Last Updated on April 19, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
So, we all know horror and I don’t mix. I can’t handle horror films, television or games. My mind runs away with me too much and I lose sleep. Yet, when I saw the cover for Paradise-1 by David Wellington… Well, the curiosity was too much to resist. I hoped, since this was a sci-fi space horror, that I might be able to handle it, since I could tell my brain that I’m not in space, so the horrors couldn’t happen to me.
Luckily, I was right in that regard (no lost sleep for me!). But holy hell, what a terrifying novel nonetheless.
An ARC copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Publisher: Orbit Books | Release Date: April 2023 | Pages: 688
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Sci-Fi Horror | Format: Paperback | Source: ARC
When Special Agent Petrov and Dr. Lei Zhang are woken up from cryogenic sleep, dragged freezing and dripping wet out of their pods with the ship’s alarms blaring in the background, they know something is very wrong. Warned by the Captain that they’re under attack, they have no choice but to investigate.
It doesn’t take much time to learn that they’ve been met by another vessel—a vessel from Paradis-One, Earth’s first deep-space colony, and their final destination.
Worse still, the vessel is empty. And it carries with it the message that all communications from the 150,000 souls inhabiting the Paradis-One has completely ceased.
Petrov and Zhang must board the empty ship and delve further into deep space to discover the truth of the colony’s disappearance—but the further they go, the more dangers loom.
On the Page
- Anxiety orders and attacks (PTSD)
- Blood and gore depiction
- Body horror and modifications
- Captivity and confinement
- Dead bodies and body parts
- Death of a friend
- Gun violence
- Loss of limb
- Mass murders
- Medical treatment and procedures
- Memory disorders
- Military services and deployment
- Physical assault
- Possession and mind control
- Depersonalization and derealization
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- Absolutely fascinated with the plot. Because I don’t read horror often, I was so curious what that element was going to be. The basilisk is absolutely terrifying. I will say no more than that (for spoilers). But with each “iteration” was so well-written and so visceral.
- Weaving of multi-POV. I’m really glad we got this from a multi-POV perspective. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if we’d only gotten Petrova’s. (Though, she was my favorite. After, perhaps, Rapscallion.)
- Length. While I did enjoy this book quite a lot, I do think it could have been roughly 100 pages shorter. 😅 The middle dragged a bit.
- Ending. The ending wasn’t…bad, necessarily. I am very excited to read the sequel. Yet I was much more interested in the horror plot and I felt like it wasn’t resolved enough for me. Even though this is the first in a trilogy. It focused a lot more on the people aspect, at the end. Which, ironically, I wasn’t as invested in…
So, despite having a few misgivings, I quite enjoyed Paradise-1. I will definitely be continuing the series (and honestly, a bit frustrated the sequel isn’t out yet, because I want to know what happens next). And yes, I realize it was just published a few weeks ago.
But it also makes me wonder if I can handle reading sci-fi horror? I think if I watched an adaptation of this, I’d die of terror. But reading it…it was okay, I could handle it! I do really want to give Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes…