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Blue Light

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,050 ratings  ·  87 reviews
From an unknown point in the universe, a blue light approaches our solar system. When it reaches Earth, it transforms those it strikes, causing them instantaneously to evolve beyond their present state of humanity. Blue Light is the story of these people and their transformation. Narrated by Chance, a bi-racial man whose entire life has been a struggle for self-definition, ...more
Published June 1st 2000 by Serpent's Tail (first published 1998)
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Average rating 3.26  · 
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 ·  1,050 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Jan 12, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A foray into sci-fi for this author of many detective stories. An alright effort. 5 of 10 stars
Justin Robinson
In 1998, Walter Mosley was trapped inside his own butt. Fortunately, he was rescued, but not before he wrote this.
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i was completely and totally enthralled by this book. it was so unlike walter mosely's usual work. i mean male octavia butler watered down like a pink tom collins that's been sitting on the bar for a few songs. the interplay between science and religion made me so happy. i really enjoyed that. some of the characters not so wonderful. the ending-that was straight bullshit. i loved it. totally plot twist. should have seen that coming, but i was caught up in the trees, and the bears, and the blood ...more
Lisa Litberg
This was a really weird book. I really disliked the first two-thirds of it, but by the end I was sort of captivated. Until the very end, which was sort of like a cold bucket of water.

I'm not sure that I can really explain the plot of this book. I'm not sure that I understand it. Basically, one day blue light comes down and infuses several people from earth--from San Francisco in the late 60s, to be more specific. The people whom the light has touched become sort of demigods, and they spread thei
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hippies from the 60s
This is Hippie-culture wish fulfillment ("We're all cosmically connected, Man!" "We can totally live, like, as part of nature, Man!"), that morphs into into a psycho-killer drama, then ends with sci-fi-hippie-eco-superheroes going up against the bad guy.

As the basis for the entire story, I found the hippie culture stuff pretty lame - blue light showers the earth, "enlightening" a select few who just happen to be paying attention at the right time (or in the right way?) Not really clear to why p
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange read, indeed. Part scathing critique of the "Summer of Love" and it's philosphies, drug-addled communes, religious "cults", metaphysics, the search for the "meaning of life", and a whole buncha other thangs. Or is it a straight-forward good vs. evil expungance? The ending is a bit vague, leaving the ultimate resolution up to the reader (i.e. is our narrator reliable or not?). It takes a while to get percolating, but once it does it moves along at a steady pace. The ending seemed to come ...more
Jemiah Jefferson
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-library
What a weird trip - literally! I think Mosley got some really strong doses and it did a number on his head - this whole thing does read like an extended description of a super intense LSD fantasia, complete with freaky Jesus-like figures who preach from atop a rock in a Berkeley park (what was that guy's name, who just recently passed away - oh yeah, he went by "Death"!), black children of inderminate age, a bestiality threesome, a recurrent coyote figure, splatterpunk murder tableaux, and a mai ...more
May 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went into this book thinking it was going to be weird, and I was not disappointed. Though the introductory scenes were disjointed and hard to follow, the story that eventually evolved from it was interesting, though the ending was a bit of a shocker, in a kind of squicky, hold-on-where's-my-resolution sort of way. I would've loved to have gotten more of a sense of personality from Chance, the narrator-- though the characters were pleasantly diverse, most of them seemed more 'types' than comple ...more
I don't know how I feel about this book. It's a hard book to put down and come back to, because there are a lot of characters and the story keeps morphing. The book leaves you unsatisfied. But I get the impression that it is kind of supposed to, like life. A freeform musing on life, humanity, sanity, social change, evil - I have a feeling that I will make up my mind about it based on whether or not I ever think about it again. ...more
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"On earth there is science in one place and god in another. In the church or synagogue or temple there is god up above and humanity down below. But in truth the universe is like a vast ocean teeming with life. All of that life is related. Science and god and man meet there and find that each other of us is becoming the other."

David Haws
Mar 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Blue Light started off with a nice PKD edge, which fell apart for me about half-way through. Maybe there wasn’t enough in Mosley to sustain a long narrative. I understand that SciFi isn’t his genre, and that I shouldn’t be too hard on him. He’s an interesting writer, and maybe I’ll try one of his mysteries.
Apr 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I continue reading through Mosley's canon. This is his first Sci-Fi novel. Great characters,suprisingly ecological. ...more
Peter Goodman

