The Ghost Line
The luxury cruise ship the Martian Queen was decommissioned years ago, set to drift back and forth between Earth and Mars on the off-chance that reclaiming it ever became profitable for the owners. For Saga and her husband Michel the cruise ship represents a massive payday. Hacking and stealing the ship could earn them enough to settle down, have children, and pay for the treatments to save Saga’s mother’s life.But the Martian Queen is much more than their employer has told them. In the twenty years since it was abandoned, something strange and dangerous has come to reside in the decadent vessel. Saga feels herself being drawn into a spider’s web, and must navigate the traps and lures of an awakening intelligence if she wants to go home again.

The Ghost Line Details

TitleThe Ghost Line
Author
FormatKindle Edition
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 10th, 2017
PublisherTor.com
Number of pages73 pages
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Novella, Fiction, Short Stories

The Ghost Line Review

  • Melanie
    February 28, 2017
    ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.The Ghost Line is a short story that surrounds four people on a mission to hijack an abandoned space ship named the Martian Queen.➽ Saga - Our main protagonist, married to Michel, is obsessed with exploring abandoned ships and has a fan-base from her haunted finds. ➽ Michel - The husband of Saga and one of the most sought after hackers in the universe. ➽ Gregor - A Russian pilot with a drinking problem.➽ Wei - The woman who hired these three c ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.The Ghost Line is a short story that surrounds four people on a mission to hijack an abandoned space ship named the Martian Queen.➽ Saga - Our main protagonist, married to Michel, is obsessed with exploring abandoned ships and has a fan-base from her haunted finds. ➽ Michel - The husband of Saga and one of the most sought after hackers in the universe. ➽ Gregor - A Russian pilot with a drinking problem.➽ Wei - The woman who hired these three crew members, even though she answers their questions about the mission very begrudgingly, while keeping many secrets close to herself. Saga and Michel accept Wei's mysterious mission, even though they were going to settle down and start a family, because the money she offered them was tremendous. I'm guessing that is also why Gregor accepted, but it is never clearly stated.The Martian Queen was once a great and luxurious hotel ship, equipped with casinos, spas, nightclubs, and even more built inside. While active, it was a home and place to sleep for people traveling between Earth and Mars. Now, the ship still travels back and forth from Earth to Mars, constantly being lead by our orbit, even though it hasn't had a crew or passengers for twenty years. This story feels like you're walking through and exploring what's left of the Titanic, but in space. It feels eerie and ominous, while you're trying to piece together the mystery of this ship and why it is still part of our orbit. I am not sure I would consider this part of the horror genre, but it is for sure creepy and will leave you on edge while reading. This is ultimately a story about love and loss, and making sacrifices that you don't ever believe you are brave or capable enough to make until you are forced to make them. I loved the message, and I very much enjoyed the ending, but I still feel like this was too grand of a story for only 70ish pages. I, personally, feel like it would be been much better as a full length novel, or even if 100 extra pages were tacked on, so we could have explored more of the ship, more of the characters, and more of the mysteries. Instead, I feel like the message was way less impactful and I wasn't nearly as invested as I probably should have been. This definitely wasn't a bad read; it just left a lot to be desired and a lot of questions to be answered.I would be very interested in a continuation short story, just to see how certain people felt with the conclusion. Yet, I do think this is a decently strong story to stand upon its own, too. Regardless, this was a good short story, and for sure worth the short amount of time it takes to read! Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Twitch
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  • The Haunted Reading Room 2017 - Year of Lovecraft
    May 20, 2017
    Review of THE GHOST LINEby Andrew Neil Gray and J. S. Herbison What an exciting novella! I hope this universe will be expanded on, as I totally enjoyed the characters and the convoluted plotting, not to mention the advanced reason behind the events on the abandoned vessel, THE MARTIAN QUEEN. In many ways I found this story particularly special and engaging. A married couple who explore abandoned asteroid habitats and space vessels are hired by a woman who claims to be acting on behalf of a corpo Review of THE GHOST LINEby Andrew Neil Gray and J. S. Herbison What an exciting novella! I hope this universe will be expanded on, as I totally enjoyed the characters and the convoluted plotting, not to mention the advanced reason behind the events on the abandoned vessel, THE MARTIAN QUEEN. In many ways I found this story particularly special and engaging. A married couple who explore abandoned asteroid habitats and space vessels are hired by a woman who claims to be acting on behalf of a corporation, to hack The Martian Queen, a ship which three decades ago flew between Mars and Earth, providing an upscale experience The Titanic and The Lusitania might envy. When the company went bankrupt, new ownership shut down the ship and left it in orbit. Now the ship is to be hacked and sent out of orbit—supposedly. In actuality, what Wei intends is far from anything Saga and Michel or their pilot Gregor could possibly expect; and even stranger is the ship's intention.THE GHOST LINE is a riveting science fiction experience, but I think it will be enjoyed just as much by readers of other genres. It's just that excellent.
