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An investigator must solve a brutal murder on a claustrophobic space station in this tense science fiction thriller from the author of Salvation Day. Hester Marley used to have a plan for her life. But when a catastrophic attack left her injured, indebted, and stranded far from home, she was forced to take a dead-end security job with a powerful mining company in the astero An investigator must solve a brutal murder on a claustrophobic space station in this tense science fiction thriller from the author of Salvation Day. Hester Marley used to have a plan for her life. But when a catastrophic attack left her injured, indebted, and stranded far from home, she was forced to take a dead-end security job with a powerful mining company in the asteroid belt. Now she spends her days investigating petty crimes to help her employer maximize its profits. She's surprised to hear from an old friend and fellow victim of the terrorist attack that ruined her life—and that surprise quickly turns to suspicion when he claims to have discovered something shocking about their shared history and the tragedy that neither of them can leave behind. Before Hester can learn more, her friend is violently murdered at a remote asteroid mine. Hester joins the investigation to find the truth, both about her friend's death and the information he believed he had uncovered. But catching a killer is only the beginning of Hester's worries, and she soon realizes that everything she learns about her friend, his fellow miners, and the outpost they call home brings her closer to revealing secrets that very powerful and very dangerous people would rather keep hidden in the depths of space.


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An investigator must solve a brutal murder on a claustrophobic space station in this tense science fiction thriller from the author of Salvation Day. Hester Marley used to have a plan for her life. But when a catastrophic attack left her injured, indebted, and stranded far from home, she was forced to take a dead-end security job with a powerful mining company in the astero An investigator must solve a brutal murder on a claustrophobic space station in this tense science fiction thriller from the author of Salvation Day. Hester Marley used to have a plan for her life. But when a catastrophic attack left her injured, indebted, and stranded far from home, she was forced to take a dead-end security job with a powerful mining company in the asteroid belt. Now she spends her days investigating petty crimes to help her employer maximize its profits. She's surprised to hear from an old friend and fellow victim of the terrorist attack that ruined her life—and that surprise quickly turns to suspicion when he claims to have discovered something shocking about their shared history and the tragedy that neither of them can leave behind. Before Hester can learn more, her friend is violently murdered at a remote asteroid mine. Hester joins the investigation to find the truth, both about her friend's death and the information he believed he had uncovered. But catching a killer is only the beginning of Hester's worries, and she soon realizes that everything she learns about her friend, his fellow miners, and the outpost they call home brings her closer to revealing secrets that very powerful and very dangerous people would rather keep hidden in the depths of space.

30 review for Dead Space

  1. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    3.5 stars This review was first posted on Mystery and Suspense. Check it out for features, interviews, and reviews. https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/de... Dead Space opens in the distant future, when humans have inhabited Mars; exploration of moons in the outer solar system is ongoing; and rich corporations are mining planetoids in the asteroid belt. A rebellion by discontented residents of Mars has been subdued, and the horrific weapons used in that conflict have been outlawed. In this atmosphere 3.5 stars This review was first posted on Mystery and Suspense. Check it out for features, interviews, and reviews. https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/de... Dead Space opens in the distant future, when humans have inhabited Mars; exploration of moons in the outer solar system is ongoing; and rich corporations are mining planetoids in the asteroid belt. A rebellion by discontented residents of Mars has been subdued, and the horrific weapons used in that conflict have been outlawed. In this atmosphere, AI specialist Hester Marley was looking forward to a bright future. She was one of two hundred people aboard the spaceship Symposium, on their way to establish the first human settlement on Saturn's moon Titan. It was to be a research colony, for scientific exploration and discovery. To aid in exploration, Marley and her colleagues had built an AI called Vanguard, whose complex mind and innumerable lifetimes' worth of learned experience would be invaluable for reconnaissance and research. Vanguard had a quirky streak as well, and liked to take on the shape of a praying mantis, resulting in its nickname Bug. Tragically, an anti-expansion terrorist group blew up Symposium en route, killing almost all the passengers and destroying Vanguard. The explosion left thirty-one survivors, including Hester, all of whom were rescued by cargo ships belonging to Parthenope Enterprises, which has mining operations in the asteroid belt. Hester's hideous injuries required her to be fitted with a prosthetic left arm, left leg, left ear, and left eye and the medical expenses left her hugely indebted to Parthenope, which could repossess the prosthetics for non-payment. Thus - two years after the disaster - Hester is working as a Safety Officer at Parthenope's headquarters on the asteroid Hygeia, which oversees commercial operations in the region. Hester's job is to make criminals and troublemakers vanish before they can affect the company's profits, so wrongdoing is usually whitewashed and wrongdoers are generally expelled. Hester is in constant discomfort from her prosthetics, and misses her family, friends, colleagues, and the Vanguard AI - who was almost like a child to her. Then one day, out of the blue, Marley gets a video message from another Symposium survivor, robotics expert David Prussenko, who was a close friend on Earth. David is a sysadmin for the Overseer AI that manages Parthenope's asteroid mine Nimue, which produces water, fuel, and rare metals. In his missive, David seems to misremember things that happened in the past, and Hester concludes that he's sending a coded message. Before Hester can respond, David is killed, and Hester joins the team investigating his death. The detective squad going to Nimue consists of Hester; lead investigator Mohammad Adisa, a native of Mars; non-binary security tech Avery Ryu; and Parthenope lawyer Hugo van Arendonk, who represents the company's interests. The investigators expect to find the culprit quickly and close the case before it generates any adverse publicity. Things don't work out that way though. Nimue foreperson Yevgenya Sigrah is obstructive; David's co-workers, including his fellow sysadmin Mary Ping, are evasive; operational problems on Nimue are suspicious; and it becomes clear David was investigating something. As Hester assists with the investigation, examines David's quarters, and delves into David's activities on Nimue, she uncovers a monumental conspiracy. At this point the story morphs from mystery to thriller, and Hester must race against time to head off further tragedy. This story is an intriguing blend of science fiction and mystery that leaves the reader wanting more. Thanks to Netgalley, Kali Wallace, and Berkley Publishers for a copy of the book. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com

