From Darkest Skies, Sam Peters

isbn9781473214750

After a five year sabbatical following the tragic death of his wife and fellow agent Alysha, Keona Rause returns to the distant colony world of Magenta to resume service with the Magentan Intelligence Service. With him he brings an artificial recreation of his wife’s personality, a simulacrum built from every digital trace she left behind. She has been constructed with one purpose – to discover the truth behind her own death – but Keona’s relationship with her has grown into something more, something frighteningly dependent, something that verges on love.

Cashing in old favours, Keona uses his return to the Service to take on a series of cases that allow him and the artificial Alysha to piece together his wife’s last days. His investigations lead him inexorably along the same paths Alysha followed five years earlier, to a sinister and deadly group with an unhealthy fascination for the unknowable alien Masters; but as the wider world of Magenta is threatened with an imminent crisis, Keona finds himself in a dilemma: do his duty and stand with his team to expose a villainous crime, or sacrifice them all for the truth about his wife?

As a reader who has a passion for Science Fiction I was thrilled to have come across this book. Not only does the synopsis above tell us that it is going to be a thrilling ride, it also tells us that it will be a thought provoking one. As soon as I read that Keona – our protagonist – had created a artificial version of his deceased wife Alysha, I was sold! I mean come on book lovers, this is incredible and so intriguing! Upon finishing this novel just now I can honestly say that it is one of my favourite science fiction novels I have ever read and that takes a lot for me to say because I have read a hell of a lot of Sci-Fi! Now let me tell you a little bit more about the story.

Nobody wants to witness a loved one die, and nobody wants to see that person be gone forever. This is predominately what From Darkest Skies is about… What happens when somebody you love tragically dies…somebody you thought you knew everything about; and what if you was able to take all of the memories, thoughts and feelings of that person and install them into an Artificial Intelligence who can talk to you exactly how your loved one would have. So that really, this person has not left your life and is still beside you. What would you do?  Would this Artificial Intelligence help you to grieve or stop you all -together from moving on and recovering? These are some very important questions From Darkest Skies asks you and to say it starts to make you think is an understatement.

Agent Keona Rause has been mourning the death of his wife and fellow agent – Alysha Rause – for five long years with no indication that he is ready to heal and move on. So instead of doing just this he does the opposite and doesn’t accept her death but rather, has her memories transferred into an Artificial Intelligence which talks to him and acts exactly how his wife would have. He has created a false version of his deceased wife in a bid to unlock her memories and the secrets of her mind which could in turn help solve the tragic murder that took her life.  Just as he is shipped back to his old planet, Magenta – which was where his wife was killed – he must try to uncover her murder to find out what truly happened and who his wife truly was all whilst working as an agent with his fellow colleague and trying to avoid the detection of his AI – which is in fact, illegal.

Science Fiction as a genre can be one of two things. It can either be an intricately layered novel filled with enough information to blow your mind or it can be a simplistic novel with just enough information without the danger of over loading you. From Darkest Skies is one of those Science Fiction novels which is intricately layered and intense with a lot of information but just the right amount and never too much . Peters manages to balance all of the information and themes in this novel so perfectly that it makes him the master of space; this book is simply a work of art.

The world of From Darkest Skies is a vibrant and alternative one… a world like nothing I have read before. It is subtle too, Peters takes his time to build this world inventively and intricately and build the characters this way expertly also. The story itself follows many different avenues, its main focus is the crime however we get great insight into an alien race which has carved its mark into the world we live in and taken over. Shipping huge amounts of humans to other planets for no apparent reason. In other words this novel is shrouded in great mystery, a mystery which so elegantly and beautifully unravels that you cant help but read more and more.

To summarise my thoughts on this novel I would say that I definitely recommend it and implore you all to read it! Peters has created a masterpiece here with his eloquent writing and fascinating characters and plot lines. It is a wonderful Sci-Fi thriller and I think all of you would really adore it! The book gets Four Stars from me.

