Published by Tor Nightfire on February 8, 2022
Titanic meets The Shining in S.A. Barnes’ Dead Silence, a SF horror novel in which a woman and her crew board a decades-lost luxury cruiser and find the wreckage of a nightmare that hasn't yet ended.
A GHOST SHIP.A SALVAGE CREW.UNSPEAKABLE HORRORS.
Claire Kovalik is days away from being unemployed—made obsolete—when her beacon repair crew picks up a strange distress signal. With nothing to lose and no desire to return to Earth, Claire and her team decide to investigate.
What they find at the other end of the signal is a shock: the Aurora, a famous luxury space-liner that vanished on its maiden tour of the solar system more than twenty years ago. A salvage claim like this could set Claire and her crew up for life. But a quick trip through the Aurora reveals something isn’t right.
Whispers in the dark. Flickers of movement. Words scrawled in blood. Claire must fight to hold onto her sanity and find out what really happened on the Aurora, before she and her crew meet the same ghastly fate.
Dead Silence is a standalone Science Fiction thriller/horror novel by S.A. Barnes. When I saw that this book was dubbed Titanic meets the Shining in space, I was immediately all in. Dead Silence was a super cool concept, and overall I really liked this book. I couldn’t put it down. If you are a fan of Titanic and are looking for a cool Science fiction horror novel, then Dead Silence needs to be on your TBR. This Ghost Ship certainly creeped me out and kept me guessing until the end. I did have one minor annoyance with the story, which I will get into later on, but overall this book was fresh, creepy and totally gripping.
In Dead Silence we meet our main character, Claire, who is the leader of a small salvage ship crew wayy out in the middle of no where. The story is told in two timelines- present day and about a month prior to present day. While returning from a salvage run, Claire’s crew runs into the Aurora, a famous luxury space-liner that vanished on its maiden tour of the solar system more than twenty years ago. The Aurora was very much like the Titanic but in space- it was set to raise the bar on luxury space travel, and on it’s maiden voyage it carried 500 of the world’s richest celebrities, diplomats and billionaires, which it why it made headlines when it vanished 6 months into it’s year long voyage. Stranger even is that no one has ever found it. So when Claire and her crew come across it, they decide to go aboard and grab a token to show the world they found the ship and to claim it as their treasure. When they go aboard, things start to get very very strange. It is here that we flash back to the present day where Claire is being questioned by authorities for what happened aboard the Aurora. We know something really bad has gone down and we keep flipping back and forth between the timelines to try and piece together just what occurred in the maiden voyage and now with Claire’s crew.
I loved the eeriness of the ship, and I loved trying to figure out what went wrong on ship and what was causing everyone to go crazy. Was it a ghost? a toxin? something even more sinister. S.A. Barnes does a fantastic job creating a spooky atmosphere. I did have a small plot gripe towards the end of the book but it didn’t detract too much form my overall enjoyment. I will put my gripe in spoiler boxes, but be warned it is a spoiler. read the following at your own risk. View Spoiler »I was bummed with the overall reveal- I wanted it to be something more supernatural. I wont say what it was but I was hoping it was something different. I will leave it at that. « Hide Spoiler
The Aurora really did feel like the Titanic to me, which is part of why I loved it so much. I loved discovering clues from what happened on the maiden voyage. Overall, this was a creepy and spooky read. I have never read a sci fi horror novel and Dead Silence was a great foray into the genre.
Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)
The Titanic meets The Shining grabs my attention as well! I think maybe is S.A. Barnes also a YA author? The name sounds familiar. I will have to add this one to my TBR! Great review!