Lightless (The Lightless Trilogy)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BUZZFEED AND KIRKUS REVIEWS • With deeply moving human drama, nail-biting suspense—and bold speculation informed by a degree in physics—C. A. Higgins spins a riveting science fiction debut guaranteed to catapult readers beyond their expectations.
Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond—not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship’s electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship.
While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner—the enigmatic Ivan—may prove to be more dangerous. The perversely fascinating criminal whose silver tongue is his most effective weapon has long evaded the authorities’ most relentless surveillance—and kept the truth about his methods and motives well hidden.
As the ship’s systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, it falls to Althea to penetrate the prisoner’s layers of intrigue and deception before all is lost. But when the true nature of Ivan’s mission is exposed, it will change Althea forever—if it doesn’t kill her first.
Praise for Lightless
“Gripping . . . sci-fi flavored with a hint of thriller.”—New York Daily News
“[A] measured, lovely science-fiction debut [that is] more psychological thriller . . . contained, disciplined, tense . . . The plot is compulsive. . . . Lightless is the first of a planned series, and you can’t help looking forward to learning what’s next.”—The New York Times
“Lightless is full of suspense and fun as hell to read.”—BuzzFeed
“Absolutely brilliant . . . This is science fiction as it is meant to be done: scientific concepts wedded to and built upon human ideals.”—Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of the October Daye series
“The stakes in this story are high—life and death, rebellion and betrayal—and debut novelist Higgins continually ratchets up the tension. . . . A suspenseful, emotional story that asks plenty of big questions about identity and freedom, this is a debut not to be missed.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A taut, suspenseful read.”—Tech Times
“Lightless is an exercise in lighting a very slow fuse and building the tension to an unbearable pitch while making us guess just how apocalyptic the ultimate explosion will be. . . . It is a high-wire act, a wonderment, and a fine accomplishment from a name we’ll be seeing again.”—Sci Fi
From the Hardcover edition.
been placed, not yet recording and, like Ida, waiting. The steel door across the room swung open, and framed in its tiny square beneath the wide featureless stretch of white wall above, Ida Stays saw him, her subject, Leontios Ivanov, dressed all in black with his blond hair cropped short. His gaze darted around the room before settling on her, the only creature inside. His wrists were chained behind his back. Ida let the smile she’d been holding locked away unfurl on her lips, and Ivanov
you wanted to, all you had to do was ask.” “I’ll keep that in mind.” Domitian moved in front so that he could slice Ivan’s shirt, his knife sliding over Ivan’s sternum. When he pulled the rags away and dropped them onto the floor, Ivan shivered. The room, Ida had ensured, was just a little cold. Without the armor of his black shirt, Ivan seemed even more powerless, even more exposed. Wordless, Domitian returned to the polygraph and began to affix the wires to Ivan’s chest, the suckers
elaborate. Ida wanted him to ask. “How so, Miss Stays?” Domitian asked. “I was going to interrogate Constance Harper and Milla Ivanov,” said Ida. She would have liked to speak to Gale and Hunter, but Gale was dead and Hunter missing. Harper and Doctor Ivanov, though, were in her grasp. On the screen before her was the surveillance footage from the surface of Titania, still playing. A System building was on fire. System soldiers were firing into the crowd. On the ground before the camera, a man
from, she could try to stop whatever he was doing, but first she would have to find out which one it was. The interfaces weren’t numbered in order, and she’d have to force access; he’d probably stop her, but if she could just delay him from doing anything, Domitian and Gagnon could catch up to him and stop him— Before she could do anything, every screen in front of her—the hundred video feeds, her connection to Ananke’s bowels, the still-open files on Gale and Ivanov—went black and still, dead
but Ida had the least information when it came to her. A few sparse police reports (Abigail always used her real name even as Mattie and Ivan chose pseudonyms of varying outlandishness) and not a single recent photograph. Ivan seemed to hate her in some peculiar, obsessive way, but he seemed to be just as devoted. Milla Ivanov, the next most likely because she had the motives and probably the connections, was simply too well watched. Matthew Gale—that would certainly explain the pair’s