Horror Fiction Review: Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes

I read this for the #LOHFReadathon and our monthly #LOHFReadalong.

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes

Released February 8, 2022

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Bookshop

Titanic meets The Shining in S.A. Barnes’ Dead Silence, a SF horror novel in which a woman and her crew board a decades-lost luxury cruiser and find the wreckage of a nightmare that hasn't yet ended.


Claire Kovalik is days away from being unemployed—made obsolete—when her beacon repair crew picks up a strange distress signal. With nothing to lose and no desire to return to Earth, Claire and her team decide to investigate.

What they find at the other end of the signal is a shock: the Aurora, a famous luxury space-liner that vanished on its maiden tour of the solar system more than twenty years ago. A salvage claim like this could set Claire and her crew up for life. But a quick trip through the Aurora reveals something isn’t right.

Whispers in the dark. Flickers of movement. Words scrawled in blood. Claire must fight to hold onto her sanity and find out what really happened on the Aurora, before she and her crew meet the same ghastly fate.

My 2 Cents For Free!

I'm not a big sci-fi reader but I enjoy books about people who are damaged and who sometimes spend too much time all up in their own heads and this is one of those. I also don't mind a romance unless, of course, Dean Koontz is writing it with his icky, weird, unfortunate sex talk but this isn't one of those, phew! There is a little romance but it's not icky nor does it seem out of place. Anyhow, I guess I was predisposed to like this one and I did!

I'm not going to carry on about the plot because everyone has beaten me to it (thank you because I am lazy!). I'll just say that this was at turns creepy, tense, claustrophobic and it kept me hooked almost the entirety of the story. I wrote "almost" because there's a bit somewhere about 40% in that starts to get sloggy and my brain drifted a bit but it didn't carry on for too long before some wild danger began again. I do have to be honest here and tell you I wasn't too thrilled with the reveal of what caused the very awful tragic things to happen because I was expecting something else (and I can't say more without spoilers and I'm not going to be that jerk today), but you can't always get what you want, eh?

The entire experience was a solid four-star for me meaning I liked it a whole lot despite my complaints there. You might like it a whole lot too if you like the things I mentioned.


If this one sounds good, you might want to check out this space horror fic too 🠋


About Author S.A. Barnes

S.A. BARNES works in a high school library by day, recommending reads, talking with students, and removing the occasional forgotten cheese stick as bookmark. Barnes has published numerous novels across different genres under the pen name Stacey Kade. She lives in Illinois with more dogs and books than is advisable and a very patient husband. See what's coming next from S.A. Barnes here: https://www.staceykade.com/.


  1. I cannot wait to dive into this one!! It's very close to the top of my TBR stack! :)

  2. I really liked this one! I thought it was a fun mix of science fiction and suspense.

  3. I liked this one too but I had a similar feel about the reveal. I wanted it to go in a certain direction and instead it went... elsewhere.

  4. I loved it. Especially that claustrophobic feel, and gruesomeness but I agree with the ending. I'm not sure I had the same issue as you (& Greg) had but it seemed once everything was revealed it all wrapped up too easily. I would have liked to have SEEN what happened after, I guess.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. Yep, the wrap-up all felt a bit rushed to me and I wish it had gone in another direction but still a fantastic book and I can't be mad about it, haha

  5. Trying again with my comment.... I felt the same as you. I loved the claustrophobic and gruesome feel but then the end sort of just got explained and wrapped up quickly. I would have liked to have *seen* more of the fallout and how she got things back on track after going home.


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