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The luminous dead : a novel

by Starling, Caitlin,

Format: Print Book [2019]
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"This claustrophobic, horror-leaning tour de force is highly recommended for fans of Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation and Andy Weir's The Martian." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)


A thrilling, atmospheric debut with the intensive drive of The Martian and Gravity and the creeping dread of Annihilation, in which a caver on a foreign planet finds herself on a terrifying psychological and emotional journey for survival.

When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she'd be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck--enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother--meant she'd get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane.

Instead, she got Em.

Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre's body with drugs or withholding critical information to "ensure the smooth operation" of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre's falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash--and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . .

As Gyre descends, little inconsistencies--missing supplies, unexpected changes in the route, and, worst of all, shifts in Em's motivations--drive her out of her depths. Lost and disoriented, Gyre finds her sense of control giving way to paranoia and anger. On her own in this mysterious, deadly place, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, Gyre must overcome more than just the dangerous terrain and the Tunneler which calls underground its home if she wants to make it out alive--she must confront the ghosts in her own head.

But how come she can't shake the feeling she's being followed?

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "She's got the will and the skills but no experience, so she lied. The money was just too good. Should she really be surprised when she discovers her handler is also a liar? Gyre is an excellent climber but not good enough when the caving exploration she was hired for goes terribly wrong. Her employer's motivations are highly suspect, criminally and murderously so. When she finds a body and learns it is not the first one, she turns to her topside guide for help, who is only interested in success and, much to Gyre's dismay, can take control of Gyre's state-of-the-art caving suit. The supplies she packed are getting low, and a prearranged cache has disappeared. Deep beneath the ground, Gyre is alone in the dark. Or is she? Her handler says no one else could possibly be down there. But would she tell the truth if it were detrimental to the success of the mission? Starling's debut is a chilling study in mutual guilt and dependence that will have readers racing toward the conclusion.--Lucy Lockley Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Starling's riveting near-future debut depicts an intense psychological battle of wills between two damaged, deeply flawed women who forge an unbreakable connection in the dark. Gyre Price, an amateur caver from an impoverished mining world, is desperate to earn enough money to discover the fate of her mother, who abandoned their family when Gyre was young-and she isn't above falsifying her qualifications to get the high-paying job she needs. Aware of Gyre's deception, Em, Gyre's controlling, manipulative handler, guides her on a harrowing journey into the depths of a rarely explored cave system on some unexplained, ill-fated errand. To survive the darkness and the threats concealed therein, Gyre must confront monsters from her own imagination as well as those from Em's bloody past, and defeat them both. Both women can be messy, cruel, and selfish, and Starling disregards conventional notions of such women seeking or needing absolution. This claustrophobic, horror-leaning tour de force is highly recommended for fans of Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation and Andy Weir's The Martian. Agent: Caitlin McDonald, Donald Maass Literary. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Spelunkers -- Fiction.
Caving -- Fiction.
Survival -- Fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Horror fiction.
Science fiction.
Thrillers (Fiction)
Publisher New York, NY :[2019]
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 414 pages : map ; 21 cm
ISBN 9780062846907
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