Dead Space

Kali Wallace
Dead Space Cover

Dead Space


Unfortunately I really struggled to connect with this book, which is a shame because there are some decent ideas in here.

Dead Space is a murder mystery set on an asteroid in a future where corporate, rather than governmental power is the norm. There are some really nice ideas in here about the nature of artificial intelligence and a few nods to cyperpunk / transhuman themes. I am glad I got to the end of the book, because I really enjoyed how it wrapped everything up but I felt it was a slog to get to.

I don't know if it is me, or the space I am in reading (I've been a bit unwell whilst reading this) but I really struggled to engage with or care about the setting. I couldn't connect at all with the central character or any of the supporting characters in any way to make me care about what happened to them. I couldn't visualise or identify with any of them at all. It was only at the end when I felt any kind of emotive connection to the lead character. I found the setting a little 'cookie-cutter', familiar enough to recognise but not enough for me to be interested in. The book doesn't really work as a 'slow burner' and whilst there is plenty of action, it doesn't feel 'action-packed'. There is a plot in here that unfolds with different actors having motivations and quite a few red herrings but none of the reveals had me going 'ah-hah'.

I suspect there are plenty of people who will love this book (it's recently won the Philip K. Dick award) and it gets bonus points for positive representations of LQBTQIA+ themes, but sadly it's not just for me.