Pitch Dark
Set against a future of marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound, here is a frightening, fast-paced YA adventure from the author of the acclaimed horror novel, Shutter.Tuck has been in stasis on the USS John Muir, a ship that houses Earth’s most valued artifacts—its natural resources. Parks and mountains are preserved in space. Laura belongs to a shipraiding family, who are funded by a group used to getting what they want. And they want what’s on the Muir. Tuck and Laura didn’t bargain on working together, or battling mutant aliens who use sound to kill. But their plan is the only hope for their crews, their families, and themselves. In space, nobody can hear you scream . . . but on the John Muir, the screams are the last thing you'll hear.

Pitch Dark Details

TitlePitch Dark
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 20th, 2018
PublisherFeiwel & Friends
ISBN-139781250085894
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Horror, Science Fiction

Pitch Dark Review

  • Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net
    January 1, 1970
    See this review and more like it on www.bookbastion.net_____________Back in the springtime of my youth, when I still had time for hobbies outside of reading like video games, I was a rather big gamer. I played them all, and still have a pretty sizable collection of games that my book collection has of course far surpassed. One of my favorite gaming series was Dead Space, which was a pulse-pounding, terrifying and atmospheric sci-fi horror game set aboard a space station in the throes of an unsto See this review and more like it on www.bookbastion.net_____________Back in the springtime of my youth, when I still had time for hobbies outside of reading like video games, I was a rather big gamer. I played them all, and still have a pretty sizable collection of games that my book collection has of course far surpassed. One of my favorite gaming series was Dead Space, which was a pulse-pounding, terrifying and atmospheric sci-fi horror game set aboard a space station in the throes of an unstoppable danger consuming the passengers trapped within its walls.Coming across this book at the bookstore was a lot like coming across Dead Space again. Even the premise is quite similar to the premise of the games: a destructive alien force sweeps through a space ship, twisting its inhabitants into terrifying monsters. As a fan of horror and sci-fi blends in general, I know I'd appreciate this book for what it was. I just can't help feeling like it could have been something more, had it been given a bit more of a chance to develop. If you love stories that have constant action, you'll likely really enjoy this. The story begins with a bang immediately in chapter one, and is just relentless from that point on. The plot movement never lets up until the end. Alameda did a wonderful job infusing a story about death and despair aboard a derelict spaceship with a breath of life that I was honestly quite surprised by. It's entertaining for sure, but there were some downsides to the story within all that momentum that I can't overlook. There are a number of plot holes caused by the fact that the story never takes the time to slow down and provide explanations. For example: What exactly happened to the ship in the first place that turned a fair chunk of its crew into monsters?This seems to get almost totally ignored until the last action sequence of the book, when I guess what is supposed to be an explanation is delivered, but totally unexplored and just left me with more questions than answers.How did the nefarious eco-terrorist group, Pitch Dark, manage to survive for so long?Even their motives for wanting to commit crimes against humanity's chances of survival aren't explained very well. How the heck did any of the minor antagonists in this book manage to pull off the crimes they commit without being caught? Explaining the hows or whys of anything seem to fall by the wayside in favor of furthering the action and body horror scenes. Of all the characters in this book, the only one I felt connected to was Laura. She is definitely the most fleshed out of all the characters in the book. Tuck is a little less impressive than Laura, given that he's basically just a walking pop-culture quote dispensary. I kind of cringed reading all the references to 80s movies and Doctor Who though. Teens might love it, but they felt out of place given the situation the characters were placed in. Laura's storyline is the only one with any real gravitas, as it attempts to tackle what racism in the future might look like - what evils it might lead to as she is subjected to a different sort of body horror entirely when placed under the control of a body manipulating device called a Subjugator. This device gives her boyfriend and his affluent (and white) family complete control over her body, mind and voice. It's a scary concept, for sure, but I felt like even this was underutilized by the end of the book. Especially as Laura never utilizes moments when she's free of its control to her advantage. Lastly, this book commits one of my least favorite cardinal YA sins: when teenage characters refuse to involve adult characters even when the situation is so dangerous that it calls for it. The stakes are literally life and death every moment in this story, yet Tuck and Laura take it upon themselves to save the day. Even when faced with opportunities to involve adults, to ask for help, the story cleverly side steps those opportunities.I understand that it's young adult, but in a situation like the ones these characters were placed in, to have more than half the cast just sit back and let the two teenage characters handle things feels inherently false. Teens can ask for help from adults. It's okay. It won't break the bank and ruin a young adult story. This is not a bad read. I thought it was entertaining for what it was. It feels like a novelization straight out of the Dead Space universe. For fans of action packed stories, or sci-fi horror, you will find something you like here. I just think it could have been more than it was. 3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed Courtney’s other book and I was all over that synopsis, so I was pretty excited to get to it. I liked Laura and Tuck well enough. They’re both sassy and sarcastic and smart. They had some great banter and I wish they would have been together more in the story. There were some other interesting characters, but I didn’t feel like we got to know much of them. Plot wise, I was lost for a good portion of the book. All of the ships and space and mechanics confused me and at times it felt lik I enjoyed Courtney’s other book and I was all over that synopsis, so I was pretty excited to get to it. I liked Laura and Tuck well enough. They’re both sassy and sarcastic and smart. They had some great banter and I wish they would have been together more in the story. There were some other interesting characters, but I didn’t feel like we got to know much of them. Plot wise, I was lost for a good portion of the book. All of the ships and space and mechanics confused me and at times it felt like I was missing something I should have known. However, I loved all of the alien action. They were creepy and that entire aspect of the story was fantastic. Overall, it was an interesting idea and a quick read with a satisfying ending. There were a lot of things I liked, yet I wasn’t ever captivated. If there’s a sequel, I’ll definitely be reading. **Huge thanks to Feiwel and Friends for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Jack +Books & Bourbon+
    January 1, 1970
    Leave it up to a movie junkie to keep wanting to call this book Pitch Black. And though they are both creature features set in space, they are decidedly NOT the same thing. I don’t know how this one wasn’t on my radar, as I really enjoyed Courtney Alameda’s urban fantasy/horror mashup Shutter. But thankfully, my book buddy Crazy4Books came to my rescue and listed this one as a good buddy read candidate, thereby correcting my oversight. And she was correct…this did make for a good buddy read!And Leave it up to a movie junkie to keep wanting to call this book Pitch Black. And though they are both creature features set in space, they are decidedly NOT the same thing. I don’t know how this one wasn’t on my radar, as I really enjoyed Courtney Alameda’s urban fantasy/horror mashup Shutter. But thankfully, my book buddy Crazy4Books came to my rescue and listed this one as a good buddy read candidate, thereby correcting my oversight. And she was correct…this did make for a good buddy read!And if you want to read her great review, including points that I totally missed/forgot in my review, you can follow the link below.Crazy4Book's ReviewOstensibly a young adult novel, Pitch Dark reminds me quite a bit of the Dead Space video games. Non-military personnel up against mutated creatures in the deepest recesses of space…with much gore and violence. And let me tell you…I’m a sucker for tales like this. The