  2. 4 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    Trigger Warning: claustrophobia, murder, PTSD We always had a choice. It was just that the companies we worked for were very good at making sure all of our choices were bad ones. Hester Marley used to have a plan for her life. She was going to be a colonist on Saturn's Moon Titan. She had created the most advanced explorer AI the universe had ever seen. And then, in a tragic accident, it was all gone. Mired in debt from the company that rescued her and still recovering from her injuries, she's stu Trigger Warning: claustrophobia, murder, PTSD We always had a choice. It was just that the companies we worked for were very good at making sure all of our choices were bad ones. Hester Marley used to have a plan for her life. She was going to be a colonist on Saturn's Moon Titan. She had created the most advanced explorer AI the universe had ever seen. And then, in a tragic accident, it was all gone. Mired in debt from the company that rescued her and still recovering from her injuries, she's stuck in a dead-end job pulling security. Until one of her fellow survivors sends her a cryptic email—and is murdered. Hester finagles her way onto the investigation, and discovers not everything is as it seems... WHY IS NO ONE ELSE TALKING ABOUT THIS?!?! I need everyone else to get on this!!! Seriously! People who lived under constant surveillance either forgot or stopped caring that they were being watched at all times. This book takes the issues of unchecked capitalism and fucking goes with the natural progression (deprogression?) of life in space moderated by companies and corporations. It's several centuries into the future. Earth exists, but many have migrated to the solar system—although after the brutal war with Mars (which was more of an unequal battle called a war that was instead a massacre and massive violation of human rights), the solar system is mainly ruled by the leaders of the moon and the mega corporations who rule the mining and extraction operations within the asteroid belt. Hygiea was very much a company town: company owned, company operated, company surveilled and secured. Each mining station is run by the corporation, with Overseer AIs in charge of ensuring their human inhabitants are kept alive and the equipment kept operating (except certain life support functions, because the AIs are growing smarter despite the checks and balances and limitations). Think about the old mining towns of the not-so-distant past, which were fairly deregulated and owned and operated by the company, which had carte blanche authority in their area (kinda like what the state of Nevada is proposing for some of their areas in order to entice business). The companies have full reign of everything that happens within their territories, and keep their employees under as much debt and contracting as possible in order to secure talent. Because that's the natural progression of things with capitalism—there's no such thing as a free lunch. Hester is experiencing the full weight of that. Parthenope was the company who rescued her and performed all of the (expensive, experimental and unconsented) repairs on her body, and charged her for the cost. But instead of placing her where her skills are most needed—as in, putting one of the most experienced AI programmers with the Overseer AIs—she plonked into security. She does her job, same as everyone else, despite the stares at her metal prosthetics and the pain they cause. Sigrah knew the rules for succeeding as a Parthenope foreperson: everything good that happened on the station was her doing, whereas everything bad was the fault of troublemaking crew. Enter the murder. Hester gets a weird message from one of her former colleagues, and is mulling about how to respond to it—because David got a lot of the details of the memories he shared wrong—when she learns he's been killed on the tiny mining station of Nimue. She arranges to get on the investigation team, and it should be a simple thing of looking at the security data and picking up whoever of the remaining eleven members did it, because that's how murders are investigated now, when she discovers that the data for the entire hour surrounding the murder are gone. They never existed. And the Overseer AI is acting strange. Soon, Hester is struggling to keep herself alive while trying to figure out who killed David—she's surrounded by reticent miners, an aggressively unforthcoming foreperson, and a killer among them. Until she begins to think someone else is aboard Nimue. But how? Whatever usual parameters defined friendships, relationships, or friendly but distant exes, those rules didn't apply anymore, not in the asteroid belt, where everybody was counting the dollars in their personal debt and the days on their corporate contracts, and information was more valuable than human life. There's not much more of the plot I can reveal without massive spoilers, but there are so many twists and turns and foreshadowing and red herrings that it's a wild ride throughout. Plus, there is a super duper scary scene in the warehouse, which captures my fears of being along but not really alone perfectly. And there's the idea that Hester is holding back—despite the flashbacks, despite the first person POV, despite everything she is not laying all of her cards on the table. She's been through so much and learned to suppress her scientist's mind and mourn the loss of everything, including her AI Vanguard (her interactions with Vanguard are so fucking precious—she literally is just like make me proud, kid and her little baby does just that), that she doesn't see the point of moving forward or having dreams of anything else. Her dream has been violently exploded, and she feels responsible (she been on the hiring panel for one of the terrorists), and there is nothing left for her beyond debt and death. Plus, she's dealing with her disabilities, which never go away or stop paining her. Same with her PTSD. Additional rep is that she's a lesbian, and one of the investigators on the team is her something-ex, although she's got too much baggage and too much grief to be able to move forward with someone. There is more rep in the book as well, with LGBTQ+ characters aplenty, and people of color, and an interesting display of classism and intelligence. The lead investigator is a Martian, and has a very interesting background I wish had been explored a lot more—along with the dynamics of who settled Mars (based on his name it makes the ensuing atrocities that much more insidious, and the prison ships and other concentration camps were that much more terrifying), the lawyer is a close relative of the Parthenope owners, and another Nimue crew member is a daughter of the rulers of the Lunar Colony. And there are the different kinds of AI and what it means to have artificial intelligence running things—from the inquisitive Vanguard (destroyed) to the bland Overseer AIs (who can be...weirdly passive aggressive). Of course, I can't talk about my two absolute favorite characters, because that would be a spoiler. Plus there's so much more, and I could unpack all day, because Wallace does a fucking fantastic job of writing capitalism off the rails—it's all the more terrifying because it could absolutely happen, and in many of the instances has already happened. Space and location just become a setting, albeit a terrifying one. Because who doesn't want to be trapped on an isolated rock in space with a faulty AI and a killer on the loose? I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review

  3. 4 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    On my blog. Rep: lesbian amputee mc, nonbinary li, lesbian, gay & pan side characters Galley provided by publisher Dead Space is a tense, creepy science fiction thriller. Set in the depths of space, it follows a company investigator, Hester Marley, sent out to look into the matter of a murder on a remote mining station. The director of the station is keen to write the death off as passions running high, an argument got out of hand, but there seems more to it, especially since the dead man had s On my blog. Rep: lesbian amputee mc, nonbinary li, lesbian, gay & pan side characters Galley provided by publisher Dead Space is a tense, creepy science fiction thriller. Set in the depths of space, it follows a company investigator, Hester Marley, sent out to look into the matter of a murder on a remote mining station. The director of the station is keen to write the death off as passions running high, an argument got out of hand, but there seems more to it, especially since the dead man had sent out a message to Hester just hours before his death. What was great about this book is that it pulls you in straightaway. There’s a little bit of exposition to open up with, but for the most part, it’s very plot-focused, centring on this mysterious death, with occasional flashbacks to Hester’s past, which do relate to the present, although in a way that’s gradually revealed. So, what you get is an actually thrilling mystery-thriller, that’s also a little bit terrifying too, because they’re in an isolated region of space, with a killer on the loose. On top of that, there are plenty of twists and turns in store. Just when you think you’ve guessed what’s going on, there’s yet another to leave you just a bit winded (in the best way). It’s because of those twists and turns that you just won’t want to put the book down. I read it in a single sitting late at night (probably not the best idea, because of the aforementioned creepiness) because I couldn’t countenance the thought of not finishing it. I couldn’t leave the mystery unsolved. But, really, it wouldn’t be much of a thriller if you didn’t also love the characters, and Kali Wallace is expert at creating characters you want to root for. It’s not just Hester here, it’s the investigative team she’s working with and, occasionally, the suspects too. You are as invested in getting to the bottom of things as they are, partly because they are, because Wallace has made the characters so easy to connect to. So, I know it’s only January, and there’s another 11 months of the year to go, but I really think this may end up being one of my favourite reads of 2021.

  4. 4 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Annie Deo Kali Wallace is an author who refuses to be pigeon-holed and jumps at whim from one genre to another, writing for various age groups from dark YA fantasy novels to whimsical middle grade fantasy to adult sci-fi horror. Her first offering in the latter category was the phenomenal Salvation Day in 2019 and she has returned to that well in the upcoming Dead Space. Set in the distant future where humanity has established colonies beyond Eart Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Annie Deo Kali Wallace is an author who refuses to be pigeon-holed and jumps at whim from one genre to another, writing for various age groups from dark YA fantasy novels to whimsical middle grade fantasy to adult sci-fi horror. Her first offering in the latter category was the phenomenal Salvation Day in 2019 and she has returned to that well in the upcoming Dead Space. Set in the distant future where humanity has established colonies beyond Earth, our protagonist Hester Marley is a jaded, worn-down shell of the person she used to be. As an AI expert, she was part of a science expedition heading to form a research colony on Titan before being targeted by a disastrous terrorist attack that killed most of those on board. You might think that surviving such a disaster would make Hester one of the lucky ones, but she suffered such extensive injuries that doctors from the Parthenope Enterprises ship who treated survivors ended up replacing half her body with metal prosthetics, thereby racking up an enormous debt that effectively placed her into indentured servitude. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  5. 4 out of 5

    Di Maitland

    A highly enjoyable crime story set in the asteroid belt in the nearish future. The characters and the setting were interesting enough but the plot stole the day. I really thought I had the perpetrator down from the start, but I was surprised, then surprised again. Quite clever. "Nobody knows what this company is capable of better than those of us who have to shovel their shit and pretend it's gold." A year or so ago, Hester Marley, now thirty-seven-years-old, survived a terrorist attack that kille A highly enjoyable crime story set in the asteroid belt in the nearish future. The characters and the setting were interesting enough but the plot stole the day. I really thought I had the perpetrator down from the start, but I was surprised, then surprised again. Quite clever. "Nobody knows what this company is capable of better than those of us who have to shovel their shit and pretend it's gold." A year or so ago, Hester Marley, now thirty-seven-years-old, survived a terrorist attack that killed most of her friends and work colleagues on their way to set up a research colony on Titan. Rescued by Parthenope, a lucrative space mining corporation, she is fitted with a prosthetic left arm, leg, eye and ear and must spend the next four years paying off the expenses. Her required home: Hygiea, an asteroid - or family of asteroids - in the far belt. Her ill-suited job: Safety Officer for the Department of Operational Security for Parthenope Enterprises. Coming home one night after work, Marley receives an odd video message an old colleague currently working on Nimue, an asteroid mine a few hours flight from Hygiea. The message is clearly coded but exactly what its trying to say, Marley doesn't know. The next day, her colleague is found dead. Only eleven people could have done it and they all claim to be innocent. But the more Marley looks, the odder it all seems, from the staff right up to the Overseer, the AI that manages the station. Marley has no experience with homicide investigations but she does with AIs and she'll use what she can to figure out who killed her friend. 'Having a conversation with her was like chasing a narcissistic butterfly through a shit-filled meadow.' On the one hand, Marley, a world-renown AI researcher, is clearly quite clever. On the other hand, it took her far longer than it should have for few to twig to certain clues. She lets the suspects walk all over her and seems to have the temperament of a primary school teacher, rather than a hardened detective. But then I suppose that's just it: she's not a detective, not really, she's just doing it because it was the best of a bunch of bad options given to her to pay her bills. I liked her well enough but wouldn't have been too distraught if she'd met with a sticky end. Actually, that could be said for my feelings about all of the characters: her boss, Adisa; her colleague and occasional bed-fellow, Ryu; and their lawyer, Arendonk. Only Vanguard, aka Bug, softened my soul just a little. Pretty early on I would have said with high confidence that I knew who did it - I was actually quite annoyed with Marley that she didn't seem to see it. And then the plot thickened and I found that things weren't quite as clear cut as I'd imagined them to be. And still, I thought, I know who did it. And then the plot thickened again and I had to admit that I really had no idea who did it except for the fact that the whole lot of them were shifty as f***. Needless to say, by this time I was hooked. I was surprised by the ending and, though initially I really didn't like the resolution, it grew on me the more I thought about it. Of particular interest to me was the key role that AI played in the story and the questions it raised about their future. On the whole, I think I would agree with Elon Musk that, in reality, AIs pose a significant risk to humanity (think I, Robot). However, I do enjoy reading a book with a slightly more optimistic outlook. Here, Wallace promotes the idea that AIs are much like children, affected for good or evil by their circumstances and those who teach them; not inherently evil but capable of doing evil and being self-aware enough to know it. Darker than the AIs we see in The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and Columbus Day, but not all doom and gloom. Some have described this book as horror. I wouldn't agree. There are some slightly horrifying elements - the spiders for one! - but on the whole it's pretty clear-cut space crime. The world has advanced to the degree that we have colonies elsewhere in the solar system but there's no aliens and the culture seems much the same as it is now, lending me to believe it's reasonably near future. Would I recommend this book? I would. Would I read it again? Probably not, but I certainly wouldn't mind if you forced me to. Would I read more Kali Wallace? Yeah, maybe.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)

