Book: Far From the Light of Heaven

Far From the Light of Heaven

By Tade Thompson

(345 pages, Science Fiction, 2021)

Ragtime is a colony ship, carrying a thousand passengers to the Lagos system to begin new lives there in the colony on the planet Bloodroot. First Mate Michelle Campion’s job is supposed to be largely ceremonial because the AI does all the work and AIs never fail.

Of course, you know where this is headed – when Campion is awakened before the other passengers she finds she is now the Captain because the AI has failed catastrophically: 31 passengers are not in their stasis pods. They are literally in pieces in a disposal unit.

An investigator from the planet, Rasheed Fin, and his android partner Salvo are sent up to the ship in response to Campion’s distress call. Meanwhile, the Lagos space station and others are awaiting the Ragtime’s all-clear notification, some less patiently than others. And Lagos’s unnecessary governor, a former space pilot named Lawrence Biz and his daughter Joké have arrived at the Ragtime to support Campion. Finally, there is a wolf. How did a wolf get on board a spaceship?

Thompson’s characters are interesting and believable. He takes the time to give their back stories as well as some background on Earth, the Lagos space station and the planet Bloodroot. Short chapters move the story along quickly, each focused through a place and a character. The book is a locked room mystery as well as a hard science fiction tale. There was a point when I was sure I knew where the story was going and how it would resolve and I’m happy to say I was wrong.

Maybe you’re cleverer than I am and you’ll see past all the false leads!

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Julia Miller

Author: Insider Staff

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