Horror Haunts: The Luminous Dead Book Review

The Book

Title: The Luminous Dead
Author: Caitlin Starling
Genre: Science Fiction, Horror, LGBT+
Page Count: 432
Release Date: April 2, 2019

Synopsis (Goodreads)

When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck—enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother—meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane.

Instead, she got Em.

Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash—and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . 

My Thoughts

The one was an… interesting one for me. I am not the biggest Science Fiction fan, so stepping into this read was a bit out of my comfort zone. I don’t typically enjoy sci-fi, something about it just doesn’t catch me (even though I love sci-fi films). The Luminous Dead, however, called to me in terms of its other genre cross-over: horror. We all know I love that good, good horror. So, this one felt like it could be right up my alley.

It really wasn’t a monster horror, BUT the complete isolation, deprivation, and loss of self type horror that was going on in there was real good. For one, I loved how the pacing played out. It was slow where it needed to be and fast paced where it counted. There was definitely a lot of sci-fi elements, it was on an alien planet with futuristic tech and systems, so yeah not for the people who hate that hardcore sci-fi. Surprisingly, I was totally happy with the amount of sci-fi that was in this. It was the perfect amount for someone like me. Enough to understand what was happening and the background, but not too much to completely lose me.

There were some things I didn’t like, but that also made me like the book more, if that makes sense. I loved that the characters were unlikeable, but realistic and had some redeeming qualities. I also liked how very real it felt. I feel like if I was trapped in a mine, lost and needing another human to guide me I would probably feel the same way Gyre did throughout this book. There was some definite creepy reliance and manipulation happening.

Overall, I totally enjoyed this. It isn’t going to push out any of my top favourites but it was creepy, dark, and unsettling! All things I totally love!

Rating: 4.5/5

P.S. Hearing that this book was queer totally made me want to pick it up, more than anything else.

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