In crumbling Alluvion, the goddess Triune’s city domain within the Drift, the heroes are thrust into the center of tensions between anxious factions at the heart of the Drift Crisis catastrophe! By agreeing to aid a desperate android priest of Casandalee, the heroes can start to help healing these divides. But first, they must curry the favor of a community of ysoki scrappers outside of the Dark, a neighborhood where technology doesn’t work that hasn’t been touched by light for decades. Exploring those murky streets, they confront undead menaces and otherworldly spirits of hatred and anger, eventually restoring light and power to the cursed region, and shining further illumination as to the origin of the Drift Crisis!
A Light in the Dark is a Starfinder adventure for four 7th-level characters, launching the 3-volume Drift Hackers Adventure Path. Drift Hackers is the exciting conclusion of the Drift Crisis, an event taking place across the entire Starfinder game line, in which faster-than-light travel breaks down and the galaxy is thrown into chaos. In addition to the adventure itself, this book includes a player's guide filled with character creation advice and new gear designed just for Drift Crisis players, along with an Adventure Toolbox filled with new rule options and strange alien creatures.
So this book is good overall, but it suffers from being the setup book for rest of ap. Since book 2 and 3 are about dealing with Architects, this book is mostly for showcasing effects of Drift Crisis on people of Alluvion, helping refugees and solving problem of The Dark district that existed before drift crisis but got made worse when it got populated by monsters from ethereal plane. I kinda feel like this adventure is lot more effective if GM has run players games in Alluvion before, kinda makes me wish there had been module there at least once, but it is cool to compare dead suns Alluvion article and Alluvion in crisis article(I wonder if we will get post drift crisis Alluvion in later book, maybe a planar one?)
I won't get into my usual "I wish starfinder aps had npc articles" soapbox, so instead I note that I like how many different npcs you get to meet and help during the different events(I also like they tend to come in group of threes, even if that isn't intentional(I suspect it is for lot of them) its nice nod to Triune xD). The various events give lot of good chances for PCs to be big dang heroes.
On reread of this, I was much less enthusiastic on the drone race and gambling segment. First time reading it I liked how many different solutions and options it had for pcs, I still do like that part of it. On this time I realized that it took six pages for one small side segment that feels disconnected from rest of book, like I get its supposed to be break from doom and gloom, but I think its kinda like how people's least favorite attack of the swarm book tends to be the one without any swarm units to fight. It also feels kinda weird to me that even though it got six pages to it, it feels like stuff got cut from editing(like I kinda expected at least mention of "And yeah obviously if characters didn't cheat, they are golden") Its still fun skill challenge/roleplaying segment, but I feel like I would have preferred it to be shorter and more page/text space dedicated to other things.(note: I also realize it serves the role as "during crisis people try to distract themselves with various things" showcase which is nice, but my issue here is that while its lengthy it doesn't really focus on that aspect a lot since primary goal is to "how to get this ysoki out of gambling debt" which isn't really related to thematic nature of the area itself.)
Then there is The Dark segment which feels kinda weird to me. The Dread has cool art and all, but its just big obstacle monster than villain or big bad of the book. But the biggest thing that bothers me about The Dark segment is that it simply comes down to fixing the power obelisk after which power is restored and cybernetics don't malfunction again. Like... Does that mean the locals could have fixed it at any time if they researched how to fix it, but took long time with it because they figured out "Its gotta be Triune's will that it isn't fixed yet"? I was kinda expecting The Dark segment to reveal WHY The Dark existed in first place, like that there was something in the area causing technology to malfunction or whether the negative energy plane collusion theory was right.(I guess it might still be right if undead are here because of combination of it and etherreal plane?) But considering none of the monsters are behind it as they appeared with drift crisis, and the ysoki having spent research on how to fix it, it really feels like "Oh... So it was ordinary malfunction all along?" Which just makes me wonder why Triune didn't bother fixing it or sending anyone to fix it. I guess Triune is hands off god who prefers their worshippers to solve problems on their own without being told to? Yeah I was expecting bigger answer or at least hints of grander mystery related to existence of the dark.
But yeah, as said, lot of stuff I like, but as setup book I think it needs something surprising to make it as exciting as books it is setting up. Its fairly what you would expect from the shop blurb premise