Unfinished books: C.A. Higgins, LIGHTLESS

C.A. Higgins, Lightless. Del Rey, 2015. E-ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Science fiction written by a person with a degree in physics. Sounds great, right? I’m sure Lightless has some good points – the prose, though naive, is brisk and energetic – but I couldn’t last out long enough to identify them. The aforesaid naive prose relies much too heavily on to-be verbs, the main character is basically a person-shaped hole, and very shortly we meet a Man who is possibly a Pirate with Very Blue Eyes.

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 color of the man’s eyes.

The blue-eyed man. The blue-eyed man. HEREAFTER WE SHALL REFER TO HIM AS THE BLUE-EYED MAN. The blue-eyed man likes to BANDY WORDS. When confronted with people carrying guns, this happens:

“And what if we don’t go?” the blue-eyed man asked.
“Your friend tried to resist me,” said Domitian. “I snapped his arm. What do you want me to do to you?”
The blue-eyed man smiled, white teeth showing.
“I mean if we think getting shot would be better than going into your brig,” he said, clarifying with a show of false politeness that perfectly matched his Terran accent.


Clearly he is Special, and if he doesn’t wind up being a romantic interest, I’ll eat a handful of raw peppercorns.

It was shortly after this point that I decided I had better things to do with my time. If any one of you has read it, please let me know if it improves?

3 thoughts on “Unfinished books: C.A. Higgins, LIGHTLESS

  1. Well, Althea is attracted to the blue-eyed man, but that’s as far as it goes. At least in this book.

    Anwyay, it took somewhere between 10-30% of the novel for it to work for me, and I was fairly skeptical until then. But once it *did* start to work for me I was very glad I’d stuck with it, as there was, I felt, effective tension and suspense, and some of the mid/late revelations and developments were, um. Suitably punchy.

    Althea’s characterization does improve, a bit, but she remains…not particularly well drawn. The second protagonist (who I believe you would not have met yet) is a literal sociopath, so while I found her interesting there wasn’t much there there.

    Mind you, a large portion of the book involves the sociopath interrogating the blue-eyed man, which…might not be your thing.

  2. That’s good to know. I’m glad to hear it *does* get better. Given the number of books on my TBR shelf, though, sticking past the first thirty pages tends to require a little more up-front promise than I got here.

    Mind you, a large portion of the book involves the sociopath interrogating the blue-eyed man, which…might not be your thing.

    Um. Yeah. Maybe not.

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