“Blue Light,” by Walter Mosley (Little, Brown, 1998). Mosley turns away from Easy Rawlins and NYPD toward science fiction focused on the West Coast. A very interesting, if sometimes confusing, book. Plot: some sort of alien intelligence, apparently slivers of high energy, traveling through the universe, comes to earth, causing tremendous disruption observed only by a few. It is perceived as blue light. Some get the full force, and are transformed into superhuman beings with unusual powers; some
Sean Cronin
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book In fact, fascinating. Not a pure mystery, more a science fiction book. Mystery is what is the Blue Light, why does change people, and what will the consequences be?
It's set in late 1960s, S.F. The Blue Light shines, descends, then disappears. People are left in a state of euphoric quasi-religious bliss. Small churches spring up, all with a different interpretation the light and the experience it conveys, its origin and meaning for the future.
The beatific feelings (as will all fervor)
Sarah Rigg
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poc-authors
Mosley is best known for his mystery novels, but he's also written some sci-fi. I read and enjoyed a collection of sci-fi short stories he wrote, "Futureland," so I was pretty sure I'd like this one. "Like" is actually too mild. This book blew me away with its weirdness and inventiveness. I found the ending to be sad and mildly disappointing, but it was a fast-paced and wild ride up until then. It's not that I thought the ending was badly written, just not where I was hoping it would go. Still, ...more
shrug city
Very psychedelic. Lots of hippie-ish talk about reaching fundamental truths from other realities, living in the woods, nakedness, age-inappropriate lust/romances. It's just.... so incredibly sixties.

Funny story: I know Mosley mostly because of Easy Rawlins, so I went through this whole book convinced it was a detective novel. Ah, I thought, sooner or later there shall be a murder. And with every subsequent murder I was expecting a detective that I never got. Just a hundred pages of the slow, daw
Tim Dudek
Oct 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For a few years now I've had a rule that if I start a book I have to finish it. In only the extreme cases do I violate that rule. This is one of those case. It begins with a bunch of flashbacks within flashbacks within flashfowards of flashbacks. The descriptions and dialogue are incoherent. It switches characters and viewpoints without a reason or explanation. ...more
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mosley's weird foray into scifi. Not horrible, just not Octavia Butler, whom I think he may have been trying to emulate. ...more
Alan Chernin
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this some time ago. Psychedelic fantasy. left me in a weird state of mind. Love Walter Mosley mysteries. While this is not a mystery it still showcases his vast talent.
Ella Harris
Apr 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must say, Walter Mosley's entries into the sci-fi/fantasy, speculative fiction genre are quite compelling. I've always enjoyed his books but find books like The Wave, Fortunate Son and The Man in My Basement my kind of page turners. I don't think Blue Light will be everyone's cup of tea but I loved it. When I look at my previous reviews I'm surprised at the number of books I give a 5-star rating, in fact, most of my reviews resulted in a 5-star rating. (No apologies, I read good books lol). Th ...more
It took me 3 months to read this book. That says far more about me and this year than it does about the book, as my reading was an hour or so, a three month hiatus from reading anything more complex than the back of a cereal box for fun-reading, and then a few hours to finish reading this. I missed books. I'm radically far behind in my reading for the year, but, there's time left.

I liked this. It was just enough weird, and just enough super-hero'y for me to feel like I knew where it was going ne
Owain Lewis
Pretty bonkers age of aquarius tinged scifi with alien consciousnesses riding shafts of blue light into the minds of various people and animals, along the way imparting certain subtle powers - some sexy, some dreamy, and also some deathy. Mosesley's prose is wild and expressive and it really pulls you into the quasi cultish sundrenched atmosphere of the story, but it loses some of it's pace at the beginning of the third part and it does sort of pull the rug out from under you at the end. Enjoyab ...more
Apr 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Morrison
Walter Mosley is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better than this. Not that this is terrible, but this isn't him at even average. I mean compared to his skill level, this is almost terrible. This is Mosley we're talking about, so it's still average. But if you're interested in Mosley, you can go ahead and skip this one. ...more
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is an unusual attempt at Science Fiction by a crime writer. It actually reads more like Fantasy, and while it is well-written, it feels like the author is out of his element. It is too predictable and not very insightful compared to Mosley's normal work.
Interesting but disjointed and difficult to follow in places.
Cathie Schumaker
Nov 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not Easy Rawlins . Did not finish as the theme of the book did not resonate with me.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not entirely sure what I just read. sort of like a bad Acid trip with some good weed. wasn't entirely my cup of tea but I could definitely see how some people would enjoy it ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I read more of this than I wanted to, I guess I was hoping it would become more interesting.
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it several years back and forgot I read it. So looked up a brief summary and yep I remember reading it. I remember the ending was a bit strange too.
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Walter Mosley (b. 1952) is the author of the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins, as well as numerous other works, from literary fiction and science fiction to a young adult novel and political monographs. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and the Nation, among other publications. Mosley is the winner of numero ...more

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