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(Lightless #1)

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  2,678 ratings  ·  512 reviews
Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond—not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship’s electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugiti ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Del Rey
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Tom Julian I'm having a really hard time with it. It's mostly an interrogation focused on the actions of people that are not the main characters. It's leaving me…moreI'm having a really hard time with it. It's mostly an interrogation focused on the actions of people that are not the main characters. It's leaving me feeling detached. Also, I don't find myself connecting with the characters. I'm 102 pages in and I don't know any of them yet. Another nitpick, but the technology seems really un-advanced for a super advanced spaceship. It doesn't seem forward-imagined... there's wires, standard interfaces, robo-arms, the super-duper AI doesn't talk. I don't know, didn't seem like it's much different than what we have today. I'm going to try to stick with it. :((less)

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Althea Ann
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
I picked this up because the I saw that the main character shares my name. ;-)
And because I love sci-fi. So, I was predisposed to love the book. Unfortunately, I just wasn't able to.

The premise: Three crewmembers are aboard an experimental spacecraft, on a top-secret mission, about which even they do not know all the details. The action begins when they discover and capture two men who have illicitly boarded their craft. Are the men simple burglars or space pirates? Or are they affiliated with a
Sep 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
After great deliberation, I nudged this one up to three stars, but if it wasn't for the end, I would have left it well in the comfortable two.

I was annoyed for the majority of the novel, knowing that the stilted characters could have had more life, that there could have been more hints as to who, exactly, was supposed to be the hero of the tale, or, indeed, if there was one at all that I could sit back and watch, going, "Oh, well I don't like that person too much, but at least they're painted pr
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I mean, I guess I can understand why so many people have given this book only 1 or 2 stars. A lot of it is one woman trying to fix her ships computer, and huge swathes of text are devoted to another woman interrogating a prisoner, and so it seems that not much is happening a lot of the time. But, on the other hand, it's like, did you people even read the same book as me? Because this book is fantastic. It's amazing. It's the best book I've read all year, and I know it's only February but I know ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I do not think the blurb is correct in stating this has any semblance what-so-ever to do with "Gravity" or "Aliens" and I'm not sure why it was described this way.

I thought the book was great in the beginning. You have the 3-person crew which consists of the Captain Domitian, the scientific officer Gagnon, and the system mechanic Althea. They are aboard the ship Ananke which is just one ship in the System Intelligence Agency. I liked the fact that they were o
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
While reading Lightless, I couldn't help but think of another novel I read earlier this year - Admiral, by another first time author, Sean Danker. Both novels are futuristic, space-based thrillers that limited the scope of the action to a relatively confined space, while gradually revealing bits and pieces of a larger framework. Admiral is a superior book for any number of reasons, but the key difference is that at the end of Admiral, I really couldn't wait to see what Danker had in store for us ...more
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
So. That was weird.

This book is oddly boring and somehow also won't let you go. I don't know why. Nothing is happening for 75% of the pages your read. Yet I found it hard to put down. Not because I particularly even cared for the characters. If I had to take a wild guess I'd say it was because I just wanted to know how it ended. The ending I'll admit, was pretty good.

(Possible minor spoilers ahead if you haven't read the blurb.) The first chapter, although absurdly long, was great. Althea's sh
This book starts off as a full 5-star winner and then drives off a cliff down into the broken 1-star rocks at the bottom. So I'm settling on 2 stars. No. You know what? One star. And here's why:

In space, no one can hear you yawn.

Yes, as numerous others have said, the marketing copy of "Gravity meets Aliens" is bullshit. A good book can compensate for bad blurbs; this one can't. You can also read a plot summary in a dozen other reviews, so I won't go there.