As always thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate it. Please do comment below and let me know your thoughts on From Darkest Skies and whether you could see yourself reading it. Also let me know whether you adore Science Fiction and what you think of the premise of the novel. Could you take all of those memories of a lost loved one and put them into an Artificial Intelligence? Let me know below I would love to know your thoughts!

Goodbye for now book lovers,

P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! If you have loved what you have read and want to buy the wonderful novel then you can click the buy on amazon button and it will take you straight to Amazon U.K.! If you are international then click the Book Depository link underneath it! Thank you so much again for reading!

Book Depository

Publisher; Orion – Gollancz

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183 thoughts on “From Darkest Skies, Sam Peters

      1. Hmm. I love Under The Never Sky…it’s one of my all time faves. I also like a lot of indie titles, though. So I’ll have to get a feel for what titles you like first bc I don’t want to recommend something you might find icky, lmao! 😂🙌

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      2. I haven’t but I’ve been totally meaning to! I see it all the time and I’m like, “why haven’t I read this yet?” Ooh, have you read Unwind by Schusterman? Or the Gone series by Michael Grant??

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      3. OH MY GOD YES! I read the first three books when I was younger and loved them! I loved how in the books it was by the hours and days. It was weird but so good. The whole way through I was racking my brains on why the adults had disappeared!

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  1. I love the sound of this one! I wrote a short story about this very subject that was published in an anthology a few years ago, so it is a subject I am particularly drawn to – many thanks for sharing!

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    1. I must have missed this post of yours could you send me the link? This sounds fascinating! It is such an interesting subject and it could be our future one day and so it is important to be aware for it! I would love to read your short story (:

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      1. Yes! I read a fair amount of science fiction – it’s my favourite genre. The anthology is called ‘While the Morning Stars Sing’ and my short story is called Hit the Button – about a chap who was continually playing over his holographic home movies featuring his dead wife.

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      2. I am so happy that you adore Science Fiction too! I did to my shame go off the genre for a few years because the books I read just seemed to be cliches and full of cheap thrills but now there are so many wonderful sci-fi books out there and I love that!

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      3. Oh! And if you love Science Fiction then you are going to adore the review I have lined up. I have reviews for Beyond the Aquila Rift, which is short stories from Alastair Reynolds (I believe thats his name?) reviews for the New Moon series and a few more! (:

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      4. I have a short story ‘Miranda’s Tempest’ featured in an anthology Eve of War and online you can read my short stories ‘Picky Eaters’ and ‘Damned Flies’. I’ve recently signed a publishing deal with Grimbold Books for my post-apocalyptic science fiction novel Netted, which will be published in 2019.

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      5. Thank you – it is a very recent development and I’m delighted. They are small publisher, but with a great track record of producing a steady stream of quality, quirky reads – and they are also lovely, lovely people!

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      6. I’ve been writing for quite a long time – but when the family commitments popped up, while I continued to write I didn’t do all that much submitting. And now I’m determined to get more organised and professional about that side of things – as well as going for a traditional career, I’m also hoping to self publish some of my work this year.

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      7. You are so amazing and I admire your work so much! I think it is easy to lost sight of things, especially with a busy family. I have four children so I find it hard to do even this but I am determined, just like you, to do more and better myself more so yeah, go us! lol.

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      8. Oh my goodness – four children! I’m very impressed! When my two were very small I stopped reading for 5 years, other than children’s books, for fear of getting lost in a book instead of feeding/bathing/looking after them. So I’m mightily impressed you not only can keep a blog going, but a book blog:)). Huge respect!

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      9. It’s funny because I did this too with my first born! I had Benjamin James when I was very young so of course I was even more of a nervous mum. I watched him like a hawk and if he was too silent I would actually nudge him a little because I was so fearful! I did not read for years but then I had my girl and by then I was a pro and thought hell I deserve to read a book! Although I only ever read when they are asleep or playing with their father. With my children I am very protective and watch them like a hawk lol.