    Rated 4.5 really. Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA. Pros: Tight, adventurous, diverse, surprisingly moving in places, socially relevant. Cons: There's a bitter (if fitting) undercurrent that hardly ever lets up. Also, the ending might be a tad too open for the tastes of some. WARNING! Some gore. Death/near death by burning mentioned. Will appeal to: Those who like speculative fiction with a heart and a social conscience. First off...DISCLAIMER: I requested this title on Ede Rated 4.5 really. Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA. Pros: Tight, adventurous, diverse, surprisingly moving in places, socially relevant. Cons: There's a bitter (if fitting) undercurrent that hardly ever lets up. Also, the ending might be a tad too open for the tastes of some. WARNING! Some gore. Death/near death by burning mentioned. Will appeal to: Those who like speculative fiction with a heart and a social conscience. First off...DISCLAIMER: I requested this title on Edelweiss. Thanks to Berkley/Penguin Publishing Group for providing a temporary ecopy. This didn't influence my review in any way. BIONIC, BROKEN AND BRAVE Kali Wallace is the whole package. She knows how to write sci-fi with a considerable degree of accuracy (and has the background to do so), but she also excels at plots and characters - which is, after all, why we read books in the first place. Dead Space follows a damaged (in more than a way) character - a (queer) AI research engineer who survived a space terrorist attack at the expense of a metal-patched body, not to mention the destruction of both her career and the brilliant electronic brain she had created. Bitter and disillusioned, yet empathetic and fiercely loyal at her core, Hester embarks on a (literal) journey in order to find out who killed an old friend and to clear his name, uncovering a bunch of startling secrets in the process. It was refreshing to read about a disabled heroine (as I said, the doctors fixed her up with metal/cybernetic prostheses, but she's far from an enhanced human - her patches come with a whole set of problems), and if at various points in the book Hester is either despised or fetishised for being the "ultimate frontier" between human and machine, as far as representation goes, hers is honest and arguably accurate. I mean, I speak from an able-bodied perspective, but her pain (both physical and psychological) feels real, and her difficulties, as peculiar as they are, feel real, as do her inner strength and courage. We need more disabled characters in sci-fi, and Wallace is proof there's lot of room for them in the genre. [...] Whole review here.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jael

    A lesbian detective investigates a murder on a remote asteroid mining station. Artificial intelligence ethics! Non-binary representation! This little space thriller has so much to offer and had me hooked from start to finish. I have gotten so lucky with ARCs lately. Not a dud in sight, and this book is no exception. Dead Space follows Hester, an AI expert who now works as a detective via indentured servitude to a space corp. Half of her body had to be replaced with robotic prosthetics after a ter A lesbian detective investigates a murder on a remote asteroid mining station. Artificial intelligence ethics! Non-binary representation! This little space thriller has so much to offer and had me hooked from start to finish. I have gotten so lucky with ARCs lately. Not a dud in sight, and this book is no exception. Dead Space follows Hester, an AI expert who now works as a detective via indentured servitude to a space corp. Half of her body had to be replaced with robotic prosthetics after a terrorist attack, and the corp has paid her medical bills in exchange for five years of her life. She has been in charge of solving mostly mundane crimes, until she goes to investigate the murder of a former friend on a remote asteroid mining station. She confronts her past as she uncovers the truth, which turns out to be much more sinister than it first appears. There is lots of LGBTQ+ representation in this book! Hester is a lesbian, her love interest/colleague is non-binary, and her partner on the case is a gay man. There isn't any actual romance going on in the book, but it is always more fun for me when the characters I am reading about are queer. I loved the AI aspect of the book as much, if not more than, the whole murder mystery thing. I want my own Bug 🥺 This book was highly entertaining and a good little break from the two longer books I am reading right now. Recommend to anyone who likes a good murder mystery + space!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri

    I adored author Kali Wallace's SALVATION DAY, so was ecstatic to receive an ARC of DEAD SPACE (March 2 2021 release)! [Thank you, NetGalley!] I remain totally delighted with this exceptional author; like SALVATION DAY, DEAD SPACE is out-of-the-ball-park superb. Combining some of my favorite themes: Space, Artificial Intelligence, Augmentation of Humans by Machines, Kickin' Female Protagonist, and the Philosophical Constraints and Ramifications of Artificial Intelligence, this Science Fiction tre I adored author Kali Wallace's SALVATION DAY, so was ecstatic to receive an ARC of DEAD SPACE (March 2 2021 release)! [Thank you, NetGalley!] I remain totally delighted with this exceptional author; like SALVATION DAY, DEAD SPACE is out-of-the-ball-park superb. Combining some of my favorite themes: Space, Artificial Intelligence, Augmentation of Humans by Machines, Kickin' Female Protagonist, and the Philosophical Constraints and Ramifications of Artificial Intelligence, this Science Fiction treasure ramps up tension and Suspense from page one. I don't think I stopped to breathe all the way through. If you like exploring the future, considering what the face of Artificial Intelligence might become, and how humans may evolve because of AI, you're going to adore DEAD SPACE!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Minx

    I love reading mysteries, I love science fiction, and Dead Space puts those genres together in a fascinating and compelling way. I was immediately drawn into the plot and wanted to understand the main character, Hester. She was an enigma suffering with massive trauma both physical and mental. I love that she had a disability and that it was not one that was introduced and then forgotten just as quickly. It was a part of this character on every page and I thought her struggles were well done. The I love reading mysteries, I love science fiction, and Dead Space puts those genres together in a fascinating and compelling way. I was immediately drawn into the plot and wanted to understand the main character, Hester. She was an enigma suffering with massive trauma both physical and mental. I love that she had a disability and that it was not one that was introduced and then forgotten just as quickly. It was a part of this character on every page and I thought her struggles were well done. The cast of this story are all unique and there is much representation of queer and nonbinary characters. They are also not introduced just to be “seen,” they are very much a part of the story. What I loved about reading Dead Space was not just that it had a fascinating mystery set in space but that Hester surprised me on more than one occasion. How she became involved in the investigation was based on self-interest but she did not allow her interest in the case to cause bias. She did not hold back on her discoveries when it would make the person she had known look less than honest. When following clues, she had an open mind and was not trying to prove anything one way or the other, she just wanted to understand what she was supposed to know. Usually, characters with something at stake in a mystery are biased in one direction or another and Hester surprised me with her openness to accept whatever she discovered. Now, I did enjoy the story but I want to be frank in that there is an undercurrent to this story that is filled with resentment and anger. Dreams were destroyed, there were unbearable losses and that is strongly felt. There is blatant corporate greed and characters who are less than noble. In addition, the ending is more open than I prefer but also ironic in a way that I liked. Still undecided how I feel about that?! Overall, Dead Space does not hold back and it does not sugarcoat the realities of what happens when humanity is allowed to run unchecked. It is a great mystery and had several thrilling moments. Moreover, it is a story that I would recommend to a wide variety of readers. This review is based on a complimentary book I received. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Madalyn (booksandcatsandnaps)

