cover image Obscura


Joe Hart, read by Christina Traister. Brilliance Audio, , unabridged, 9 CDs, 10.5 hrs., $34.99 ISBN 978-1-5436-7831-4

Hart’s futuristic techno-thriller, in which neural radiologist Gillian Ryan falls into in a murder mystery aboard an Earth-orbiting space station, has the elements of a suspense classic, but they’re undercut by reader Traister’s offbeat reading style, full of oddly placed pauses and unusual word emphases. The protagonist is a strong, empathic, dedicated scientist and mother, braving death while searching for the antidote for Losian’s disease, a ghastly neurological disorder plaguing Earth, which her eight-year-old daughter, Carrie, has contracted. Traister has no problem conveying Gillian’s desperate struggle to find a cure, survive an increasingly dangerous mission, and find a ship to take her back to Earth and Carrie. She’s equally effective in enacting the highly emotional conversations Gillian has with herself, her dwindling friends, and her increasing foes. In the end, Traister’s eccentric delivery and the novel’s indulgences (the brutality Gillian suffers would not be survivable anywhere on Earth) overwhelm the plot in Hart’s thrill ride. [em]A Thomas & Mercer hardcover. (May) [/em]