Dead Space games gave me goosebumps due to their immersion and environment, and while I don’t get nervous or scared from a book, Ms. Alameda can certainly write tense and spooky situations with definite skill. I definitely hesitated to call Shutter a YA book, and the same applies to Pitch Dark. It’s oppressive, it’s violent, and no details are skipped when it comes to the carnage that Tuck and crew experience.Like all my reviews, I will keep spoilers to an absolute minimum. If it’s not mentioned in the book synopsis, then I’ll do my level best to not mention it here.So, aside from bloody space monster carnage, what does Pitch Dark throw at us? Well, we get two protagonist POV’s, a bit of philosophy about human nature and if we are only ever going to be more than a destructive species, and a little bit of teen romance. And it all works. I’m not usually a fan of romance in my books, if only because it generally feels forced or unnecessary. But here it is effective, with a natural flow that makes sense with our characters. And it’s not all doe-eyed nonsense where they fall after two seconds. It actually grows and progresses like it should. As for the ruminations on human nature, it’s mostly just to help set the scene for some of the character’s motivations. Still, it’s interesting that we as a species mostly only seem to wonder about the monstrous side of human nature when we are facing off against actual monsters. As for our characters, we get Tuck, a crewmember on the John Muir, and Laura, a crewmember on the Conquistador. And initially, their stories couldn’t be any more different from each other. But…to give away much more than that would venture into spoiler territory. The synopsis actually shies away from what’s really going on, which is for the best. Makes it seem almost like a Montague and Capulet scenario, but that’s really not the case.It’s hard to say which character I liked better…maybe because the first person perspective makes it a little more difficult to separate the personalities. That’s not to say that they don’t have distinguishing qualities, because they do. Tuck is a brooding loner, Laura is adventurous and outgoing. While Tuck has a natural disposition towards gloom and defeat, Laura is optimistic and hopeful. But regardless of their differences, the two have a natural rapport and complement each other very well. Once they got their initial meeting out of the way, I was pretty well invested in their struggles (together and individually). They definitely make an effective team.I could definitely commiserate with Tuck and his emotional disconnection at times, as I’ve been that young man (a long time ago). I think Ms. Alameda has a good handle on what makes a young man tick, and was able to channel this effectively into a believable “everyman”. The fact that Tuck loves, and quotes, 20th century films just endeared him to me even more. Cuz, I’m that guy, so I like it when I meet another one of my tribe.But while she does well with Tuck, she absolutely knocked it out of the park with Laura. She’s impulsive and still figuring out the labyrinth of adult relationships, but despite her youth, she is the most capable person in the book. And though she’s had some terrible things happen to her, she’s never a victim. She owns her mistakes, and then immediately looks for a way to make things better. And not just better for her, but for everyone. I’ve said it in other reviews, and I’ll echo it here: I’m loving that more and more authors are bringing strong independent women to the fore to carry these stories. Where other books have severely mishandled female characters (cough cough Twilight series) many of the books I’ve read lately have eschewed that pitfall and given us truly independent and self-assured women. But while both main characters are cheer worthy, the supporting characters are a mixed bag. While we do get to see some of the other relationships Laura has cultivated, we get almost nothing for Tuck, who remains pretty much a cypher for the whole tale. Given the events that transpire on the John Muir ship, I actually expected there to be more comradery and personality with the crew…but that never really manifested. When we do get supporting characters, they are generally well written, if just not present enough. And maybe that’s just another hardship with a first person tale, as so much happens internally that everything external suffers a bit. On the antagonist side of the house, we have two varieties. There’s the human antagonists, who range from meh to pretty effective villains…and we have the monsters. And boy are they dangerous. And pretty interesting too. After reading a lot of sci-fi (and a fair bit of horror), it’s hard to find something new or exciting. And while some of the concepts at play with the monsters aren’t brand new, they are written in such a way here that they feel fresh. The monsters are deadly, and our heroes are not immune. If there’s one place that Courtney Alameda really excels, outside of good ideas and a well-paced read, it’s with setting a scene. She has tension down to a science, and I loved that our heroes were never really out of harm’s way. And they aren’t miraculously injury-proof as well. They get hurt. A lot. I like my human characters to be, well, human, and both of our protagonists are written in realistic ways. And the dangerous situations they find themselves in give them pause. These aren’t mercenaries or soldiers, they are young people who are in a crazy situation, but know they have to help make it less crazy. A spaceship can be a highly effective setting for a horror tale (Alien anyone?), and Ms. Alameda squeezes every ounce of dread and terror from the setting. I hope she writes more scary Sci-Fi stories down the road, as she’s definitely got a knack for it.So those are the pro's...but what about the cons?One of my main hardships with Pitch Dark was the excessive witty banter. It’s not that I have a problem with witty banter necessarily, as I certainly don’t. But there are times when witty banter is appropriate, natural, and expected. And when used at those times, it’s great. But no, the problem here is that there’s several moments in the book where it’s completely out of place. There’s one part of the book near the end when two people who barely know each other are slinging one-liners and off-the-cuff puns at each other while in the middle of several life-or-death struggles. One off-hand comment I could see happening, but to carry on a whole pun-ishing (see what I did there?) conversation while literally fighting for your life just felt false. Especially when one of those characters has spent years living virtually silently. But somehow, in the middle of a situation that requires utmost concentration, these two characters are actively trying to come up with funny puns, even while being scared to death. It just didn’t work, and served only to diminish the drama and effectively pull me from that part of the tale. The book is also written in a rather casual way, full of figurative language, with plenty of similes and metaphors to enrich the storytelling. And it generally works, except that it’s slightly overdone. I think that’s one of the main drawbacks to first-person storytelling…it seems very easy to fall back on similes to help convey detail. Again, for the most part it works, but one gets the impression that both of the leads only ever think in figurative language. Which, hell, maybe they do, and I’m just the weird one.I’d say my only real other point of contention is the motivations of one of the factions within Laura’s crew. Their ship has been doing deep-space recovery for years, but there’s a small contingent of the crew looking to sabotage the whole operation. And they’ve had years where Laura’s ship has been running to and fro where they could have caused all sorts of problems or even completely destroyed the ship. But…they just waited until their ship met up with Tuck’s ship? His ship isn’t the first one that Laura’s crew has come across, but this time the sabotage crew really means it? It’s obvious from their actions that self-preservation isn’t an issue…so why the casual reluctance to actually sabotage the mission so many years in? It just seemed…odd. But, I suppose, if the sabotage crew HAD done their job effectively, there wouldn’t have been a book. So…points to Gryffindor?Pop culture aficionados take heed…Pitch Dark has quite a bit of banter (as well as a few one-offs cleverly hidden) that references our modern movie and music landscape. And while it never achieves Ready Player One levels of pop-culture references, this book comes awfully close. Seems like Ms. Alameda and I watch and recall all the same movies, as none of the references flew over my head. It’s nice to be on the inside of the inside jokes for a change.So I liked Pitch Dark quite a bit. I even liked it better than Shutter, which I definitely enjoyed. And it would have been easy for Courtney Alameda to stick with another urban horror book, so kudos to her for branching out and going a different direction entirely.