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      10. Quite right, too:). And, like you, I lightened up once the grandchildren came along, though when I was looking after them a lot as babies and toddlers, that was when I stopped submitting my work – they are older now and both at school, so my services are no longer required so much:).

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      11. Aww this is so cute! So that feeling of watching your baby like a hawk is still with you when you have grandchildren? lol. I think its just a womanly thing. Its in our nature to want to care and look after the innocence. Talking about children just always makes me so happy (:

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      12. Initially, I looked after my grandchildren a lot, as grannies so often do, which means I have a lovely relationship with both of them. And the icing on the cake is the knowledge I am also able to help my best bright bonny girl…

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      13. Aww so cute! I cant wait to be able to do this. Everybody know where I live that if ever there is no childcare available then they can come over mine for a play date with my children! That is such an american saying and being British it feels weird lol.

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      14. Blimey! We live just along the coast from Brighton at Littlehampton – so not far away from your old stamping ground:). Isn’t it a small world? My daughter and her family live in Brighton. So whereabouts in the US are you?

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      15. It was very rundown and rather a sad place when we first moved here over 20 years ago, but a lot of improvements have taken place and it is now a great town with a lovely seafront.

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      16. Yes! It I wrote a story where someone I chatted to online about my books had lived half an hour up the coast, an editor would be shaking her head and telling me it was unrealistic…

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      17. Yes definitely! Family is very important and I am always reminding my children of their British Heritage! They do get confused though on the different words. Candy vs Sweets and Father Christmas vs Santa Claus lol. I have convinced them to use the British words though!

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      18. Yes exactly! It’s nice though too because I am half Irish (hence the red hair!) and my husband has Irish blood as well as Native American. So we are very keen for them to learn about their Irish and Native American history too as it is really important! (:

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      19. No wonder we get on so well. Himself is also red-haired – although these days his red is fast fading to white – and he also has a lovely red beard:). My son was born with beautiful auburn hair and I was thrilled – and devastated when it all fell out when he was 10 days old and grew back again blond! You’re right – culture and where you’re from and who you are matters. I was brought up by my grandparents, who would talk a lot about their families and tell me stories of the past. I always thought I’d get around to recording Gran telling me these – but sadly it didn’t happen.

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      20. Phew – yes, we were all mightily relieved and so was he. He grew a beard as a very young man, found it suited him and has had one all his adult life – he’s now quite cross it’s become fashionable.

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      21. Haha, this is so funny because my husband said this just the other day! My husband used to have a small beard but he grew it out and realised it really suited him but then he got annoyed that now all of a sudden its ‘become trendy’ and he goes “But Aimee I have had this beard for 17 years!” lol.

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      22. How lovely! Is there all that stupid teasing in the US about red-heads? J endured a lot of grief at school. Yes – we are all blonde, but there are red-haired second cousins and my granddaughter’s hair has the most beautiful copper tints in the sunshine.

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      23. Thankfully my two eldest have not had any teasing yet but I am dreading the day they might. I am lucky that I was never bullied because of my hair (although I was bullied still) because it was more of a strawberry blonde and in the summer it would go very light. I remember one time actually in class there was this bully and he was saying all those cliche ginger jokes and I had enough and said to him that I was ginger and he said, no youre not! And I said I was and that basically he was stupid and very inconsiderate and all this other stuff and he went so quiet after that and never said a ginger joke again! I remember too the teacher said that was amazing Aimee… I felt proud. But my sisters on the other hand got badly bullied of it which is very sad. I will raise my children to be proud of their hair colour because it is rare and beautiful (:

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      24. Exactly! It is a wonderful colour – and while blonde hair can easily be replicated by hair dyes, that glorious blazing red colour simply can’t. I think it is because it was so rare – and also several of the Scots clans were red-haired – that it became something to tease people about. Good for you to stand your ground:).

