Posted in All Book Reviews, Horror, Science fiction, Thrillers

Book Review: Dead Silence (By S.A. Barnes)

I’ve always loved science fiction, especially stories set in space. Little beats the plot of space travel gone wrong due to an unknown enemy and a preceding crew that disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

So when I came across S.A. Barnes’ Dead Silence, I delved in expecting a lot! Read on to find out if this sci-fi met expectations.


Science fiction, Thriller, Horror


343 pages


Claire Kovalik knows little more than her job. Team lead on a repair ship, space is all she’s known or wanted. But now, she’s on her last job, made obsolete by technology, and with no foreseeable future for which to return to Earth. So when her ship picks up a distress signal, she and her team decide to investigate. What they find is the Aurora – a luxury cruise spaceship that disappeared twenty years ago on its maiden voyage. Their salvage claim could solve the entire team’s problems and take away all worries about the future. But when Claire and the others go onto the Aurora, they find words scrawled in blood, strange movements, and horrors unlike what they’ve ever seen. What happened on the Aurora twenty years ago? What happened to the hundreds of guests and staff? And will Claire and her team escape facing the same fate… or will history repeat itself?

Overall Rating:

10 out of 10 stars


10 out of 10 stars


10 out of 10 stars

Primary Element:

10 out of 10 for its thrill and sci-fi, 8 out of 10 for its horror

Writing Style:

10 out of 10 stars

Part of a Series: 


Highlighted Takeaway:

A brilliant mix of horror, science-fiction, and psychological thriller, Dead Silence will keep you reading late into the night, while making you look over your shoulder at every sound and leave the lights on.

What I Liked:

S.A. Barnes does justice to the various genres that Dead Silence crosses. Some parts are absolutely terrifying, but the book eventually settles into a very intriguing thriller, with the suspense keeping you hooked until the last page.

What I absolutely loved about the book, though, was the characterization. Each character held their own, regardless of the size of their role. They were complex and very real, making them easy to associate with, even as they all existed across various shades of gray. And, the best thing about the characterization was how well the author handled the main character, Claire. In a lot of women-led books, the primary characters become difficult-to-care-about, frustrating people instead of the complex characters the authors are trying to portray them as. I found this especially true for The Girl on the Train (by Paula Hawkins) and Before She Disappeared (by Lisa Garnder) (among many others). S.A. Barnes, though, weaves an amazing character arc for Claire and the others, making you dislike, love, pity, and root for her all at once, and keeping you completely engrossed. She doesn’t attempt to be “strong”. She just is; a combination of all her faults, virtues, fears, strength, and good intentions. And that took Dead Silence to a whole other level.

What I Didn’t Like:

I found nothing to dislike in the book. Even negative characters that can often cause a disconnect from the story did quite the opposite, adding depth to the story because of how well they were created.

Who Should Read It:

While it’s not very heavy on the ‘horror’ element, it definitely has some very scary sections that will keep you up at night (or for a few nights if you’re a scaredy-cat like me). So if you enjoy the creepy-horror type of narrative, and science fiction + thriller books such as Michael Crichton’s Sphere or Obscura by Joe Hart, or movies in the same genre such as Alien, Prometheus, or Life, you should definitely give Dead Silence a try.

Who Should Avoid:

Dead Silence does become violent and graphic just pages in. So if that’s not something you can easily digest, I’d recommend proceeding with caution.

Read It For:

Excellent characterization, an intriguing storyline, and great mystery and thrills.

Although it did keep me up for a night or two, Dead Silence introduced me to an author whose work I really enjoyed. I’m definitely going to be looking out for more of S.A. Barnes’ work. Get your hardcover copy of Dead Silence (with free global shipping) here. Or get a paperback copy here.

Let us know what you thought of Dead Silence, or just drop us a comment to tell us about your favorite science fiction books and movies. And as always, thank you for taking a break at The Book Review Station!

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– Rishika