Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes is a horror sci-fi novel in space that is being compared if the Titanic meets The Shining. Fans of claustrophobic horror settings will definitely want to give this a look. However, this just didn’t hit it for me. While I’m no longer scared as I was once of ghosts and hallucinations, I still wanted to get a good story out of it and if there are scenes that give me goosebumps, then all the better! While there were one or two scenes that counted for those chills I felt in my arms, the story here in Dead Silence is just bland, and worst of all, the entire crew is as cliche as they come. Each and every single one of them.
Being dead and frozen does tend to be a rather effective preserving agent. – Claire Kovalik
Dead Silence starts off with a crew of five maintenance members on a spacecraft suddenly receiving an alert/distress beacon out of nowhere. An argument pursues in deciding whether they should check it out or leave it to command to deal with. As a reader, of course, you’d have known which side won, and away we go. The crew finds too big of a mystery on the abandoned craft to leave alone so the more they dig, the more bizarre things get. This is not exactly a unique situation if you’ve read other mysteries novels in space but what usually helps things, and I mean helping a lot, are exciting characters. Unfortunately, these five members are as cliche and stereotypical as they get. While I didn’t mind Claire, the lead protagonist, the author should do well next time to not make it a point every chapter to remind the readers of how we should pity a character. The self-loathing is evident the first two or three times.
A boring day is a good day. Boring is what we strive for. When things are exciting, someone is usually about to die in some new and horrible way. – Claire Kovalik
Story-wise, do I find the answer to the mystery satisfactory? A little. Is it totally possible and realistic? Sure. Who knows what can happen in the distant future. I would have thought that by then there’d be technology in place to suppress a person’s hallucinogenic ability. In either case, Dead Silence is a sub-average sci-fi novel. It’s very hard for me to recommend it unless you are a fan of claustrophobic type horror environments.