I received this ARC from a friend who received two copies as she knows how much I enjoy dystopian literature, and it took me months to get to it. Now, I have no idea why I didn’t let it cut the TBR line. Less than 50 pages in, and I was hooked. HOOKED. Already, Hart is talking a NASA space mission, a mysterious epidemic illness resulting in memory loss worse than Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and one woman on the verge of a breakthrough. After that, I couldn’t put it down.

Dr. Gillian Ryan lost her husband to a mysterious disease called Losian’s, a form of dementia that causes blackouts, rages, and memory loss. There is no cure, but Gillian is determined to create one, because now her daughter Carrie is showing symptoms. She’s on the cutting edge of her brain mapping technology when her funding is cut. Through the grapevine, her college ex-boyfriend, Carson, has heard about her financial issues, and dangles an extraordinary opportunity in front of her- indefinite funding if she agrees to a six month stent in space for a special NASA mission. According to Carson, there seems to be a eerily similar disease like Losian’s that is affecting a large portion of NASA agents, and they need Gillian’s technology and diagnostics to figure out how to help the crew.

Gillian is reluctant- she doesn’t want to leave Carrie for that long, unsure of how the disease will progress in six months. She also is hiding an addiction to pills, which would be difficult to maintain the secrecy of in space. However, the mention of funding is too great, and she knows she must sacrifice this time if she is ever going to help all those affected- especially Carrie.

After weeks of advanced preparation for the mission, she and her assistant Birk join Carson and his team and blast off into space… but once they’re millions of miles outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, the real, unbelievable truth about their exact destination and mission is revealed by Carson. Gillian, aghast and angry about being deceived, pushes on (mostly because at this point, it’s too late to turn the ship around) but she’s determined to do things her way. Then, she finds out that there’s something going on that even Carson isn’t aware of, and the mission could be more dangerous than they ever expected.

Hart’s writing absolutely blew my mind. The pace is lightning fast, the suspense and thrill actually made my adrenaline rush, and the way he weaves the novel together is shocking and fascinating. Without revealing all sorts of spoilers, this novel kept me guessing from page one. I needed to know what was going to happen to Carrie, I needed answers about ALL the conspiracies, and I needed to know EXACTLY what happened to Gillian. I was positively captivated. And the best part? You know when an author reveals something that makes you stop reading and go:

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It happens OVER AND OVER in this novel! And, if you know me at all, you know the over use of capitalization proof that my excitement cannot be contained! Joe Hart just made a new fan, and I highly recommend EVERYONE read this. If you’re looking for the perfect sci-fi suspense-thriller read for October, this is it!