A very good sci-fi story that is also a murder mystery

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Dead Space by Kalli Wallace

A very good sci-fi story that is also a murder mystery

Review of Dead Space by Kalli Wallace

This was a solid read that I enjoyed. I made myself three reading goals for 2021. I wanted to catch up on some series that I’ve started, I want to read more YA, and I really wanted to read more spec-fic. When I saw that this was a sci-fi/murder mystery, with a queer main character, well this just screamed: “read me!” While this book had a few mini bumps for me, in the end, I was glad I read it.

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The main premise is about Hester, an AI scientific expert, who was caught in a terrorist attack. After losing almost the whole side of her body, a corporation paid for her to be repaired with robotic parts. The medical bills were astronomical so Hester has to work off the debt with the corporation. Hester’s new job is as a security officer who investigates crimes. When a suspicious death report comes across her desk, Hester knows her life may never be the same.

I thought the premise was great and I was hooked instantly. It’s not too often you get a good sci-fi story that is also a murder mystery. I loved the mix and I found the book to be very readable. However, it was a little info-dumpy at times. I wished Wallace would have taken her time uncovering some of the facts instead of just in blocks of information. I know that it’s hard not to have info dumps in spec-fic books, but I think this could have had a smoother approach. But beyond that, I was quite happy with the overall writing of the book.

I do want to mention that while some people used the horror and thriller tag, I’m 50/50 on that. This is a medium-paced book that takes its time to investigate the murder mystery. It is not until the final third of the book that the pace really picks up and has some action and light thriller moments. If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller, you might be disappointed as that is not what this book really is. I also don’t understand the horror tag. A few dead bodies and some violence do not equal horror to me. For romance fans out there, sorry but there is no romance. Hester is queer and talks a little about her past fling with a non-binary secondary character, she obviously cares about, but there are no explicit sex scenes or even kissing.

In the end, I would recommend this to sci-fi fans and murder mystery fans. If you like how murder-mysteries unfold, slow but steady, then really ramp up at the end, I think you will like the feel of this book. For the most part, I enjoyed Wallace’s writing and I would definitely read her again. 3.75 Stars.

A copy was given to me for an honest review.

Dead Space by Kalli Wallace

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