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Across the Void

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A visceral space thriller—perfect for fans of Arrival and The Martian—following the sole survivor of a catastrophic accident in space that leaves her drifting in the void with only the voice of her estranged husband, a NASA scientist, to guide her back to Earth. Commander Maryam “May” Knox awakes from a medically induced coma alone, adrift in space on a rapidly failing shi A visceral space thriller—perfect for fans of Arrival and The Martian—following the sole survivor of a catastrophic accident in space that leaves her drifting in the void with only the voice of her estranged husband, a NASA scientist, to guide her back to Earth. Commander Maryam “May” Knox awakes from a medically induced coma alone, adrift in space on a rapidly failing ship, with little to no memory of who she is or why she’s there. Slowly, she pieces together that she’s the captain of the ship, Hawking II; that she was bound for Europa—one of Jupiter’s moons—on a research mission; and that she’s the only survivor of either an accident—or worse, a deliberate massacre—that has decimated her entire crew. With resources running low, and her physical strength severely compromised, May must rely on someone back home to help her. The problem is: everyone thinks she’s dead. Back on Earth, it’s been weeks since Hawking II has communicated with NASA, and Dr. Stephen Knox is on bereavement leave to deal with the apparent death of his estranged wife, whose decision to participate in the Europa mission strained their marriage past the point of no return. But when he gets word that NASA has received a transmission from May, Stephen comes rushing to her aid. What he doesn’t know is that not everyone wants May to make it back alive. Even more terrifying: she might not be alone on that ship. Featuring a twisting and suspenseful plot and compelling characters, Across the Void is a moving and evocative thriller that you won’t be able to put down.


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A visceral space thriller—perfect for fans of Arrival and The Martian—following the sole survivor of a catastrophic accident in space that leaves her drifting in the void with only the voice of her estranged husband, a NASA scientist, to guide her back to Earth. Commander Maryam “May” Knox awakes from a medically induced coma alone, adrift in space on a rapidly failing shi A visceral space thriller—perfect for fans of Arrival and The Martian—following the sole survivor of a catastrophic accident in space that leaves her drifting in the void with only the voice of her estranged husband, a NASA scientist, to guide her back to Earth. Commander Maryam “May” Knox awakes from a medically induced coma alone, adrift in space on a rapidly failing ship, with little to no memory of who she is or why she’s there. Slowly, she pieces together that she’s the captain of the ship, Hawking II; that she was bound for Europa—one of Jupiter’s moons—on a research mission; and that she’s the only survivor of either an accident—or worse, a deliberate massacre—that has decimated her entire crew. With resources running low, and her physical strength severely compromised, May must rely on someone back home to help her. The problem is: everyone thinks she’s dead. Back on Earth, it’s been weeks since Hawking II has communicated with NASA, and Dr. Stephen Knox is on bereavement leave to deal with the apparent death of his estranged wife, whose decision to participate in the Europa mission strained their marriage past the point of no return. But when he gets word that NASA has received a transmission from May, Stephen comes rushing to her aid. What he doesn’t know is that not everyone wants May to make it back alive. Even more terrifying: she might not be alone on that ship. Featuring a twisting and suspenseful plot and compelling characters, Across the Void is a moving and evocative thriller that you won’t be able to put down.

30 review for Across the Void

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emer (A Little Haze)

    This was for the most part an enjoyable sci fi romp across the galaxy but I did have a few issues. To me the book tried to do too many things. It didn't know if it wanted to be a complex space set thriller or an action adventure or an analysis of marriage. The strongest moments of this read for me were at the beginning when May woke up alone on her spaceship Hawking II and was as much in darkness about what had happened aboard as I was as the reader. The tension was palpable and I was incredibly This was for the most part an enjoyable sci fi romp across the galaxy but I did have a few issues. To me the book tried to do too many things. It didn't know if it wanted to be a complex space set thriller or an action adventure or an analysis of marriage. The strongest moments of this read for me were at the beginning when May woke up alone on her spaceship Hawking II and was as much in darkness about what had happened aboard as I was as the reader. The tension was palpable and I was incredibly eager to discover just what had happened to the other crew members and learn why the ship was in such disrepair. This also was when my favourite relationship in the book was set up, that between May and the ship's AI named Eve. I loved the bonding between woman and machine and how they both learned from each other in this difficult environment. Top marks for the first third or so of the book. But from about 40% through I felt the book began to lag. By this stage the reader has been introduced to May's husband at home on earth and to Robert the NASA bigwig and I felt the storylines on earth truly stagnated the reading experience. This was because there was a lot of back and forth with time jumps as more and more of May and her husband Stephen's life together was explored. And then the last third just got plain ridiculous. I thought the book lost its credibility with the introduction of Ian and some very silly deus ex machina heroics from one of the characters. It's such a shame that the book didn't truly stick to its space thriller beginnings because that aspect of the book was so well written and so gripping. A book with great potential that sadly for me ultimately hit a little off target. Three stars. *An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Little Brown Book Group UK, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

  2. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    I requested Across the Void from Netgalley because I both liked the blurb and the cover. A wrecked spaceship, a lonely survivor, a hint of Gravity, and a faint memory of The Martian. It all sounded fantastic. Sadly, I was somewhat disappointed. I'll talk about the negative things first and will end on a positive note, because, at the end, I enjoyed the read. Across the Void crams too many things into a normal-sized book. Torn between being a thriller focusing on survival and a love story with a my I requested Across the Void from Netgalley because I both liked the blurb and the cover. A wrecked spaceship, a lonely survivor, a hint of Gravity, and a faint memory of The Martian. It all sounded fantastic. Sadly, I was somewhat disappointed. I'll talk about the negative things first and will end on a positive note, because, at the end, I enjoyed the read. Across the Void crams too many things into a normal-sized book. Torn between being a thriller focusing on survival and a love story with a mystery and a redemption arc, it ends up being neither. May is well depicted and three-dimensional, but sadly I did not like her and could not warm to her. All other characters fell a bit flat. While the beginning feels realistic, the end does not, and I could no longer suspend my disbelief. Especially the events on Earth begin to feel over the top. Now, for the positive: The book opens strong. May wakes up, doesn't know what happened, is terrified and slowly builds a bond with the ship's AI, Eve. Those first 30-40% or so are exceptionally well done, and Eve is a fantastic character. I seem to have a thing for artificial intelligence with an elaborate personality. The pacing is solid, and it never slows down to a crawl, and Across the Void kept my attention throughout. The writing is straightforward, simple and doesn't distract. This one isn't for people who like hard SF, or who like their SF to be super realistic. However, if you are looking for some fun twists and turns in space, a dose of marriage turned sour but really they still like each other, give this one a try.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

