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.
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.