What I will say that hasn't been said b
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book had a solid list of things I enjoy: a restricted setting, a strange, looming spaceship, a female mechanic more comfortable with machines than people, a gruff, military father figure. Beyond those, it also worked as both a hard sci-fi story and a thriller, with memorable characters and a gripping, unpredictable finale. The writing emphasized the physicality and proximity of the characters without ever feeling sophomoric or voyeuristic. The unpredictability of the ending could be down to ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Some very cool ideas - an experimental spaceship with a black hole at its core, the birth of an AI, rebellion against a tyrannical surveillance state. However, the main thread of the plot is an interrogation which just goes on and on and on in frankly boring tedium. The dialogue wasn't clever and snappy enough, the twists weren't sharp enough, to carry those scenes. The ending was pretty great though, and I intend to continue the series. ...more
Alissa King
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book came highly recommended by a website that I SHOULD have known would lead me astray, as they tend to get far too enthusiastic and kind towards debut novels. But the premise sounded interesting and the author's background as a recent graduate of Cornell with a physics degree made me hopeful that maybe, at least the ideas in this book would be interesting if perhaps a bit rough around the edges.

So I bought it.

This... Alright, this is not the worst book I read. By any means. Some of the si
Aug 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
When I saw this book compared to Gravity and Alien, I had to check it out. I seem to be the minority when it comes to this book and not liking it. I am a fan of sci-fi stories so I was very bummed that this book was such a downer for me. There was nothing entertaining about the story, the characters, or even the location. I got to almost part 2 of this book and put it down. I actually had to force myself to pick this book up again. This is because I still at this point had high hopes that the bo ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-sf-for-adults
An absolutely brilliant SF thriller - I read the last 200 pages in one breathless chunk because I COULD NOT STOP reading! Smart, intense, and full of fascinating and complex characters, including MANY strong women on various sides of big, morally ambiguous issues. I loved it, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series! ...more
Feb 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Not too bad as a debut.
Some ideas are really good, however the execution is a bit rough on the edges, with dull periods interspersed with brilliant moments.
I can see good potential with this author.
Read this review and more at Book Geeks Uncompromised!

This was one of the very few purchases of mine that I just picked up at the bookstore without having heard anything about it. I had never seen any reviews on it, no blogs talking about it. It interested me just by the back cover blurb and because of my lack of previous info on it, I went into it with zero expectations either way. And I am really happy about that and I think that I read it at the perfect time.

After just finishing the behemoth
Andrea Luhman
Sep 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I give this book two and a half stars but I am rounding it up to three. Fans of the “science” part of the sci-fi genre should enjoy this book. There’s cool stuff like black holes, asteroids getting farmed with a man made atmosphere, people growing up on the dark side of the moon, and lots of “rules of physics”. Crime fans or professionals in the fields of investigations, the military, and well anything to do with running a criminal interview or interrogation DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. I also have t ...more
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lightless is a unique, thought-provoking piece of speculative fiction. While it won't be everyone's cup of tea, Lightless is certain to garner its share of fans.

There are several story layers. First there is the outer layer, what is happening aboard the experimental ship Ananke. After an incursion by a pair of thieves, Ananke's shipboard computer is left dangerously in flux. The ship's technician, Althea struggles to fix her beloved ship. The second layer is the interrogation of Ivan, the terror
Stormy's Book Nest
Sep 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Review also posted on Legendarium Media: http://www.legendariummedia.com/2015/...

I'm the first to admit I'm not much of a sci-fi reader. I love sci-fi shows and movies (Killjoys, Gravity, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc), but reading the genre usually seems like more of a chore than a pleasure; I feel my eyes glazing over when scientific and mathematical concepts start getting “explained” with no visual representation for my brain to make sense of it. Thankfully, Lightless was rather mild on that fron
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley
The publisher describes this book as "The deeply moving human drama of Gravity meets the nail-biting suspense of Alien in this riveting science fiction debut." There should be more attention paid to truth in advertising, because this book is absolutely nothing like either of those movies. It is more like a non-suspenseful mashup of a potential terrorist plot and artificial intelligence gone awry.

In this book the spaceship the Ananke, designed for secret scientific research, has a three person cr
Jamie Collins
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
1.5 stars. A debut sci-fi novel which sounded like something I’d enjoy, but I was disappointed. For one thing the blurb is terribly misleading - this story bears no resemblance to Aliens or Gravity or to a “locked-spaceship” mystery.

It does take place entirely on a spaceship, but most of the story consists of a long interrogation carried out by a government agent who’s trying to get a prisoner to admit a connection to a terrorist organization. This agent is a shallow, unbelievable character, as
Adam Duclos
Apr 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
I got about ten pages into this book before I had to stop. Basically, the writing wasn't great, the story didn't make any sense, and it was peppered with random Twilightisms.

I mean, look. I guess we're in the far future on a highly advanced spaceship. The very first thing we are told is that the main character knows her ship so well that she's subconsciously sensed some slight nuance with the ship that means something's wrong. We're told this twice! But then it turns out that she was actually cl
Cobwebby Reading Reindeer Remember Ukraine 🇺🇦

I love many genres and subgenres, but when I'm engrossed in the midst of British crime fiction, something special is required to jolt my attention. LIGHTLESS did it. This outstanding science fiction debut left me breathless--and yearning impatiently for more. There's a kickin'9 female protagonist with a steel-trap mind akin to the illustrious Stephen Hawking, a spaceship she knows like she knows her own mind, a three-person crew, a System which makes Orwell' s 1
Miss Jools
Awful writing, embarrassing to read. I should have known when I read this bit so early on "The man completed the turn, and Althea was briefly struck silent. The most brilliant blue Althea had ever seen had been in the sky of the equatorial region on Earth, where she had gone for a brief vacation from her studies. That did not compare to the brilliant colour of the man's eyes. His appearance in the Ananke's data banks was as unsettling as if the one who had been the most beautiful of God's angels ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2017
3.5 Stars

Lightless by C.A. Higgins is a really fun science fiction mystery. I wanted to read this book because of it's tight story and small cast of characters, something very rare in the sci-fi and fantasy genres today. I love all things space opera and am a fan boy of the hard boiled mystery. Lightless infuses enough science fiction into this mystery to make it a really fun ride. I devoured this book and my enjoyment level was full marks. My only real issue is that it will be forgettable. Oh
Hillari Morgan
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars

This book was compelling. I was anxious to get back to reading it when I had to put it down and the storyline was intriguing. I felt, however, quite underwhelmed once I got to the end.
Jan 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
I resent every minute I spent reading this stupid, poorly written, pointless book.
Hustion Carter
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
I read this book because it was recommended to me. The phrase "hard-sci fi" was mentioned. So was the word "thriller." The book was never the former, and only partly the latter.

First, about that "hard-sci fi" designation: it isn't a knock against a book that it doesn't fit the strict, highly technical mold of the type that books by people like Greg Egan or Kim Stanley Robinson do. All types of sci fi can feature enjoyable narratives and characters--- some just happen to focus more on the tech an
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The problem with this book is that almost everything in it has already happened, and the one important thing that does happen takes place offstage where we can't see it. What do I mean?

The premise: there are two invaders that are discovered on a research ship roaming the stars. They are captured, but one escapes. BTW, the author loves her mythology and her symbolism. The remaining captured thief is called "Scheherazad
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Okay, so right up front: this book is not perfect. But it is tense (oh god so tense; I had to take breaks to get through this) and suspenseful and good, and if this is truly a first novel, someday Higgins is going to write something great. I will watch her career with interest, is what I'm saying.

In any list of the things I liked about this, the characters have to be the first entry. And that's interesting, because the male characters in this book are pretty flat, kind of dull, sort of ciphers;
Claude Foster
I know you’ve heard this before and as trite as it is I can’t think of a better way to say it. Lightless was a novel I wanted to like a lot; a whole lot. And like it I did, just not as much as I wanted to. There, I’ve said it. I’m hoping I’m not punishing author C.A. Higgins for my expectations but I believe I’m being fair.

Lightless is the story of the good ship Ananke and those who serve on her as well as those who visit her. The entire story takes place on the Ananke and half of that story ta
I was given an electronic copy by Random House Publishing Group: Del Rey Spectra and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Althea knew something was wrong on the Ananke, the spaceship on which she is the computer expert, but her training ultimately helped her pinpoint the issue. A blue-eyed traveler, along with his companion, illegally boarded the ship for reasons unknown. Identified by the ship's systems as thieves, their possible terrorist connections alarm Althea and her shipmate Domiti
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