Quick Reminder: This month we are reading ‘The Ravenous Dead’ by Darcy Coates! You’re also welcome to read ‘The Whispering Dead’, as this is a special, double-issue event!
Today I’m going to discuss the book in the same way I normally do the IGTV videos. You can find the IGTV video for this talk on my bookclub Instagram page. I’ll give a quick plot summary plus my overall star/scare-factor ratings. Then I will share the discussion topics and trivia questions. Please include all of your answers and opinions down below. I want to know exactly what you thought. I’ll also leave the answers to the trivia questions at the very bottom of the post, so if you wish to guess without being spoiled, do not scroll to the end until you’re ready. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
DEAD SILENCE by S.A. BARNES – MARCH 2022
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.
OVERALL STAR RATING
I gave this book a star rating of 4/5. I loved the concept and setting. To me, that was the best part. I also enjoyed the strained dynamics between the crew. Having said that, the way the story changed halfway through shook me a little. I didn’t expect it. I thought we would get more of the flashbacks to Claire’s time on the Aurora. Furthermore, the reveal behind the ghost ship left me a little unsatisfied (more on that below). I was initially going to rate this 3/5 but the ending packed so much punch, it redeemed itself. Strong beginning, so-so middle and great closing.
OVERALL SCARE-FACTOR RATING
I gave this a scare-factor rating of 4/5. It was pretty horrifying, especially in the beginning. I could picture everything about that ship. All of those bodies floating around really freaked me out. The second half of the book was less supernaturally terrifying and more focused on scary humans threatening to do bad things. S.A. Barnes is very good at creating tension and suspense.
1.) Did you enjoy knowing the direction the story would go in from the beginning with the ‘Now’ and ‘Then’ chapters?
Usually I’m not a fan of this type of storytelling but because the author ended up going in a different direction, it worked. Despite knowing how some things were going to pan out, it was still terrifying when it happened.
2.) How did Claire’s traumatic past affect her as a TL?
Claire was such a flawed and intense character from the minute the story started. I liked how relatable she was. She carried immense trauma and it showed in the way she kept people at arm’s length and was unable to speak positively about herself as a leader. Her guilt about what happened as a child gave her the idea she didn’t deserve any happiness as an adult. It was sad but understandable.
3.) Did the reveal of the vibrations lessen the horror elements for you? Why? Why not?
This was my main issue with the book. Unfortunately, when it was revealed that the vibrations on the ship were causing psychotic behaviour and hallucinations, I was no longer scared. I was hoping for a vengeful spirit or a big, bad extra terrestrial creature to be on board but it was just an evil corporation, out for their own needs.
Easy: What was the name of the planet Claire’s mother died on?
Medium: What was Kane’s daughter’s name?
Hard: What were the names of the two Tratorelli sculptures?
I hope you enjoyed the book club discussion in this post and on Instagram. As mentioned above, share all of your thoughts in the comments below! If you have any feedback/suggestions to improve the bookclub, please let me know. I look forward to talking to you all next month! Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo
TRIVIA ANSWERS: Easy: Ferris. Medium: Isabelle. Hard: Speed & Grace.