    *3.5 stars* Synopsis May is the commander of the most monumental space flight in human history: the first manned expedition to Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Except something has gone terribly wrong. On the return journey, she wakes up alone in a stasis chamber aboard her ship only to discover she’s lost her memory, her crew is missing, and her ship has suffered catastrophic failures. It immediately becomes an intense game of survival, not only against the vast void of space, but against foes a bit *3.5 stars* Synopsis May is the commander of the most monumental space flight in human history: the first manned expedition to Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Except something has gone terribly wrong. On the return journey, she wakes up alone in a stasis chamber aboard her ship only to discover she’s lost her memory, her crew is missing, and her ship has suffered catastrophic failures. It immediately becomes an intense game of survival, not only against the vast void of space, but against foes a bit closer to home as well. Review Sounds amazing doesn’t it? And for the most part it was especially with our heroine being a woman of color. I was so excited to be given this ARC that I started reading it immediately. The first half of the book reminded me of one of my more recent favourites, The Martian, so I was hooked right away. Plus the whole idea of a human trip to Europa is completely fascinating and sparks a lot of wonder in people like me who are enthralled with advancements in space travel. The dangerous beauty of our universe was really atmospheric, adding an incredible backdrop to this fast-paced survival story. Luckily, May wasn’t completely alone as the ship’s AI survived the unknown disaster and became a valuable ally. May’s relationship with the ship’s AI became one I fell in love with. Her capacity to problem solve and persevere against overwhelming odds with her new AI sidekick really made me root for May.  Then toward the end of the book things got pretty complicated. There was so much going on and so many flashbacks to her pre-flight history that I began to get bogged down with it all. It suddenly became  The Notebook 2: The Da Vinci Code in Space and felt really rushed, as if the author was trying to cram as many plots as possible into the remaining pages. Her motivations and actions started to make absolutely no sense and all the events happening behind the scenes on Earth got very overwhelming, especially when people from her past started entering the scene doing really absurd things. The science began to feel forced and a bit ridiculous, too. One of the reasons The Martian works so beautifully is because of its realistic dedication to science and the ingenuity of the characters involved. Also, even though the authors are anonymous, I'm assuming that they are white- and most likely male. Maybe I'm wrong, but it didn't feel like this was written (or co-written) by a person of color or a woman.  Final Thoughts Despite all the messiness at the end, I did enjoy the book. I think a lot of the second half could have been left out because at its core this is an incredible story that is really well written. The copy I received was a solid 3 but I will err on the side of 3.5-4 stars since this was an ARC. I’m really hopeful that by publication things were tidied up and worked on because this was a really promising premise. Read my full review here! Across the Void review by A Little Nerd Told Me Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this in exchange for a reivew.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Very entertaining and exciting space disaster adventure, which would certainly appeal to anyone who enjoyed The Martian and Gravity. I loved May, the main character who faces extreme odds against survival, and Eve, the AI that she must lean on for technical and emotional support. There are some implausible elements (notably in the scenes set on Earth rather than in space, which is rather surprising) but it's such a fun read. Review to follow closer to publication on For Winter Nights.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Across the Void is a mash-up of both Gravity and The Martian. May commanded a pioneering mission to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, but when she wakes up alone on a foundering spaceship, she believes the rest of the crew to be dead. Suffering from short-term amnesia, she can't remember what led her to this point, or why she has filed for divorce from her husband, Stephen, who is manning the NASA computers back on Earth. As May tries to get the spaceship back on course, she begins to suspect that Across the Void is a mash-up of both Gravity and The Martian. May commanded a pioneering mission to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, but when she wakes up alone on a foundering spaceship, she believes the rest of the crew to be dead. Suffering from short-term amnesia, she can't remember what led her to this point, or why she has filed for divorce from her husband, Stephen, who is manning the NASA computers back on Earth. As May tries to get the spaceship back on course, she begins to suspect that there's more to her situation than simple human error. (view spoiler)[Across the Void is one of the worst books I've read in recent years, combining a large number of sins in one volume. It promises a diverse and fresh take on the lost-in-space story with its beautiful cover featuring a black female astronaut, but doesn't deliver. May's race is mentioned a couple of times, but does not feel in any way integral to her character. In terms of gender, what starts off as a display of May's intelligence and skill devolves by the end of the novel into a damsel-in-distress rescue mission, as Stephen and May's ex, Ian, team up to save her. This is made even more egregious after May discovers she is pregnant, which is a totally unnecessary addition. Moreover, May's characterisation veers too close to 'kick-ass' for my liking - there are no other significant female characters in the novel apart from May's dead mother, and May comes off as a 'not like other girls' action heroine rather than a real person. While the writer is anonymous, I'm 95% certain this was written by a white man. Across the Void also has a ludicrous plot. It ticks along quite nicely for the first third or so, but jumps the shark after May and Stephen discover a conspiracy at the heart of NASA, and becomes particularly absurd in its final chapters. The anonymous writer has apparently worked on screenplays in the past, and it shows - as in Daniel Cole's awful Ragdoll, the scenes are barely imagined, and sometimes read more like directions. Hence, the pacing is totally off, with far too much happening followed by awkward time jumps. This is compounded by the novel's structure, which pointlessly moves back and forward in time, giving us snippets from May's childhood and past career. It becomes particularly confusing because May names the AI in the ship after her mother - Eve - so scenes between May and Eve could be in various time periods. At a line-by-line level, Vaughn's writing, and especially dialogue, is incredibly clunky - it reads like an early amateur draft. The novel is also riddled with more errors than I'd expect at this stage in the process, with particularly bad ones like 'Neal Armstrong' standing out. Finally, the reasons behind May's plight are both illogical and handled rather immorally. It turns out that one of the crew, Jon, was planted by NASA and ordered to kill the rest of the crew and scuttle the ship if there was a chance they were bringing alien diseases back from Europa. May did fall ill after returning from the moon, so this plan was activated. While I doubt this would actually happen behind the crew's backs, and also think there would be less extreme counter-measures, the basic rationale behind this seems sound - why risk billions of lives for the sake of a handful of people? However, May treats Jon as if he has senselessly murdered her crew, torturing him to give up his story, then letting him die in unimaginable pain. I found this scene horrific - torture isn't OK because the 'good guys' are using it, and Jon was only a pawn in this plan. This all becomes even sillier when there's no follow-up re May's illness. (hide spoiler)] This novel is supposed to be the next 'The Martian', but it actually misses what made Andy Weir's original novel so refreshing - that the enemy is space, rather than other people, and everyone is working together to get Mark Watney home. A depressing, illogical book that I recommend avoiding. 1.5 stars. I received a free proof copy of this novel from the publisher for review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Across The Void is highly entertaining with some brilliant characters, Eve especially even though she is not human, this was a novel I devoured in short order enjoying every last moment. If you enjoyed The Martian I imagine you will love Across The Void. This time its a lone female in peril in space, trapped on a ship that is falling apart with only the A.I. Eve to help her hold things together. Cue an adventurous twisty tale interspersed with back story and conspiracy as May's husband determine Across The Void is highly entertaining with some brilliant characters, Eve especially even though she is not human, this was a novel I devoured in short order enjoying every last moment. If you enjoyed The Martian I imagine you will love Across The Void. This time its a lone female in peril in space, trapped on a ship that is falling apart with only the A.I. Eve to help her hold things together. Cue an adventurous twisty tale interspersed with back story and conspiracy as May's husband determines to bring her home against all odds. Battling earthly elements who just want May gone and living with all the ups and downs of their past relationship Stephen is also a highly engaging character. There are plenty of edge of the seat moments, but what makes this book is the developing relationship between May and Eve - bringing humour, irony and witty observation to the tale which adds so much to it. Part Scifi, part love story, part thriller, Across The Void is an outstanding read. Loved it Highly Recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    This sounded really good and wanted to enjoy this more than I did. The premise sounded like my thing completely but sadly I couldn’t connect with the characters, didn’t seem enough to hold my interest and the pacing had issues. Was so promising but sadly not for me Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest review

