Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

Katie Thompson gives 4 stars to Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda.

Katie Thompson gives 4 stars to Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda.

From the author of SHUTTER comes a thrilling sci-fi space adventure about what happens to humanity after they’ve destroyed the Earth.

The story centers around Tuck and Laura, two teens from vastly different worlds thrown together in an epic crash. First, there’s Tuck Morgan: four-hundred years ago, he and his family were put in stasis after a group of hackers jettisoned their ship into deep space. Now, he and the rest of his crew are awake — but not everyone came back completely human. Next, enter Laura Cruz: she belongs to a family of shipraiders who travel across the galaxy, scavenging for ancient artifacts.

The family funding their searches, however, is full of dangerous people hiding dangerous secrets.

When one of their expeditions leads them to Tuck’s ship the John Muir, both families are desperate to collect what it holds, no matter the cost. But no one planned on the hacker that would send their ship crashing into Tuck’s. No one planned on the deadly screams of the once-human monster infestation they find on board. No one planned on the terrorist organization that crawls on board with them and tears them down from the inside out. But maybe the biggest surprise of them all is that Laura and Tuck end up with no one to depend upon but each other, and that together they become the only hope for their families, their crews, and themselves.

Given that premise, what’s not to love? Two badass teen space pirates battling aliens and saving the world? Count me in. This book was non-stop action, start to finish. Initially, however, the whole concept of Alameda’s world took me a while to get into. Space pirates and alien monsters and a four century time jump — all with very little explanation — was a little hard to grasp in the beginning. For the first chapter or two, I was pretty much completely lost. Thankfully though, that didn’t last long. By the time the story really started to get under way, I was totally on board and ready for the ride. And let me tell you, it was quite a ride. I don’t usually enjoy books that are too action-heavy in all honesty. If a story is nothing but running and fighting and danger and monsters, the initial excitement tends to die out pretty quick. This book, however, did not have that effect. It was fast paced, but not sped through. There was violence and gore, but not an excessive amount. There was action, plenty of it, but there was depth to it too. The characters all had developed and unique personalities, the storyline had plenty of hidden complexities, and the world Alameda created was new and exciting.

I absolutely adored both of the narrators, and enjoyed the vastly different parallel perspectives they gave. Laura was a fiery, independent, tough-as-nails Latina with a flair for hacking. She was exactly the kind of heroine that I am constantly on the lookout for, and Alameda did not disappoint. Laura was strong and sassy, and didn’t take crap from anyone. She was put into countless impossible situations, but she never broke down and never gave up and I loved her spirit. She was insanely driven by her love for her family and her selfless desire to make the world a better place.

Tuck, on the other hand, really didn’t care much for saving humanity at all. In fact, in the beginning of the story Tuck hardly even wanted to save himself. He uses his humor (which I loved, by the way) as a shield from the nightmares in his life and as a way to outrun his ghosts. But as much as he didn’t want to, he cared a lot about people. It didn’t take long for him to care about Laura, and though the speediness of their relationship wasn’t my favorite, I did love his dedication to her and his willingness to make her enemies his own. The two of them quickly became a team and I was rooting for them the whole way through.

Overall, PITCH DARK was just as epic as I had hoped it would be, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Tuck and Laura won my heart, and their adventure had it racing. To anyone looking for a single-sitting thriller, this just might be for you.

Katie Thompson is a 2017-2018 member of the Teenreads.com Teen Board. This is her fourth review for Teenreads.com.