SCREAMS FROM THE VOID
For two years in deep space, the freighter Demeter and a small crew have collected botanical life from other planets. It's a lesson in patience and hell. Mechanics Ensign Raina is ready to jump ship, if only because her abusive ex is also aboard, as well as her overbearing boss. It's only after a foreign biological creature sneaks aboard and wreaks havoc on the ship and crew that Raina must find her grit - and maybe create a gadget or two - to survive...that is, if the crew members don't lose their sanity and turn on each other in the process.
THE REVIEW *****
I’ve had a real slump with Sci-Fi lately - the last 5-6 Sci-Fi books I’ve read I’ve really struggled to engage with and had difficultly picturing the worlds portrayed so they’ve ended up taking me ages to read. I’m pleased to say that Screams from the Void really broke this pattern and I finished it in a day due to its engaging narrative and action-packed plot.
The story is set on the spaceship Demeter; a science biology research ship with small crew who are at the end of their 2-year mission and about to head back to earth. The ship and the chain of command were very easy to picture and I really felt invested and immersed into the setting as a whole. The story begins by jumping perspectives, but our main character is Raina; a very relatable mechanic who is fed up with a boss who treats her badly and takes credit for her work and her ex-boyfriend on the ship who she is still trying to get over despite a problematic and abusive relationship. Raina is a great character and as a woman she is someone I think we can all empathise with. The book also uses a good technique of starting in the present day and then introducing flashbacks which work their way backwards to show us more about Raina and her relationship with Morven. This is a really nice way of giving the character’s backstories without it feeling too forced and jarring you out of the action in the present for exposition’s sake.
The ship is attacked by a foreign biological and the crew must have their wits about them to capture it. I loved the characters in the crew and we really got a feel for each of their distinct personalities (although Tasmin was extremely annoying but I forgive the author as Raina is such a strong female lead!). I also liked that Tibbett pulls no punches in killing off characters as we go and it does get a little gory at times but the action is well paced. I really enjoyed the human-focused twist towards the end (no spoilers, sorry) and it was a nice take on what could have been a simple alien invasion story. I would have perhaps liked a little more information on the rash which a few characters had – I was wondering if it was an infection or something which would change the characters in some way. I think there was a slight missed opportunity to make a real twist ending out of the last few pages if this had been explained further.
Overall, I really recommend Screams from the Void – it’s a gory Sci-Fi which is engaging and tells a good story. Thank you to NetGalley & Flame Tree Press for a copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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