    An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. An absolutely engrossing ride! This book is part murder mystery, part thriller and it was difficult to put down, I had to know what happened next. My contractual commitment to ensuring the safety and security of Parthenope Enterprises and its facilities, operations, and employees did not extend to searching through fluid-stained sheets beneath the bare ass of a twenty-something kid reckless enough to thin An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. An absolutely engrossing ride! This book is part murder mystery, part thriller and it was difficult to put down, I had to know what happened next. My contractual commitment to ensuring the safety and security of Parthenope Enterprises and its facilities, operations, and employees did not extend to searching through fluid-stained sheets beneath the bare ass of a twenty-something kid reckless enough to think that paying somebody to drill into his head was a good idea. Dead Space follows Hester Marley, a disillusioned AI expert who has survived a horrific tragedy and unimaginable loss and is now injured, indebted, and stranded in the far end of space. Stuck in place until she can pay off her debt, everything changes when a former friend and fellow survivor contacts her. This isolated rock in the outer system, this thankless job helping a rich company make itself richer, the pain in my joints where metal met flesh, the medical debt that grew every day, this was it, this was all I had, until I could work my way out. I’m not going to say anymore for fear of spoilers, but this book had my heart pounding and me flipping the pages long into the night. Definitely for fans of science fiction thrillers, intrigue and suspense. Also, the main character is queer and a side character is non-binary, so you know I loved that representation. However, as I am a white non-disabled individual, I can’t speak towards how the representation of characters of color or a person who is disabled was handled, so I’m definitely hoping to hear what own voices reviewers think about the rep. ❌ Content Warnings: (view spoiler)[ Major to moderate — Racism, xenophobia, fetishization of a person with a disability (the main character has prostheses), gore, death, grief, body horror, murder, ableism, cursing, medical content, medical trauma, panic attacks/disorders, violence, stereotyping, confinement, bigotry, talk of war, war crimes, famine, attempted genocide, and sterilization. Minor — kidnapping, religious bigotry, suicide, and torture. (hide spoiler)] I definitely might have missed something, if I did please tell me! The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Trigger Warning Database

    Trigger & Content Warnings: Ableism Racism PTSD & claustrophobia Panic attacks Suicide Blood depiction, body horror & medical trauma Sterilization Famine Murder Torture Kidnapping War themes & attempted genocide

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    YES this book! Disabled queer sci fi detective! Tragedy and intrigue! Government machinations! AI! Dead Space has all my favorites, and felt like a mix of Becky Chambers' To be taught if fortunate and Corey's Leviathan Wakes. Hester Marley, former top AI scientist and now an indentured analyst/detective in a company colony, works to uncover the truth of what happened to her old friend and colleague. Digging through layers of company cover up and never quite sure who she can trust, Hester she is YES this book! Disabled queer sci fi detective! Tragedy and intrigue! Government machinations! AI! Dead Space has all my favorites, and felt like a mix of Becky Chambers' To be taught if fortunate and Corey's Leviathan Wakes. Hester Marley, former top AI scientist and now an indentured analyst/detective in a company colony, works to uncover the truth of what happened to her old friend and colleague. Digging through layers of company cover up and never quite sure who she can trust, Hester she is forced to confront a past she's tried to forget in order to uncover the truth. I feel like it can be difficult to properly execute a space adventure mystery because the plot & the world building can find themselves at odds with one or the other taking up too much space and leaving the entirety unbalanced. Dead Space does not fall victim to this, however, and instead ends up with an excellent balance of fast paced intrigue and environment/history such that both seem to blend with and support each other. Character development was also very on point, which is a big thing for me (I pick characters over plot every time if I have to). I am not usually a fan of flashbacks as a plot device but in this case I felt it was the perfect way to contrast the current Hester Marley with who she was before the accident, and it made certain events so much more emotional and poignant. Add to that, the rest of the side characters are given just enough intriguing background that I am left very much hoping Kali Wallace makes this into a series so I can learn more about them, where they came from, and how they know each other (and yes... I specifically mean Mohammed).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura (crofteereader)

    Alright, we are HERE for this! Ostensibly, the plot is your pretty standard murder investigation. In space. But it unravels brilliantly to encompass: the pitfalls of capitalism and the privatization of planets/space exploration, chronic pain/disability (particularly as it pertains to "visible" disability and how that's viewed), AI plot that doesn't suck (this is key because I'm really picky about my AI plots, being a software engineer who's studied AI), trauma and the aftermath of traumatic even Alright, we are HERE for this! Ostensibly, the plot is your pretty standard murder investigation. In space. But it unravels brilliantly to encompass: the pitfalls of capitalism and the privatization of planets/space exploration, chronic pain/disability (particularly as it pertains to "visible" disability and how that's viewed), AI plot that doesn't suck (this is key because I'm really picky about my AI plots, being a software engineer who's studied AI), trauma and the aftermath of traumatic events (including things like "false memories"). There's more of course but we'll start here. I devoured the book in three large bites (life got in the way of me reading it in one, unfortunately). The pacing was superb. When something big was revealed at 60% I was like "omg that's so early" but Wallace did her best Billy Mayes impression: "But wait - there's more!" And oh, dear reader, was there more. As all the threads unraveled and things got more complicated instead of being simpler, I was so here for it. It's a good thing I have Wallace's 2019 release Salvation Day ready and waiting on my shelf. {Thank you Berkley Pub for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review; all thoughts are my own}

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elena Linville

    Stars: 5 out of 5 I have been lucky with my scifi books in 2021 so far and Dead Space continues the trend. It is an interesting murder and conspiracy mystery written in a very claustrophobic setting - a mining facility on a small asteroid, what can be more claustrophobic than that? But what makes this story so engaging is the protagonist. Sometimes you think that you have your whole life ahead of you. You have dreams, you have a job you love, you are on a mission that will change the world... and Stars: 5 out of 5 I have been lucky with my scifi books in 2021 so far and Dead Space continues the trend. It is an interesting murder and conspiracy mystery written in a very claustrophobic setting - a mining facility on a small asteroid, what can be more claustrophobic than that? But what makes this story so engaging is the protagonist. Sometimes you think that you have your whole life ahead of you. You have dreams, you have a job you love, you are on a mission that will change the world... and then you watch your whole life crash and burn around you in a single agonizing moment. This is what happened to our protagonist. To say that Hester is broken is an euphemism. The terrible explosion that destroyed her brilliant future left her with a body that is half organic and half machine... something that has never been done before to that extent. She is in constant pain from human joints rubbing against unyielding metal and a human brain trying to make sense of input submitted by a robotic eye, but that is only scratching the surface... Hester also has severe psychological trauma after her ordeal and PTSD is only part of it. And the fact that she is now stuck in a thankless job she is way overqualified for, on a dismal little asteroid far away from Earth, trying to pay off the gigantic medical debt that only keeps growing... well, you can understand that her view of the world around her is rather bleak. I liked Hester, even though being in her head was rather hard sometimes because of how hopeless and jaded she sounded, but honestly, can you blame her? But even despite her bleak state of mind, she still tries to do her job as a crime analyst the best she can. And when another survivor of the crash that destroyed her future is murdered, she does everything she can to understand what happened. I also love that once she understands that the situation is far worse than a simple murder, she does everything she can to keep the people she works with safe, even if that means going on a walk on the surface of an asteroid in an EVA suit and facing her biggest fear - the open vacuum. The ending wraps up the main mystery in a quite satisfactory manner and gives us a couple more answers about what happened to Hester's ship along the way. And Hester grows emotionally and psychologically during this ordeal, and might I say, gets a little bit of closure in the end? And even though her situation is just as bleak by the end of the book, she has made peace with it, because she knows that her biggest creation is free in the universe to do what she created it to do - explore. PS: I received an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jerold Farver

