Short-listed for the Guardian's Not the Booker Award 2015.
I was wrong to think that there were floodlights. Nobody's got a torch lit. There's no need. She's difficult to look at. She's too bright. She's lighting the whole damn scene with her blood.
Welcome to Vox. A city of perpetual night, existing under a star that burns in darkness. Light-starved citizens shoot up on Prometheus while the wealthy live in the radiance provided by three Hearts that beat light into the city. Aquila. Corvus. Cancer.
When Cancer is stolen, it falls to hero cop Virgil Yorke to investigate. But Virgil has had a long cycle, and he doesn't feel like a hero. The unsolved case of Vivian North, a promising student found dead with veins full of unnatural glowing, dominates his thoughts. The possibility of a connection between the lucent girl and the stolen Heart urges Virgil to shed light on the dark city's even darker secrets. Tormented by the ghosts of his past and chased by his addictions, which will crack first, Virgil or the case?
Dark Star is hard-boiled science fantasy written in syllabic verse, distinctive in form but accessible and immediately compelling. Langmead's tale of a flawed cop in the darkness recreates science fantasy as modern legend, epic verse as Virgil's voice.
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wonderfully dark story.
- alan douglas