Book Review: The Light Bringer

So, among the mass of books I attempted to read over my time at the editor’s house, I initially picked up (at his suggestion) The Light Bringer by Chris DiGiuseppi and Mike Force.  It was a very quick read but I’ve had to take a little time to think about what to say.

First Impressions

You know, they say don’t judge a book by its cover but I disagree.  The cover is your first attempt to draw readers in, to get them to pick up the book.  That being said, the cover of The Light Bringer is not exactly the best one I’ve ever seen. When going through the stack of books, it was one that I didn’t pause to look at and it was only through Jason’s suggestion that I picked it up. The whole of the cover actually reminded me of one of those “I talk to the dead” books from “mystics…” -stark with blues and whites.

Random page note: There are so many better ways to say something than “he,” pronouns are boring!

The Book Itself

Unfortunately, the book has some major (and glaring) problems which detracted from my enjoyment.  It’s an interesting enough story with a good concept and purpose, but between plot holes, poor editing, and poor transitions between the two authors it could have used a lot more work.

It’s going to seem harsh, but I have to focus on the negative first (let’s get it out of the way).  For one, the editors did not do their job.  Instead of refining the novel into a piece of which the authors should be proud, you were able to see all of the faults of the two working together.  To be fair, there are bound to be problems which remain unnoticed by the authors; that’s the whole reason you have an editor.  In addition, I feel the authors did not succeed in their goal of creating a comforting, uplifting novel.  (Attempting to avoid spoilers) I will say I was left frustrated with a large plot hole. It’s not comforting to think that these people who choose the right path in death get to do nothing but stay in the same rank for an eternal battle which has no positive outcome (especially should they fall).  It was a thinly veiled attempt at a pantheistic inspirational novel which fell flat.

However, the negative being said I’ll turn the tables.  The story was an interesting idea and, as such, I give Misters DiGiuseppi and Force a lot of credit.  The use of myths of various groups worked very well and the themes throughout are compelling.  In addition, the characters who were given time to develop had wonderful backstories (I especially loved the story of how the main character met his wife).  I would certainly have enjoyed this novel to a greater extent if they had hired a more responsible editor.

As far as suggesting this novel, I feel I would only recommend it to those who do not have, as my best friend affectionately puts it, “grammar-nazi” tendencies.  It’s okay for a quick read, but it has potential to be better.

I’m interested to see what future installments have in store (there are two more planned according to the press release)…especially if they find themselves someone willing to put the time into their novel.  I’m not holding my breath, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

[Official Book Site]

5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Light Bringer

  • August 31, 2011 at 12:48 pm
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    What large plot hole did you crawl out of? I’ve read the book twice and didn’t find the plot lacking in any sense. You said yourself that the concept was compelling.

    I’m interested in the supernatural and participate in a monthly paranormal book club. The Light Bringer was our reading selection for August and it prompted the longest and most rewarding discussion of any book we have ever read. Only one member had negative comments about the book and she admitted that she stopped reading early in the first chapter because she didn’t want to read about people dying.

    Reply
    • August 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm
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      I hesitate to say it in my main review due to spoilers, but, since you asked, I shall respond…especially because I LOVE discussion. 🙂

      OBLIGATORY SPOILER ALERT

      The hole was as such…the novel was supposed to be reassuring, right? Well, it’s not particularily reassuring nor inspirational to me to consider that, after death, we are condemned to an eternal battle. It’s not necessarily the battle part that disturbs me, but rather a few aspects of the battle. For one, the inability to advance among ranks would be a sort of a personal hell to me…I’m the type who always strives to improve myself. For another, there isn’t too much greater of an outcome to be “good.” If you are good and captured in battle, you are condemned to eternal torture. The book itself explains that there is no hope of rescue (and a rescue such as one portrayed in the novel was truly unique). What happens if you’re “bad” and captured? Well, the twins themselves even admit that they’ll take care of their mother (which, to be fair, that’s what the good types do). So, in short, if I’m bad my worst fate possible is to be eternally old and taken care of whereas if I’m good I could end up not only stuck in my position but also tortured for all time. To me, this conclusion defeats the entire purpose of the novel as a whole and, as such, major plot hole.

      Reply
  • September 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm
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    The book asks the question “Why these 16?’ early on. I did not interpret the calling of those individuals as being every person’s fate. The sixteen were chosen for a specific purpose: serving as warriors in a unit that defends the realm. Many would see that as a noble calling.
    We know from other sections of the book that some serve as educators, and I presume there are architects, builders, chefs, artists, musicians, and many other occupations filled by people who are guided to The Light by somebody other than Alan Crane. Personally, I found it reassuring that the chosen warriors of The Light defend all that is good and repel The Dark forces, just as I am thankful for our earthly warriors who are willing to defend the rest of us against evil.

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  • September 2, 2011 at 11:33 am
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    Don’t get me wrong, I feel that being a warrior is perhaps the most noble of all callings…however, in personal experience I do not know a single warrior or soldier content with staying at one rank. I have a good friend, for instance, who is currently giving up every bit of time he has in an attempt to be promoted. I also agree with you that there must be other occupations filled by those guided to the light, however I would have loved to have seen that if there were (just a hint, more detail can always be reserved for later books as I know there will be more). The educators in themselves are one of my favorite ideas, actually. 🙂 And, as to your point about the 16, the book also mentions that the 16 are but one unit of many upon the vast battlefield…that there are other Illisia Alonas and other full units. So, it is not just these sixteen but vast legions, if you will, of these good soldiers who stand to be captured. It is a very noble idea, I just don’t like the condemnation should you fall (because even the mighty fall, as evidenced by the angel saved by the rescue).

    Reply

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