By Courtney Alameda
Feiwel Friends, 2018. 384 pages. Young Adult
Tuck has been in stasis for 400 years after his ship, the John Muir, was jettisoned into deep space and stranded, unlikely to ever be found again. When he awakes, he finds his ship has been overrun by the mutated remains of other crew members whose screams alone can tear you apart. Laura is a young hacker onboard the Conquistador, a raiding ship looking for the key to the human race's survival. When the Conquistador and the John Muir collide, Laura and Tuck must work together to save their crews while trying to evade a malicious organization set on their failure.
This book excels at tension, suspense, and anticipation. Crouching in the dark and hoping things don't find you, you're holding your breath alongside the characters. Tuck and Laura are fantastic characters, with distinct voices and personalities that readers will enjoy spending time with. Pitch Dark is playfully sprinkled with references to contemporary movies, games, and pop culture (especially through the voice of Tuck) and sci-fi fans will love the play between Laura's futuristic tech landscape and Tuck's "older," more analog world. Don't skip the author's note at the end of the book, which conveys just how much of Alameda's own experience and identity is wrapped up in the characters, tensions, and struggles of the book.