“Ten Little Astronauts”

“Ten Little Astronauts” by Damon Wakes is a reboot of the classic “Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie.

The place is space, outer space that is. Crewmembers aboard a ship in deep space awake to an alarm, knowing that something is wrong, terribly wrong. In the case of an “emergency,” ten were to be defrosted to correct any unexpected situations, but now there are eleven awake. Why? Who does not belong? In reality, there are not eleven, because someone is dead.

Everything is dangerous on board as the crew struggles with the urgent situation that is complicated because much of the equipment does not work on the first try or even at all. It was made by the lowest contract bidder, after all. Equipment and supplies just randomly float here and there, as do the little droplets of blood from the increasing number of dead people.

Behind all that protective gear, it is almost impossible to identify people accurately. Never the less, suspects are gathered and zip tied to keep them under control. Does this really matter? In deep space, escape is not really a viable option.

Scenes are technologically focused to give readers a sense of the isolation. The setting is a character in its own right. The chapters count down ominously, documenting the number of the crewmembers left.

“Ten Little Astronauts” is a worthy adaptation of the original. The tension increases the body count rises. There are secrets along the way and surprises at each turn. It is a quick read, which is good, because it is tough to put down.