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  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    Even the gods have abandoned us out here. If you follow my reviews, you know I’m a big horror fan, but what you might not already know is what a sucker I am for horror/sci-fi genre-blending and spooky stories set in outer space. Courtney Alameda is known for her horror writing, but she interlaces the terror aspects with the sci-fi, futuristic, technology side stunningly. We were supposed to wake up saved, or not wake up at all. That was the deal we made with fate. → Tuck ←The narrative of Pitch Even the gods have abandoned us out here. If you follow my reviews, you know I’m a big horror fan, but what you might not already know is what a sucker I am for horror/sci-fi genre-blending and spooky stories set in outer space. Courtney Alameda is known for her horror writing, but she interlaces the terror aspects with the sci-fi, futuristic, technology side stunningly. We were supposed to wake up saved, or not wake up at all. That was the deal we made with fate. → Tuck ←The narrative of Pitch Dark alternates perspectives between two protagonists – one from the “past”, and one from the “future”. Our first introduction is to our “past” character, Tuck, who has been in cryo-sleep for a few hundred years, only to awaken to a spaceship full of corpses and monstrosities. He’s hopeless, angry, and hurting, but has such a good heart – a quintessential “teddy bear” character, at your service. Unfortunately, despite how lovable he can be, Tuck never felt three-dimensional to me, and his lack of intricate development was a huge drawback. “The madman with a box?” I ask. “Bad Wolf? We have a lot of running to do?” They both look at me as if I’m the one who’s lost my damn mind. “All righty then. Allons-y.” → pop culture references ←On the other hand, my favorite thing about Tuck was easily his pop culture refs. I make no attempts to hide my usual annoyance with these sorts of things, because they frequently come out forced and unnatural, but Tuck’s are done phenomenally and are so cute. The above-quoted Doctor Who reference was easily my favorite, but most of all, I adored how frustrated he got when people didn’t catch his references! (I relate so much.) To all the girls who write their own histories, who resist men telling them to “stop,” and save themselves in the end, this one’s for you. → Laura ←Our “future” perspective comes from Laura Cruz. She’s a teen Latinx girl with archaeologists for parents, and she is positively brilliant and fierce. She takes nobody’s mess and is determined to take care of herself at all costs, relying on no one to save her. If you enjoy hard-headed, angry, capable heroines, Laura’s your girl. I appreciated her so much, and my favorite thing about her was the social commentary she was able to provide on the current state of society. I’d like to say that in the last few centuries, humanity’s grown past these compulsions in a moral sense, that we’ve become better. Nobler. Wiser. But we haven’t. → racism ←As a woman of color, Laura explains that a few centuries haven’t been enough time to rid the entire human race of its bigotry. There’s been so much reproduction between races, it has caused a sort of ethnic mesh in most of society, to the point where fully “white” individuals only keep their white skin by going to great lengths to avoid any biracial reproductivity. Because of how deliberate being a white person in Laura’s world is, most individuals assume that entirely white individuals are simply clinging to Nazi-like ideals of the past. This was a really refreshing take on the idea of a world in white cultural and racial diversity is normalized, but was also a truly interesting theoretical prediction for the future of our world. “That’s the folly of the human heart. We make macro decisions based on micro motivations.” → social commentaries ←Besides the discussion of racism, there’s a lot of observation of how we treat the planet, as we are informed that the reason humans left Earth in Tuck’s time was to escape the mess they’d made of it and the fact that the planet had been utterly drained of resources. Even the creatures on Tuck’s ship are explained to have been created not by some zombie virus or magical mutation, but by the after-effects in breathing and drinking in too much pollution from the Earth era. They’re not aliens or zombies, just our own mistake. → fear factor ←I know a lot of my followers are hesitant to pick up horror stories, so I wanted to go ahead and let you guys who aren’t horror fans know that, in my opinion, this is an extremely approachable read for individuals who don’t typically enjoy horror. It’s so heavy on the sci-fi aspect that it doesn’t read like your usual horror story, but there are some gruesome descriptions of mutated creatures, so if your stomach is easily unsettled, you may want to proceed with caution.This book is inspired by the Aliens film franchise, and I would say that it felt very similar to those in terms of the level of horror and “grossness” achieved. If you enjoy those films, I think you would enjoy this story, too. This would be a good time to warn you that there is a scene in this book that comes with major warnings for trypophobia. As someone who has a mild case of trypophobia, the description in that scene was really nauseating and I had to skim past it, but it does give you a bit of warning before it goes into detail. I wonder what I’d do with such a lonely boy, one who carries a broken heart in his chest and pretends it beats the same as everyone else’s. → romance ←Finally, I want to touch on the only other thing that didn’t catch my eye much in Pitch Dark: the blossoming relationship between Tuck and Laura. You see it coming a mile away, but towards the end, I felt like it became oddly forced. They were a great pair for each other and the chemistry was there from the start, so I thought it’d be a home run, but at the end, I almost felt like, “Wait, that’s all?” I don’t want to give any sorts of spoilers, but I’ll just say that the romance was the main reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5.All quotes are taken from an ARC and may not match the final product. Thank you so much to Feiwel & Friends for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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  • Justine
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars Overall I enjoyed this. The best thing for me was definitely the awesome Latina main character, Laura Cruz, who just brings it in so many ways. I also quite liked the male character, Tuck, particularly the way he obviously appreciated Laura's strength and never felt threatened by it.Where I felt the story was lacking and what I wanted more of was some greater worldbuilding, particularly at the outset. The story literally starts right away at a rapid pace and never lets up. While I cert 3.5 stars Overall I enjoyed this. The best thing for me was definitely the awesome Latina main character, Laura Cruz, who just brings it in so many ways. I also quite liked the male character, Tuck, particularly the way he obviously appreciated Laura's strength and never felt threatened by it.Where I felt the story was lacking and what I wanted more of was some greater worldbuilding, particularly at the outset. The story literally starts right away at a rapid pace and never lets up. While I certainly appreciate the high level of tension and adrenaline rush the author is going for, there are also quite a lot of complexities to this imagined future that are only hinted at that I would have really liked to know more about. The worldbuilding is dropped in bits and pieces throughout the story, but since everything is so fast paced, I didn't feel like there was a chance for enough bits to add up to as satisfying a whole as I would have liked.But that's a matter of personal taste, and for me, it was balanced out by other things which made for an entertaining read.
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  • Ellen Gail
    January 1, 1970
    "A future of marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound." I didn't know I could want something so much. Fall 2016? Or I guess February 2018 now? I will wait for you book. We will be together.
  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    Wait...I thought this was coming out this month...what do you mean this isn't coming out until February 2018? NO!!!!!! ---Alright, I was reluctant before, but now with the full synopsis coupled with this absolutely eerie, yet lovely cover, I am on board!
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  • Kim M
    January 1, 1970
    When a terrorist organization crashes Laura Cruz’s ship into the John Muir—a 400-year-old vessel designed to preserve natural resources from Earth during the crisis that drove humans from the planet—she finds herself having to face former-human monsters who kill by screaming, having to flee an unknown hacker who always knows where she is, and having to evade the wealthy family who use technology to try to control her. She happens to run into Tuck Morgan, an original crew member of the John Muir When a terrorist organization crashes Laura Cruz’s ship into the John Muir—a 400-year-old vessel designed to preserve natural resources from Earth during the crisis that drove humans from the planet—she finds herself having to face former-human monsters who kill by screaming, having to flee an unknown hacker who always knows where she is, and having to evade the wealthy family who use technology to try to control her. She happens to run into Tuck Morgan, an original crew member of the John Muir who has recently awakened from a multi-century stasis, and together they fight to save the severely damaged ship, its natural resources, and the surviving members of both crews.I’m giving this book 3.5 stars. It may not be as popular as some of the other YA books that have been released this year, but honestly, I think it’s higher quality than a lot of them. With the exception of the fact that they put Yosemite National Park on a spaceship (yeah, you heard right, YOSEMITE IS ON A SPACESHIP—BLUE SKIES AND ALL), there aren’t a lot of eyeroll-inducing aspects to the premise. This book has many strengths, many weaknesses, but overall, it’s a pretty good book.Mostly good stuff:(1) The dialogue is great. Everyone—Tuck especially—has a strong voice, and for the most part, nothing feels stilted. The dialogue is natural and people’s personalities come through.(2) The characterization is mostly good. From the dialogue alone, I have a good idea of how each of the characters is. My only complaint is that, since so much of the book is spent silently running through tunnels or fighting monsters or almost dying in other ways, there isn’t a lot of time for the characters to really show who they are through actions. Characterization through dialogue is great and important, but it’s not the only aspect important to a personality. I want to see the characters interact with each other more and for there to be a variety of high- and low-intensity character- and relationship-building scenes. (We get some more of this toward the end, but I just really want more.)(3) The Latinx representation is awesome. The Latinx population does not get featured much in American literature, so it was refreshing to read a book where a Latina main character kicks some butt while letting her culture and heritage shine through. Also, the inclusion of Spanish words is fun.(4) The buildup of suspense at a scene level is excellent, especially toward the beginning. The first few encounters with the “mourners” are gripping. The rule is established: you can’t make a sound or they will find you. Naturally, this rule leads to some highly suspenseful scenes structured in just the right way to make your heart beat quicker. However, once I was well into the book, the novelty of the mourners wore off, and due to (view spoiler)[the lack of any lasting damage happening at the hands (eh… voice?) of a mourner ever (hide spoiler)], I just didn’t think they were creepy anymore. It’s like the author forgot that they were supposed to be scary and changed them from creepy terrifying monsters into minor annoyances.(5) The terrorist organization, Pitch Dark, has a great motivation. Humans destroyed the Earth, and now they’re trying to colonize other planets. Rather than allow humanity to forge a path of destruction throughout the entire universe, Pitch Dark wants them stopped and destroyed. So like, they’re totally evil. But they’re also… kind of right?Problematic stuff:(1) The beginning is a little bit slow moving. To me, at least. I don’t know what it is; maybe the fact that not much time is passing and so there’s not time for much to happen besides the main plot of saving the ship? I definitely enjoyed a lot of scenes at the beginning, but it was a slow go for me. The scenes I liked were awesome, but the in-between stuff was a little boring?(2) The romance is too fast. I mean, I know traumatic situations can bring people together. But when two people have known each other for like two minutes and they’re already thinking about how much they care about each other I just kinda roll my eyes. I have no problem with Tuck and Laura, but their interest in each other always feels forced upon them by the author to me.(3) One of the “bad guy” groups is kinda lame. The mourners are cool (at least at the beginning), Pitch Dark is cool, but the Smithson family feels like such a random addition. Like, the story would hardly change without them existing. In theory, I like the idea of having opposition from so many sides, but all the sides need to contribute in order for it to work. As it is, the Smithsons just try to control Laura, (view spoiler)[fail, and then go to jail (hide spoiler)]. Eluding the control of the subjugator is far too easy, and they’re SO obvious about it that I don’t know why no one has discovered it before.(4) Speaking of the subjugator, I don’t understand why it’s even there. It could be a really cool addition—a piece of parasitic technology that forces you to obey your oppressors and prevents you from revealing its presence to anyone—but it literally didn’t do anything. Laura always manages to wriggle out of her commands before any real harm is done, whether by finding loopholes or using sheer willpower (um, okay?). I mean, come on. If this awesome device is secretly trapped under Laura’s skin, I want to see it cause a disaster. I want Laura to actually do something terrible, to perhaps be seen by witnesses and be a real fugitive. (Yeah, she technically already is a fugitive, but it doesn’t really feel like it because it’s never a serious issue.) Or she could do horrible stuff in secret and have no way to warn anyone. Just, SOMETHING. Something besides Sebastian SUPER OBVIOUSLY telling her to walk on her injured and bloody feet in front of people and Laura awkwardly obeying. (Like, dude, like, how come no one has figured this out yet? HE’S SO OBVIOUS.) Also, (view spoiler)[how did TUCK of all people notice the subjugator in her throat? He’s a kid from 400 years ago when technology was far inferior and he’s known Laura for a few hours. Not to mention they’re in the dark deepdowns of the ship and running for their lives. What about her best friends and family? Just saying, if it’s that easy to notice, they would’ve already seen it… (hide spoiler)].So there it is. This book does plenty of things well, has plenty of flaws, and is overall a pretty good book. I really hope more people pick it up.
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  • K.
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger warnings: violence, gore, blood, death, death of a friend, death of a parent (in the past). So here's the thing: I read the blurb of this and was like "Space ships + monsters + pending doom? THIS IS GOING TO BE LIKE ILLUMINAE!!!". Also, I lost my mind over this cover - the stars, the skull (which is *very* Silence in the Library), the sound wave? It's glorious. And probably I built it up too much in my mind, buuuuut I did not love this. It was almost like it was trying to do too much? Do Trigger warnings: violence, gore, blood, death, death of a friend, death of a parent (in the past). So here's the thing: I read the blurb of this and was like "Space ships + monsters + pending doom? THIS IS GOING TO BE LIKE ILLUMINAE!!!". Also, I lost my mind over this cover - the stars, the skull (which is *very* Silence in the Library), the sound wave? It's glorious. And probably I built it up too much in my mind, buuuuut I did not love this. It was almost like it was trying to do too much? Don't get me wrong, I really liked our two protagonists, and I loved the concept of monsters that kill with sound. I loved how diverse it was, and I did like the writing. But. We had a hacker plot. We had a spaceship full of monsters. We had a technology-caused industrial sabotage plot. We had a spaceship-transporting-Yosemite-National-Park plot. We had a romance. We had a we-have-to-save-the-spaceships-or-we'll-all-die. There was just...a LOT going on. I think I loved the stuff where Tuck was running through the tunnels trying to escape from the monsters more than anything else. Add in a somewhat abrupt ending and...I just didn't love it, tbh. Womp.
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  • ☣Lynn☣
    January 1, 1970
    This was one of my top anticipated books of 2018 and I'm sad to say it didn't really impress me. My two biggest issues was that the first half was boring as hell and it was too technical for my liking. Plus there wasn't enough creature scenes. For a scifi horror it was too much scifi. That's just me though. I smell a sequel in the future and I might just have to pass up on it.
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  • Faye, la Patata
    January 1, 1970
    I want this pretty badly. I'm a fan of the author's previous mystery/horror works, and I can't wait to get scared by her stories again!
  • A Lib Tech Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Pitch DarkCourtney AlamedaRating: 3/5Note: Special thanks to Raincoast Books for providing a copy for review.What a wild ride. If I wanted to describe this book in one sentence, it would be that Pitch Dark is essentially the Dead Space franchise on crack.Packed full of action, horrifying monsters with interesting abilities and a POC female protagonist who is fully capable of handling herself, Courtney Alameda newest Science Fiction horror will have you either hooked or wanting to log back on to Pitch DarkCourtney AlamedaRating: 3/5Note: Special thanks to Raincoast Books for providing a copy for review.What a wild ride. If I wanted to describe this book in one sentence, it would be that Pitch Dark is essentially the Dead Space franchise on crack.Packed full of action, horrifying monsters with interesting abilities and a POC female protagonist who is fully capable of handling herself, Courtney Alameda newest Science Fiction horror will have you either hooked or wanting to log back on to your favourite zombie/monster slaying FPS video game (I recommend Killing Floor).It's tough writing a good horror story these days when everyone has become so desensitized to its effects, so when you come across one that puts you on edge, latch onto it and relish in that feeling. The concepts of the monsters were the best part of the book. Alameda truly created nightmare inducing and tentacle swarming aliens with a twist.This was an interesting idea, however, I found myself getting distracted by all the action that was going on that I couldn't fully appreciate the finer details such as the advanced technology, the ships, or the history. Every time the narration seemed to be diving into explanations, something would happen to diverge from that. It was disappointing to say the least. There was also a useless romance thrown in there for kicks that I just wasn't rooting for. It again felt distracting to the main plot and it didn't add much for character development. I hate to say it, but even Sebastian and Laura's abusive relationship felt more interesting than Tuck and Laura's (it actually grosses me out that I feel this way because I do not condone abuse in any shape or form).I would suggest this book to people who only want non-stop action. This would make an entertaining movie but on paper, it didn't do it for me.
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  • Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense)
    January 1, 1970
    Courtney Alameda’s Pitch Dark takes the intricacies of science-fiction and combines it with all the thrills of a horror story in a novel that grabs readers from page one and doesn’t let go. Alameda’s two leads, Laura Cruz and Tuck Morgan, are both capable characters on their own, but they also make an excellent team and I loved the fact that they both had room to shine despite this fact. I was really impressed by the amount of detail that went into this novel from the descriptions of spaceships Courtney Alameda’s Pitch Dark takes the intricacies of science-fiction and combines it with all the thrills of a horror story in a novel that grabs readers from page one and doesn’t let go. Alameda’s two leads, Laura Cruz and Tuck Morgan, are both capable characters on their own, but they also make an excellent team and I loved the fact that they both had room to shine despite this fact. I was really impressed by the amount of detail that went into this novel from the descriptions of spaceships like the John Muir to the world-building. One of the novel’s drawbacks, however, is the time-frame. The events of the novel occur very quickly making the development of a connection between characters feel a little hasty. Still, it was hard not to fall in love with Pitch Dark‘s characters and feel the excitement of the story. I also loved the fact that Pitch Dark is a multi-layered novel that also addresses humane nature, racism, and the politics of written history. I also want to say that if you get a chance, read Alameda’s Author’s Note at the end as it really resonated with me.
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  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    Four stars: A thrilling and scary book, but there were a few too many plot holes.Tuck wakes with a start. His muscles feel like jelly, and everything is wrong. Tuck finds himself surrounded by bodies and gore. Something must have gone wrong if the crew of the Muir is being awoken from stasis. Even worse, Tuck finds that four hundred years have elapsed. Tuck and his shipmates soon find themselves in a dire situation. The Muir is dying, and they are surrounded by mutant creatures who kill with sou Four stars: A thrilling and scary book, but there were a few too many plot holes.Tuck wakes with a start. His muscles feel like jelly, and everything is wrong. Tuck finds himself surrounded by bodies and gore. Something must have gone wrong if the crew of the Muir is being awoken from stasis. Even worse, Tuck finds that four hundred years have elapsed. Tuck and his shipmates soon find themselves in a dire situation. The Muir is dying, and they are surrounded by mutant creatures who kill with sound. No one knows where they are, and there is little hope of rescue. Meanwhile, Laura Cruz is aboard a ship that looks for lost historic artifacts. Finding the Muir is a huge accomplishment, and the hope is that it can save humanity. Then things go horribly wrong, and Laura and Tuck find themselves thrown together as allies trying to save themselves and the rest of the human race. Will they succeed?What I Liked:*Pitch Dark is a book that grabbed hold of me right from the beginning. I loved the terrifying setting, the frightening creatures, and the premise of being lost in the depths of space. This book is action packed and full of cliffhanger chapter endings, so prepare yourself for a lengthy reading session.*The world building is outstanding. I loved the setting of a crippled starship lost for centuries in the depths of space. The Muir is overrun with mutant, terrifying creatures that kill with deadly sound waves. The ship is dying, and the crew is trying to stay alive. It is dark, scary and thrilling. Loved it. *I liked both Tuck and Laura. Tuck is tired of fighting monsters and losing crew mates. He is fearless because at this point he has nothing to lose. He is fierce, flippant and a bit crazy. He is sometimes sarcastic and he has a thing for eighties culture. Laura is a competent computer hacker who finds herself in a sticky situation because she trusted her boyfriend. She is determined to set herself free. She is brave, smart and kind. I loved watching Tuck and Laura work together. *There is a lot going on in this book, and plenty of twists. I liked that there was hardly a moment to catch your breath in this one. The action never lets up. If you want an adrenaline packed thrill ride, this is one to try. *If you want just a touch of romance, this one has it. I liked that there wasn’t a full blown romance, instead there is a friendship born from dire circumstances and then an mutual attraction that gently moves into something more. *The ending is solid. Everything ends satisfactory. Yet, there is a hint dropped that perhaps more is to come. And The Not So Much:*I was completely sucked into this one and loving it, but then there were these little plot holes that started to bother me. Warning minor spoilers ahead:First, there was the magic bow and arrow. As Laura flees from her ship to the Muir, she manages to grab a historic artifact, a bow and a quiver of arrows, to defend herself. The bow proves to be an excellent weapon, especially since it seems to have an inexhaustible supply of arrows. Laura is constantly firing off arrows, but she never stops to retrieve them. I googled it just for reference, an average quiver holds from 20-24 arrows or less. I guarantee she shot more than that. *It was too convenient that Laura barely survives her short traverse onto the Muir alone, but everyone else, including the bad guys made it safely without being attacked by monsters. A little too far fetched since the monsters seemed to be everywhere and a large group like that would have surely attracted plenty of attention before anyone on the Muir could have gotten to them. *A hacker can get in and suddenly hack a system that is four hundred years old, and the crew of the Muir allows these strangers access to the ship? I don’t think so. Considering their situation, they would have been leery of outsiders, especially when you look at the way they got on the Muir. I found it completely unbelievable that the hacker pulled off what they did.*When Tuck and Laura reunite with the crews after a mad dash through the terrors of the ship, Laura needs medical assistance. I thought it strange that Tuck didn’t tell them about Laura’s problem, especially when he witnessed it in action, along with Aren. *The “ghost in the computer” was a little far fetched, and it wasn’t explained how it happened. I wanted more information on this part of the story. Pitch Dark was a book I immediately fell into, I loved the story, the characters, the setting and the terror. However, as the story went along, there were a few too many plot holes and niggles that took away from my enjoyment. Still this was a thrill ride, and I was sucked in by the monsters, the action and the dire situations. Dive in and try and overlook the niggles and you will have a great time. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review. [email protected] Day Ramblings.
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  • Dottie
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book I read from this author. This book was featured and displayed at the YA section at my local library. There was definitely not one dull moment. If you like sci-fi and lots of action this book is for you. Also the author’s note is worth reading. This is the first book I️ read from this author. This book was featured and displayed at the YA section at my local library. There was definitely not one dull moment. If you like sci-fi and lots of action this book is for you. Also the author’s note is worth reading.
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  • Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
    January 1, 1970
    Frequent readers of Sci-Fi & Scary have heard mention of Pitch Dark again and again...and again. I loved the author's first book, Shutter, and when I found out that this one was coming out, I couldn't wait!...and then it got delayed a year. I had a serious case of the frustrated bookworm sads, but I sucked it up because there were lots of books I could read while I waited. Finally - FINALLY - it got released in Feb of 2018. However, I couldn't afford to buy the hardcover. So, I read part of Frequent readers of Sci-Fi & Scary have heard mention of Pitch Dark again and again...and again. I loved the author's first book, Shutter, and when I found out that this one was coming out, I couldn't wait!...and then it got delayed a year. I had a serious case of the frustrated bookworm sads, but I sucked it up because there were lots of books I could read while I waited. Finally - FINALLY - it got released in Feb of 2018. However, I couldn't afford to buy the hardcover. So, I read part of it in B&N, effectively giving myself the biggest unintentional case of blue...bookworm... in history, because when I put in the request at the library for Pitch Dark to finish it, it took forever to get in. Oh sweet baby Cthulhu, I thought it was never going to get to me!But it did. Finally. And then a frequent buddy reader of mine wanted to read it with me. I was all for it, but it meant more waiting. And then a little more waiting, and finally just when we were about to hit the ground running - my kiddo got sick... and so it goes.Eventually, though, I was able to finish the book. Pitch Dark is a solidly-written science fiction horror novel that is fantastically well-imagined. A dash of Event Horizon, some Indiana Jones, a smattering of creature-feature. Lovely stuff. The creatures that the characters face are scare as Hades. The horror that laura faces on a personal level is as terrifying as the creatures are, albeit in a much different way.And,uhm, 'scuse me, but I just have to point out the complete lack of love triangles in this young adult book. That's right! No. Love. Triangles. Also, a platonic relationship between a girl and one of her best buddies that the guy who is attracted to her doesn't get all jealous about! AND - Cthulhu, I've started a bunch of sentences with 'and', haven't I? Sorry - the best buddy totally respects the fact that Laura is quite capable of taking care of herself.One of the most interesting things to me was Pitch Dark itself. I can't truthfully say that I disagreed with it. How the aims were accomplished? Definitely disagree. But the reasoning behind it? Not so much. I think the basic idea was correct, as did my buddy reader, and my best friend when I told her about it. And that's kind sad and/or scary in and of itself. I don't know if the people I actually become friendly with are just exceptionally intelligent or if humanity is actually starting to become a little bit more aware. (Probably just some exceptionally intelligent friends.)On a side note: My appreciation for Pitch Dark ratcheted up after reading the author's note in the back. I suggest you read it too.Shutter was a great book, especially for a debut work. However, in Pitch Dark, it's evident how much the author has grown as a writer. I definitely recommend checking it out as soon as you can.
