c. a. higgins
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.
The New York Times calls LIGHTLESS a “lovely science-fiction debut”
Amazon’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Best Books of the Month for September
io9’s list of “All the Most Thrilling Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Coming This Fall”
“[A] riveting sci-fi debut” —Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Books Preview
“LIGHTLESS is contained, disciplined, tense and occasionally lyrical...The writing, particularly when Ms. Higgins describes the workings of the computer, is often beautiful. LIGHTLESS is the first of a planned series, and you can’t help looking forward to learning what’s next for Althea and Ananke.”
—The New York Times
“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
“Written by an author with a degree in physics and featuring a computer reminiscent of 2001’s HAL, LIGHTLESS is an intellectual but no less exciting story set in the infinite vastness of space...expansive and exhilarating”
—Romantic Times, 4 Stars!
“This is science fiction as it is meant to be done: scientific concepts wedded to and built upon human ideals. Absolutely brilliant.”
— Seanan McGuire, New York Times-bestselling author of the October Daye series