  8. 5 out of 5

    Елена Павлова

    The first half was marketed last year and was WOW! What a disappointment to see the book completely rewritten and void of all the wow that made the first draft such a great read. The complete book was, well, nice but nothing more. I've had too big expectations, probably.

  9. 5 out of 5

    S.J. Higbee

    First, the good news. The first half of the book is riveting – that opening sequence where May surfaces on a failing ship, struggling to work out what is going on with a badly glitched AI and memory issues, worked extremely well. The science aspect was entirely believable and the character development and backstory were effective and well written. I was drawn into her life, despite not liking her very much. I also liked the fact that May was black, with a successful black mother who had helped an First, the good news. The first half of the book is riveting – that opening sequence where May surfaces on a failing ship, struggling to work out what is going on with a badly glitched AI and memory issues, worked extremely well. The science aspect was entirely believable and the character development and backstory were effective and well written. I was drawn into her life, despite not liking her very much. I also liked the fact that May was black, with a successful black mother who had helped and supported her. So it was a real shame that I never really warmed to May – in fact as the story wore on, I found myself disliking her selfish behaviour more and more. For me, the dealbreaker was the disgraceful manner in which she neglected her mother as she became old and ill – and then made a huge scene on her death, where we’re all supposed to feel very sorry for her grief. Hm – not me. By this point, I was sick and tired of May’s self absorbed behaviour, just hoping that poor old Stephen would see the light and run away in the opposite direction from her as fast as possible. Because if you’re sensing a BUT, you’re right… this is a book of two halves. The first half drew me in and absolutely had me hooked, but about the halfway stage, I had a ‘Whoa!’ moment. The storyline lurched into the utterly unbelievable – setting up camp in Fantasyland, where it firmly stayed. I continued reading, hoping that somehow, at some stage, this would stop reading like the script of a really silly sci fi movie, and dial back to what started out as a thoroughly engrossing, strong story. It didn’t. The silliness wore on into the outright ridiculous. It’s a shame. The characters were well depicted, so that even if I hated the main protagonist, it didn’t stop her being well portrayed, warts and all. The story could so easily have continued to be a gripping, well written thriller with plenty of heft, instead of lapsing into lazy Hollywoodesque clichés that I saw coming on encountering the opening sequences. Frequent comparisons with The Martian demean both the film (which did get a tad daft at the end) and certainly the book, which is far better crafted and more realistic than this effort. Apparently, the tortured romantic element is being touted as sci-cry – and it’s certainly a crying shame that a better editor didn’t rein in the author(s) in this promising, yet horribly flawed effort. Not recommended for anyone who enjoys believable sci fi. While I obtained an arc of Across the Void from the author via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own. 4/10

