Title: Far from the Light of Heaven
Author: Tade Thompson
Release Date: 28/10/2021
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 41
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free eARC copy from Orbit ,via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I received an Audio copy from Hachettee via libro.fm
All opinions are my own.
A tense and thrilling vision of humanity’s future in the chilling emptiness of space from rising giant in science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Tade Thompson
The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having travelled light-years to bring one thousand sleeping souls to a new home among the stars. But when first mate Michelle Campion rouses, she discovers some of the sleepers will never wake.
Answering Campion’s distress call, investigator Rasheed Fin is tasked with finding out who is responsible for these deaths. Soon a sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel, one that will have repercussions for the entire system—from the scheming politicians of Lagos station, to the colony planet Bloodroot, to other far-flung systems, and indeed to Earth itself.
I was lucky to be gifted both an eARC and and AudioARC for this book, and I am so glad I had both as I think for the first time if I had received only the AudioARC I would have DNF’d this book despite really enjoying the book. I would not recommend the Audio for this one. I found the narrator really monotone and there was no distinction in the various characters, flashbacks, internal monologues, private messages sent between characters etc. of which there are many. It became almost impossible to tell the characters apart from the narration. Even worse there was no initiations on certain words so it lost any emotion between characters. This was particularly evident between Joké and Larry who had a father daughter relationship with nicknames that were often read as literal and not in that familiar joking manor you would expect of that kind of interaction. The Audiobook just took so much feeling and excitement out of this book instead of adding too it so I would have to say I just don’t rate the audio at all.
The book itself is amazing! it really is my kind of book. The Locked room mystery vibes are really there and it just keeps building and building. The Characters are really interesting and complex. While I wish we got to know them a little more, particularly the more peripheral characters as they do have a lot of influence over the mystery but we don’t learn a lot about them. This did feel very Christie-esq as she had a habit of slipping in side characters to twist and confuse the readers trying to solve the mystery and Thompson very much does the same here.
The setting is just Sci-Fi enough to keep Sci-Fi fans like me happy, while also being soft enough in the science to be interesting for non-scifi readers. Space offers the ultimate locked room scenario and I think the way it is used here is really interesting. I really liked the resolution and the reveal of how it all came about. It had moments of being dark and confusing, while also parts that felt like a classic cosy mystery in such an excellent balance. I really enjoyed Thompson’s writing, its just a shame the narration just didn’t do it justice in the audio verison.
I would say if you are a Sci-fi fan or a mystery fan, or both, this would be an enjoyable read for you. Just stick to the text version if you can and give the audio a pass.