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  • Nthato Morakabi
    April 21, 2017
    Andrew Neil Gray and J.S. Herbison are wonderful authors. This short but powerful novella started off as one thing. The story of a husband and wife hacker duo. Of a woman intent on breaching a ship lost to the vastness of space. Of adventure and hints of mystery.It instead evolves into a beautiful, melancholic unraveling of something greater. Something deeper than just another story about a ghost ship. Written from the perspective of Saga, we see the unfolding story of each member who traveled w Andrew Neil Gray and J.S. Herbison are wonderful authors. This short but powerful novella started off as one thing. The story of a husband and wife hacker duo. Of a woman intent on breaching a ship lost to the vastness of space. Of adventure and hints of mystery.It instead evolves into a beautiful, melancholic unraveling of something greater. Something deeper than just another story about a ghost ship. Written from the perspective of Saga, we see the unfolding story of each member who traveled with her to the Mars Queen. Gregory, the ships pilot, battling his own demons. Wei, the mysterious patron with a dark secret. And Michel, Saga's husband and stronghold on this floating ship. Together, with strong imagery and the emotive journey that Saga undergoes, The Ghost Line becomes a sci-fi novella with a punch.
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  • Nikki
    May 28, 2017
    Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 11th July 2017I didn’t expect to find this so creepy, but wow, it ended up getting under my skin. I thought I’d just start it, see what it was like before bed… and then I read the whole thing. I loved the partnership between the husband and wife team, and the whole idea of a space-liner drifting on an old cruise path just to keep the rights to it. There’s not much explanation for why what happens on the ship occurs, but it’s almost better that w Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 11th July 2017I didn’t expect to find this so creepy, but wow, it ended up getting under my skin. I thought I’d just start it, see what it was like before bed… and then I read the whole thing. I loved the partnership between the husband and wife team, and the whole idea of a space-liner drifting on an old cruise path just to keep the rights to it. There’s not much explanation for why what happens on the ship occurs, but it’s almost better that way — you don’t understand why anymore than the characters do.I loved the ending, too. It’d have been easy to give readers an easier, happier way out; to have some kind of compromise be reached. Instead — well, I’d better not say too much. Suffice it to say that it works really well, and though it’s not horror, it definitely has a heck of a creep factor in places.Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.
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  • Therin Knite
    July 15, 2017
    I received an ARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley.In general, I have no issues reading novellas, novelettes, or short stories -- except when I find that the length inhibits the storytelling. Unfortunately, I felt that was the case with The Ghost Line.The story has a fairly abrupt start, as the main characters are approaching the titular ghost line, an abandoned luxury space cruise ship, and from that point on, it never quite gives us the full scope of the story's universe. We don' I received an ARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley.In general, I have no issues reading novellas, novelettes, or short stories -- except when I find that the length inhibits the storytelling. Unfortunately, I felt that was the case with The Ghost Line.The story has a fairly abrupt start, as the main characters are approaching the titular ghost line, an abandoned luxury space cruise ship, and from that point on, it never quite gives us the full scope of the story's universe. We don't learn what Earth is like to any real degree in this spacefaring future--beyond a few mentions of advanced technology--and our interactions with its inhabitants are limited to the four-person crew on the mission.The characters themselves aren't poorly written, per se, but they could have been executed better. One of them bordered on a cliche, another acted so aberrantly throughout the story that it made a few of the plot twists a little too obvious. The main character was a little to woe-is-me as well, dwelling on her personal problems so often that it distracted from the main storyline.The plot itself was interesting, but I didn't find the twists all that original or shocking. I think the length really stunted the story's ability to build suspense, as it kept throwing out answers immediately after the questions were asked. My biggest letdown, honestly, was that the tone wasn't nearly as "horror-tinged" as I was hoping it'd be. I wanted a slow, atmospheric, creepy buildup, but the pace got so fast around the one-third mark that such a tone became impossible to hold. Overall, this was an okay read, but nothing to write home about.YouTube | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
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  • Alice
    July 20, 2017
    Saga and her husband Michel are persuaded by the tight-lipped Wei to take part in one last mission before settling down to raise children together. Their job is to hack the Martian Queen, apparently for profit. But Wei isn't telling them everything.This novella has one of the loneliest, most distinctively creepy atmospheres I've ever experienced. I read most of this late at night, and found myself following my cat around just to feel less disturbed. Gray and Herbison make a perfect team and I'm Saga and her husband Michel are persuaded by the tight-lipped Wei to take part in one last mission before settling down to raise children together. Their job is to hack the Martian Queen, apparently for profit. But Wei isn't telling them everything.This novella has one of the loneliest, most distinctively creepy atmospheres I've ever experienced. I read most of this late at night, and found myself following my cat around just to feel less disturbed. Gray and Herbison make a perfect team and I'm happy to hear there's a full novel in the works.
