The Burning Dark

The Burning Dark (Spider War) - Adam Christopher

I'm a sucker for sci-fi horror. There I said it. I probably don't need to elaborate on that admission any further than to say the Aliens film franchise had a significant effect on me in my youth. Except perhaps to add that I think Event Horizon was a genuinely creepy film - despite it being from Paul W. S. Anderson.

So it was that I approached The Burning Dark with no small level of expectation.

When, oh when, will I learn ...

This is a mash-up of any number of sci-fi and horror works you've read or seen before. Author Adam Christopher adds his own spin in the form of some pretty interesting sounding spider-like aliens intent on destroying human kind, often by way of a "Mother Spider", a construct big enough to level an entire planet. Unfortunately, these aliens are quickly back-seated in favour of a mysterious space station on the outer reaches of space that is being decommissioned and has only a skeleton crew left in residence when increasingly strange and dangerous things begin to occur. There's also a military-wide cover-up, radio communications from the past, ghost-like visions, and a twist so obvious that even the greenest of modern-day horror readers will pick it at least half a dozen chapters before the reveal.

Not helping matters is I never really connected with any of the characters within The Burning Dark, and subsequently failed to care when they began disappearing or were put in harm's way. Perhaps it was just me. Perhaps I'm being overly critical, but I was hoping for a lot from this one, and all I got was disappointment once it was obvious the Spiders weren't going to have any major impact on proceedings and I wasn't reading anything new and engaging beyond them and their huge planet-sucking beast.

Recommended for hardcore sci-fi completists only.

2 Horizons Evented for The Burning Dark.