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shalini | Book Rambler

    If you liked The Martian,then I recommend this book to you. Across the Void is about May,who is the only survivor on a spaceship and is trying to find her way back home with the help of an A.I. named Eve. While trying to navigate her way back to Earth and determining what happened to the rest of her crew,she unearths a dark secret. Will May be able to go back home or will her body be left to perish in space ? This sci-fi story wasn't my cup of tea but I think some will end up liking it . Thanks to If you liked The Martian,then I recommend this book to you. Across the Void is about May,who is the only survivor on a spaceship and is trying to find her way back home with the help of an A.I. named Eve. While trying to navigate her way back to Earth and determining what happened to the rest of her crew,she unearths a dark secret. Will May be able to go back home or will her body be left to perish in space ? This sci-fi story wasn't my cup of tea but I think some will end up liking it . Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shaitanah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed its complex female protagonist. May isn't always likeable, but that's what makes her realistic: she has moments of being selfish, ridiculous and even stupid, but she is also brave, uncompromising, smart and funny. I loved her relationship with Eve the AI, a very heartwarming friendship (on that note, I loved Eve herself, and yay for an AI not being murderously evil or antagonistic). Her relationships with her mother and her husban I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed its complex female protagonist. May isn't always likeable, but that's what makes her realistic: she has moments of being selfish, ridiculous and even stupid, but she is also brave, uncompromising, smart and funny. I loved her relationship with Eve the AI, a very heartwarming friendship (on that note, I loved Eve herself, and yay for an AI not being murderously evil or antagonistic). Her relationships with her mother and her husband are also complicated and well-written, even if the latter borders on melodramatic in places. Stephen and Raj have a fun friendship too. The survival subplot keeps the reader on their toes, and while I second the many comparisons to The Martian, I'd say this book is a lot more accessible to someone who's not a scientist. The Martian tends towards the realism of space travel as much as possible and Across the Void is more like a sci-fi adventure/relationship melodrama mash-up. I also enjoyed the non-linear progression of the flashbacks. Unfortunately, the whole conspiracy storyline lost me halfway through the book. I didn't really understand Warren's motivation, nor did I really care about him as a character. Basically, he felt like some kind of a trope, a rich white asshole, who's a baddie just by virtue of being rich, white and in charge. Ian's last-minute reveal as a murderous wackjob felt tacked on in order to produce more drama at the stage where it wasn't necessary for the book to be gripping anymore. I loved the idea of Stephen and Ian working together to save May precisely because it felt like a good way for Ian to overcome his shortcomings, but nope, he did a crazy face heel turn; even worse, it was implied that the whole reason for his inviting Stephen to join the rescue mission was to be able to murder him in space. What the hell? Far-fetched and plain weird, just like Cheeky's last-minute paternity doubts. Overall, an enjoyable, if a little overlong, read, but weighed down with a few improbable twists that turned out to be impossible for me to overlook and spoilt the book for me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Helen French

    Three stars for me which means I liked it, just didn't quite love it. The premise is great: May is awoken from a coma on a spaceship on the way back from the first manned mission to Jupiter's moon Europa. The rest of the crew is missing. The ship's AI doesn't know what's happened. May can't remember anything since a few weeks before the expedition. The ship is low on power and they're way off course. First it's a battle just to stay alive and then... how is she going to get back home? On Earth ex Three stars for me which means I liked it, just didn't quite love it. The premise is great: May is awoken from a coma on a spaceship on the way back from the first manned mission to Jupiter's moon Europa. The rest of the crew is missing. The ship's AI doesn't know what's happened. May can't remember anything since a few weeks before the expedition. The ship is low on power and they're way off course. First it's a battle just to stay alive and then... how is she going to get back home? On Earth ex and NASA scientist Stephen would do anything for May - but even he doesn't realise at first just how many obstacles are in the way of getting her home. That there might be dark conspiracies at play... I really like SF in which the main character is thrust into a nearly impossible to survive situation and has to get by on their wits alone but it's tough to make it believeable (or suspend-your-belief-y) and I'm not 100% sure this book always managed. After about 20 near-death situations in a row I just wondered if they really would've made it in one piece to well, anywhere really. At the same time, there's a flashback timeline going on revealing piece by piece the true state of May and Stephen's relationship. This didn't add a lot for me. Amnesia plots (May can't remember why they have separated) are akin to misunderstanding plots for me - a superficial way for authors to create tension. I'd rather her know and deal with her issues from the outset than dole it out to the audience a bit at a time. All that in mind, I did enjoy the book and eagerly sped through the pages to find out May's fate. I'd watch the movie if there ever was one. The twists and turns that keep coming keep you engaged. I liked it. Just didn't quite love it. However it might be right up another SF fan's alley.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gayle Noble

    Spaceship Hawking II - Christmas Day, 2067. May Knox wakes from a coma to find she is the only person left alive following a disastrous space mission. Apart from the ship's AI, whom she names Eve, she is alone. Meanwhile her estranged husband, Stephen, is waiting for hear from May and he is perturbed to find out that those in charge are less than enthusiastic about her return. Both May and Stephen find themselves fighting for their lives. The book moves back and forth through time, revealing bits Spaceship Hawking II - Christmas Day, 2067. May Knox wakes from a coma to find she is the only person left alive following a disastrous space mission. Apart from the ship's AI, whom she names Eve, she is alone. Meanwhile her estranged husband, Stephen, is waiting for hear from May and he is perturbed to find out that those in charge are less than enthusiastic about her return. Both May and Stephen find themselves fighting for their lives. The book moves back and forth through time, revealing bits of May's life from before interspersed with the perilous situation she is now in. I found that the first half of the book flew by, but the second half wasn't as good. Some parts of the plot were woefully underused (view spoiler)[(is there someone else on board?) (hide spoiler)] whilst others (view spoiler)[(pregnancy) (hide spoiler)] figured way too much. Finally, the ending seemed a little rushed as the bad guys were quickly arrested off screen and it all sort of fizzled out. Disappointing ending for a book that had such a promising start. Thanks to NetGalley and publishers, Little, Brown Book Group UK / Sphere, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michaela's Journey into Books

