Goodreads Synopsis: A WOMAN ON THE RUN. A CAPTAIN ADRIFT IN SPACE. ONE OF THEM IS INFECTED WITH AN ALIEN PARASITE.
Rosalyn Devar is on the run from her famous family, the bioengineering job she's come to hate, and her messed-up life. She's run all the way to outer space, where she's taken a position as a "space janitor," cleaning up ill-fated research expeditions. But no matter how far she goes, Rosalyn can't escape herself. After too many mistakes on the job, she's given one last chance: take care of salvaging the Brigantine, a research vessel that has gone dark, with all crew aboard thought dead.
But the Brigantine's crew are very much alive--if not entirely human. Now Rosalyn is trapped on board, alone with a crew infected by a mysterious parasitic alien. The captain, Edison Aries, seems to still maintain some control over himself and the crew, but he won't be able to keep fighting much longer. Rosalyn and Edison must find a way to stop the parasite's onslaught...or it may take over the entire human race.
Talk about eerie feels, Salvaged gave me the creeps. This was definitely one of the better science fiction novels I’ve read. ALL HAIL THE CLUSTER! There’s nothing like mind-altering parasitic aliens to give a person the hee bee jee bees. Madeleine Roux provides a slow and steady creep that strips away all forms of comfort. Sci-fi is a tricky genre in a lot of ways, I find the plot gets sacrificed for world-building and so I applaud the author for sticking to the story. I wasn’t a big fan of the characters, they were kind of bland and their subplots didn’t hold my interest. Outside of that, this dark sci-fi will be sure to leave you itching for more as you explore the uncomfortable thoughts Mother is beaming into your brain as you flip the pages.
Something the reader will do right away is pick up on how atmospheric this book is. The scenes left me suffocating in the dark, eerie, bleakness of outer space. I constantly felt that I needed to look over my shoulder to find someone that wasn’t there. But Mother’s always there… I really liked how immersive this book is. The story is rich with suspense and has a way of pulling the reader in from beginning to end. Madeleine Roux seemingly wrote each line of this story with one goal in mind, discomfort, and unease. This book made me want to curl into the fetal position and hide from the world, SPORES ARE EVERYWHERE!
"The thick, strange tentacles bursting through the office door sagged, leaving a gap wide enough to see through, wide enough to show the field of rigid, waiting for obstacles in their path. It was like they had thrown a matchstick into a beehive, and now all the riled, furious insects wanted to act, wanted to sting."
Just take a moment and think about how massive the universe is, its infinite. The setting in a book is important but I don’t need to know every city on every planet in whatever galaxy. It's too much for me and I get lost. This is an issue I usually find with books set in space and the sheer vastness of the world built by the author. This type of setting can be hard to follow and can make for a boring read. I did not find that to be the case in Salvaged. In fact, Madelaine Roux didn’t spend much time world-building at all. The author kept a narrow focus on story and plot which I think took this book from good to great.
I struggled with the characters. I felt that they did not provide much to the overall outcome of the book and I really did not care for their backstories. This is obviously going to differ from person-to-person but I personally would have liked to get more confrontations with the protagonist and its legion of minions. Please, do not confuse what I'm saying with character development because there was plenty of that. I just wasn’t able to connect with the characters the way I would have liked to. Instead, I found myself rooting for the evil parasites and their insatiable need to infect humankind.
Salvaged by Madeleine Roux gets a 3 / 5 star rating from me. I have been waiting a long time to find a science fiction novel that would give me the creeps and this one did it. This atmospheric read is sure to leave you positively uncomfortable. You may not like the characters as much as the evil aliens but maybe that’s more fun. Join the cluster… Listen to your mother… Mother knows best…
My name's Andrew. I'm a husband and father who loves to read all things dark, thrilling, mysterious, and suspenseful. I didn't always enjoy reading but have been nothing short of obsessed over the last five or so years. The obsession has lead to writing and so here I am fighting for time to read and write while trying to work a full-time job and satisfy my family’s needs (#1 priority).