Reports of a strange, new habitable planet have reached the Twenty Planets of human civilization. When a team of scientists is assembled to investigate this world, exoethnologist Sara Callicot is recruited to keep an eye on an unstable crewmate. Thora was once a member of the interplanetary elite, but since her prophetic delusions helped mobilize a revolt on Orem, she's been banished to the farthest reaches of space, because of the risk that her very presence could revive unrest.
Upon arrival, the team finds an extraordinary crystalline planet, laden with dark matter. Then a crew member is murdered and Thora mysteriously disappears. Thought to be uninhabited, the planet is in fact home to a blind, sentient species whose members navigate their world with a bizarre vocabulary and extrasensory perceptions.
Lost in the deep crevasses of the planet among these people, Thora must battle her demons and learn to comprehend the native inhabitants in order to find her crewmates and warn them of an impending danger. But her most difficult task may lie in persuading the crew that some powers lie beyond the boundaries of science.~Amazon.com Summary
This book is wonderful, you should buy it as soon as it hits the shelves. The writing style lends it self to these wonderfully descriptive scenes and you can find yourself lost in her worlds. Even though part of the story is written in a dark space, you still can lose yourself and can feel the story. All too often writers will find themselves writing weak women, not always physically weak but characters that don't stand up to the story they are supposed to be leading. More often they become plot advancement devices to move the story along, or damsels in distress to be saved. The Dark Orbit women are more than just filler, they hold up and give a real human view through out the story. It's a refreshing breath of air from some of the not so great stories I've read. I connected with these women not only because they were women but because they were good characters. You could have changed the Daves to Debbies and vise versa and I still would have loved it. It only added to my delight that many of the characters were described as POCs, showing an understanding that in the future it wouldn't be a sea of white faces but a collection of different people.
Sometimes it is the Science part of Science Fiction that puts people off books that they otherwise would have enjoyed. Luckily with the popularity of The Big Bang Theory and other "nerd-lite" cultural reference points, science is getting closer to common knowledge level of understanding. I am a self described geek, and I enjoyed the way the science was explained. In some books it almost feels as though they are simply making up science to use as filler, worse has to be when the science is explained and the reader is left feeling as though they were being treated like a child.
Another great thing about Dark Orbit, would have to be the author's ability to create a real human connection through this book. With some books, having more than one POV can cause the reader to feel obligated to read one while simply waiting out for the others. In this case though both story lines were compelling and added richer details and knowledge to the plot. By giving a range of connection and diversity to her characters, Dark Orbit is a great book that I would feel confident about giving to a friend.
Freelance Editor & Reviewer