Desperately in need of money, Gyre Price lies her way into an expedition. This inexperienced caver suddenly finds herself on a foreign planet, on a terrifying psychological and emotional journey for survival.
... claustrophobic and harrowing ... This novel is suspenseful, with more than a few elements of survival horror ... The revelation of Em’s true motive, and Gyre’s true purpose, are heartbreaking, and add new depth to a novel that’s already all about going deep. This is a survival story, a psychological thriller, and some of the best SFnal horror I’ve ever read. It’s a hell of a debut, and I can’t wait to see what Starling does next.
It's tough to know here how much more I should tell you, because the entire architecture of the story hangs on the slow-burn paranoia and the fraying personal connection between Gyre and Em ... The Luminous Dead is too meticulously twisted to let anyone simply be evil without cause, without depth. And that, actually, is the best thing about these kind of one-man (or, in this case, two-woman) shows ... It is a torturous book. Horrifying in small, cutting, personal ways, and in the more classic scare-in-a-dark-room way. But there's an iron rod of panicked strength that runs through the middle of it.