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      25. I am so glad you think so! When I was in my teenage years my mum told me that I should put blonde highlights through my hair to prevent bullying and when she did I felt like I had lost all of my identity. It was so bizarre and ever since that day I have never ever dyed my hair and I never will. My dad was actually really cross with my mum at the time. Saying that she should teach me to be proud of my hair and not hide it and that is very true! Plus, I feel quite lucky because today women will pay hundreds of pounds to dye their hair red and it still wont look natural! So yes, I think we should all be proud of our hair (:

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      26. I’ve always felt very lucky to have blonde hair – it was golden blonde until I had the children and breast-fed, when it suddenly went a shade darker. It lightened up again after Rebecca was weaned, but stayed very dark after Robbie – a line that looked like I’d dyed it and it was growing out… I found it very upsetting and every time I looked in the mirror, it seemed a stranger was staring back at me. So I went to the hairdressers and had it highlighted. It only needs doing 3 times a year as it brightens naturally in the summer, anyway – and as I’m getting older it isn’t going grey, it’s actually turning white. But for the time being, I’m continuing to have it lightened!

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      27. It’s so true what you just wrote, your hair is your identity and the colour of it is a big part of your personality! I love the colour blonde, I think it’s lovely. Also your children’s names are so perfect! Did I ever tell you mine? They have very traditional names (:

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      28. It’s interesting… I was always desperate to hear the ‘old stories’ in the family and have loved history – Himself and I met at college studying History – but my children have never been that interested. Though as they gone on growing older, I hope they might become more so.

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      29. That is so lovely! Me and my husband met in a bookstore in Brighton. The waterstones actually and I was holding a copy of Jane Eyre (which is my favourite book!) and he came over with his american accent and started talking about the book (he was an english lit major) and I fell madly in love! I think it is so lovely that you and your husband met basically over your love of history. So amazing (:

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      30. What a lovely story, Aimee:). I always loved the passage in Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ when Gabriel Oak is proposing to Bathsheba and talks about sitting across the fireside reading and looking up and there she’ll be… We quite often turn the TV off and just read our books together. It’s lovely!

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      31. That made my heart melt! That is the most beautiful thing ever and I completely forgot about that part in the novel. I ashamed about that because I love it! I love all those classic novels, they make me happy. That has always been my dream though growing up, to one day grow old with someone and read by the fireplace together. I count my blessing everyday that I found my soulmate (:

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      32. Hearing old stories too is perfect! My husband is huge on history so I am always asking him stories and when I was younger I would always talk to my grandparents about their stories etc. I used to ask them about JFK too all the time because I was obsessed… well, I still am!

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      33. I miss living by the coast so badly! That is why I love when me and my husband visit Maine because it reminds me of home a little (: . That is so lovely about your daughter too! I lived more in the hove side of brighton and it was lovely.

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      34. I actually live in New Jersey at the moment but me and my husband really want to move. We want a lot of land in the middle of nowhere so we have decided either Colorado or Oklahoma! We should be their already now but then we had twins lol.

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      35. Well you’re certainly in the right part of the world to be able to get a home with plenty of land – here you’d need to be a millionaire to achieve that! Best of luck with all your plans:).

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      36. Oh that is so true! My husband did say when we first married shall we live in England and I said no! As much as I love it there, it is way too expensive. For a four bedroom house it is around 800,000 and with little land whereas in Colorado and Oklahoma you can buy a 7 bedroom house for around 600,000 and have huge amounts of land! That is why I am always praising it here. You see bad stuff on the news but it is honestly a really nice place full of lovely people (: it’s definitely a perfect place to immigrate (:

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      37. Yes – I’ve been lucky enough to interact with so many Americans online and they are the loveliest, friendliest people:). And I’ve seen sufficient of the country on TV to realise how beautiful and unspoilt large tracts of land are… You’re right – houses are just ridiculously expensive here.

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      38. No, sadly not. I’m quite tethered at present. During the term time, I cannot go too far afield and during the school holidays we look after the grandchildren a fair amount of the time.

