My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Review: Ghost Station

Ghost Station Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a SciFi thriller along the lines of Event Horizon or perhaps Alien … in that it was a very slow build up and more creepy and psychological than scary (so not really a good fit into the horror genre even with some of those elements). The premise has been done before … abandoned planetary station with some mystery about why it was abandoned and a small survey crew that has its own ghosts to deal with. In this case, the known boogieman is a psychological syndrome known as ERS that drives some spacers to violence/suicide (trigger warning here). The crew consists of an outsider psych doc who is responsible for helping the rest of the crew avoid any problems with ERS after losing a member on a prior mission. The “Doc” has her own issues to deal with and quite frankly it took me some time to not dislike the character because of this … and her introduction appears to be the source of crew friction that primarily serve to provide cover to everybody being jerks the whole time. As we discover more about each of the crew, this becomes more understandable, but doesn’t make the book any more enjoyable (but is the reason I will cut the characters some slack despite not really connecting to any of them). While the bulk of the story rests upon the interactions of the crew, there is a backdrop of Homefront politics (competing corporations in an apparent space race) and a mysterious alien race that has suddenly disappeared long ago … both of which drive some of the mystery and thriller tension (why did one of the corps abandon the planet and what happened to the alien civilization on this ice ball of a planet). So … while not particularly unique in any way, it was a short, easy read suitable for some quick entertainment.

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#GhostStation #NetGalley

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.