Dark Star by Oliver Langmead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The one thing that drew me here to this book happened, in the final estimation, to be the least important aspect:
The fact that it is SF written as Poetry.
I read it in audio format but after the fact, I kinda wish that I had read it as print. I'm probably going to get a copy soon.
Because even though the core story seems to rely almost entirely on a Noir mystery with an investigator who is addicted to a drug that makes a person emit light, but it comes with addictions and a rather strange murder, with some rather big consequences -- it is also deceptive.
As a fan of poetry, I'm also overly aware of the fact that there are many layers to any text. Do you think that metaphor is dead? Ha! Iambic Pentameter is also used in Shakespeare to illustrate high importance and major turning points. Anyone reading this 5 hours long Noir SF mystery should certainly enjoy it on the surface-level, but it's the heart of it that makes me RAVE about it.
In this dark world, light is a drug. Heat radiates everywhere, but it's light (and here's where the metaphor is very, very strong) that causes tremors, creates an underground market, throws people into paroxysms of drug-addled numina, and is ultimately the grand reversal of the tale.
Have a partner named Dante and you can figure out the rest. Is light love? Maybe God's love in the bowels of hell? If it's such an addictive substance and the whole idea of getting off the drug or fighting the crime syndicates is such a huge deal, then the whole FLAVOR of this far-future SF becomes... something else entirely.
I really don't need to spoil it. This is a book that lends itself to many different interpretations.
Just rest assured that every word is important and carefully placed, as is most good poetry. :)
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