BLOG TOUR: Pitch Dark — Courtney Alameda (ARC Review & GIVEAWAY!)

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Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda

 

 

 

 

 

 

TITLE: Pitch Dark

AUTHOR: Courtney Alameda

RELEASES: February 20th, 2018; Feiwel & Friends

GENRE: Horror/Sci-fi

AGE RANGE: YA

SYNOPSIS: Set against a future of marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound, here is a frightening, fast-paced YA adventure from the author of the acclaimed horror novel, Shutter.

Tuck has been in stasis on the USS John Muir, a ship that houses Earth’s most valued artifacts—its natural resources. Parks and mountains are preserved in space.

Laura belongs to a shipraiding family, who are funded by a group used to getting what they want. And they want what’s on the Muir.

Tuck and Laura didn’t bargain on working together, or battling mutant aliens who use sound to kill. But their plan is the only hope for their crews, their families, and themselves.

In space, nobody can hear you scream . . . but on the John Muir, the screams are the last thing you’ll hear.

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Even the gods have abandoned us out here.

If you follow my reviews, you know I’m a big horror fan, but what you might not already know is what a sucker I am for horror/sci-fi genre-blending and spooky stories set in outer space. Courtney Alameda is known for her horror writing, but she interlaces the terror aspects with the sci-fi, futuristic, technology side stunningly.

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We were supposed to wake up saved, or not wake up at all. That was the deal we made with fate.

→ Tuck ←
The narrative of Pitch Dark alternates perspectives between two protagonists – one from the “past”, and one from the “future”. Our first introduction is to our “past” character, Tuck, who has been in cryo-sleep for a few hundred years, only to awaken to a spaceship full of corpses and monstrosities. He’s hopeless, angry, and hurting, but has such a good heart – a quintessential “teddy bear” character, at your service. Unfortunately, despite how lovable he can be, Tuck never felt three-dimensional to me, and his lack of intricate development was a huge drawback.

“The madman with a box?” I ask. “Bad Wolf? We have a lot of running to do?” They both look at me as if I’m the one who’s lost my damn mind.
“All righty then. Allons-y.”

→ pop culture references ←
On the other hand, my favorite thing about Tuck was easily his pop culture refs. I make no attempts to hide my usual annoyance with these sorts of things, because they frequently come out forced and unnatural, but Tuck’s are done phenomenally and are so cute. The above-quoted Doctor Who reference was easily my favorite, but most of all, I adored how frustrated he got when people didn’t catch his references! (I relate so much.)

To all the girls who write their own histories, who resist men telling them to “stop,” and save themselves in the end, this one’s for you.

→ Laura ←
Our “future” perspective comes from Laura Cruz. She’s a teen Latinx girl with archaeologists for parents, and she is positively brilliant and fierce. She takes nobody’s mess and is determined to take care of herself at all costs, relying on no one to save her. If you enjoy hard-headed, angry, capable heroines, Laura’s your girl. I appreciated her so much, and my favorite thing about her was the social commentary she was able to provide on the current state of society.

I’d like to say that in the last few centuries, humanity’s grown past these compulsions in a moral sense, that we’ve become better. Nobler. Wiser. But we haven’t.

→ racism ←
As a woman of color, Laura explains that a few centuries haven’t been enough time to rid the entire human race of its bigotry. There’s been so much reproduction between races, it has caused a sort of ethnic mesh in most of society, to the point where fully “white” individuals only keep their white skin by going to great lengths to avoid any biracial reproductivity. Because of how deliberate being a white person in Laura’s world is, most individuals assume that entirely white individuals are simply clinging to Nazi-like ideals of the past. This was a really refreshing take on the idea of a world in white cultural and racial diversity is normalized, but was also a truly interesting theoretical prediction for the future of our world.

“That’s the folly of the human heart. We make macro decisions based on micro motivations.”

→ social commentaries ←
Besides the discussion of racism, there’s a lot of observation of how we treat the planet, as we are informed that the reason humans left Earth in Tuck’s time was to escape the mess they’d made of it and the fact that the planet had been utterly drained of resources. Even the creatures on Tuck’s ship are explained to have been created not by some zombie virus or magical mutation, but by the after-effects in breathing and drinking in too much pollution from the Earth era.

They’re not aliens or zombies, just our own mistake.

→ fear factor ←
I know a lot of my followers are hesitant to pick up horror stories, so I wanted to go ahead and let you guys who aren’t horror fans know that, in my opinion, this is an extremely approachable read for individuals who don’t typically enjoy horror. It’s so heavy on the sci-fi aspect that it doesn’t read like your usual horror story, but there are some gruesome descriptions of mutated creatures, so if your stomach is easily unsettled, you may want to proceed with caution.

This book is inspired by the Aliens film franchise, and I would say that it felt very similar to those in terms of the level of horror and “grossness” achieved. If you enjoy those films, I think you would enjoy this story, too. This would be a good time to warn you that there is a scene in this book that comes with major warnings for trypophobia. As someone who has a mild case of trypophobia, the description in that scene was really nauseating and I had to skim past it, but it does give you a bit of warning before it goes into detail.

I wonder what I’d do with such a lonely boy, one who carries a broken heart in his chest and pretends it beats the same as everyone else’s.

→ romance ←
Finally, I want to touch on the only other thing that didn’t catch my eye much in Pitch Dark: the blossoming relationship between Tuck and Laura. You see it coming a mile away, but towards the end, I felt like it became oddly forced. They were a great pair for each other and the chemistry was there from the start, so I thought it’d be a home run, but at the end, I almost felt like, “Wait, that’s all?” I don’t want to give any sorts of spoilers, but I’ll just say that the romance was the main reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5.

All quotes are taken from an ARC and may not match the final product. Thank you so much to Feiwel & Friends for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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A veteran bookseller and librarian, Courtney Alameda now spends her days writing thriller and horror novels. Her debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and hailed as a “standout in the genre” by School Library Journal. Her forthcoming novels include the science fiction/horror mashup, PITCH DARK (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends 2018), and SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS, an urban fantasy set in Japan. (Co-authored with Valynne Maetani. HarperTeen 2018).

Courtney holds a degree in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She is represented by John M. Cusick of Folio Literary. A northern California native, she now resides in Utah with her husband, a legion of books, and a tiny five-pound cat with a giant personality.

Member HWA, SFWA, SCBWI; and SDCC Creative Professional.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads


GIVEAWAY

3 winners will receive a finished copy of PITCH DARK & a pin with a quote that’s very important to the story! US Only.

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Ends on March 6th at Midnight EST! Enter here!


TOUR SCHEDULE

Week One:

2/19/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
2/19/2018- Adventures of a Book Junkie– Interview

2/20/2018- The Blonde Bookworm– Review
2/20/2018- BookHounds Ya– Guest Post

2/21/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review
2/21/2018- Literary Meanderings– Excerpt

2/22/2018- Howling Libraries– Review
2/22/2018- YA Books Central– Interview

2/23/2018- The OWL Book Review Blog– Review
2/23/2018- Pretty Deadly Reviews– Review

Week Two:

2/26/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review
2/26/2018- Mary Had a Little Book Blog– Review

2/27/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review
2/27/2018- Tales of the Ravenous Reader Interview

2/28/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt
2/28/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Interview

3/1/2018- Savings in Seconds– Review
3/1/2018- The Cover Contessa– Excerpt

3/2/2018- Reading for the Stars and Moon– Review
3/2/2018- Abooktropolis– Review

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Just a 25-year-old trying to juggle motherhood, grad school, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

5 thoughts on “BLOG TOUR: Pitch Dark — Courtney Alameda (ARC Review & GIVEAWAY!)

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