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  • Mandy
    January 1, 1970
    *I won this in a Goodreads giveaway! Thanks so much for the publisher for sending me over a copy! I super appreciate it, but it did not change my thoughts on the book!*This book started out super promising, and then it kind of fell apart for me. I was totally drawn into this story by the fact that there was 1) aliens 2) horror 3)AlIeNs 4) a Latina MC (and the culture that is woven throughout the story) 5) ALIENS ALIENS ALIENS. While aliens aren't my number one love, they are totally up there. I *I won this in a Goodreads giveaway! Thanks so much for the publisher for sending me over a copy! I super appreciate it, but it did not change my thoughts on the book!*This book started out super promising, and then it kind of fell apart for me. I was totally drawn into this story by the fact that there was 1) aliens 2) horror 3)AlIeNs 4) a Latina MC (and the culture that is woven throughout the story) 5) ALIENS ALIENS ALIENS. While aliens aren't my number one love, they are totally up there. I mean, I don't binge watch The X-Files constantly for nothing. When I saw there was aliens without sound, I was like this sounds like a PG-13 episode of Doctor Who, so beam me up, Fierce Reads. It started off really strong. I found the characters intriguing, I loved how much of the culture Alameda put in, pretty good writing, and the storyline was interesting. After a while, though, it just kind of...well, I got more confused, I found that I was super surface level with most of the characters, and while the relationship wasn't instalove, it was, well, something that I super wasn't into since they had a lot of super in-depth feelings for each other after a few hours. The characters were okay enough. At times, I really enjoyed both Tuck and Laura. Laura was a strong independent heroine who would definitely be a good role model for young girls. Tuck had some hilarious lines, and I did love how much he slid some great pop culture references in there. However, a lot of their characterization fell apart for me a few moments after they met. It was all too much too fast and I kind of felt eh about them after they both starting going, "That's my girl" and getting upset about someone kind of rightly questioning loyalty after years of knowing them but you know she's okay after literally 5 hours???I also super recommend reading the author's note, in which Alameda really gives an insight into how this book came out and the backstory of Laura. I've only recently gotten into reading the author's note, and I'm so glad I did because it made me connect with the story on a whole new level. The storyline was...well, there was kind of a lot going on, and I found a lot of the pieces pretty intriguing. I could follow some parts along, but I will admit I was SO SO SO confused in the beginning. I literally didn't even understand how the two ships were hitting each other because I didn't realize they were next to each other all along??? Me being confused lasted kind of far longer than it should have, but I do have a tougher time with sci-fi books to be honest for this reason. But Alameda did create such an innovative mythology for her creatures and categories for them. I honestly could see this being a movie perfectly - the details were that good for it as I went along and more alien things. ALIEN ACTION WAS FAIRLY GOOD. I WAS QUITE PLEASED. It really didn't scare me or anything, but it was more of the...gore sense of a thriller/horror instead of making you super on edge or scared out of your pants.Okay, though, I got a little frustrated with the fact that literally the fate of the entire ship and kind of all of civilization was resting in the hands of two teenagers??? I mean, literally, the only people that did anything in this book was teens from 16 - 18. I mean, I get I'm reading YA and suspending belief and all, but am I really too much of King Triton that I'm looking at these Ariels like, REALLY. REALLY. YOU'RE GOING TO SAVE THIS EARTH THING AND SPACESHIP THING ALL BY YOUR BIG BAD SELVES BECAUSE ALL ADULTS ARE INCOMPETENT AND CAN'T DO ANYTHING EXCEPT FOR THAT ONE THING THAT IS PROBABLY SPOILERS? HMMMMM? MADNESS, I DARE SAY, MADNESS.Obviously, I wasn't quite into the ship. Even thought they weren't professing their love or anything, it just seemed like they got too deep too fast. Their loyalties to each just were way too strong for only knowing each other a few hours and everytime they would talk deeply about each other, I just hurried up and skipped along. Overall, this wasn't a bad book, but it just fell apart for me in a couple of different places that I just wasn't feeling. Alameda had such a strong beginning but her intriguing concept and good writing couldn't overcome the struggles I had with the book. BUT SERIOUSLY, THANK YOU SO MUCH, ALAMEDA FOR GIVING ME SO MUCH ALIEN ACTION. Two crowns and a Cinderella rating!
