Inscape – Louise Carey

I have been on a bit of a mystery/thriller binge recently, so I was very excited when this science fiction thriller arrived on my doorstep. It is just as addictive as the blurb made it sound and I’m looking forward to continuing the story!

Many thanks to Will O’Mullane and Gollancz for sending me a review copy, all opinions are my own as usual.

STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

RELEASE DATE: 21/01/21

SUMMARY: Tanta has trained all her young life for this. Her very first mission is a code red: to take her team into the unaffiliated zone just outside InTech’s borders and retrieve a stolen hard drive. It should have been quick and simple, but a surprise attack kills two of her colleagues and Tanta barely makes it home alive.

Determined to prove herself and partnered with a colleague whose past is a mystery even to himself, Tanta’s investigation uncovers a sinister conspiracy that makes her question her own loyalties and the motives of everyone she used to trust. (from Gollancz)

OPINIONS: This is a well-written and gripping thriller, drawing you into the world of Inscape from the first page. I am usually much more of a fantasy reader than a science fiction one, but this hit the sweet spot for my current obsession with fast-paced mysteries. The story starts with Tanta’s mission going very very wrong – but instead of being reprimanded, she ends up promoted. Tanta is a wonderful main character, flawed, young and inexperienced, but determined and ambitious. Half the time I wanted to hug her, the rest of the time punch her. But most importantly, I was never ambivalent towards her.

There is a sapphic relationship woven throughout the story. But Inscape isn’t a romantic book or one that focuses on a romantic subplot. It is merely there. This is a thriller first and foremost, with a strong focus on the resolution of the mystery. Cole, the second main character, doesn’t remember much. He is smart, but he has a massive gap in his memories. Together with Tanta, he sets out to figure out why his memory was wiped, who they are, and what is going on around them.

The story addresses themes of belonging, human programming and surveillance. It is a great escapist book, and if you’re looking to leave this messed up world for a few hours, it’s a good choice to pick up Inscape. Add it on Goodreads here, and order a copy from Bookshop here (affiliate link).

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