Some time ago I was sent Light by Michael Grant to review. The only problem with this is that it’s the 6th book in the series. I wasn’t sent the other five.
I used the library to order in the other five. Possibly because no 6 was about to be released, there were long waiting lists for all of them :/
Eventually though, I got my hands on them and began reading.
Now, I know I’m not the target market for these books. They are teen fiction, and it’s rather a long time since I was a teen. But I rather enjoy YA most of the time, so I didn’t let that put me off. And I know lots of people who rave about them, so I was ready to give them a good go.
I have to say I was a little disappointed. I like Sci Fi – these are rather too close to the horror boundary for me to properly enjoy them. I don’t like things which give me disturbing imagery, and there’s a lot of disturbing stuff in these. Hunger was the one that I struggled with most, although perhaps it was just that I was numb by the time I got to Plague. And it’s all a bit unnerving in Light when you get the impression that quite a bit of the cast might not make it to the end of the book.
Good points? They do flow well together. There’s none of the disjointedness you sometimes get between books in a series, where it’s obvious there was a pause in writing. It does feel like one complete story arc – possibly enhanced by my reading them over quite a compressed time frame. The characterisation is fairly strong – with development, self awareness and growth going on. Be careful who you get fond of though, like I say, even major characters don’t make it to the end.
My other problem was that I didn’t feel the overall plot held together particularly well. Without spoilers, you start with a moment when suddenly, everyone over the age of 15 disappears. And those under 15 are held within a sphere with an impenetrable barrier, big enough to contain a town, bits of a national park, some farmland and so on. As you might imagine, some of the older children go Lord of the Flies remarkably quickly. And all this is complicated by some of the people developing strange powers – control over gravity, superspeed, firing beams of light/heat from their hands.
There’s never any coherent explanation of why this is happening, why it doesn’t happen to everyone, why some people had skills before the whole poof moment although my biggest issue is a bit of a spoiler, so I’ll keep it to myself.
Would I recommend these books? Difficult one. I’ve read worse. And failed to finish others. Overall, as long as you don’t have problems with death, dismemberment, abuse, torture and some fairly graphic unpleasantness, you should be fine. And if you do read them, or have already read them, I’d love to hear your opinion.
Disclosure: I was sent Light to review as part of the Markettiers DC review program. The above book link (picture) is an affiliate link to Hive, a network of independent bookstores. You can support your local bookshop (and me) by buying through the link.
What have you been reading this week? Link up your book posts and let me know.