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  • Fiona
    January 1, 1970
    It was a long wait for this book, and I'm happy to say it did not disappoint. Though I've found myself reading less and less YA since first I added this book to my shelves, I flew through this book (despite the fact that I was really enjoying it so I tried to make it last - I have terrible willpower).We're mainly following Tuck and Laura - that's pronounced as Laora in the Spanish style - two teens from very different backgrounds. Tuck is essentially from history; he's woken from 400 years of co It was a long wait for this book, and I'm happy to say it did not disappoint. Though I've found myself reading less and less YA since first I added this book to my shelves, I flew through this book (despite the fact that I was really enjoying it so I tried to make it last - I have terrible willpower).We're mainly following Tuck and Laura - that's pronounced as Laora in the Spanish style - two teens from very different backgrounds. Tuck is essentially from history; he's woken from 400 years of cold storage as the book begins. He's aboard the John Muir, one of many ships jettisoned from Earth as a terrorist group did their best to ensure the human race's end - and the John Muir contains something that might mean humanity's survival.Laura is aboard a ship crewed by those who search for ships like the John Muir - lost treasures in space. Right from the start she's clearly in a tough spot - her recently ex-boyfriend and his family have her under their control by use of a parasitic technology called a subjugator. Think Kilgrave if you've watched Jessica Jones - they just have to speak her name with their commands (the incorrect and Anglo pronunciation of her name just to make it that much more humiliating) to establish control. It's a violation and one that's treated as such throughout the book - a tricky subject that I thought was well handled.The story itself varies between horror-ish, to survivalism and science fiction with some action. The people all reliably act like people - someone with broken toes has a cry, for example. The villains are a little flat - they want to take down a rival family for mostly murky reasons - but after reading the author's note, I get it. The romantic subplots were realistic and well-paced; they didn't get in the way of the story. Overall, YAY it's finally here! I loved this book, and I'm so excited to read it again in a couple of months :D
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  • Kaitlynne
    January 1, 1970
    Marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound.... That sounds... Pretty epic, actually. Why does it have to be so far away though?Update on 12-27-162018. What do you MEAN 2018?!?!?! I can't wait that long! *Sad Face*
  • The Blonde Bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    I was instantly drawn to Pitch Dark after reading the first few lines of the synopsis. Space, hardcore female lead, and zombie like creatures?... I'm IN! The action was non-stop from the first page to the last and I was hooked. Not only was the novel action packed, but it was paced evenly from the beginning to the very end. I always judge a book by how easy it is to put down, and let me tell you... I could not put this book down. There is nothing I love more than a badass female lead. Laura was I was instantly drawn to Pitch Dark after reading the first few lines of the synopsis. Space, hardcore female lead, and zombie like creatures?... I'm IN! The action was non-stop from the first page to the last and I was hooked. Not only was the novel action packed, but it was paced evenly from the beginning to the very end. I always judge a book by how easy it is to put down, and let me tell you... I could not put this book down. There is nothing I love more than a badass female lead. Laura was that and then some. She was tough, smart, ambitious and showed no fear. She was amazing, but she wasn't the only great character in Pitch Dark. Tuck is just as tough as Laura and he's totally swoon-worthy. Laura and Tuck were such a great team and I loved following their adventures throughout the John Muir. All in all, Pitch Dark was a exciting and action packed novel. It was unique and incredibly entertaining. I can't wait to see what is next for Laura and Tuck! I would highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy sci-fi/fantasy novels. Thank you to RockStar Book Tours, NetGalley, CourtneyAlameda, and Feiwel and Friends for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsOriginally posted at For What It's Worth on 3/26/18: http://www.fwiwreviews.net/2018/03/mo...Source: arc provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewPitch Dark dives right in and doesn’t let go. That’s both a pro and a con. For almost 1/3 of the book, I was completely lost when it came to some of the slang (for example, one of the characters says *wedge me* instead of swearing – like when BSG uses frak instead of fuck) and it just seemed like such a silly term it kept dist 4.5 starsOriginally posted at For What It's Worth on 3/26/18: http://www.fwiwreviews.net/2018/03/mo...Source: arc provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewPitch Dark dives right in and doesn’t let go. That’s both a pro and a con. For almost 1/3 of the book, I was completely lost when it came to some of the slang (for example, one of the characters says *wedge me* instead of swearing – like when BSG uses frak instead of fuck) and it just seemed like such a silly term it kept distracting me. Tuck said *bruh* a lot and no. Just no. I’m not a huge sci-fi reader and a lot of the technical aspects went right over my head.However, the characters are are tough as nails, adaptive and snarky, the action unrelenting and gruesome with an eerie sense of terror looming around every corner. There’s a slight romance between Laura (pronounced Lao-ra) and Tuck but it’s not overbearing – they’ve got shit to do – like fighting off creepy af monsters.Pros: strong characters, sci-fi/horror mash-up while touching on values, privilege, eco-terrorism and family, with lots of gory action (I’ve read gorier but this was pretty good for YA – think Aliens level gore) Cons: not a lot of answers or explanations for things, a lot of terminology and phrases that were confusing at times until you got used to the writing. Despite a few quibbles, I really enjoyed this one and finished it in just a few hours.
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  • Breanne
    January 1, 1970
    Tuck has been in stasis for 400 years after his ship, the John Muir, was jettisoned into deep space and stranded, unlikely to ever be found again. When he awakes, he finds his ship has been overrun by the mutated remains of other crew members whose screams alone can tear you apart. Laura is a young hacker onboard the Conquistador, a raiding ship looking for the key to the human race's survival. When the Conquistador and the John Muir collide, Laura and Tuck must work together to save their crews Tuck has been in stasis for 400 years after his ship, the John Muir, was jettisoned into deep space and stranded, unlikely to ever be found again. When he awakes, he finds his ship has been overrun by the mutated remains of other crew members whose screams alone can tear you apart. Laura is a young hacker onboard the Conquistador, a raiding ship looking for the key to the human race's survival. When the Conquistador and the John Muir collide, Laura and Tuck must work together to save their crews while trying to evade a malicious organization set on their failure."When the light flicks on again, a lone figure stands under the bulb, tentacles sliding up over its shoulders and curling around its waist." This book is a study in tension, suspense, and anticipation! Crouching in the dark and hoping things don't find you, you're holding your breath alongside the characters. Tuck and Laura are fantastic characters, with distinct voices and personalities, the banter between them being particularly good. They are characters that I WANT to spend time with, even when they are struggling. Pitch Dark is playfully sprinkled with references to contemporary movies, games, and pop culture (especially through the voice of Tuck) and I loved the play between Laura's futuristic tech landscape and Tuck's "older," more analog world.Lastly, this book resonated repeatedly on a personal level, especially reading about Laura's subjugator (a cruel means of control). Reading her struggles was somehow cathartic: an exercise in resistance that feels validating for anyone who may have ever felt helpless. I was impressed with the author's note at the end, which conveyed just how much of Alameda's own identity is wrapped up in the characters, tensions, and struggles of the book. A fantastic read.(view spoiler)[Shout out to my favorite character: the Noh Mask hacker!!! (hide spoiler)]
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  • Katherine Paschal
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewed on https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/Tuck woke up from stasis incredibly disoriented- and 400 years in the future. But something isn't right about his ship, something else has woken up too. Laura wants nothing more but to be free of the tech that was implanted against her will by the person who she thought loved her, and now she is just a pawn to be used against her family. When a terrorist group who wants humanity to end makes their presence known, Laura's ship is set on a path of d Reviewed on https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/Tuck woke up from stasis incredibly disoriented- and 400 years in the future. But something isn't right about his ship, something else has woken up too. Laura wants nothing more but to be free of the tech that was implanted against her will by the person who she thought loved her, and now she is just a pawn to be used against her family. When a terrorist group who wants humanity to end makes their presence known, Laura's ship is set on a path of destruction, right towards the horror that lives on Tuck's. Words can't even began to describe the love that pours out of me when it comes to Courtney's previous book Shutter- seriously, I am a total fan girl, I forced all my friends to read it, and it holds a special place in my top ten books (and that is saying a LOT considering I read over 200 books a year!). I was thrilled when I learned that there would be another Courtney book coming out, filled with the horror that I now expect from her- but this time in outer space, a place I personally already think is terrifying! I will admit that I was a little hesitant when I first picked up the book since I had built VERY high expectations up, but I am ever so happy to report that I loved this book and every heart stopping, terrifying moment. Stasis stole something from everyone: It burned the memories from our heads. It stole our stories, our humanity. Our families, too. In most cases, it ended our lives. The story was dual narrated, switching at chapters between Tuck and Laura. Laura was the definition of competent, a girl who can take care of herself, her own hero, full of fire and spunk, with a will of iron and a desire to live- and her aim with a bow and arrow is top notch (ha, sorry could resist!). Laura is the girl we all strive to be. Tuck on the other hand is very capable and intelligent, but his fight has left him, and instead he takes dangerous risks not at all upset to put himself in danger. But his love of "old movies" aka movies I grew up watching, and his amazing quotes and sayings were just the comic relief that I needed to stop a moment of terror. Be it Monty Python phrases, Doctor Who play on words or his awful love for Die Hard, I could relate to Tuck so much, and his totally inappropriate comments. Keep in mind that this was not a romance, but instead a science fiction horror adventure (love kinda takes a backseat to survival, in the grand scheme of things). “Doctor who?” Sebastian keeps his rifle trained on me. Oh, now that’s an opportunity I can’t pass up: “Doctor Who?” I say with an edge of mockery. “You call yourself archeologists and you don’t know about the Doctor?”“Which doctor?” Sebastian asks. “The madman with a box?” I ask. “Bad Wolf? We have a lot of running to do?”They both look at me as if I’m the one who’s lost my damn mind. Right from the first chapter, the reader is thrown into the danger that terrorizes the characters- be it real monsters that chase Tuck to the powerful people who hide their monster better and subjugate Laura. I had goose bumps rise up on my arms while reading the imagery that unfolded on the pages- I could see every ever so wrong detail about the creatures that stalked the dark aboard the John Muir ship. Behind me, only the silhouette of some massive beast is visible through the fester-covered glass: the creature stands on two legs, but that’s where its similarities to a human being end. As the monster steps up to the window, something slithers away from its back— a hundred long, thick tentacles unfurl like diabolical wings, writhing as if they each have a mind of their own. Just typing that paragraph makes me goosebumped again because I know what comes next. I found myself holding my breath while reading silent encounters where Tuck was being stalked by something very wrong, hoping that if I held my breath it would help Tuck not be found. Every noise counts. I felt the panic with Laura where she was in the pitch dark, unable to see, but knowing something was right next to her. I was so wrapped up in the terror that made up every encounter with space...things (evolutions?) that I could not put the book down, I was so wrapped up in the fast paced journey. Pitch Dark was full of creepy imagery that made my skin crawl (worms, worms distrub me more than anything!), as well as even darker imagery of death, dying and destruction in all forms. Maybe read this book with the light on- or better yet, during the day, with all the lights on... The best defenses against them are stillness, silence, luck… And in a pinch, a well-aimed knife. A howl unfurls, a shredded, tortured sort of song. The crew calls them mourners because their shrieks sound like someone sobbing at a funeral. Even at this distance, their cries grate against my exposed forehead like sandpaper. In case it was not apparent, I highly recommend this read for anyone looking for a terrifying science fiction, action filled ride with strong competent character who can take on the world (worlds?). Pick this up asap, and be ready to hold your breath and be very, very quiet...​I am voluntarily reviewing an advance, complimentary copy of this book (But I have since then gone out and purchased a signed copy to cherish and give a place of honor to on my bookshelf from my local indie bookstore!).
