All over the world spheres of white light have descended from the sky, levitating into them anyone who strays too close. These people are never seen again. Many believe the Rapture is taking place; others are certain aliens are carrying out the mass abduction – or even the mass annihilation – of humankind.
Teenage stammerer Steven Lesser doesn’t know what to believe. Caught between the incessant arguments of the faithful and the faithless, he spends his time watching every online video and TV news report about the Lights, looking for signs they’re approaching his sleepy seaside village.
Steven and his father plan on driving to London when the Lights arrive, heading for the relative safety of the Underground. But when the time comes, Steven is faced with an unexpected choice. Should he stick to the plan? Or should he try to help the girl he’s secretly in love with?
Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
The Lights are all over the Earth. Is it the rapture, or an alien invasion? Steven and his father have a plan for when the Lights come, but when someone needs Steven’s help will he stick to the plan, or abandon it to save her?
I really liked this book, there were a couple of points in the first few chapters when I thought the writing was a bit jarring, but after that, I was enjoying the book so much that I didn’t notice any more.
This book was really interesting in the way it considered both science and religion as an explanation for the lights. Usually in these books one option is right, and people who believe the other are seen as crazy, but in this both options are seen as valid and we don’t know which is correct. We see good and bad from both sides, and the reader interprets which option they choose to believe.
One of the things I loved about this book was Steven and his father’s reaction to the Lights. In some ways it reminded me of The War of the Worlds in the lack of urgency and the very British way of reacting to things. Steven and his father have a plan to escape, but are waiting until the Lights actually come to their town to escape. This was very similar to The War of the Worlds in which people are unconcerned until the aliens are actively attacking them. Aliens two miles down the road is fine.
After the Lights arrive the story follows a more traditional plot, trying to stay out of the path of the Lights as they face more challenges to survive. Even though this follows a familiar plot I was still engrossed in the book and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Nathan Kuzack creates characters that you come to care about very quickly.
This book feels like a traditional sci-fi and I’d recommend it to both fans of YA, and those who prefer more adult books. This was a unique take on possible aliens and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m definitely going to be reading more books by this author.
I don't even know how to start this review, there are several things I want to talk about, so I'll just start with a brief synopsis (I kind of hate it when reviewers just copy and paste the actual synopsis so here's my take)
We're in England (yay!) and all across the world these weird lights have descended from the sky, over several months / years, snatching up (very gently) anyone who steps into their path. Steven and his father have been preparing for the inevitable for months, so when the lights finally descend their way onto Devon, they have an exit plan. Oorr do they?
This book does a great job in discussing religion vs science, The Rapture vs aliens. I love the fact that neither opinion is put above the other, there isn't a 'right' choice and the other scoffed at. Throughout the book we meet good and bad characters who believe it's God, and good and bad characters who believe it's aliens. It's just a super interesting read, and as a reader you can see everyone's point of view, whether you agree with them or not.
I really enjoyed all of the media type parts scattered throughout. We have tv interviews, footage by random people trying to see what happens on the 'other side', online forums and theories discussed. In fact the book opens on a great interview with an old fisherman, giving his 'Crab Pot Theory' (I especially love that it sounds so close to 'crack pot theory', great little humorous nod :D )
There are some real heart racing moments, and definitely enough twists for you to not know how it's going to end. Things happen to characters that make you think 'oh shit! Did that really just happen?!'
As mentioned in the synopsis our MC Steven is a stammerer, and this is never brushed over or forgotten about in the book, it's refreshing to see something so widely normal to actually be included in a book (I think I've only read one, maybe two books ever with an on the page stammer being represented)
The writing style probably won't be to everyone's taste. It isn't overly flowing or flowery, the voice definitely stays in that discussion type tone, but it doesn't take away from the story. I think it adds something. It never becomes a 'love story' (despite what you may think from the synopsis) which I'm glad about - ain't no time to be all lovely-dovey when you could get snatched up into a light at any time!
It's about survival, questioning, loyalty, humanity, loss and acceptance.
There are several hard hitting things that happen in this book, so check the super spoilery trigger warnings at the beginning of this review if you find anything hard to read about.
I'd recommend this to people who like a more adult voice, who like a good discussion and are fans of books with mysterious sci fi elements set in the real world.