“You have senses human don’t…You can perceive and understand things that are invisible and mysterious to us, and you can manipulate the laws of physics in ways that we can only imagine. Humans are technically your creators , but all humans alive now worship at the altar of machines, praying to them, pleading with them, needing them all the time for survival.”
This was one of the very few purchases of mine that I just picked up at the bookstore without having heard anything about it. I had never seen any reviews on it, no blogs talking about it. It interested me just by the back cover blurb and because of my lack of previous info on it, I went into it with zero expectations either way. And I am really happy about that and I think that I read it at the perfect time.
After just finishing the behemoth that is Oathbringer and gone through all of the heavy emotions that it thrust upon me, I needed something light, quick, and entertaining. A palate cleanser. Lightless worked pretty much perfectly for that.
Althea is one of three crew members aboard the Ananke, a military science vessel on a top secret mission. Two criminals, Leontios Ivanov and Matthew Gale, sneak aboard the ship and are quickly captured but Gale manages to sneak a virus into the ship’s computer. Althea attempts to repair the damage done to her ship as a government operative interrogates Ivanov as a potential link to a terrorist organization.
I found the story to be really entertaining. I think that if I had been looking for something more space opera-y (that’s a word now), I would have been disappointed. That’s just not what this is.
It is a rather narrow scope on a wider story. The terrorist organization mentioned is making moves all over the solar system as the story goes on but this book is about the characters on board. It is a little odd to know that all these big things are going on in the background but not really being a part of them and I think that could easily turn some readers off but I found it made for a fast paced and entertaining read.
The characterizations were, at best, okay. Althea was probably the best of the characters but I admit to being a little bit mesmerized by Ivanov’s story.
The one thing that really did bother me was the lack of information on the ship’s mission and the science part of the science fiction was pretty “hand-wavy”.
There are definitions at the beginning of each “part” of the book for the different laws of thermodynamics and entropy but they only tied into the story really briefly. I was expecting a great big reveal for how the Ananke’s mission specifically tied into everything but it really didn’t. I believe the second book focuses more on the terrorists so I am kind of wondering if the Ananke will ever play a bigger role in the story. If not, I would be very disappointed.
The only other science that is brought up is the black hole drive in the bottom of the ship. Maybe I missed something but it sure sounded like the ship had harnessed the power of a black hole and had it sitting inside the ship. Now, I’m not an astrophysicist by any means (I mean, I did read Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by NdT so I basically know everything there is to know on the topic, right?) but I don’t think a black hole could fit inside a spaceship. At least not without that spaceship being so damn big it isn’t really a spaceship anymore.
So this novel wasn’t great. It had some pretty glaring flaws and the characterizations were just okay. But it was exactly what I needed right now and it was entertaining enough that I will go on and read Supernova.