    *I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review* I have been really into sci-fi recently and this book did not disappoint. This story follows May who wakes up on a damaged ship in space with no memory of the last few months and no idea whether any of her crew is still alive. May with the help of her husband, Stephen, back on Earth must piece together her memories in order to find out what happened to her ship and find her way back h *I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review* I have been really into sci-fi recently and this book did not disappoint. This story follows May who wakes up on a damaged ship in space with no memory of the last few months and no idea whether any of her crew is still alive. May with the help of her husband, Stephen, back on Earth must piece together her memories in order to find out what happened to her ship and find her way back home. This is made more complicated though as May and Stephen filed for divorce just before she left Earth and May has no idea why. This is a very character focused book which I loved. It is told in the POVs of both May and Stephen and is told in both the present and through flashbacks. May was a great character to read from she is very sarcastic and witty. Sadly I wasn’t so interested in Stephen’s POV and I found myself drifting away from the story when reading his chapters. Flashbacks are something that are a bit of a hit or a miss with me but I really liked them in this as I enjoyed learning of the events that lead up to May’s current situation as she does as it really helps to add to the suspense of the story. I really enjoyed this book, it was full of suspense, I felt the pacing worked well for the book and I enjoyed learning more about space travel through this. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Doon

    I was really looking forward to this book, as sci-fi action is supremely my bag. The story is a rollercoaster of exciting twists and turns, and the characters repeatedly face death in an escalating series of increasingly improbable life-threatening circumstances. It all got a bit too improbable for me. I also found the two main characters very thinly drawn, and their dialogue unrealistic. The story never felt like it was happening to real people and so I struggled to engage with it emotionally. I was really looking forward to this book, as sci-fi action is supremely my bag. The story is a rollercoaster of exciting twists and turns, and the characters repeatedly face death in an escalating series of increasingly improbable life-threatening circumstances. It all got a bit too improbable for me. I also found the two main characters very thinly drawn, and their dialogue unrealistic. The story never felt like it was happening to real people and so I struggled to engage with it emotionally. In The Martian we see Mark Watney work through his problems in detail, yet in Across The Void all the characters take ill-thought out leaps of faith that always work out because they are ‘brilliant’. It got repetitive. If you are looking for a novel where the protagonist wakes up and can’t remember why they are stuck in space I would recommend Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty instead, as that story manages to be action-packed and emotionally engaging. It was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    Thank you to NetGalley for the free e-book in exchange for a fair review. I don’t like giving low-star reviews. As a writer myself, I would hate for someone to dislike my novel so much they didn’t find anything redeeming about it at all. But if I can’t bring myself to finish a novel, I can’t give it anything but 1 star unless it was clear the problem was entirely me (such as something triggering me or I was just not into the story). Unfortunately, the reasons I stopped at 70% with Across the Voi Thank you to NetGalley for the free e-book in exchange for a fair review. I don’t like giving low-star reviews. As a writer myself, I would hate for someone to dislike my novel so much they didn’t find anything redeeming about it at all. But if I can’t bring myself to finish a novel, I can’t give it anything but 1 star unless it was clear the problem was entirely me (such as something triggering me or I was just not into the story). Unfortunately, the reasons I stopped at 70% with Across the Void was because there is a discernible lack of tension, the setting was unclear, the science was lacking, the characters were inconsistent, and there is a twist you see coming like a land truck down a deserted hallway. This is followed by severe deus ex machina. It often felt like I was reading a script. Given this, I was not surprised to see on Goodreads that the author is a pseudonym for a movie director. Were there things I enjoyed? Yes. I loved that there was a female person of colour as our protagonist, I enjoyed the mystery at first (until it was clear the obvious villain was indeed the villain), and the concept of being lost in space was intriguing. Unfortunately, the rest fell flat. You can stop reading here, as my rest of my review will be going in depth regarding the tension, setting, science and characters. Overall, it’s a lackluster story at best, which is disappointing, given the premise. (view spoiler)[ Tension fails to ramp up from the beginning. We know May is going to survive beyond chapter one, so the focus on her struggling to live is rather boring. Similarly, she wakes up on the ship and has no idea what is going on (due to convenient amnesia) and then spends hours watching a computer simulation instead of inspecting the ship. And after she finds the crew, she spends an hour dancing around wasting air and energy. These types of interruptions to the plot only serve to derail any tension and make May seem callus. Along with appearing to not care about the deaths of her colleagues, May does not act like an astronaut. She doesn’t follow protocol, whines a lot, is extremely impulsive, and smokes and drinks all the time. If these flaws/vices were shown to be a character flaw she was working through, it would be fine, but it seems like a paltry attempt to make her … well, I’m not sure. Reckless? Or a badass (which she is not). Also, as a commander, she shows an extreme disregard for her crew. Yes, she has amnesia, but it’s clearly short-term memory loss, so she would still know all these people for years if NASA still follows the protocols for space missions that Chris Hadfield outlined in his wonderful autobiography about being a real astronaut. May is also extremely inconsistent as a character. She talks in a very immature fashion most of the time but then delivers rousing well-developed speeches on the fly. If her speech were peppered with colloquialisms only occasionally, it would serve to broaden her personality, but instead, it makes her seem like a teenager. Stephen is very bland. Other than his love for May and a brief scene of trauma from his past, his background is underdeveloped. Their meet-cute was melodramatic and the lack of chronology regarding the flashbacks makes it hard to see their relationship grow. The science is confusing and unbelievable. It’s set in the 2060s, but other than the fantastical ship, the technology appears to be almost the same as today for regular people. People are still smoking in forty years? Birth control still consists of pills? The science of the ship is glossed over quite liberally. Why and how is there artificial gravity on the ship? What is the extent of the AI’s functionality? How can the ship sustain that much damage and still travel fast enough? Why does May have an unlimited number of resources and water to shower with? How is the medical bay so advanced and why do they stock pregnancy tests and abortifacients? Why would they create a spacesuit with a respirator that releases moisture vapour that could damage delicate instruments? This is another reason why the novel feels like a movie – certain aspects would be better served on screen. Onward to the plot “twist” that I found more annoying than anything. Maybe it just shows how immature May is, but if I were prepping for an outer-space mission, I would triple-down on my birth control. I’d get an IUD and use condoms. The pregnancy twist (TIMES TWO) was so contrived. It felt like a male author unsure how to create conflict for a female protagonist without resorting to this one facet of biology unique to women (and transgender people). The entire arc of her first pregnancy (especially her agonizing over whether to keep her 5-week zygote that has a 1/3 chance of miscarrying anyway), felt disingenuous to her characterization. Had she been wanting to get pregnant before, that’s one thing, but she had not wanted kids. When we find out we're pregnant, women don't just turn into instant-mothers. Some do, most don't. As such, this subplot was a missed opportunity to show how abortion is a normal choice instead of a big drama (sometimes abortion is a very hard decision, sometimes it’s easy – it’s different for everyone in every situation). May's reaction is both presumptive and is another example of the inconsistency in her persona. I not only hated how both pregnancy aspects were handled, but her constant talking to her fetus was so irritating. Believe me, I understand baby brain, but that didn’t make me roll my eyes less. Once Ian showed up, I got so bored I couldn’t handle it and gave up. (hide spoiler)]

