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review 2018-07-10 23:21
4 Out Of 5 "Norco-induced paranoia" STARS
Obscura - Joe Hart

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~BOOK BLURB~

Obscura

Joe Hart

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In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similarly inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Merging thrilling science-fiction adventure with mind-bending psychological suspense, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart explores both the vast mysteries of outer space and the even darker unknown that lies within ourselves.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Obscura is one part psychological thriller, one part critical journey into deep space, and another part scientific search for a cure for a devastating disease, with a dousing of Norco induced paranoia; tossed together with mostly likable characters.  I should have fully connected with this more than I did.  Maybe it was the lackluster characters or the narration, or that it was to science fiction-y for me.  Maybe…it’s a little of each.

 

I will say this…Obscura could be awesome as a movie, I'm quite certain it would hold my complete attention in that context.  While I definitely liked this, I just always felt somewhat detached while listening.  You know when you're watching something on TV while scrolling through social media on your phone.  It was kind of like that, basically, I was easily distracted.  But seriously, what I'm really trying to say is you should totally give this a try if the synopsis sounds good to you.

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.7/5

Main Characters~ 3.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 3.5/5

The Feels~ 3.8/5

Pacing~ 4.3/5

Addictiveness~ 4.2/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.3/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Sort of…

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Book Cover~ It drew me in…

Narration~☆3.5☆ for Christina Traister...she was okay, I guess.

Setting~ Outer Space --between Earth and Mars, mostly

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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review 2018-06-22 10:27
Review of Obscura by Joe Hart
Obscura - Joe Hart

This book. This book is worth the hype. All of it. I had no clue what it was about going into it, which as someone who has read way too many reviews that give away the entire premise, I considered a win. I like Joe Hart, possibly because I may have confused one of his books with Joe Hill when I bought it, and liked it anyway. I knew that he could write with The Exorcism of Sara May. I've realized that he is on my must-read list after this.

Obscura hits all of the right notes in all of the right areas, which is a real diamond amongst books. Most books are somewhere on the Goldilocks spectrum: too long, too short, lacking, over-doing, etc. This one is perfect in almost every way. Yep, I said it.

 

I received an ARC of this from NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Now I just need a signed/limited edition of this. Please?

 

© 2018 by Andi Rawson of Andreya's Asylum

 

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review 2018-06-06 17:59
Obscura by Joe Hart
Obscura - Joe Hart

 A new form of dementia, called Losian, has taken Dr. Gillian Flynn's husband, and it is a race against time to find the cause and hopefully a cure, as now her young daughter suffers from it. As her funding dries out, NASA steps in, asking her for her help on a secret mission where the crew are suffering symptoms eerily similar to Losians. Will she find her answer there, or will she be coming up against something more insidious?

 

I loved the premise of this book, and it kept me engaged all the way throughout. It has, of course, the sci-fi element, but it was also a psychological thriller. The main character deals with an addiction to opioids, which to tell you the truth, was the one thing that threw me off, as I do not see how anyone with that kind of addiction would have been approved for space travel, no matter how good you are at your job. But, this is fiction after all, and the rest of the tale was wickedly good. 

 

I have read several of Joe Hart's books, and this one is definitely at the top of my list.

5 stars and definitely recommended!

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review 2018-01-28 08:09
Obscura by Joe Hart
Obscura - Joe Hart

In the not so distant future, a lethal pandemic of unknown origin is sweeping the planet. A virulent form of dementia that spreads unchecked to people of all ages, with fatal results. The leading researcher into the contagion, driven by the loss of her husband to this plague, and the heartbreaking signs that her young daughter may be next, finds herself succumbing to addiction as her funding dries up. When an old friend offers her a chance at obtaining unlimited funding for her research, she jumps at the chance.....but there is a catch. NASA has developed a teleportation device that may be the key to interstellar travel, but the test subjects are falling victim to a similar affliction. All she has to do is travel to their space station, help discover a cure, and everything she needs to save her daughter, and the human race, will be hers for the asking.
It's an offer too good to pass up.
But things are not what they are advertised to be, as another form of death stalks the station, and deception shadows everything and everyone involved. She finds herself struggling with demons both internal and external as she struggles to accomplish her mission and save the one thing that means the world to her.

Hart enters the arena once ruled by Michael Crichton with this engaging thriller, and proves himself more than a match for the past master of science based thrillers, bringing a powerful human factor to his tale, along with lingering questions about the fate of the human race in the face of evolving biological threats, corporate dirty dealing, and the dark underbelly of medical ethics.....along with a talent for sustained white knuckle suspense.

Highly recommended.

This was an eARC from Netgalley.

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review 2018-01-01 18:24
A thought provoking and highly accomplished SF thriller
Obscura - Joe Hart

One of the most memorable images I store from my childhood is the idea of the teleporter. You know the program; Capt James Kirk daring to go where no one had gone before and in order to do this he uses the magical services of what was affectionately known on Star Trek as a transporter or teleportation machine. The transporter converted a person into an energy pattern (dematerialization ) then beamed to a target (place) where it was converted back to matter (rematerialization) I tell you this because "Obscura" the excellent new novel by Joe Hart uses this idea as a central theme.

 

Doctor Gillian Ryan is a recognized expert into research concerning a dementia type illness known as Losian's disease. She has lost her partner Kent to the condition and disturbingly her daughter Carrie is now showing signs that she may also suffer from this life threatening affliction. Research for a cure is expensive and with funds running low she is approached by an old friend Carson who has a proposition for her that may be her salvation offering unlimited funds for her research program if only she will repay his kindness in the following way...Ander's transport is a teleportation system which causes  atoms that make up a human body to be first frozen solid then vaporized before emerging at a secondary location as a solid human mass once again (think Star trek) However the users of Ander's transport appear to have been stricken with symptoms similar to Losian's namely memory loss, trances, and violent uncontrollable impulses. If Gillian will help NASA find a cure, travel to the space station via shuttle, then they in their turn promise unlimited funds with research into Losian's disease, and with time running out for her daughter she has little alternative but to accept. However she soon finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and lies, a nightmare three month journey to Mars, a conspiracy that feeds into her own paranoia, with real fears that she will never see her home or her precious daughter again.

 

I love this type of SF based story where the human race is concerned not only with the decaying state it's planet (melting of the ice caps etc) but also with the need to reach out and discover other solar systems, other civilizations, potential areas that we can populate and yes..."to boldly go where no man has gone before" Joe Hart has written an intelligent thought provoking novel raising question and ideas that are pertinent to society today. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. Many thanks to the good people at netgalley and the publisher Thomas & Mercer for a gratis copy in return for an honest review and that is what I have written.

 

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