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      39. Oh my word! Yes – you certainly have your work cut out for you! My husband is one of twins – unidentical. You wouldn’t even know they were brothers if you were to meet them! But at this stage, your workload must be insane…

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      40. Haha, I am realising that now! Although I am still so broody, I always joked with my husband when we first met that we would have 10 children lol. My twins are unidentical too! My mum was a twin so I am so lucky I got the twins out of me and my sisters! Growing up I always dreamed of having twins and when me and my husband went for our first scan and we found out I cried pure tears of happiness.

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      41. I was a teacher and finally stepped down when the admin just became crazy and didn’t allow me time to write – but I did miss the children. I loved the teaching bit… Luckily I still get to teach – though it is adults these days:).

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      42. I really admire teachers, and that is so lovely that you was one (: I have always thought about teaching but young children, more like nursery just because I love children so much! It is definitely something I am considering!

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      43. I didn’t train until my mid-30s when the children were older – it’s a great profession, though in this country there is a great deal of admin, these days. Which is a real shame…

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      44. Its funny because the other day I said to my husband that I cannot wait to have grandchildren. Is it true when people say the feeling you have towards them is like that of your own child? I have heard so many wonderful things about Grandchildren from Grandparents!

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      45. It’s the strangest feeling… so intense. I didn’t expect to be swept by such HUGE emotion. From the moment I first held each one, they ambushed me and the flood of love I felt is overwhelming. But it is very different. They are not mine, so I get to hand them back, but I’ve been so lucky to spend lots of time with them and enjoy them. This time around, I know the battles I need to win – and the ones to let slide by, so I’m more relaxed and have FUN with them.

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      46. This is so beautiful, your description there melts my heart. When I had my first baby and with all of my other babies a wave of emotions hit me at once and I could not stop crying. Even weeks after I would look at them and cry lol.

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      47. Jo, the commissioning editor described Netted as ‘a tale of family love, rivalry and cybernetic implants, with some kick-ass older women and a dark undertone of repression and obsession.’ There is also some humour in there as well, alongside the grimmer stuff.

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      48. Haha that sounds amazing! I love the description of kick-ass older women. That makes sense though! All these heroines we have in books today are young and inexperienced. Why not have an older women who can kick ass? lol

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      49. lol… No – I don’t mind at all! I’m like most writers – given half a chance I’d chatter like a suger-stoked toddler about my work:)). I wanted to write about a society trying to heal itself after years of chaos and misery – what would be the biggest challenges and how could they be overcome? So what if you developed neural nets that would be able to allow you to read the intentions of the people around you? Just to prevent cannibal gangs infiltrating your settlement, of course. And what if some people were far more neurally powerful than others, so the nets altered their consciousness? What if that genetic trait was spread through a tight-knit isolated community – what then? And then I dreamt about it… And then I just had to write the story.

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      50. Oh wow this is incredible! Your writing is so powerful. Even reading that just now I started to ask myself all these questions and ask myself about them deeply. You are so talented! I will 100% be buying your book when it comes out and I will definitely be reviewing it here too!

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      1. Hi – sorry I’m not getting notifications so I’ve missed your messages. Are you on Goodreads? If so, it’s easier to make recommendations in there. That way I can see what kind of romance reads you like 🙂

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      1. Tough call. Star Wars opening day was my first memory. Trek was there for me when the original trilogy ended and expanded my horizons. I don’t think I can make that choice.

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      2. Haha, it is a very hard question indeed! Personally, I love Star Wars but I would watch the Star Trek tv series and movies on repeat when I was younger. I would even pin the badges on my school bag and I remember one year at my school in maths it was Star Trek themed and if you got a good grade then you got a badge. So of course I got the highest grade lol.

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      3. I replied, but an error occurred. Trying again. I was there when Star Wars began, and Trek filled the void when it was gone. I don’t know that I could make that choice.

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