Latest Reads: Obscura Joe Hart

Publication Date: 8th May from Thomas and Mercer

Source: Netgalley

She’s felt it before…the fear of losing control. And it’s happening again.

In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

This was brilliant.

I love a good psychological thriller, I love a good dose of science fiction, I love a good mystery and I love great divisive characters. So to find them all under one magnificently readable roof was a pure joy for me.

Someone (I can’t remember who or I would credit them) described this as “Shutter Island in Space” and I can’t disagree with that assessment – Obscura follows Dr Gillian Ryan, as in an effort to find a cure for her daughter, she agrees to help out on a secretive mission – however she has been entirely deceived as to what this entails – so begins a completely mad adventure in space which is at turns thrilling, creepy as heck, thought provoking and just downright addictive. Which is strangely apt…

The story is so so good – descriptively speaking you feel every moment of this one. The tension, the claustrophobia, the isolation Gillian feels even from herself, it is all perfectly paced and beautifully written to absorb you into her world and the speculative future she resides in. There are thrilling moments, plenty of them too, alongside more considered themes, the author delves into the depths of human nature and it is a dark dark tunnel. There are also a lot heart breaking moments –  the disease that takes away your memory and who you are – we know it, we have it in our lives, the horror and the sheer sadness of it is brought to vivid emotionally resonant life as Gillian fights her addiction and her feelings at leaving her daughter behind.

Surreal, intelligent and just a tiny bit crazy, this is one roller coaster ride of a novel that hits the right mark dead centre with every shot that it takes – then hits you again with one hell of an ending, I am hoping that there will be more to come, if not Joe Hart and I will be having words. Hmm.

Really really excellent. Highly Recommended.

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Happy Reading!

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