    A twisty tale of of corporate overlords. A good take on the trope of hard cop, fine mind vs. heartless corporations. Hundreds of years from now, many things have not changed.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/03/15/... An excellent combination of the crime mystery and science fiction genres, Dead Space was absolutely brilliant, and I believe readers who enjoy a thriller element to their stories will find this one especially rewarding. As well, we have an interesting protagonist with a complex history at the helm. As the novel opens, we are introduced to Hester Marley, a scientist whose life’s dreams were ripped away by a catastrophic in 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/03/15/... An excellent combination of the crime mystery and science fiction genres, Dead Space was absolutely brilliant, and I believe readers who enjoy a thriller element to their stories will find this one especially rewarding. As well, we have an interesting protagonist with a complex history at the helm. As the novel opens, we are introduced to Hester Marley, a scientist whose life’s dreams were ripped away by a catastrophic incident that leaves her severely injured and bankrupt from medical procedures used to heal and reconstruct her. Now she works as a security officer for a powerful mining corporation with an operation in the asteroid belt, simply trying to remain inconspicuous and make ends meet. But pretty soon, her plans are shot to hell once more as a former colleague is found violently murdered. In truth though, David Prussenko was more than just a co-worker. To Hester, he was also a close friend as well as a fellow victim of the attack that left her life in ruins. Even more devastating, she and David had just reconnected mere hours before his body was discovered, because he had wanted to share with her a shocking discovery related to their past work and history. Even without the intense pressure from her superiors to catch the killer, Hester is now doubly motivated to solve the mystery, driven by her desperate need to know the truth. What had David wanted to tell her, and could it have been related to his murder? Dead Space was my second novel by Kali Wallace, and I loved Salvation Day, so I had high hopes for this claustrophobic and dangerous locked room murder mystery which, amazingly enough, unfolds over the course of about a day on pretty much this one asteroid mine. Everything about its fantastic premise was screaming at me to read it, read it, read it, and I’m happy to report that the book met my expectations and more. A lot of this had to do with Hester, whose character depth and development were nothing short of extraordinary. Our protagonist is a burned out and jaded version of the hopeful scientist she used to be, which we were able to glimpse in occasional flashbacks showing a happier and more vibrant young woman. But the disaster that maimed her and killed most of the other ship passengers had left Hester with the burden of survivor’s guilt and effectively a lifetime of indentured servitude to pay off her medical bills. Worse, the implants and prosthetics with which they replaced her missing limbs had the result of making her feel even more untethered to the person she once was. Many in her position would have given up, allowing the darkness to swallow them whole, but our Hester is definitely not a quitter. In fact, we are treated to frequent moments of optimism, usually related to her positive memories of David or her past work in the field of AI research. She is also determined worker, and damned good at her job. Under that sullen exterior is someone who truly cares about justice, even if she hadn’t had a personal connection to the murder investigation. The plot is also propelled by insistent pacing, with practically no downtime at all. Yet never once did I feel rushed or that the narrative was lacking in explanation. On the contrary, Wallace is not an author to skimp on the details. Balancing world-building and storytelling, she establishes a solid foundation for darkly appealing mystery with not only the procedural aspects but sci-fi ingredients as well, like artificial intelligence and survival in space. The momentum continuously builds until before you know it, we’re speeding along with the speed and force of a runaway train. All of it culminates in a tremendous finale, one full of deadly surprises and stunning reveals. Needless to say, I loved Dead Space and it is my hope that Kali Wallace, who has written books in many genres and age categories, will continue in adult sci-fi thrillers for a little while longer. I want more—more of her superb characters, her astonishing stories set in space, and those terrifying and atmospheric settings she so vividly brings to life. Audiobook Comments: The narrator was new to me, but the audiobook producers could not have found a better voice for Hester Marley in Abby Craden, who has earned herself a fan. I’ll be looking out for more of her performances in the future. Highly recommended listen.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Lynch

    I really wanted to love Kali Wallace's Dead Space. Probably because it has the same title as one of my favorite video game franchises, or maybe because the cover is pretty, but I'm sad to say this one didn't do much for me. So Dead Space is about an ex-AI specialist named Hester Marley, who is currently working as an investigator/security agent for a giant space corporation. She gets a cryptic message from an old friend who ends up murdered before she can return his call, so Marley signs up to in I really wanted to love Kali Wallace's Dead Space. Probably because it has the same title as one of my favorite video game franchises, or maybe because the cover is pretty, but I'm sad to say this one didn't do much for me. So Dead Space is about an ex-AI specialist named Hester Marley, who is currently working as an investigator/security agent for a giant space corporation. She gets a cryptic message from an old friend who ends up murdered before she can return his call, so Marley signs up to investigate. And that's all you really need to know. But that's not all there is. My biggest problem with this book is that the plot is convoluted and rather boring, mostly because a good 80% of the information in this novel is straight exposition. So much of this book is telling instead of showing and it's a goddamn shame. I'm not even going to try to explain Marley's backstory or the the deal is with the evil space corporations or how she knows the dude who was murdered because it would take too long and I don't want to bore anyone to death. But I will say that everything that is explained to as having happened in Marley's past sounded like so much more of an interesting story than the one we got. I'm left wondering why Wallace chose to spend so much time talking about the past and so little on what was happening in the present. Seriously, the current tense action in this book is so overshadowed by exposition about the past that I struggled to care about what was happening. And the thing that irritates me the most about this book is that it could have been interesting if Wallace had used flashbacks (which I almost never advocate for) so that we felt like we were there in the past with Marley instead of just being told about it in the future. Also,Marley is extremely bitter and, I hate to say it, just not that likable or interesting of a character. Well, the idea of her is interesting, but as she is written, I kind of hated the girl. Most of her dialogue consists of the phrases: "oh fuck," "fuck me," or the classic, "fuck, fuck, fuck." And for someone who is supposed to be so intelligent, I gotta say, I didn't really see that. And yeah, her past explains her bitterness, but again, who she used to be sounds like so much more of an interesting person. I think I would have enjoyed this book more it it had been written as a duology. There's enough information here that it would probably have flowed better if things were taken more slowly, because I honestly felt railroaded by the exposition. I also felt railroaded by social subtext that both a) had nothing new to say, and b) said it is a very uninteresting way. Also, the first half of this book is very slow and tedious while the last half is rather rushed and messy. By the time the action finally started, I didn't give a crap. Which is sad, because the last like 50 pages had a good bit of action and intrigue, but my interest in it was almost non-existent. I rated Kali Wallace's Dead Space 3 out of 5 stars. You might like this one if you like: confined space settings, grumpy and bitter characters, and lots of plot.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    3.75 Stars. This was a solid read that I enjoyed. I made myself three reading goals for 2021. I wanted to catch up on some series that I’ve started, I want to read more YA, and I really wanted to read more spec-fic. When I saw that this was a sci-fi/murder mystery, with a queer main character, well this just screamed “read me!” While this book had a few mini bumps for me, in the end I was glad I read it. The main premise is about Hester, an AI scientific expert, who was caught in a terrorist atta 3.75 Stars. This was a solid read that I enjoyed. I made myself three reading goals for 2021. I wanted to catch up on some series that I’ve started, I want to read more YA, and I really wanted to read more spec-fic. When I saw that this was a sci-fi/murder mystery, with a queer main character, well this just screamed “read me!” While this book had a few mini bumps for me, in the end I was glad I read it. The main premise is about Hester, an AI scientific expert, who was caught in a terrorist attack. After losing almost the whole side of her body, a corporation paid for her to be repaired with robotic parts. The medical bills were astronomical so Hester has to work off the debt with the corporation. Hester’s new job is as a security officer who investigates crimes. When a suspicious death report comes across her desk, Hester knows her life may never be the same. I thought the premise was great and I was hooked instantly. It’s not too often you get a good sci-fi story that is also a murder mystery. I loved the mix and I found the book to be very readable. However, it was a little info dumpy at times. I wished Wallace would have taken her time uncovering some of the facts instead of just in blocks of information. I know that it’s hard not to have info dumps in spec-fic books, but I think this could have had a smoother approach. But beyond that I was quite happy with the overall writing of the book. I do want to mention that while some people used the horror and thriller tag, I’m 50/50 on that. This is a medium paced book that takes its time to investigate the murder mystery. It is not until the final third of the book that the pace really picks up and has some action and light thriller moments. If you are looking for a fast paced thriller, you might be disappointed as that is not what this book really is. I also don’t understand the horror tag. A few dead bodies and some violence, does not equal horror to me. For romance fans out there, sorry but there is no romance. Hester is queer and talks a little about her past fling with a non-binary secondary character, she obviously cares about, but there are no explicit sex scenes or even kissing. In the end I would recommend this to sci-fi fans and murder mystery fans. If you like how murder mysteries unfold, slow but steady, than really ramp up at the end, I think you will like the feel of this book. For the most part I enjoyed Wallace’s writing and I would definitely read her again. A copy was given to me for a honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ernest

