“Dark Star” by Oliver Langmead

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

“Dark Star” by Oliver LangmeadDark Star by Oliver Langmead
Published: 2015 by Unsung Stories
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 224
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
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Unsung Stories is a small press based in the UK dedicated to publishing weird fiction.  Dark Star by Oliver Langmead is a perfect example–it’s a science fiction noir novel written in verse.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It’s a strange and wonderful mashup of genres.

Dark Star is set on the planet Vox, which is in utter darkness.  Life on Vox is made possible by three Hearts, which serve as generators and supply a limited amount of power to the cities.  Light is a precious commodity, and even the most common drug is a form of liquid light.

Virgil Yorke is an addict.  He’s your stereotypical washed up cop, equal parts genius and complete trainwreck.  When a body of a young woman is found with her veins filled with liquid light, Virgil bumbles around and tries to makes sense of it.  Then, one of the Hearts that powers the city is stolen, and Virgil is transferred to that case.  However, he slowly realizes that the two incidents are connected, and that there is all on Vox is not as it seems.

Dark Star was like nothing I’ve ever read before.  It’s definitely experimental, and not without flaws.  For example, I felt that there wasn’t adequate explanation as to how a planet covered in darkness can sustain the crops necessary for human life.  There’s a necessary suspension of disbelief for it to work at all.  But in spite of that, I was amazed by the sheer creativity of the story and the way that the genres blended together.  Dark Star gritty, visual, and surreal, and well worth the read.

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