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From Darkest Skies

(From Darkest Skies #1)

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  221 ratings  ·  47 reviews

After a five year sabbatical following the tragic death of his wife and fellow agent Alysha, Keon Rause returns to the distant colony world of Magenta to resume service with the Magentan Intelligence Service. With him he brings an artificial recreation of his wife's personality, a simulacrum built from every digital trace she left behind. She has been constructed with one

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published April 20th 2017 by Gollancz
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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 ·  221 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Joanne Harris
A masterly piece of writing and plotting that manages to merge classy space-opera with a police procedural as twisty as a Christie - and yet I found myself reading it with the growing realization that, in spite of its originality, excellent characterization and beautiful execution, there lies at its heart a trope that serves as the elephant in the room of a great deal of otherwise good sci-fi. It's a trope that we find in much AI fiction - the assumption that AI women are somehow better - more h ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
6.9 out of 10 @

Sam Peters’ From Darkest Skies is a sci-fi crime thriller that follows Keona Rause, an intelligence agent who returns from Earth to the colony world of Magenta to solve the years-old murder of his wife, fellow agent Alysha. The twist is that he has secretly brought with him an artificial (and illegal) reconstruction of his late wife, whose memories and personality are culled from public records in this casually accepted, media saturated sur
☙ nemo ❧ (pagesandprozac)

but only metaphorically, because, y'know, i'm typing this right now.

but holy shit. holy shit this was phenomenal.

the plot was absolutely incredible and i'm trying to figure out how to convey to you how amazing it is without giving it away. it is astonishingly complex and clever, and completely unpredictable, especially the ending. there was a cliffhanger, but the best sort; where the main mystery is wrapped up, but suddenly SURPRISE! here's this extra thing that you literally w
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had four audiobook credits to use and didn’t know what to get, so I asked twitter authors to give me a summary of their stuff if they had an accompanying audiobook. It had been a while since I had read sci-fi and the description for this one caught my attention so I picked it up.

The beginning is a bit slower, but not the kind that drags on and on and you’re wondering if you’re going to continue or not. It’s the kind of slow where you’re getting to know the character really well before the meat
Enjoyable SF crime fiction set on the extraordinary planet of Magenta

S.J. Higbee
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This noir thriller has a wonderful setting – the planet Magenta has an unfriendly, heavy gravity and terrible weather, to the extent that buildings are more like bunkers in order to survive the terrible storms and the only transport system is an underground railway. Peters’ scene setting is spot on, establishing the mood music of this classy murder mystery – an important component in noir crime. The protagonist is also suitably moody with a full suite of emotional luggage on account of his wife’ ...more
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I must confess, I am not normaly one to read the SF genre but I have been trying to broaden my reading and was intrigued by the premise: A man builds an AI to help him investigate his wifes death several years previous. I love crime stories so I thought this would be a good book to get me started in the SF genre. When I received the book, the cover suggests a scifi romance, but I didnt really get that so much when I read the book.

Anyway, genre defini
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A solid scifi crime thriller that deals with losing your love ones and attempting to let go. The protagonist has lost his wife from a bombing, but has an AI construct that has all the memories and thoughts of the deceased wife. They go on a journey/mystery to discover the truth but discover much more about themsevles. Tbe plot never boils above room temperature. I was waiting for it to take off but it never did. I also found the lack of a really well developed anatagonist was lacking. There had ...more
Laura Newsholme
Apr 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. It tells the story of Keon Rause, an investigative officer whose wife died in a terrorist bombing 5 years ago and his reluctant return to his home planet, Magenta to rejoin his old life. The plot is very intricate and I found it a little hard to keep straight, but I think this was because I sometimes found my attention drifting as I was reading. It just wasn't as compelling as the content should have made it and I honestly cannot put my finger o ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Rating~ 3.5 stars

From darkest skies is about a grieving husband, an AI trying to solve her *own* murder and a crime team to investigating a new version of a drug.

Keon Rouse, a government agent after the death of his wife Alysha, left his planet Magenta. He returns home after being accused of theft and is immediately involved in an investigation of a drug that has killed many and is projected to kill a lot more.

Keon unable to move on after his wife’s death decides to build an AI called Liss wit
Originally posted to I Should Read That

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this book. I had assumed it would be pretty much a straight science fiction novel heavily featuring AI with a bit of mystery. Instead Peters has created an exciting high-concept sci-fi-meets-crime story with a dash of noir.

The rich world building in From Darkest Skies was my favourite part of the book. Peters doesn’t dump t
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Continuing with my self-imposed mission to diversify my reading, I chose this one to try as I have recently had a good outing with sci-fi as a genre and this one also piqued my crime fiction interest. Keon Rouse is a government agent and native of Magenta. His story here starts when his work assignment on Gibraltar has been cut short due to an incident that he may or may not have been involved in. We also learn early on that his wife, Alysha, is dead, in a bombing on a night-goods-train. I say d ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Just couldn't get in to this, not sure why.

Might have almost warranted a 3* but the invisibility suite put stop to that.
Chloe Smith
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
All reviews can be found at

From Darkest Skies is a science-fiction thriller that follows our main character Keon Rause, as he is sent back to his home world of Magenta where he must face his past and try to make a new life for himself. However, his past always haunts him thanks to the shell of his wife he created following her untimely death. As he falls back into the role he previously held within the intelligence service of Magenta, Keon can’t help but tr
Carley Adair
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway . I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure what it was going to be like but I enjoyed all the characters and I really enjoyed the story . This was definitely worth the read . ...more
Anne Szlachcic
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a wonderful Sci-Fi thriller with a complex story line ........ with many twist and turns that keeps the reader wondering what will happen next .