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kath

    This book is quite similar to The Martian. Well, at least initially, as it features a single person, in space, cut off from everything. But soon, the similarity wanes and it really comes into its own. Commander May Knox is woken up from a medically induced coma with scant recollection of the events leading up to it. She soon discovers that she is now alone on her ship. The computer AI is functional but also has no "memory" of what happened. Access to stored documents however reminds May of the m This book is quite similar to The Martian. Well, at least initially, as it features a single person, in space, cut off from everything. But soon, the similarity wanes and it really comes into its own. Commander May Knox is woken up from a medically induced coma with scant recollection of the events leading up to it. She soon discovers that she is now alone on her ship. The computer AI is functional but also has no "memory" of what happened. Access to stored documents however reminds May of the mission she and her crew were on. A research mission to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons. The AI, subsequently named Eve after May's mother, also helps May fix the many vital systems on the ship, ones that would spell death should they totally fail. Also in the archives, May hears about her husband Stephen who is back on Earth, desperate for word from her. The powers that be assuming she is already dead as the ship has been dark for too long. But then communications are resumed and Stephen's heart is lifted. A rescue plan is formulated but he suspects that it isn't all it's touted to be. And then May discovers that she's not alone... Suspending belief a couple of times along the way, I really did enjoy this "peril in space" story. The scientific bits were amply explained to my satisfaction, something facilitated by the characters' own ignorance in such matters! There was also a bit of a love triangle which raised the stakes when introduced. Yes, OK, there were some things that were a bit strange and hard to really buy into along the way but, as the characters and story was interesting, I was able to gloss over the majority and accept them for what they were. We also had flashbacks to May's past along the way, inserted to add colour and background to what was going on in the present. This gave me one heck of a shock at one point (sorry, spoilers) and my heart leapt into my mouth. I'm not the biggest reader of sci-fi so I don't know how this stacks up against the norm for the genre but, above raised points apart, I did have a good time reading it and it did leave me satisfied at the end and, to be honest, that't the point of a book for me. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Absolutely fantastic! I really enjoyed this book, which was quite long, but rather that than have it split into more than one book! I actually didn't really notice the length, as I was so engrossed in the story. I was really surprised to see this book had so many bad reviews, and I really don't agree with them. Yes, some things are a little unlikely, but hey, it's a story! It has been compared to The Martian, but I really didn't enjoy that, and loved this. The stranded astronaut isn't a superman/ Absolutely fantastic! I really enjoyed this book, which was quite long, but rather that than have it split into more than one book! I actually didn't really notice the length, as I was so engrossed in the story. I was really surprised to see this book had so many bad reviews, and I really don't agree with them. Yes, some things are a little unlikely, but hey, it's a story! It has been compared to The Martian, but I really didn't enjoy that, and loved this. The stranded astronaut isn't a superman/woman, and is very flawed, which is much more realistic. She needs someone to speak to, and teaches the AI very sarky English, which is excellent. I think some of the phrases may lose a little hilarity for readers the other side of the pond? There is a great sense of suspense and of impending doom, and there are a great many things that the heroine doesn't know or understand. Some of these are found out as you progress through the book, but the author is not afraid of leaving things right to the end, or of giving us plenty of surprises. I didn't mind the sections where you jump back in time to understand something - it is never difficult to follow, likewise when the story is told from Stephen's angle instead of May's. The scientific part of the story doesn't bore the reader with reams of description, but provides sufficient for a normal reader to understand the logic, without boring us. The engineering fails, with explanations why, and the story therefore seems very real. My conclusion? A fantastic story which I really enjoyed, and I recommend to anyone interested in scifi.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    As a fan of The Martian, I was excited to read this - and I did enjoy it. Sort of a combination of The Martian, Gravity, and Passengers (but no Arrival to be seen - a poor comparison used on the back cover). Suffers from some frenetic pacing - probably the result of the author's film background - but in my case, that just meant I couldn't stop reading. I didn't mind the bits examining May and Stephen's marriage, and felt they added some much-needed humanity to the characters, along with a break As a fan of The Martian, I was excited to read this - and I did enjoy it. Sort of a combination of The Martian, Gravity, and Passengers (but no Arrival to be seen - a poor comparison used on the back cover). Suffers from some frenetic pacing - probably the result of the author's film background - but in my case, that just meant I couldn't stop reading. I didn't mind the bits examining May and Stephen's marriage, and felt they added some much-needed humanity to the characters, along with a break from the space action. With that said, the plot took a couple turns toward the strange towards the end. One of The Martian's strengths was it's believe-ability and grounding in science. Across the Void started this way (within the context of its near-future technology), but devolved into cliche sabotage and love triangles. The seemingly forced addition of villains with poorly-justified motives diluted the previous conflicts. Does space not provide enough danger? These villains are done away with almost as quickly as they appear, so it's not as though they add any long-term tension or payoff. In this case, I think less would have been more - instead of a muddled thriller/romance/space adventure, we might have gotten a tighter story about character relationships and human resilience. Flaws aside... 4 stars because I couldn't stop reading and enjoyed the ride. Just wish it would have ended stronger.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. *I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways* Overall, an interesting read. I enjoyed May as a character and her journey in the book. I especially liked Eve, whose interactions with May were some of the best parts of the story. Basically, the reason why my rating is not higher is because of pacing. The story has the main present storyline, with May trying to get back home, which is where the plot was at its strongest. The book moves back and forth in the present between May, out in s *I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways* Overall, an interesting read. I enjoyed May as a character and her journey in the book. I especially liked Eve, whose interactions with May were some of the best parts of the story. Basically, the reason why my rating is not higher is because of pacing. The story has the main present storyline, with May trying to get back home, which is where the plot was at its strongest. The book moves back and forth in the present between May, out in space, and her estranged husband, Dr. Stephen Knox, back on Earth, as they try to solve how to get May back home. It is all very straightforward, and the suspense is in the fact of not only figuring out a rescue but also trying to discover what caused the demise of the entire crew of the ship. However, the tension felt in response to her plight was cut into by chapters focused on past memories inserted at odd intervals in the book. I understand its purpose but in the end, the jumping back to those points in time did not keep me engaged in the book. Add in a bit of trying too hard to be funny dialogue that just fell flat, and some villains that could have been anyone thanks to not enough development, and I was left feeling the book was good but not great. I am grateful for the chance to have read this book and hope to see more from this author in the future.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Em B

