Book Reviews

Review: A Pale Light in the Black by K.B. Wagers

It’s been a while since I read a SF and I’ve been missing it. So A Pale Light in the Black was the perfect read. It’s got found family, a space crew, adventure among the stars, and conspiracy. What more could you want? Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


For the past year, their close loss in the annual Boarding Games has haunted Interceptor Team: Zuma’s Ghost. With this year’s competition looming, they’re looking forward to some payback—until an unexpected personnel change leaves them reeling. Their best swordsman has been transferred, and a new lieutenant has been assigned in his place.

Maxine Carmichael is trying to carve a place in the world on her own—away from the pressure and influence of her powerful family. The last thing she wants is to cause trouble at her command on Jupiter Station. With her new team in turmoil, Max must overcome her self-doubt and win their trust if she’s going to succeed. Failing is not an option—and would only prove her parents right.

But Max and the team must learn to work together quickly. A routine mission to retrieve a missing ship has suddenly turned dangerous, and now their lives are on the line. Someone is targeting members of Zuma’s Ghost, a mysterious opponent willing to kill to safeguard a secret that could shake society to its core . . . a secret that could lead to their deaths and kill thousands more unless Max and her new team stop them.

Rescue those in danger, find the bad guys, win the Games. It’s all in a day’s work at the NeoG.


Immediately I knew I loved the SF world building and the crew dynamics. To begin with the world building, the world of NeoG is intriguing and detailed. Wagers does a fantastic job of telling you what you need, while also leaving mysteries and plenty of shadows. There’s a balance between understanding the world we have seen, while also knowing there’s so much more to see – you’ll have to read book two! Just like me. At the same time, I loved the crew dynamics.

Crew stories – no matter if it’s on the sea or in space – are always my kryptonite. There’s nothing I love more about witnessing a group of unlikely allies to figure out how to work together. To see these hidden secrets and vulnerabilities within each other and find themselves a found family. That’s probably the number one reason I love crew stories is that they’re almost always found family stories as well. And A Pale Light in the Black is no exception.

This tenuous balance between trying to trust someone they don’t know while in high stakes situations? Gets me every time. A Pale Light in the Black delivers high paced action which will captivate you. There are so many layers of conspiracies layered on top of each other in unparalleled action. However, at the same time A Pale Light in the Black has some fabulous character moments. Around halfway I became fully obsessed mostly because the characters just clicked. Seeing through multiple perspectives, allows us to see snippets of their characters and fall in love with them.

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While I wish I had some more time with a few of my favorites, I enjoyed seeing their own lives and struggles. The characters develop and bloom alongside the action. If you’ve been searching for a new SF series to start, then you’ll have to pick up A Pale Light in the Black which delivers SF intrigue and charming characters. Find A Pale Light in the Black on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Who is your favorite space crew?

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