Tag Archive: Kali Wallace


This one has been a long time coming. The folks at Berkley were nice enough to provide me with an eARC for review and then I fell out of reviewing several times for one reason or another. From Kali Wallace, here’s Salvation Day. Enjoy!

Salvation Day cover

Ten years ago the House of Wisdom was the sight of a horrific viral outbreak, there was only one survivor and the ship has been locked down since. Zahra’s father was blamed for the outbreak, resulting in her mother fleeing to the wastes with her and her siblings to escape retribution for it. Now she and a team are set to make the House of Wisdom a home for the whole Family. They just have to abduct the lone survivor, Jaswinder Bhattacharya, use his genetic signature to access the ship, and get it up and running again in time to meet everyone when they arrive. There are some things better left buried though and there is a reason the House of Wisdom was allowed to sit derelict for ten years.

Kali Wallace’s Salvation Day feels largely like a book with quality writing and far too short of a timeframe. As the title suggests, Zahra’s group only has about a day to get the House of Wisdom ready, so everything that happens, happens within about a day. That leaves some things feeling rushed, like the viral recurrence part of the plot or big chunks of Zahra’s character development.

The character work in Salvation Day bounces a bit. For many of the characters it feels really well considered, even antagonists feel fairly well rounded. There are a couple of characters who feel flat, but it fits them and their function in the book. But then we reach one of the major antagonists and the split between how he is described early on and how he actually behaves when he is introduced is a bit jarring.  It works on a level, because the antagonist needs to be fairly awful for certain aspects of the book to stay on course, tension needs to be maintained. But the contrast also comes with a change in reactions from Zahra that feel off. At first he’s the Family’s leader who’s done all these great things for her and the rest of the Family, she wants to prove herself to him and feels proud to have been selected for this mission, but then later on she starts expressing tremendous fear of this guy and what he might do to her siblings if the mission fails. It coincides with the reader learning more about what happened on the House of Wisdom and with Zahra becoming more and more a sympathetic character, but it also feels like it happens because she is meant to be more sympathetic rather than because she has started realizing how dangerous he is.

Additionally, the cult leader, Adam, feels almost cartoonish in some places. Largely, I think, because of both the need for Zahra to have that turn from the cult and because the reader is not really given space to feel the weight of the House of Wisdom take over being slowed and threatening to fail. If there had been a longer time frame and the reader had been shown the Council breathing down the group at the House of Wisdom’s necks more or if Jas and his classmates had been able to contact the Council while they were away from their captors and we were shown that being brought to bear against the Family over even a handful of days, it feels like a lot would have settled better.

The more I think on it, the less I really feel like I can say about Jas without spoiling aspects of the story. It generally feels like he gets the parts that focus more on furthering the reader’s knowledge of what had happened and uncovering the series of events that lead to his survival and the virus being contained. His sections generally felt slower where it seemed like Zahra’s sections were more action focused. He did feel a bit more complete as a character in some ways, his arc being mostly about facing his past and getting out alive might be part of that. I think I appreciate where the ending took him, it feels like a good stepping off point for more story without feeling like a sequel hook.

Salvation Day is a book that, for one reason or another, it took me a while to review after reading it. I was never quite sure how to talk about it and so I’m left with the parts that stuck with me, some of which are things that I want to leave alone as they are parts of the ending itself and do not really feel fair to talk about. Mostly I find myself thinking that, while I would definitely read Kali Wallace again and while I would really like to see more of the setting, Salvation Day is the kind of book that I enjoyed while reading it but that I probably will not read again. I give it a three out of five with the note that that would have likely been higher if I had made myself write the review earlier.

Alright everyone! How’s your morning? Not started yet? Night not ended yet? Either works, both are fine, because here’s where I give you all the link to a fantastic giveaway courtesy of the folks at Berkley Publishing. You’ve got 24-hours from the start of today to midnight on the 28th to enter for a chance at a physical copy of  Kali Wallace’s up coming novel Salvation Day. I’m not sure what I’m expecting from this book, could be zombies in space, could be a horrifying man made disease, but I’m excited to find out. It’s worth taking a shot in any case, so here’s the link.

Salvation Day cover

They thought the ship would be their salvation.
 
Zahra knew every detail of the plan. House of Wisdom, a massive exploration vessel, had been abandoned by the government of Earth a decade earlier, when a deadly virus broke out and killed everyone on board in a matter of hours. But now it could belong to her people if they were bold enough to take it. All they needed to do was kidnap Jaswinder Bhattacharya—the sole survivor of the tragedy, and the last person whose genetic signature would allow entry to the spaceship.
 
But what Zahra and her crew could not know was what waited for them on the ship—a terrifying secret buried by the government. A threat to all of humanity that lay sleeping alongside the orbiting dead.
 
And then they woke it up.