me in, it just might be this one.

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  13. Hmmm, I'm not a reader of M/M...yet. ;) But I've been thinking on picking up a good sci fi again. :) Thank you!

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  14. I like that yet. As for scifi, I've been reading quite a lot of it lately and I want more.

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