Ten years ago, Audra Carter was in a horrific car accident but miraculously survived. Now 24, her minor injuries healed, but she has been blind ever since. Yet she’s never let this hold her back. She spends her time deejaying at various clubs in New York because she can spin music like no one else can. It’s all about sound and melding it together, which Audra is an expert at, thanks to her blindness. She also has an ability called “blindsight,” a sort-of echo location, due to her cortical blindness, where the eyes are undamaged and so the retinas still take in light and pass signals along to the optic nerves but the damaged visual cortex is unable to process the images. And yet on a subconscious level, other parts of the brain, especially the midbrain, can process signals, giving her a sensory sort of sight. On rainy days, Audra can ride a bike without almost hitting anything, as with all the sounds and what light her brain can process, she is able to determine where objects are and avoid them.
This research is largely due to her father, Jenson Carter, a neuroscientist, who has devoted his career to trying to cure his daughter’s blindness. Together with colleague Stefan Vanek, they’re working on a new study that involves anesthetizing the visual cortex and causing these other areas of the brain to become more stimulated and adapt, with the hopes of allowing the blind patient to see once again. The study involves a group of blind test subjects, including Audra, who is reluctant at first, but her father is determined and believes it will succeed.
It does not, and months pass, until one day Audra awakens to find she has a darkened, fuzzy sort of visibility that she has never had before. The strange thing is it never goes away, whether her eyes are open or closed, she is still able to “see” in this way with what she eventually learns is referred to as “darksight.” But she is soon kidnapped and joins a number of the other test subjects who also possess this darksight, but it appears they were part of a different study they knew nothing about that has proven to be more sinister, with ulterior motives.
The book then kicks into high gear, as the reader is taken on a thrilling adventure, wondering who is behind all this planning and what their ultimate goal is. It is clear from early on that they will stop at nothing and have no qualms with harming others to get what they want. The question that keeps the reader hooked to the end is who will get out alive and whether these mysterious kidnappers will be stopped.
Author DC Mallery has clearly done his research as Darksight is brimming with science and technology that makes it feel like a Michael Crichton novel. But it also has a very human feel, as we get to see most of the book from Audra’s point of view and how she gets through life so well with her blindness. The characters are well developed, and readers will find themselves rooting for some and hoping others don’t make it through. Ultimately it is a book that asks what you would do if you could have your one big wish come true: your sight restored…but there is always a caveat, and sometimes those caveats cost lives.
|Author||D. C. Mallery|
|Page Count||354 pages|
|Publisher||Black Opal Books|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|