    If you're looking for some Expanse style intrigue (more Miller than Holden), you'll like Dead Space. It's a corporate cop procedural in the asteroid belt featuring Hester Harley, who really didn't plan on being a rent-a-cop at the tail end of human civilization, but would up blown-up, patched-up, and deeply in debt to the company store with a five-year contract to do security analysis for the Parthenope Corp, which rescued her from the terrorist attack on the research colony ship she'd been on. If you're looking for some Expanse style intrigue (more Miller than Holden), you'll like Dead Space. It's a corporate cop procedural in the asteroid belt featuring Hester Harley, who really didn't plan on being a rent-a-cop at the tail end of human civilization, but would up blown-up, patched-up, and deeply in debt to the company store with a five-year contract to do security analysis for the Parthenope Corp, which rescued her from the terrorist attack on the research colony ship she'd been on. Hester isn't a cop, or a detective, or any kind of analyst. She's really a high-level AI researcher who was on her way with a bunch of the best and brightest to start a colony on Titan where her pet project, an AI named Vanguard, could develop, presumably away from the cares of man. Sadly, no matter how far you go, humans are still humans, and somewhere during the voyage terrorist infiltrators blew up much of the ship, including Voyager, almost everyone Hester knew, and a fair portion of Hester herself. Borged back together by a company doc, Hester was given a choice of jobs to work off the medical fees, none of which were remotely in her field. Still, it's better than being dead, so she puts one (cybernetic) foot in front of the (flesh) one, and keeps going. Then she gets a message from one of the other survivors, an old friend, who is clearly trying to tell her something up. So naturally, he turns up dead, and she gets herself onto the case and shipped off to the asteroid mining station where he was paying off his rescue debt by sysadmining the station AI. It's not really a spoiler to tell you that the corporation is evil, everybody's lying, and Hester is going to have to confront her past to solve the case. And that's just for starters. This is a pretty good read. Kali Wallace's bio says she "studied geology and geophysics" before taking up writing, so it's not a surprise that she's got the science pretty well down. Not so much that it gets in the way, but like the aforementioned Expanse, it doesn't stick out as wildly implausible, either. Hester works with a few others, as well as a company lawyer that turns out to be not terrible, but there's not a lot of team development as the main character goes off by herself to solve the problem for the most part. In the end, it could be a fair set up for another book or two, but she'd need to learn to work well with others to make that interesting.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Review of eBook Artificial Intelligence expert Hester Marley, currently working for Parthenope Enterprise’s Operational Security Department as a Safety Officer, hopes a year’s worth of work for the company will pay off her massive debt, incurred as a result of her medical care [and including the cost of her prosthetic arm, leg, and eye] following the spaceship “Symposium” disaster. The antiexpansion terrorist group Black Halo was responsible for the destruction of the spaceship and the deaths of Review of eBook Artificial Intelligence expert Hester Marley, currently working for Parthenope Enterprise’s Operational Security Department as a Safety Officer, hopes a year’s worth of work for the company will pay off her massive debt, incurred as a result of her medical care [and including the cost of her prosthetic arm, leg, and eye] following the spaceship “Symposium” disaster. The antiexpansion terrorist group Black Halo was responsible for the destruction of the spaceship and the deaths of most of the Titan Research Project group. Hester had been intimately involved in the development of a highly advanced Artificial Intelligence known as Vanguard; she was part of a group planning to establish a research colony on Titan, the largest of the Saturnian moons. But now those plans were gone and Hester spent her days working for Parthenope Enterprises, one of the largest companies in the outer system. When Hester receives a strange communication from a fellow “Symposium” survivor, David Prussenko, she is baffled and decides to talk to him. But, before she has an opportunity to do that, David is dead and Hester manages to join the team investigating his suspicious death on Parthenope’s asteroid mine Nimue. As Hester and the team investigate the murder, they begin to realize that there are secrets on Nimue that may well cost them their lives. Well-defined characters . . . both human and alien . . . populate this in-the-future outer space tale. Hester is world-weary, trying to manage her own health issues as she works to pay off her debt to the company. Backstory fills in the details of the events that led to the present; the plot twists and turns in surprising ways, taking the story in unexpected directions. Hester harbors some deep resentments, but her ongoing investigation is both impressive and harrowing. Anchored by a strong sense of place, the unfolding story is both compelling and terrifying. Readers will find it difficult to set this book aside before turning the final page, although the denouement’s less-than-complete closure may be frustrating to many. Unfortunately, the unnecessary overuse of a particularly offensive expletive throughout the story is particularly off-putting and lowers the rating for this book. Recommended, especially for science-fiction aficionados and murder mystery fans. I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    I'm just going to come out and say it: Dead Space is the best science fiction novel I've read this year. And I expect it will still be my favorite by the end of the year. This is a thrilling tale written by Kali Wallace that merges science fiction with horror, with touches of mystery. Once upon a time, Hester Marley had a plan. She had a job she loved; she had friends, the works. But that all went away the day of the tragedy. While she was lucky to escape with her life, she lost so much in the p I'm just going to come out and say it: Dead Space is the best science fiction novel I've read this year. And I expect it will still be my favorite by the end of the year. This is a thrilling tale written by Kali Wallace that merges science fiction with horror, with touches of mystery. Once upon a time, Hester Marley had a plan. She had a job she loved; she had friends, the works. But that all went away the day of the tragedy. While she was lucky to escape with her life, she lost so much in the process. Now she's stuck indebted to a company she hates, working a dead-end job that she can barely pretend to tolerate. It's a life of misery, and it's about to get a whole lot more complicated with the death of an old friend and college. “This was my body now. Nothing more, nothing less, and never what the biohackers and transhumanists and weird fetishists wanted to hear.” Dead Space grabbed my mind with both hands and refused to let go. No, seriously, I was that invested in the plot. In some ways, I still find myself thinking back to Hester and all of the insanity that she found herself involved in. This novel combined two of my greatest loves: science fiction and horror. But it did more than that as well, throwing in some thriller and mystery elements, as well as having a lot of fantastic representation (LGBT+ and a prosthetic-wearing main character). On that note, Kali Wallace did an excellent job describing the world and situation. Hester's pain and PTSD felt both real and accurate – almost too much so at points. There's plenty of danger and gore to go around as well, so keep all of that in mind. This is a dark book. Not just because of the horror elements, but for the view on corporations and humanity as a whole. It was actually the ideal setting for everything else that happened. This is also a novel that will make you think, which you guys know I adore. There's a moral center to this story, and it will not hand feed it to you. Dead Space by and far has one of the best endings I've read in such a long time. It actually left me both amused and satisfied, which I feel is a rare thing, especially in the horror genre. I seriously cannot recommend this book more. Thanks to Berkley Publishing Group and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shane Jardine

    Originally posted at www.archeddoorway.com I have to say, I was pretty damn excited to receive my copy of this book a few weeks ago. Kali Wallace is one of those authors who seems to jump from genre to genre with every new book release and I absolutely love it — you never really know what you’re going to get with her! I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut for the last couple months, with nothing really sounding too good, so I’ve mostly been rereading my favorite books or series. Dead Space was just Originally posted at www.archeddoorway.com I have to say, I was pretty damn excited to receive my copy of this book a few weeks ago. Kali Wallace is one of those authors who seems to jump from genre to genre with every new book release and I absolutely love it — you never really know what you’re going to get with her! I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut for the last couple months, with nothing really sounding too good, so I’ve mostly been rereading my favorite books or series. Dead Space was just about everything I wanted from a new book and it was full of enough intense action and horror to keep me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. I didn’t really read much about Dead Space before I requested a copy to review for the blog here, I mainly just saw the author and knew I had to read it. So I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I was finally able to sit down and start reading it, but a kind of a mashup of horror story and a cop procedural story was not at all what I expected. I don’t want to go into too much detail on what made this book so amazing because I feel like that would really take away from the joy of reading it the first time yourself, so all I will say here is that the story is both surprising and amazing and no one who buys this book will regret it. One of the main things I didn’t expect with this book was how many serious topics it would manage to address while still managing to be a fun read. It touches on Ableism, sexual orientation, suicide, murder, etc..the list goes on and on. Usually when I find a book that does that I often find it can sometimes bog the story down, but Kali Wallace did a fantastic job touching on some important and serious topics while still managing to tell a really tight and focused story. It honestly just reminded me once again why I love her books as much as I do. All in all, I thought this was a great story that is well both the money and time it takes to read it. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for something new to read and even if you don’t like this specific book, I would highly recommend anything else written by the author, she’s just great. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Share this:

