... first and foremost a riveting sci-fi thriller that starts off with a slow-burn mystery that develops into an increasingly exciting and frantic race against time. I came into this expecting the entertainment of a locked room mystery in space with all the scope for horror that remote claustrophobic setting entails and the author provided that in spades! There are a number of genuinely chilling, spooky moments that will unnerve readers and leave their hearts pounding frantically while turning the pages ... But the story also offers a nuanced, thought-provoking contemplation of timely issues we face in today’s society with racism and intolerance, with exploitation of workers lacking in sufficient rights and with governments that fail to properly regulate corporations but are instead swayed into protecting business interests rather than human interests ... The reader’s enjoyment factor will have a lot to do with how you feel about Hester. While there are important secondary characters such as a past fling, a by-the-book inspector and snooty lawyer, Dead Space is largely a one-woman show and succeeds based on the strength of Hester’s characterisation...Her predicament is monstrously unfair so it’s easy to sympathise with her right from the start, and her acerbic manner and snarky inner monologue is entertaining to read. The author has a physics background and applies this to provide convincing world-building without overdoing the technobabble, and Hester reliably breaks down any complicated concepts in a droll, matter-of-fact way to help us keep up ... A casually diverse read that centers on LGBT+ characters without making queerness the source of drama, Dead Space offers a suspenseful, tightly plotted sci-fi horror experience sure to please fans of the genre and ensure that new readers will be left wanting more.
... compelling ... Throughout the novel, bits and pieces of her previous life trickle through, and readers’ hearts will break as she struggles to come to terms with everything that’s happened to her. Part science fiction and part mystery, this novel will appeal to readers of both genres, as Wallace balances Hester’s unfolding investigation with an explanation of future technology.
The story moves at a fast clip, and readers will enjoy the twists that are presented, along with the character developments and interactions. This immersive story is led by a flawed—physically and emotionally—protagonist who is nonetheless determined to discover the truth no matter where it leads ... Wallace showcases themes of xenophobia, corporate profit, and AI evolution in this absorbing space thriller.