Book Review: Salvation Day by Kali Wallace

Salvation Day by Kali Wallace
My rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ (4 stars)
Publisher: Berkley Books (July 2019)

It's probably not a surprise that a plan embarked upon by members of a cult goes irrevocably wrong almost from the start but there was a lot more here than that. The ship House of Wisdom has been under armed quarantine for ten years and she has many stories to tell and secrets to reveal. Additionally, there's information on how humanity has fared and organized itself after some near-extinction level calamity and being charitable, results have been mixed. Salvation Day lays out the collision course two sides are on and the shared reckoning that humans have to face.



The story is told through two POV narrators, Jas and Zahra, who are both connected to the ship's original crew and the disaster that befell it. As it happened, my favourite character turned out to be Baquir. He had dual knowledge of life and death in the refugee camps while waiting for citizenship in the Councils and life in the Councils as a full citizen. The slights and successes he experienced felt fully realized and made him a memorable character though he did not have POV chapters. Adam, the supposed charismatic cult leader who read as clearly and profoundly mad, made me wonder at how vulnerable and desperate his followers had to be to see him as anything other and their surest hope to a better life. It's to the good that the story showed exactly how that happened.

In book likes, there's a glorious nod to the horror that is infectious parasites under your skin from Guillermo del Toro's The Strain . And if you like the class disparity and protomolecule threads in James S.A. Corey's The Expanse, this could be your thing.

I read this over a very busy week and a half so I had to keep putting it down but the great thing was it lingered in the back of my mind & I was very glad each time I could get back to it to read a bit more. This is definitely a page-turner that I'd have blown through at any other time.

Recommended for fans of speculative science fiction.

Many thanks to Berkley Publishing for the analog advanced reader's copy.


Summary:  A lethal virus is awoken on an abandoned spaceship in this incredibly fast-paced, claustrophobic thriller.
They thought the ship would be their salvation.

Zahra knew every detail of the plan. House of Wisdom, a massive exploration vessel, had been abandoned by the government of Earth a decade earlier, when a deadly virus broke out and killed everyone on board in a matter of hours. But now it could belong to her people if they were bold enough to take it. All they needed to do was kidnap Jaswinder Bhattacharya—the sole survivor of the tragedy, and the last person whose genetic signature would allow entry to the spaceship.

But what Zahra and her crew could not know was what waited for them on the ship—a terrifying secret buried by the government. A threat to all of humanity that lay sleeping alongside the orbiting dead.

And then they woke it up.
They thought the ship would be their salvation.
Zahra knew every detail of the plan. House of Wisdom, a massive exploration vessel, had been abandoned by the government of Earth a decade earlier, when a deadly virus broke out and killed everyone on board in a matter of hours. But now it could belong to her people if they were bold enough to take it. All they needed to do was kidnap Jaswinder Bhattacharya—the sole survivor of the tragedy, and the last person whose genetic signature would allow entry to the spaceship.
But what Zahra and her crew could not know was what waited for them on the ship—a terrifying secret buried by the government. A threat to all of humanity that lay sleeping alongside the orbiting dead.
And then they woke it up.


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