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  • Xavi
    July 10, 2017
    Una novela breve de misterio en una nave abandonada. No es muy original, pero si que es muy resultona y en algunos casos sorprendente. Da para una buena película de terror en el espacio.
  • Lucille
    March 14, 2017
    [I can't decide between a 3 and a 4 so I guess it's a 3,5/5!]
  • Unai
    July 26, 2017
    Bien, pero sin mas. Corto, con su suspense y su no saber que demonios pasa, con buena mezcla de crucero fantasma con terror en el espacio.
  • Thomas Wagner
    March 6, 2017
    [Full review coming.]
  • Sarah
    July 10, 2017
    3.75 The Ghost Line starts off reading a lot like every other space horror book. We have the crew, hired by a single person representing a large company who wants to recover'information' and 'salvage' an old abandoned luxury space liner. They arrive and the ship is, at first glance, eerily well kept. The crew itself is even a little bit on the expected side. A married couple planning on maybe starting a family after this, a pilot who would rather be drinking, and of course the creepy and aloof p 3.75 The Ghost Line starts off reading a lot like every other space horror book. We have the crew, hired by a single person representing a large company who wants to recover'information' and 'salvage' an old abandoned luxury space liner. They arrive and the ship is, at first glance, eerily well kept. The crew itself is even a little bit on the expected side. A married couple planning on maybe starting a family after this, a pilot who would rather be drinking, and of course the creepy and aloof patron of the whole affair.Once all that is out of the way and you get into the meat of the story, The Ghost Line starts to add little twists and spins and eventually changes the expected path of the story. It's not entirely new and original but the way the story is pieced and carefully sewn together is super enjoyable, and perfectly packaged in it's 73 pages.The two main characters, Saga and Michel, only took this one last salvage job to get the last bit of money to help their soon to be family. Saga is also busy paying for the therapy she hopes will help her mother who is suffering from an unnamed neurosis. Wei, the woman who hired them is a creepy woman who keeps to herself and the pilot she picked Gregor is a almost cookie cutter Russian drunk. I liked everyone except for Gregor, even with the practiced and familar roles everyone was in he was the one that felt 'extra'. He felt tacked on for a story device which was a disappointment.I really loved the premise of the ship they are sent to recover. It's a luxury liner, one formerly meant to shuttle people to and from certain places and it's made up like the Titanic. Very fancy, very upscale and all of it in perfect condition when the team arrives. Of course things go wrong, and the story becomes an almost Fairy like Horror. I won't say anything more than that but it did not go where I thought it would and for that I am exceptionally pleased with it.For horror novella this one is the perfect length and though it doesn't knock your socks off I think it's worth reading. It's definitely on my list of 'comfy horror' books I'll return to when I want to scratch that itch.Cover Thoughts : The cover art on this is done by John Harris who has also done beautiful covers for some Orson Scott Card, Ben Bova, Jack MacDevitt. He seems to focus on pastels and paintings. I really like this cover for this story, again this is a cover that the more you think about the ending on the book it fits perfectly. It's beautifully done and really gives a great image to the story.