  23. 5 out of 5

    Harmony Williams

    There are so many layers to this book, I'm not sure where to start. This is your typical mystery/thriller with evil corporations, forced indenture to pay medical bills incurred during rescue, AI-monitored mining stations, heinous plots, and world-weary characters trying to do the right thing. So yeah, nothing all that typical about it, and I LOVED it. I thought I'd guessed the solution to the mystery early on — sort of, but only partially — but I kept reading on because the red herrings laid dow There are so many layers to this book, I'm not sure where to start. This is your typical mystery/thriller with evil corporations, forced indenture to pay medical bills incurred during rescue, AI-monitored mining stations, heinous plots, and world-weary characters trying to do the right thing. So yeah, nothing all that typical about it, and I LOVED it. I thought I'd guessed the solution to the mystery early on — sort of, but only partially — but I kept reading on because the red herrings laid down were just believable enough that I wanted to prove myself right. And then the book started getting twisty! From that point, I just couldn't put it down until the very last page. The evil corporations and forced indenture reminded me a lot of a (peripherally-seen) facet of my favourite series, Murderbot. But this book was set inside our solar system, advancing our technology a bit but still working inside the bounds of the rules of our solar system as we know them. I really enjoyed the look not only at the greediness of corporate ambition, but at the more hopeful aspects of humanity peeking through like a system-wide armistice and scientific missions to explore Saturn's moons. The history of this universe seems so rich and tangible, it has me hoping for more books even though this one ended on a satisfying standalone note. And can I squee about the disability rep? The main character is a queer amputee with a prosthetic leg, arm, and eye. As someone who lives with chronic pain (though I'm not an amputee), I found myself nodding whenever Hester described how the pain in her hip (where the prosthetic joined) started off as an ache and grew as the day wore on. I also liked how her prosthetics didn't give her any extra abilities. She couldn't see any better in the dark or have additional strength or speed because of them. She was just a person who wears prosthetics solving the murder of a former colleague. It was normal for her to exist and thrive. We honestly need so much more of this in books. Great book, all around.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    If you're looking for a formulaic investigation story set in a vague sci-fi setting, then do we have a book for you. Worried about your favourite characters dying? No need with Dead Space, where you're unlikely to grow attached to anyone unless you love unlikeable characters who constantly moan about their circumstances. Tired of creative, immersive worlds tricking you into escaping reality? Fear not, dear reader. Dead Space piggy-backs on all your near-future sci-fi staples, such as AI security If you're looking for a formulaic investigation story set in a vague sci-fi setting, then do we have a book for you. Worried about your favourite characters dying? No need with Dead Space, where you're unlikely to grow attached to anyone unless you love unlikeable characters who constantly moan about their circumstances. Tired of creative, immersive worlds tricking you into escaping reality? Fear not, dear reader. Dead Space piggy-backs on all your near-future sci-fi staples, such as AI security systems, low-G stations, and clever little robots who are exactly as smart as the plot needs them to be. No need to strain your imagination conjuring innovative implementations of technologies or socities. Let Dead Space spoonfeed you all the exposition you need today and, as a bonus, take your mind off the predictable plot which we all know you barely care about anyway, right? Oh, did you fall asleep back there? No worries. We'll just re-explain everything for you at the end, and if you act now, Dead Space will even throw in some thematic discussion about monopolistic corporations and rogue AI. Don't worry though, it'll keep things light and simple, making sure not to throw in anything even remotely original or provocative. Wouldn't want to leave you with something to think about, now would we? Go ahead. Pick up Dead Space today (not to be confused with the awesome game, Dead Space), and witness some truly mediocre writing do the bare minimum to call itself a novel. Simply keep your expectations as low as humanly possible and disregard the clunky pacing, confusing action scenes, endless coincidences, constant whining, incompetent side characters, forced twists, and unsatisfying ending. A great read Good time Alright distraction Technically better than sitting around, twiddling your thumbs for a few hours, guaranteed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    The nitty-gritty: A thrilling, sci-fi horror mystery with plenty of twists, Dead Space is a superb novel and is destined to be one of my favorite books of 2021.  It’s hard to believe, but Dead Space is my first five-star read of 2021, and folks, it’s a good one. Hold onto your hats because Kali Wallace’s latest has all the sci-fi mystery goodness of Six Wakes combined with the terrifying, pulse-pounding horror of Alien. I knew it would be hard to top one of my favorite “locked room” sci-fi thrill The nitty-gritty: A thrilling, sci-fi horror mystery with plenty of twists, Dead Space is a superb novel and is destined to be one of my favorite books of 2021.  It’s hard to believe, but Dead Space is my first five-star read of 2021, and folks, it’s a good one. Hold onto your hats because Kali Wallace’s latest has all the sci-fi mystery goodness of Six Wakes combined with the terrifying, pulse-pounding horror of Alien. I knew it would be hard to top one of my favorite “locked room” sci-fi thrillers—Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes is one I still think about four years later—but Dead Space comes damn close. This book has it all: complex characters and relationships, some timely social commentary, plenty of exciting action and a bunch of twists and misdirection that kept me guessing for a large chunk of the story. The story centers around an asteroid belt controlled by a mining company called Parthenope Enterprises. Hester Marley is an AI expert who was part of an exploration crew headed toward the planet Titan. But their ship, the Symposium, was hijacked and destroyed enroute to the planet, and nearly everyone aboard was killed in the explosion, including Vanguard, the remarkable AI that Hester helped build. Hester herself barely escaped with her life and required extensive surgeries in order to survive, which included a prosthetic leg, arm, ear and eye. Parthenope agreed to pay all her medical bills, but in exchange Hester must work for them as a security officer for five years in order to pay off her debts. Hester is only one year into her servitude when she receives a private video message from her old friend David Prussenko, who also survived the Symposium disaster. David is part of a small crew on the asteroid Nimue, a robotics genius whose job as sysadmin lets him work with Nimue’s Overseer, the AI that manages the station's operations. The message is odd and doesn’t make sense, and Hester immediately senses that David might be trying to tell her something. Her fears are confirmed when only days later, she’s assigned to investigate a murder on Nimue—and David is the victim. Hester arrives on Nimue with the rest of the investigative team, including Parthenope lawyer Hugo von Arendonk and Martian investigator Adisa. They begin questioning the remaining crew members—it had to be one of the crew, since Nimue is a remote station with barely any outside contact—but it doesn’t take long before their investigation turns up a number of anomalies in the station's communications and electrical grids. As Hester, Hugo and Adisa delve further into the strange secrets that the crew seems to be hiding, they begin to realize the extent of the mystery. Something big is going down on Nimue, and David was most likely killed because of it. Dead Space is such a well written, perfectly paced book, and I don’t get to say that very often. It grabbed me from the first page and never let up, even during its quieter moments. It starts out as a murder mystery but quickly turns into something else, and I was blown away by how layered and thrilling this story was. Wallace is also great at misdirection. She convinces you of one thing and then pulls the rug out from under you, and you only have moments to recover before the next surprise. There were quite a few twists and I loved every one of them. I will say I had an inkling of what one of the big twists was, but guessing it ahead of time only made the experience more enjoyable. I wish I could talk to you about so much more, but I do not want to spoil anything! All of this is great, but a story without heart and emotion doesn’t go too far for me. Luckily I needn’t have worried. I absolutely loved the flashbacks where Hester and David are working with Vanguard aboard the Symposium. Vanguard is almost like a child to them, as they are teaching it how to explore and grow, and knowing that the AI was lost in the explosion cut me to the bone.  Earlier I compared this book to Alien, and although I’m not going into specifics because of spoilers, I did want to mention how scary the story is at times. Wallace has created a claustrophobic, gritty environment that rivaled the ship on Alien, and I seriously could not turn the pages fast enough! I loved the characters too. Hester is such a multilayered character, and if you’re looking for disability rep in your reading, then you need to read this book. She’s been through a lot, and Wallace does a great job of filling in her past without taking anything away from the story in the present. Even with advanced medical technology and the ability to rebuild a person with traumatic injuries, Hester is forced to deal with her prosthetic limbs on a daily basis. Her leg hurts if she does too much, her left shoulder is always sore, and even her eye has glitches now and then. She faces some big physical challenges in this book—I mean half the time she’s running away from something that’s trying to kill her!—but she doesn't let her pain stop her. And her physical challenges are only one thing she’s dealing with. Her dreams were shattered when the Symposium disaster took everything away from her, and she's become bitter and unhappy because of that. Not every reader is going to like Hester—sometimes her anger at her situation takes over and affects the choices she makes—but I thought she was authentic and believable, and I ended up really relating to her. The rest of the cast of characters are just as engaging, and I thought it was a fantastic ensemble. There’s Adisa, the soft-spoken Martian who is trying to do his job while dealing with racism; Sighra, the brash, unfriendly leader of Nimue who is clearly hiding something, and Mary Ping, the other sysadmin who worked with David and whose robotic coolness suggests she knows way more than she’s telling. Wallace includes some timely issues in her story. Part of the backstory is that there was a war between humans and Martians, and things are still tense between the two groups. The author uses this rift to show how racism against Martians is still an ongoing issue, and including a Martian character in her story was a great way to illustrate that fact. For me, the Martians’ plight reminded me of the horrors faced by Jewish people during World War II, and it was definitely one of the more sobering elements of the story. I absolutely loved the hell out of this book, in case you haven’t guessed by now. I believe Dead Space is a standalone, and the ending wraps up perfectly (with a nice emotional surprise no less!), and yet I want to know what happens next! Such is the curse of finding such an excellent story with no planned sequel. With this book, Kali Wallace has secured a spot on my “must read” list, and I can hardly wait to see what she does next. Big thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart   Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 4.5 hearts There were so many things st in Dead Space.  Our main character, Hester,  is an investigator after being on a space ship which was hit by terrorists, and the rescuing company has her in a work contract to pay for her life-saving but mediocre medical treatments.  She is a talented builder of artificial intelligence but  This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart   Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 4.5 hearts There were so many things st in Dead Space.  Our main character, Hester,  is an investigator after being on a space ship which was hit by terrorists, and the rescuing company has her in a work contract to pay for her life-saving but mediocre medical treatments.  She is a talented builder of artificial intelligence but  her work was lost in the attack.  The company doesn't seem to want her to work for them in her field. The world is rich with different planets and their cultures and histories.  There have been wars,  politics of cultural and political origin,  and the corporations focusing on profit adding to the politics of any situation.  I was comfortable with the depth of information but would certainly be interested in learning more. One of the other engineers who was on her team, and also in the attack,  is out working more in her field of expertise. She has not heard from David since the attack, but now she gets an odd message.  Next thing she knows he is dead.  She requests to be on the team investigating his death and surprisingly, she is allowed to go with the team. I loved Hester's strength and intelligence.  She works hard and does her job even though she is getting the bad end of the deal.  The investigation is fraught with oddities, lies and pretty quickly more deaths.  It's a struggle to keep the investigative team and the suspects alive.  There are only 12 people on this station when they start. The solution is partly what I hoped and expected.  There is plenty of action and lots to engage my mind during their gathering of data and evidence.  Wow!  What an exciting and absorbing read.  I really recommend it highly.  I hope the author writes more in this world but I think it is standalone. I'll look forward to whatever comes next from Kali Wallace.  

