Joe Hart – Obscura Review

Genre: Technothriller
Length: 348 Pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release date: May 8, 2018
Synopsis: In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing. Dr. Gillian Ryan is on the cutting edge of research and desperately determined to find a cure. She’s already lost her husband to the disease, and now her young daughter is slowly succumbing as well. After losing her funding, she is given the unique opportunity to expand her research. She will travel with a NASA team to a space station where the crew has been stricken with symptoms of a similar inexplicable psychosis—memory loss, trances, and violent, uncontrollable impulses.

Crippled by a secret addiction and suffering from creeping paranoia, Gillian finds her journey becoming a nightmare as unexplainable and violent events plague the mission. With her grip weakening on reality, she starts to doubt her own innocence. And she’s beginning to question so much more—like the true nature of the mission, the motivations of the crew, and every deadly new secret space has to offer.

Merging thrilling science-fiction adventure with mind-bending psychological suspense, Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart explores both the vast mysteries of outer space and the even darker unknown that lies within ourselves.

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

When I saw Obscura was due out, many months ago, I was excited to see a new book by one of my go to authors. I’ve been a fan of Joe Harts work for years. I love the creativity in his plots and the characters I know I will miss when I finish the book. Joe Harts thrillers are nothing less than fantastic and they always keep me engrossed. He has taken his talent for thrillers, which I love trying to solve, and mixed that with science fiction, which I also love. As if that wasn’t enough to make this a must read, there was the psychological aspect that gave the book a tight, claustrophobic, and chilling atmosphere with plenty of paranoia reminiscent of the movie 2001.

The only trouble I had was early on, and it was connecting with Gillian, the protagonist. I couldn’t get a good hold on her, and it made liking her difficult. She had a strange ‘something is off’ quality about her. But as I got deeper into the story the more I started to like her, especially her time alone on the ship, and as she started to piece together the clues to the illness. This illness was truly scary and I loved the mystery Gillian was up against as time was running out for her daughter.

The further the story continued the more I was wrapped up in the case. Each time I was sure I had the direction of the story figured out it took another turn. Characters flipped from allies to adversaries and I didn’t know who to trust. The multiple mysteries in Obscura kept me guessing and Joe Hart gets me every time. Near the conclusion of the book the tension was so high I could feel the characters anxiety. I was sweating right alongside Gillian as the shit hit the fan. I never know how much research is done to make something feel real, but the science components felt solid and legit and I loved it all. If you love thrillers and/or science fiction you should get a copy of this book and enjoy the ride.

Link to purchase Obscura

Joe Hart, biography

Joe Hart was born and raised in northern Minnesota. Having dedicated himself to writing horror and thriller fiction since the age of nine, he is now the author of eleven novels that include The River Is Dark, Lineage, and The Last Girl. When not writing, he enjoys reading, exercising, exploring the great outdoors, and watching movies with his family. For more information on his upcoming novels and access to his blog, visit


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