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  • Annemieke
    July 28, 2017
    The Ghost Line is a novella I saw pass me by a few times when visiting other blogs and as the cover drew me in I decided to request it for myself. I was not left disappointed.Despite the shortness of the book, about 70 pages, the necessary world building was done. But there was also some deepening out of the characters I was perhaps not expecting from such a short novella. The story follows four characters with only one point of view. Saga, and especially her husband Michel, know how to hack the The Ghost Line is a novella I saw pass me by a few times when visiting other blogs and as the cover drew me in I decided to request it for myself. I was not left disappointed.Despite the shortness of the book, about 70 pages, the necessary world building was done. But there was also some deepening out of the characters I was perhaps not expecting from such a short novella. The story follows four characters with only one point of view. Saga, and especially her husband Michel, know how to hack their way into all kinds of things, like ghost ships. Their pilot Gregor, an alcoholic, was also hired by their contractor, Wei, who wants to reclaim The Martian Queen. All our characters have something interesting to them. Gregor is more than just an alcoholic. Michel wants to start a family but how much does Saga truly want it? And Wei who doesn’t share her secrets regarding The Martian Queen but would like everyone to listen to her regardless regarding it.The ship itself also plays its role of course. Having been dormant in space for so long, it is creepy and eerie to follow Saga through it. I think the authors captured that atmosphere reasonably well. The ending even tore open an emotional cord. I do think it missed its mark slightly due to the shortness of the story. Perhaps a bit more length and deepening in the feelings would have made it hit more.Even so I found this a very enjoyable and possibly thought provoking read. Certainly worth a read if you like ghost stories and space ships.
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  • Travis Starnes
    July 6, 2017
    I will start off by saying I generally liked most of what this book did. The characters are interesting, if not exactly unique to the genre, and I liked the fact that the main character was from Iceland. It added a bit extra to her characterization, especially when it casually dropped some lesser known Icelandic folklore into a random conversation. The authors also did a solid job of getting across the emotions of their characters, and from the outset, I felt the almost crazy sneakiness of Wei a I will start off by saying I generally liked most of what this book did. The characters are interesting, if not exactly unique to the genre, and I liked the fact that the main character was from Iceland. It added a bit extra to her characterization, especially when it casually dropped some lesser known Icelandic folklore into a random conversation. The authors also did a solid job of getting across the emotions of their characters, and from the outset, I felt the almost crazy sneakiness of Wei and the real affection Saga and Michel had for each other. Often in Sci-Fi books, characters are paired off but then don’t actually feel like a real couple, so the fact that the emotions of these two were so well written really worked for me.This book hit it’s genre dead on, but unfortunately, a little too dead-on. If you’ve seen movies like Event Horizon, Ghost Ship, or The Haunting of Hill House, then you will be incredibly familiar with what is going to happen in this book. While different in the specifics, it follows the formula of the genre to such a degree that it is entirely predictable. Thankfully, while the book is a little derivative, it is written well enough to preserve the suspense it goes for despite seeing the twists coming a mile ahead of time.The full review of this book is posted at http://homeofreading.com/the-ghost-line/
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  • Jared Adams
    June 20, 2017
    "The Ghost Line" is a character story wrapped in science fiction with an antique ghost story ribbon for a bow. It makes for a deeply engaging package that's hard to put down, and the length is such that you can read it easily in a few sittings, so you don't have to. It follows Saga, a sort of urban explorer of abandoned spaceships, and her husband, who hacks the systems necessary to get her into said ships. Saga makes a living by filming "Interactives" of her explorations so fans can experience "The Ghost Line" is a character story wrapped in science fiction with an antique ghost story ribbon for a bow. It makes for a deeply engaging package that's hard to put down, and the length is such that you can read it easily in a few sittings, so you don't have to. It follows Saga, a sort of urban explorer of abandoned spaceships, and her husband, who hacks the systems necessary to get her into said ships. Saga makes a living by filming "Interactives" of her explorations so fans can experience the relics of the past. Her current project is a mothballed luxury liner evocative of The Titanic, and as she probes its secrets, she is forced to come to terms with her own past. Two things stood out to me. First, the pacing. Though this is a novella, it never felt rushed. The story unfolds as the characters explore, and the pacing somehow mirrors the silent hallways of the abandoned ship, creating an elegant, eerie tone. Second, central to the story is a married couple. They are happily married and committed. They trust each other. They know each other's quirks. They have deep disagreements, but they know and accept them. It's a beautiful relationship that's under-represented in fiction, and it was refreshing to read. Recommended! Note: A free e-ARC was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jen
    June 7, 2017
    It was OK. I was interested, but not involved. An early connection is made to Urban Exploration--the exploration and documentation of abandoned and decaying man-made structures. Saga, who evidently was involved in U E on earth now documents the exploration of structures in space. She and her husband Michel have been hired by a very reticent employer to hack the Martian Queen, the cruise ship for the wealthy that was abandoned in space twenty years earlier. The time spent on the luxurious abandon It was OK. I was interested, but not involved. An early connection is made to Urban Exploration--the exploration and documentation of abandoned and decaying man-made structures. Saga, who evidently was involved in U E on earth now documents the exploration of structures in space. She and her husband Michel have been hired by a very reticent employer to hack the Martian Queen, the cruise ship for the wealthy that was abandoned in space twenty years earlier. The time spent on the luxurious abandoned ship is at first eerie, then more mysterious, then dangerous. I'm not a big fan of novellas, so that influenced my opinion, and the characters didn't have time to become real for me. Love the premise of the ghostly ship, abandoned by humans, continuing its silent journey between Earth and Mars, but 73 pages felt like skimming the surface.
