book cover The Luminous Dead has only two active characters: a cave diver, covered in a special suit that enhances her strength and completely isolates her from the environment, and her handler, the person who guides and provides support remotely. At first glance it's a sci-fi story, as it happens on another planet, with futuristic technology, different rules, alien lifeforms, etc. However, it starts to itch at you that with the tech that was described, the tasks at hand could have been completed a lot more efficiently and safely, so what gives?

Turns out the story is more of a metaphor than a fantastic cave adventure on another planet. Probably inspired by the death of Caitlin Starling's mother, it explores the damage done by losing your parents, the obsessions that drive the affected, the extent to which someone will go to quiet those voices in their heads. But I liked it. It's got just enough action and adrenaline to keep you going while it touches the painful emotional bits that the book was really about.

Bottom line: I urge you to ignore all technical aspects of the story. It's not that the author did not made the effort to make them believable, it's that they are irrelevant to the moral of the book. Also ignore the wild emotional fluctuations of the characters: they are supposed to behave that way. The book feels as if following a personal journal with the events of the story being just sci-fi versions of the items there.

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