The Numinous by Tristan Michie could most easily be classified as a science fiction-thriller, but it definitely has some horror and suspense elements thrown in. Although I made contact with Michie in a writing group, I was interested in reading The Numinous based on the premise, alone. One of my favorite films is Event Horizon and I couldn’t help but see the resemblance in the book’s concept.
Light years away from home drifts a cold, bleak ship; seemingly void of all life…….
Markus Clyde woke from his Stasis in a lonely, dark room, dimly lit by the emergency power. With not another soul in sight.
In his confused and disorientated state, he desperately tries to figure out what has happened, why was he here? Where are the rest of the crew?
With power rapidly failing and disturbing events occurring throughout the ship, he finds himself in a race against time.
To get the ship home…….
Or die trying.
This book was unique in a variety of respects, and fortunately for us each of those are positive! Michie elected to tell the story by switching off between characters for each chapter. In the beginning this disorienting round-robin approach is a bit confusing, but that confusion fits in perfectly with the jumbled thoughts and memories of each member of the crew the reader is introduced to. As Michie gradually introduces the different characters the shifts are less character driven and more groups of characters driven and there is a stronger sense of stability overall. The implication that there is strength in numbers is obvious, but the people in Michie’s science fiction adventure know better than to assume they are out of the woods just yet.
The writing style is carried heavily by dialogue between characters and by characters trying to remember just why they are in space, where they are, and what happened to the ship. To add to their dire circumstances, the characters are also experiencing paranoia, horrifying hallucinations, and splitting headaches as a result of the time they spent in stasis. As a result, periodically something disturbing will happen that only one person can see or when someone is alone, so that is fun in an unsettling way. While reading I found myself wondering”is that real, or in their head?” fairly often, and solving the mystery becomes an enjoyable game pretty quickly. Since the book is a suspenseful read I was grateful that it’s also rather short and easy to digest.
Once you start reading The Numinous, you’ll feel a need to see it through to the end and find out what happens to the awakened crew, and to the Earth they’ve left behind.
You can find The Numinous on Amazon.