Keon Rouse has , since the death of his wife Alysha in a bombing on the colony world Magenta , spent the last five years on Earth .
After a security breach and the theft of one of the 'Masters'' objects from a display, for which he is held responsible - he is given just 15 hours to leave Earth and return to Magenta .
He has brought with him an
Thornton Rigg
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
… absorbing SF/crime thriller …

An absorbing SF/crime thriller with strong characterisation surfing above some inventive and intricate world building.

Government Agent Rouse returns to the distant planet of Magenta to continue his duties whilst secretly investigating the murder of fellow agent and wife, Alysha. He has brought with him an illegal AI shell of her, built from her data footprint. Can Rouse find out what really happened on that train whilst tackling corporate crime and the drugs trade
Dec 28, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't feel this started well, there was minimal explanation and backstory making it feel like the reader had just been dropped into the middle of the story. I had hoped this meant there would be some kind of explanation, maybe in the form of flashbacks, but this was minimal.

The plot felt like it jumped around and a lot and was written in a very casual manner (the consistent use of man as a term of endearment which I found grating). The descriptions felt quite rushed and I found the plot diffi
Charles Haworth
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good

Shows the madness of losing someone close to you, how that can effect the day to day of life and seem quite normal if actually not.

All tied under a space mystery with a variety of archetypal detectives on a strange futuristic world (still filled with all the same problems as the present). Story is good if not great, characterization and themes make it a tale you have to get to the end of.

Jonathon Emerson
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this one in a Giveaway and have just finished reading it.

A rather enjoyable bit of SF with some nice world building. The investigation/thriller part could have done with being stronger but it's promising for a first novel and I am hoping that there will be a follow up that expands the background and follows some of the loose ends.
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read-list
A fantastic Science Fiction thriller with a love story at it's core.
The plot is excellent. I liked the characters and the writing.
This is absorbing and a brilliant read.
I was lucky to win this through Goodreads Giveways.
Highly recommended.
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Missing the mark on a few elements but overall an appealing space thriller. Magenta is an unforgettable planet and Peters is a master of imagery.

Warning: There are one or two spoilers included in this review concerning characters and their involvement in the plot.

I was so excited when I received my copy of From Darkest Skies. A science-fiction thriller where a grieving husband uses an A.I. recreation of his wife to try and solve the riddle of her mysterious death, I was ready to have my mind blo
Samuel Tyler
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
No one likes to see a loved one die, but when they do we can reflect on how they lived and eventually move on with a piece of them inside us. However, what would happen if we could take all the memories we have saved on the internet and combine them into an Artificial Intelligence that represented them? Would this work to keep them close, or just give you a false facsimile that prevents you from moving on?

Agent Keon Rause has been in mourning for five years over his wife Agent Alysha Rause, but
Mike Franklin
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Keon Rause is a cop on Magenta, a distant colonised world, although FBI agent might be a little closer to the right image. His wife and fellow agent Alysha has been killed in a terrorist attack and Rause has had a five year secondment on Earth to try and escape from his memories. Except he’s used that time to create a virtual copy of his dead wife using all public recordings ever made of her to build up the simulation (a trope I’m coming across more often it seems this being the third time this ...more
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I'm a huge sff fan, I stay a lot more on the 'fantasy' end of the scale. When I do dip in to sci-fi, From Darkest Skies is a perfect example of what I like to read. It's fast paced and while the technology is significantly more advanced than our own, the book doesn't get bogged down in trying to explain the science behind everything. In fact, most things just 'are' in the book - when something like a high tech weapon is used, there's enough description of how it's fired and the damage it d ...more
Caroline Mersey
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copies
From Darkest Skies is the debut novel from Sam Peters (review copy from Gollancz). It's a crime thriller set on a colony world in space. Agent Keon Rause is newly returned home and investigating the deth from drug overdose of a celebrity, while on the side investigating the death of his wife in a terrorist attack several years previously.

This is solid and dependable stuff. Think of a mismatched crew of investigators, led by Rause, all with different skills and mysterious backgrounds. Think of a
Tim Hicks
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Some said this will be a TV series. Yeah, that's what I couldn't put my finger on while starting this review. It feels a bit more written-for-TV than written-to-be-read.

There's some interesting worldbuilding. I would have liked a little more detail here, a little less there, but your mileage will vary.

The crime aspect is a bit muddled but not seriously. I was able to figure a few things out quite early, but without a why or how that wasn't a problem.

The invisibility suit comes VERY close to
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
From Darkest Skies is pretty slow for the first 50 pages or so. I almost decided to return it to the library a day after I checked it out. For some reason though, I managed to stick it out and after a while you do develop empathy for the main characters. I think the highlight of this book is Laura Patterson, the woman who plays against the main character Keon Rause, and accompanies him for most of the book. Sam Peters successfully writes a story with interactions between a man and a woman withou ...more
Michael O'Donnell
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
A light read. As science fiction it has little new to offer.
The characters were caricatures. Well drawn back lacking depth.
The story kicked along at a good pace and was engaging.
The twist at the end was odd and added nothing to the story. It should have been woven in earlier to greater effect.
A planet put together in a game with the authors friends. The same amount of care seems to have been given to its literary worth.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars
Starts out well, gets seriously bogged down in details, relationships, confusing plot twists and red herrings. too many characters to keep straight and then evens out somewhat towards the end. A fairly decent murder mystery set on a distant planet in the future. Might read the sequel just to see what happens next but I won't rush to do so.
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