    An enjoyable read with plenty of tension and flashes of humour, but towards the end I felt like I was reading for the sake of finishing the book, rather than because I was hooked. May wakes up alone on the spaceship she was captaining, way off course and with no memory of what happened or where her crew is. The story felt like a combination of The Martian and Gravity as May struggles to find ways to survive and, somehow, make her way back to Earth. You do have to suspend your disbelief quite a b An enjoyable read with plenty of tension and flashes of humour, but towards the end I felt like I was reading for the sake of finishing the book, rather than because I was hooked. May wakes up alone on the spaceship she was captaining, way off course and with no memory of what happened or where her crew is. The story felt like a combination of The Martian and Gravity as May struggles to find ways to survive and, somehow, make her way back to Earth. You do have to suspend your disbelief quite a bit - disaster after disaster befalls May, and then her estranged husband, to the point where you have to wonder how on earth neither has succumbed to despair and plain exhaustion. At times, the humour and witticisms felt a little forced, like the author was trying too hard to replicate the charisma and sarcastic stoicism of Mark Watney from The Martian. I also found the flashbacks difficult to track with the different time hops, despite the fact that these chapters are all referenced with dates. I understand this is part of May's amnesia coming back in disjointed bursts, and to keep the tension and mystery going, but as a reader I struggled to remember what dates corresponded with major life events and overall found it quite confusing. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Lynn

    This is the story of an epic space disaster that poses the question, "Can love survive Across the Void created by time and distance?...Can anything?" 🚀 This novel was extremely fast paced, barely letting up on the action long enough for you to catch your breath. Part space exploration, part spy thriller, part love story, all woven together to tell the tale of an astronaut that wakes up in an empty spaceship with no memory of who she is or how she got there. 🚀 Being relatively unversed in space trave This is the story of an epic space disaster that poses the question, "Can love survive Across the Void created by time and distance?...Can anything?" 🚀 This novel was extremely fast paced, barely letting up on the action long enough for you to catch your breath. Part space exploration, part spy thriller, part love story, all woven together to tell the tale of an astronaut that wakes up in an empty spaceship with no memory of who she is or how she got there. 🚀 Being relatively unversed in space travels myself, I was able to sail right through all of the scientific pieces of this book with no qualms about their accuracy/plausibility. 🚀 I did, however, pick up on a fair amount of editing that needs doing. I'm hoping that someone runs through this book with a pack of red pens before it's released in it's final form in July 2019 paying particular attention to the first 30 or so pages. 🚀 Otherwise, I'd recommend this book if you're looking for a fun, sci-fi read rife with surprises that'll keep you turning the pages long past your bedtime. 🚀 🚀 Fun Fact: The author's name is a pseudonym for a mysterious Hollywood writer/director with a few movie creds under his belt

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I stumbled upon Across the Void while looking for a book for my husband. I was intrigued by the storyline: a female astronaut waking up alone on a vessel in deep space, not sure what has happened to her crew or why she was in an induced coma. We later find out that her ship is in distress and that she may not survive unless she can get her ship in working order again and time is running out. Across the Void is an exciting thriller that should appeal to fans of Andy Weir's The Martian. Even thoug I stumbled upon Across the Void while looking for a book for my husband. I was intrigued by the storyline: a female astronaut waking up alone on a vessel in deep space, not sure what has happened to her crew or why she was in an induced coma. We later find out that her ship is in distress and that she may not survive unless she can get her ship in working order again and time is running out. Across the Void is an exciting thriller that should appeal to fans of Andy Weir's The Martian. Even though our heroine, May, is not always the most likable character, she evokes empathy and her determination to survive, even in moments when she thinks her situation is hopeless, kept me rooting for her. My only quibbles with Across the Void are that the ending felt a bit rushed and there were a few plot twists that seemed a bit too expected. However, I really enjoyed following the rollercoaster ride how May ended up in her situation and her fight to survive. A recommended read!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I like it. This was entertaining and it kept me engaged. I questioned certain things, but I am by no means a space enthusiast or a scientist, so in my mind, anything is possible with futuristic space travel. It's definitely comparable to The Martian in that a lone astronaut is stranded in the depths of space, but that's kind of where the comparison ends. It's also comparable to Artemis for its female (smart ass) lead in space, but again, comparison ends there. I had some trouble visualizing some I like it. This was entertaining and it kept me engaged. I questioned certain things, but I am by no means a space enthusiast or a scientist, so in my mind, anything is possible with futuristic space travel. It's definitely comparable to The Martian in that a lone astronaut is stranded in the depths of space, but that's kind of where the comparison ends. It's also comparable to Artemis for its female (smart ass) lead in space, but again, comparison ends there. I had some trouble visualizing some of the explosion/action scenes, but I can probably attribute that to my lack of uninterrupted reading time more than anything. I especially wanted to find out what had happened in the past and what would happen in the future for the leading May, and her estranged husband. Good read. Thanks to S.K. Vaughn for the advance copy!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    A human story. An attention-grabbing tale of space travel, NASA, female astronaut leadership, human relationships, and space disaster. The story unfolds with crises in the current storyline, while the back story is told in flashback memories of our female astronaut commander. Descriptive and full of the vagaries of human nature and mechanical disruptions, Across the Void pulls the reader in for a trip into space, while looking at the past. The continuing crises provides opportunities for positiv A human story. An attention-grabbing tale of space travel, NASA, female astronaut leadership, human relationships, and space disaster. The story unfolds with crises in the current storyline, while the back story is told in flashback memories of our female astronaut commander. Descriptive and full of the vagaries of human nature and mechanical disruptions, Across the Void pulls the reader in for a trip into space, while looking at the past. The continuing crises provides opportunities for positive and negative actions of the people involved to increase the suspense of the travel. All the while the heroine works on the issues as she recovers her memories, one dream at a time. Recommended to all libraries with Sci-Fi collections.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kristian

