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Ness Brown Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Scourge Between Stars (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ness Brown is an American author of speculative fiction books known for her 2023 debut novel, The Scourge Between Stars. Besides writing, Ness is an astrophysicist. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two cats, Mephi and Faust.

Science fiction and horror fit together perfectly. And just like peanut butter and jelly in a sandwich, sometimes you get more of one than the other. But it’s always a treat from the first bite to the last. And every so often, you hit upon the perfect mix that just sings on your palate. The Scourge Between the Stars is that kind of mix. It’s Ness Brown’s first big story and she’s nailed the balance perfectly. She blends familiar bits from both science fiction and horror and also throwing in her own unique touches.

This story is the best of both worlds for fans of either genre. It’s short and speedy, that promises to keep the reader hooked from the first page to the until the very end. It’s a lot of fun to read and has some intense moments that might make you squirm. Ness Brown has packed this tale with excitement and shocking moments set on a spaceship heading for disaster. It’s the kind of book you’ll want to read all in one go. But be warned, it’s not just about the thrill – there’s some deep, dark stuff in there too and with creatures that’ll make your skin crawl.

Generation ships are giant spacecrafts designed for long journeys across the stars. They are a classic idea in science fiction. But think about what it would be like to actually live on one. You’d spend your whole life on that ship, only knowing the people on board. And you’d always wonder if the journey would succeed or if your future family could make a new home in a distant world or if they’d end up like the colonies aboard mothership in Alien Covenant movie.

In The Scourge Between the Stars, we are introduced to the main character Jacklyn Albright. She is doing her best as the acting captain of the Calypso. The ship is on its way back to Earth with people from a colony that didn’t work out. After it was established that their new home wasn’t going to survive, the colony decided to head back to Earth. But there is a problem in the ship. The colony is dealing with dwindling supplies, disagreements among the crew, and dangers from space itself. Then, a new danger shows up on the ship, something alien and scary. Nobody knows where it came from, but Jack is ready to fight it. Because the captain can’t help, Jack takes the charge to save her crew and passengers from the threat.

This story shows how much Ness Brown loves classic sci-fi and horror stories. You can tell she’s inspired by movies like Alien Covenant but she makes the story her own. The author puts a lot of effort into showing how tough life on the Calypso is. The space setting makes the story feel real. It also shows how clever Jack is as she steps up to lead and protect her ship. The way she deals with problems and faces the alien danger adds a lot of excitement and suspense to the story.

Just like the monsters in Alien Covenant movie, the monster inside Calypso isn’t just a typical scary beast. It is smart and fits right into the ship’s environment. Jack and her team try their best to fight it. They come up with smart plans, but it always seems like they’re just barely hanging on. The Scourge Between the Stars is fast paced, never drags and this makes everything feel even more intense. The whole time, there’s this heavy feeling that even if they deal with the alien, they still have huge problems to solve to get back home.
Ness Brown writes in a straight-to-the-point style. She doesn’t spend a lot of time painting detailed pictures with her words, instead she chooses to keep things moving fast. This style is a bit different from what you might expect because a lot of writers like to really dive deep into descriptions. But Ness’s approach makes the story zip along, with something new and exciting always happening, sometimes in surprising places.

Let’s talk about the characters. We have the main character, Jacklyn Albright. She brings something new to this novella. Jacklyn’s dad is the Captain of the Calypso. Unfortunately, he can’t do his job due to an illness and this forces Jacklyn to take over. It’s a tough time to be in charge because the Calypso is low on fuel and supplies. Will they get back to Earth? Is returning to their failed colony, Proxima B, an option? The future looks grim. Jack wrestles with these dilemmas as tensions rise among the passengers amid a possible rebellion.
Things go from bad to worse when an uninvited guest shows up. Jack stands strong through it all even when fear grips her and everything appears impossible. She is the type of person you would want as a Captain in your space exploration adventures. She always putting her ship and crew first.

And there’s something else worth mentioning, Ness Brown did a fantastic job in adding a diversity in this novella. The crew comes from all corners of Earth, with Jack herself being LGBTQ+. She’s involved in a romantic relationship with another crew member. The crew empathy and teamwork shine through. Jack sets the standard, never asking her crew to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. This is a refreshing and realistic take on diversity.

The Scourge Between Stars delivers a familiar yet captivating story, thanks to Ness Brown’s creative touch. She creates a narrative that keeps you on the edge of your seat, pondering the harsh realities of space travel and the human spirit’s resilience. This novella is a must-read for fans of the genre looking for a story that blends action with heart and diversity.

Jack is clever and brave, facing challenges that make you wonder whether a quick or slow end is preferable. If you’re in search of a top-notch sci-fi and horror mix, this novella is it.

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