Nightflyers – George R. R. Martin


3 star

Genre: Science Fiction, Horror
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 208
Release Date: August 28, 2018

Featuring fifteen original full-color illustrations, this is the definitive edition of an electrifying tale that combines the deep-space thrills of Alien, the psychological horror of The Shining, and, of course, the inimitable vision of George R. R. Martin.

When a scientific expedition is launched to study a mysterious alien race, the only ship available is the Nightflyer, a fully autonomous vessel manned by a single human. But Captain Royd Eris remains locked away, interacting with his passengers only as a disembodied voice–or a projected hologram no more substantial than a ghost.

Yet that’s not the only reason the ship seems haunted. The team’s telepath, Thale Lasamer, senses another presence aboard the Nightflyer–something dangerous, volatile, and alien. Captain Eris claims to know nothing about the elusive intruder, and when someone, or something, begins killing off the expedition’s members, he’s unable–or unwilling–to stem the bloody tide.

Only Melantha Jhirl, a genetically enhanced outcast with greater strength, stamina, and intelligence than other humans, has a chance of solving the mystery–and stopping the malevolent being that’s wiping out her shipmates.

But first she has to keep herself alive.

I’m a huge A Song of Ice and Fire fan, but I haven’t ventured out into Martin’s other writing before Nightflyers. I wanted to really love this novella since it has a very interesting premise. How could a haunted house in space not intrigue you? Unfortunately, Nightflyers is an okay read with mediocre characters.

What hindered me from rating Nightflyers anything about three stars are the flat characters and the repeated use of the same descriptors. I had a hard time remembering who was who and differentiating between them. None of the characters’ descriptions stood out or had any interesting fact that made them recognizable. Instead, Martin decided to use the same descriptors over and over from the first few pages until the last. It didn’t help me remember who was who, it only made me role my eyes in annoyance.

The main reason I decided to pick up Nightflyers was because of the adaptation. The few clips and sneak peeks that I’ve seen excited me. Unfortunately, I think Nightflyers will work better as in a visual medium rather than a novella. I think the television show will be able to dive deeper into the characters’ pasts and this future world with greater detail making a more cohesive story.

I’m not the best person to comment on the horror aspects of a novel because I rarely read them. I usually find them uninteresting and not scary since my imagination is awful. I have never once between scared or frightened while reading. However, Nightflyers features some tense and unsettling moments that are sure to get into the heads of readers.

Overall, Nightflyers was a little disappointing though I am glad I read it. I love reading stories that mix science fiction and horror because it has the potential to create truly scary and unsettling stories.


Have you read Nightflyers? What did you think? Are you going to watch the show?



8 thoughts on “Nightflyers – George R. R. Martin

  1. I’m sorry you didn’t like this more. I’ve been curious about it, but you’re right, it sounds like the TV series might do a better job with the story and characters.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s