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michaela (Comer) Gray

    After a terrible accident that destroyed nearly half her body and her life’s work (an AI called Bug), Hester takes a security analysis job to pay off her prosthetics. After receiving a mysterious message from an old friend and fellow survivor of her accident, David, Hester asks to help discover what caused David’s untimely, and rather suspicious, death. Was David involved in illegal schemes? Or did he happen into the wrong place at the wrong time? Wallace’s Novel Dead Space is advertised as Scie After a terrible accident that destroyed nearly half her body and her life’s work (an AI called Bug), Hester takes a security analysis job to pay off her prosthetics. After receiving a mysterious message from an old friend and fellow survivor of her accident, David, Hester asks to help discover what caused David’s untimely, and rather suspicious, death. Was David involved in illegal schemes? Or did he happen into the wrong place at the wrong time? Wallace’s Novel Dead Space is advertised as Science fiction, but I think it should also be recognized as a mystery. Hester slowly unravels David’s death as the body count of the already small crew continues to rise. Wallace teases the audience with easy conclusions and shocking twists. The tech both in Hester’s body and in the space stations place the novel among the stars hinting at Martian revolutions, body modifications, cloning, and so much more. Hester is angry. She’s angry at the doctors hovering over her every move. She’s angry that the accident left her with few available jobs all that she hates. The depth of her character is astounding. Wallace incorporates common themes that many readers across the board can identify with including job frustration, disabilities, many queer characters, and so much more. Overall, I liked the book. I loved they mystery aspect that brought to life a rather tired topic. While there are many twists (that I won’t spoil), I wish Wallace had veered away from AI being the main topic being exploited during the science fiction piece. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    A brilliant scientist on an exciting, fresh journey to explore the universe and make scientific breakthroughs finds herself stranded in space and unable to get home after she barely survives a catastrophic explosion aboard the spaceship she's travelling on. Her life's work, nearly all of her friends, her job prospects all gone in an instant. Luckily, a corporation finds and repairs her, granting life-saving medical procedures and prosthetics. Unfortunately, this is capitalism and she essentially A brilliant scientist on an exciting, fresh journey to explore the universe and make scientific breakthroughs finds herself stranded in space and unable to get home after she barely survives a catastrophic explosion aboard the spaceship she's travelling on. Her life's work, nearly all of her friends, her job prospects all gone in an instant. Luckily, a corporation finds and repairs her, granting life-saving medical procedures and prosthetics. Unfortunately, this is capitalism and she essentially lives in indentured servitude to pay off her medical debt. After years of radio silence, a fellow survivor reaches out to her. His communications seem bizarre and it's unclear if he's forgotten shared memories or is speaking in some obscure code. Either way, he wants to meet. But when she starts to make arrangements the next day, she learns that he's dead. With a non-binary, ex-lover and her boss (who is both gay and an outcast Martian-- an impoverished, second class citizen whom many blame for the war even though the war was largely waged against them... think Blacks in America) she goes to the small mining operation where he worked to investigate. He, too, was saddled with obscene medical debts and is working for the company on what they're claiming will soon be an incredibly lucrative and important breakthrough site. But things aren't necessarily what they seem. And on a station of only 12 people, his killer is almost certainly still here and could be any one of them. I loved the brief exploration of corporations and their devious and nefarious plans to constantly exploit workers, resources, and legal loopholes to maximize on profits. There are several flashbacks to her time preparing for their journey where you get to meet Vanguard, the AI she helped create. (AI with personality is one of my favourite tropes and omg Vanguard is so cute). The atmosphere on the station and the unnerving feeling of being watched, something sinister going on in the background, and not knowing who you can trust didn't shine through as much as I'd want, but they were definitely present elements. The action scenes were tense, inventive, and believable. Rarely does my husband take interest in one of the books I've read and decides to read it himself (6/91 so far in 2021) but this is one of them! It's not the deepest or most nuanced exploration of topics. It's not the most inventive or creative. But it was a lot of fun and a quick read that accomplishes what it sets out to do.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Arina

    Dead Space is a sci-fi noir set in a space station where a data analyst must investigate the sudden murder of an estranged friend. An enigma, a tense tone, carefully crafted atmospheres, Dead Space spins a rip-roaring whodunit about corporate despotism, the militarization of science, imperialism, and the potentiality of A.I.. A character-driven journey with Hester Marley, a queer disabled woman, at the helm, it draws a bleak but patently recognizable world, where mammoth corporations shackle ind Dead Space is a sci-fi noir set in a space station where a data analyst must investigate the sudden murder of an estranged friend. An enigma, a tense tone, carefully crafted atmospheres, Dead Space spins a rip-roaring whodunit about corporate despotism, the militarization of science, imperialism, and the potentiality of A.I.. A character-driven journey with Hester Marley, a queer disabled woman, at the helm, it draws a bleak but patently recognizable world, where mammoth corporations shackle individuals in poorly disguised —if at all— indentured servitude and societies sweep their warmongering History under rugs for profit and comfort. Hester's very perspective is sometimes twisted by its darkness. Clear-cut storytelling ensures the major plot points became, for the most part, and personally, predictable. My preferences lean more towards unpredictability but not every plot needs to be cloaked in subterfuge for a story to carry weight. The power of Dead Space’s narrative is the inescapable analogy it draws with our current society. While exploring how greed, inequality, and bondage may be carried with us when we breach the boundaries of space, it imagines technology in that exciting way of science-fiction that pushes readers to dream. **** Warm thanks to Berkley for the ARC! Read my full review at Queen's Asylum.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ethan Spencer

    Modern Sci-Fi Masterpiece It was on a whim I picked up this book, and I could not have been happier! Every page, every sentence of the story is as engaging as the one before it. Warning to potential readers though: if you don't like LGBTQ+ representation; first of all, what's wrong with you; secondly, it's beyond refreshing to see someone write in a way where the defining quality of a character is not their gender or orientation. There are gay characters, non-binary characters, and pansexual char Modern Sci-Fi Masterpiece It was on a whim I picked up this book, and I could not have been happier! Every page, every sentence of the story is as engaging as the one before it. Warning to potential readers though: if you don't like LGBTQ+ representation; first of all, what's wrong with you; secondly, it's beyond refreshing to see someone write in a way where the defining quality of a character is not their gender or orientation. There are gay characters, non-binary characters, and pansexual characters; but not a single one feels crowbarred in for token representation sake. Wallace just writes people, and does so with aplomb. Every character feels alive and I found myself lost in the world with them. Reading this feels like I read a script to sci-fi show episode I would love to see a la Galactica, Trek, or some of the more niche like Farscape. Even societal injustices and discrimination make allegorical appearances in the setting, fleshing out the world and making it more politically complex. I can feel Wallace's love for science and knowledge in so much of this work as well. There are few authors I've read that can illustrate a technological aspect of their world with as much ease as she can, followed up with colloquial uses of "fuck" and "shit". Basically, if you like sci-fi you need to read this

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