I’m about a quarter of the way into the immensely enjoyable book The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher. Since I’m still not finished, I hesitate to write anything that might be mistaken for a review. It’s Friday Reads day, though, and this is the book that I’m currently reading. We’ll have to make the best of it, just like our protagonist, Abraham Idaho Cleveland.
Ida is a captain in the Fleet’s black ops division, or at least, he was until shrapnel took out his leg in his most recent battle with the machine intelligence called the Spiders. The war has been going badly for humanity and Ida’s victory against a planet killer Mother Spider is the first glimmer of hope there has been from the front in a long time. He’s been fitted with a prosthetic leg, awarded the highest honor a Fleet officer can receive, and sent on one last posting before he’ll be mustered out for medical reasons. His job? Help oversee the dismantling of the space station U-Star Coast City in a peculiar backwater solar system. When Ida arrives, the Coast City is half-gone already and most of its compliment of soldiers reassigned. The few who are left haven’t heard of the battle Ida was in and they resent his presence for adding more red tape to a job they just want to finish as fast as possible.
But everything isn’t quite right on the U-Star Coast City. The environmental controls don’t work properly. The crew seems unusually hostile to him. Some crew members are even starting to hear voices that aren’t there and to feel like they are being watched . And Ida catches a recording of a female voice screaming in pain over the banned subspace transmission channels. What’s going on? Is it something to do with the strange purple star they are orbiting? Who is the woman Ida can hear in the transmission? And why can’t Ida find any official records at all about his important victory against the Spiders? I can’t wait to find out!