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  • Venkittarayan Chandrasekharan
    January 1, 1970
    Doesn't this sound similar to vin diesel's movie 'pitch black', even its going to be I'm gonna read it cos I love the movie.
  • Crazy4Books
    January 1, 1970
    In this book we follow Laura and Tuck who meet when Lauras family finds a 400 years old ship lost in space. When Tucks ship was sabotaged and stranded in space the crew went into stasis hoping someone would eventually find them only to wake up 400 years later to a ship overrun with grotesque monsters. After almost 2 years avoiding monsters and scavenging the ship for supplies Lauras crew finally finds Tucks ship, but the people who originaly sabotaged Tucks ship arent going to make this rescue e In this book we follow Laura and Tuck who meet when Lauras family finds a 400 years old ship lost in space. When Tucks ship was sabotaged and stranded in space the crew went into stasis hoping someone would eventually find them only to wake up 400 years later to a ship overrun with grotesque monsters. After almost 2 years avoiding monsters and scavenging the ship for supplies Lauras crew finally finds Tucks ship, but the people who originaly sabotaged Tucks ship arent going to make this rescue easy. At first I prefered Tucks point of view, but by the end I thought both perspectives were compelling. I enjoyed seeing their interactions and their relationships progression. Tucks awesome humour and movie references added some great levity to this dark story. Lauras a strong and resourceful Latina.Despite loving many elements in this book there was a lot of holes in the story. I don't understand why Laura didnt ask Tuck to inform her Mom right away about what had been done to her. Not to mention leaving the artifact in the hospital room where anyone could steal it wasnt the smartest thing shes ever done. Why didnt they leave all these important artifacts back home where they cant get damaged in the first place. I was also suprised that some of Tucks technology seemed as good as the tech 400 years in the future. I have no idea how the ships AI could have missed the giant monster running around the ship and what the heck do all these monsters eat to stay alive.How did the Pitch Dark terrorist group survived on that ship for 400 year? I have a hard time believing this group would be willing to kill themselves by destroying humanities only chance at survival. Peoples instinct for survival is usually pretty strong so to have this many people willing to die without the sacrifice saving their friends, family or country seems a bit unrealistic. Plus if they could use the crews bioware against them, then why havent they done it before now. The plot twist didnt make a lot of sense to me. The person revealed as the villain couldn't have done what they did. There was also some parts that were a little too convenient, like Tucks Coglinks and Laura being great with a bow when people dont use them anymore.I still thought this book was an entertaining read that got better the farther I got into it. I loved the intense action and high stake plot. Im happy the author didnt hold back on any of the gory and violent details. The protagonists can and do get severely injured by the dangerous creatures roaming the ship. I loved the horror/scifi setting with the terrifying monsters. I think I noticed more issues with the story because I went into the it wary after all the unexplained technical terms in the second chapter. Thankfully theres only a few chapters like that and the rest did a fantastic job immersing me in the sinister and eerie world that is Pitch Dark. Despite not having all my questions answered I enjoyed how the story wrapped up. I understand it can be difficult to fit everything into a standlone novel.I really enjoyed buddy reading this with Jack +The Page Runner+ Im so happy he agreed to buddy read it with me because I probably wouldn't have made it past the second chapter without him and I did end up really enjoying this. His detailed review is amazing so definitely check it out. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
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  • Diabolica
    January 1, 1970
    The beautiful tale of a prince saving his distressed maiden. Only this time the distressed maiden saves herself. Not once. Twice. Not just herself. Basically everyone too. Though I have retained little recollection of Shutter, this book was definitely a step up. No jokes this book has the likeness of the Illuminae series. (And it is for that reason that I'm going to have to read another book so that I don't end up comparing the two). That aside, this book was brilliant. It was faced-paced and fi The beautiful tale of a prince saving his distressed maiden. Only this time the distressed maiden saves herself. Not once. Twice. Not just herself. Basically everyone too. Though I have retained little recollection of Shutter, this book was definitely a step up. No jokes this book has the likeness of the Illuminae series. (And it is for that reason that I'm going to have to read another book so that I don't end up comparing the two). That aside, this book was brilliant. It was faced-paced and filled with tons of witty dialogue, courtesy of Tuck. Mostly Tuck anyways. Alameda did not skimp out on her characters either. Laura was more than headstrong, the written epitome for badass. Tuck was her supporting sidekick (I guess) who provided the perfect comic relief. His constant allusions to retro movies not only fit with the theme of the novel, but they were hilarious. At least the ones I understood were. This book was a really well written standalone, leaving no loose ends. Plot and character development were developed to the T. All in all, deserving of 5 stars
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  • P.M.
    January 1, 1970
    I intended to give this three stars until I read the author's explanation as to what inspired her to write the book. Without getting into politics in this review, I salute her for standing up for what's right. We need more people like her and maybe we can save the Declaration of Independence and what it is supposed to symbolize.
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  • Tim Mercer
    January 1, 1970
    This book definitely lives up to it's science-fiction/horror description with full doses of both. Echo's of Alien but taken to the next level. The setting on a derelict ship is fascinating and I found the lead characters are really engaging. Nice to read a good book that is not part of a series for a change. Need to do that more. Although if there is a sequel I will definitely be reading it!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I started reading, expecting a cheesy horror book. I ended up was an amazing sci-fi horror book with so many subtle and brilliant connections to our current national problems woven in. Fantastic book.
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC From Edelweiss PlusMore of a YA book. A bit of the gruesome side, but also very fast paced. I've read a couple of others recently about space crews in and out of stasis, so may pass on purchasing for now. Definitely investigate for high school collections.
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