AD • I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review however all opinions are entirely my own.
Happy 7th of December, friends! Are you feeling festive yet? I’m currently wrapped up under the cuddliest of teddy blankets with the Christmas tree lights twinkling out of the corner of my eye. But alas, today’s post isn’t all that Christmassy. It’s a review of an awesome sci-fi mystery that I read recently – Far From the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson.
And oh my goodness. If you’re even vaguely intrigued by the idea of a locked room mystery IN SPACE then you’ll want to pick this one up ASAP. Here’s what you need to know…
Far From the Light of Heaven
by Tade Thompson
Date of Publication: 26th October 2021
Format: eBook (399 pages)
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Available Formats: Paperback • eBook • Audiobook
The colony ship Ragtime docks in the Lagos system, having travelled light years from home to bring one thousand sleeping souls to safety among the stars.
Some of the sleepers, however, will never wake – and a profound and sinister mystery unfolds aboard the gigantic vessel. Its skeleton crew are forced to make decisions that will have repercussions for all of humanity’s settlements – from the scheming politicians of Lagos station, to the colony planet of Bloodroot, to other far flung systems and indeed Earth itself.
I’m still fairly new to sci-fi as a genre and my experiences have been hit and miss. This one was very much a hit with me.
What I loved most about Far From the Light of Heaven is that every single time I thought I knew what the book was or where it was going, something happened that knocked me off my feet. There were so many perfectly executed twists that made me scream “WHAT?!?” out loud. It’s a little bit surreal but I kind of like that… (And maybe you do too?)
As the author briefly mentions, this isn’t quite a space opera although it definitely feels like one at times. The interpersonal relationships between this found family onboard a doomed spaceship were another highlight. These characters are well developed. Flawed, vulnerable and all deeply compelling.
My only grievance is that because so much is happening, I felt like I didn’t fully understand certain bits? Especially towards the end.
Overall, Far From the Light of Heaven is a gripping sci-fi mystery that I highly recommend to fans of both genres. While it’s not strictly a read-alike for All Systems Red by Martha Wells, I will also recommend it to readers who loved Murderbot because spoiler alert: there are definitely MURDERBOTS in Thompson’s novel. There’s a lot of overlap in terms of both having thrilling action-based plots, diverse and complex characters, space exploration and AIs. So yeah, it’s not EXACTLY the same but I think there’s enough there to recommend it anyway.
Featured Image Background: Calwaen Liew from Unsplash