    I really enjoyed aspects of this book. The first half was excellent. I enjoyed the mystery of what was going on. I enjoyed the flashbacks to different times and learning more about the relationships between the two main characters. This book feels a lot like Andy Wier's The Martian or Artemis. It feels like everything is going wrong all the time during the latter part of the book. It is one thing after another and it gets tedious. The continued discovery of the history of the characters is still I really enjoyed aspects of this book. The first half was excellent. I enjoyed the mystery of what was going on. I enjoyed the flashbacks to different times and learning more about the relationships between the two main characters. This book feels a lot like Andy Wier's The Martian or Artemis. It feels like everything is going wrong all the time during the latter part of the book. It is one thing after another and it gets tedious. The continued discovery of the history of the characters is still great at this point, but it is so soap operatic by the time we get close to the end that I started to lose interest and was rolling my eyes. All in all it is a good book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    As others, when I started reading this book, my first thought was The Martian. But it is such a different story. May, the commander of an expedition to Europa (one of Jupiter’s moons) is the only survivor of a catastrophe aboard her ship. She awakens from a coma, with amnesia and slowly tries to get the ship on course to home (well, at least to Mars). She has her trusty AI computer, Eve to help her and Eve is also the comic relief at points. There are flashbacks to show how May got there and her As others, when I started reading this book, my first thought was The Martian. But it is such a different story. May, the commander of an expedition to Europa (one of Jupiter’s moons) is the only survivor of a catastrophe aboard her ship. She awakens from a coma, with amnesia and slowly tries to get the ship on course to home (well, at least to Mars). She has her trusty AI computer, Eve to help her and Eve is also the comic relief at points. There are flashbacks to show how May got there and her relationships to those who want to rescue her. I enjoyed it because there were some plot twists, enough humor and enough action to whet my appetite.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Silvina Guerreiro

    Wow, what a page-turner. I know typical comparisons are to Gravity/The Martian (I guess so since it's a space setting?) but I think it's got the vibes of The Revenant as well. This novel reads very much like a feature film, with twists and turns to keep you wanting more. I also appreciated the fact that the premise spans genres and breaks expectations typically associated with the Sci-Fi category. IT'S OKAY TO HAVE FEELINGS IN SPACE, PEOPLE. It's about time we had a sci-fi novel with some heart, Wow, what a page-turner. I know typical comparisons are to Gravity/The Martian (I guess so since it's a space setting?) but I think it's got the vibes of The Revenant as well. This novel reads very much like a feature film, with twists and turns to keep you wanting more. I also appreciated the fact that the premise spans genres and breaks expectations typically associated with the Sci-Fi category. IT'S OKAY TO HAVE FEELINGS IN SPACE, PEOPLE. It's about time we had a sci-fi novel with some heart, with the heroine we so deserve.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    I won this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. This is the first thing I've read by the author. The flow and the pace of this book were great, but it's less a sci-fi novel then a relationship novel that takes place with a sci-fi setting at least in the main story. The subplots were the better parts of the story as far as I'm concerned. It started out feeling like an Alien movie crossed with 2001 which all at once was exciting and a little disappointing. I'd read something by the author again but I'd def I won this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. This is the first thing I've read by the author. The flow and the pace of this book were great, but it's less a sci-fi novel then a relationship novel that takes place with a sci-fi setting at least in the main story. The subplots were the better parts of the story as far as I'm concerned. It started out feeling like an Alien movie crossed with 2001 which all at once was exciting and a little disappointing. I'd read something by the author again but I'd definately be hoping for something other than a book that is a bit of a soap opera.

  30. 4 out of 5

    David V.

    Received as an ARC via the publisher. Started 6-3-19. Finished 6-5-19. A 372 page book in 2 days! It certainly kept my interest. Lots of science to boggle your mind; drama to affect your emotions; adventure to build your excitement; and plot twists to test your mystery solving. A good all-around book. It would have been helpful for the author to explain in an Afterword which concepts are real, which are totally fiction, and which are possible. One astronaut left alive on an exploratory vessel wh Received as an ARC via the publisher. Started 6-3-19. Finished 6-5-19. A 372 page book in 2 days! It certainly kept my interest. Lots of science to boggle your mind; drama to affect your emotions; adventure to build your excitement; and plot twists to test your mystery solving. A good all-around book. It would have been helpful for the author to explain in an Afterword which concepts are real, which are totally fiction, and which are possible. One astronaut left alive on an exploratory vessel while others try to rescue her seems like a trite plot but this book also details the on again, off again relationship between her and her rescuers(2!) and maybe sabotage. Very visual scenes.

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