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  • Laura Kehoe
    June 21, 2017
    Actual rating is 3.5This was not at all what I expected. I picked The Ghost Line up because I was in the mood for a fun scifi read. And it was definitely fun to read. But it was also much stranger and more emotional than I expected. For such a short book, it packed quite the punch.As I said, this was a short book (less than a hundred pages, I believe). So there wasn't a whole lot of time for world building . But, that being said, I was really impressed with how much  building was done in such a Actual rating is 3.5This was not at all what I expected. I picked The Ghost Line up because I was in the mood for a fun scifi read. And it was definitely fun to read. But it was also much stranger and more emotional than I expected. For such a short book, it packed quite the punch.As I said, this was a short book (less than a hundred pages, I believe). So there wasn't a whole lot of time for world building . But, that being said, I was really impressed with how much  building was done in such a short period of time. I felt like I had a surprisingly good grasp of this universe.The same could be said for the characters. Even though we only got a short glimpse into their lives, I feel like I got to know them all really well. I would have loved even more character development and exploration, but of course in a shorter book like this that's not really possible.This book is short, but so interesting. I loved the interplay of the characters and it was so much fun to get to know this universe. I'd definitely check out more books by these authors. And to anyone who likes scifi, I'd recommend giving this a read!Thank you to NetGalley and Tor.com for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review!
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  • scott kohn
    July 22, 2017
    Worth the wait.I pre-ordered this book based on it's description. I love stories that deal with abandoned places and things. It was a wonderful read although a short one. It took me only a couple of hours to finish the whole thing, as I hated to put it down, drawn into the story line and all of the characters. I don't know what a sequel would look like, but if there was one coming, I would pre-order it too!
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  • Kirsty
    July 18, 2017
    I really enjoyed this and wished it had been longer (which isn't something I usually say – I almost always want books to be shorter). I loved all the characters, and the world-building is really impressive considering the small word count. Keeping the focus on one ship and having minimal flashbacks worked really well. As you can tell, I'm learning from this book as a writer, as well as enjoying it as a reader. I'd like to read more from these authors.
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  • Henry Lazarus
    July 27, 2017
    Andrew Neil Gray; and J.S. Herbison tell of space ship hackers Saga and her husband Michel who are hired to break into the moth-balled Martian Queen still in orbit between Earth and Mars. They didn’t expect that the ship was The Ghost Line (ebook from Tor) and quite dangerous, something the person who hired them already knew. It’s an interesting tale, but I didn’t buy the reasons for the ghosts. Review printed by Philadelphia Weekly Press
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  • Fiona
    July 20, 2017
    This was an unexpected delight. I'm not familiar with either author, and it looked like a fun, enteretaining ghost story.It's so much more than that, but it really is best to go in as cold as you can. So I'll keep it down to a straight recommentadation for any who likes sci fi/ghosts/abandoned spaces that get all creepy when people start poking around...
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  • Kertu
    June 28, 2017
    Early copy provided by NetGalley.A short and simple read. Featuring a dysfunctional married couple, a secretive crazy person, an alcoholic and a self-aware ship. Pick this up if you're bored and don't know what else to do. Otherwise there are so many better reads.
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  • Harry
    July 19, 2017
    A solid novella.3.5 stars, but I gave it 4, because there were pieces of text that were really well written. I agree with other reviewers that the pacing could be revised, or even extended into an entire novel. Cheers, H
  • Jessie (Ageless Pages Reviews)
    June 15, 2017
    3.5/5
  • Natty
    May 30, 2017
    Beautifully written in classic abandoned ship salvage gone wrong style with solid characters. Quite an enjoyable read.
  • Ashley
    July 2, 2017
    Short, sweet and creepy sci-fi. Wish there had been more definitive answers, but it was a fun read all the same. At less than a hundred pages, it's great for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
  • Tim Hayes
    July 13, 2017
    Very interesting premiseI really enjoyed this book and devoured it in a single day as I had time to complete it. I look forward to any other books these authors write
  • Stefan Fergus
    June 28, 2017
    Full review here: https://civilianreader.com/2017/07/05...
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