Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes is a space horror tale of isolation, cold, and inner turmoil set on a planet with many secrets. But it’s not just the planet itself that has a story to tell, it’s each of the crewmates as well. But will they share or will the secrets ruin them all?
Mental health, Suicide, Injury description, Death, Domestic abuse, Violence, Blood, and Murder.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes –
After the death of a crewmate, Ophelia is sent to treat a team in space as their on-site psychologist. But there’s something fishy about the assignment itself and when she arrives, she sees very clearly that the crew doesn’t want her there. They only want to continue their mission of documenting three more planets and then go home.
Struggling with her own very raw traumas, Ophelia is disturbed to find that various things on this mission trigger even more trauma from her childhood. Fighting her inner demons while struggling to remain calm and collected on the surface to do her job, Ophelia just can’t catch a break.
This tale starts with a scene that brings a deep unease into the reader’s mind. That unease only gets worse and worse as the story progresses. The author does an amazing job setting us up to distrust the main character while still hoping all will turn out well. I absolutely loved how readers are in the dark when it comes to various secrets. While it’s easy to see that everyone is acting strangely, it could be chalked up to their collected recent trauma. However, over time we get to slowly learn about everything that’s being hidden and with each thing learned, the tale only gets more and more twisted.
SO many scenes here had me holding my breath! I don’t think I took a solid breath in or out during my entire time reading, however, as the anxiety this tale spiked in me had me so tense!
My Favorite Passages from Ghost Station –
Ophelia grips her safety restraints tighter, teeth rattling in her head so hard she’s not sure she’ll have any left by the time they land. Her chest aches with the pressure of increasing gravity, and her palms are sweaty inside her envirosuit gloves. Correction: all of her is sweaty.
An enormous, enclosed environment with nowhere to run and thousands of places to hide.
The howl of wind around her rises to an unearthly shriek, an eerie, goose bump-inducing sound. From low to high, deep to shrill, like an animalistic moan of pain transforming into a scream. And it’s coming from the city ruins to her left.
No. Ophelia shakes her head. Not here.
But the back of her neck prickles with a chill of awareness, as if someone is just behind her, looming in the threshold, breathing just hard enough to ruffle the tiny hairs there.
Goose bumps spring up on her arms, and she whips around, hands up to defend herself from … something.
But no one is there.
There’s something—or someone—here. That’s what it feels like. As if she and Severin have just missed someone sweeping through, removing all signs of themselves and anyone else. It’s not a scent left hanging in the air, obviously; even if that were so, she wouldn’t be able to smell it. It’s not even a noise, echoing in the distance. Just a sense of not being alone.
For the thousandth time since the start of this experience, she feels she’s missing something important. Unspoken information that would make all of this make sense. It’s like feeling the breeze of a near miss but never learning what danger you just dodged or what to look out for next time.
Humans have been operating like they have the universe to themselves just because they haven’t found any other living civilizations. Doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.
This isn’t a bear or a saber-toothed tiger or even the sound of rushing footsteps behind her on a darkened street. But that primal part of her brain certainly recognizes it as a danger and wants nothing the fuck to do with it.
My Final Thoughts on Ghost Station –
Horror fans who enjoy claustrophobia-inducing tales, you gotta check this one out! I was so uncomfortable during my time reading this, but I was also totally captivated by the tale and couldn’t wait to see what horrors were to come next! This is such an amazing blend of isolation and the need for connection and approval.
Thanks for reading!
And a shout-out to the publisher for sending me an eBook of this so I could dive in early!