Saturday, November 9, 2013

Book Review [Last Light]

LAST LIGHT
Terri Blackstock

[description from Goodreads]
In the face of a crisis that sweeps an entire high-tech planet back to the age before electricity, Deni Branning's career ambitions have vanished. She's not about to let her dream of marriage go as well.

But keeping it alive will require extraordinary measures. Yesterday's world is gone. All Deni and her family have left is each other and their neighbors. Their little community will either stand or fall together. But they're only beginning to realize it - and trust doesn't come easily.

Particularly when one of them is a killer.

Best-selling suspense author Terri Blackstock weaves a masterful what-if novel in which global catastrophe reveals the darkness in human hearts - and lights the way to restoration for a self-centered world.

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When I first read the description of this book, my mind immediately thought of the new TV show called Revolution.  You may have heard of it, or watched it even.  In my opinion, it's not worth it.  I will explain in a moment.  [By the way, this isn't a review for the show.  I am merely using it as a comparison.]

We live in a world of technology.  Smartphones, computers, tablets, electric cars, vehicles that park themselves--you name it.  And there is a never-ending race to keep "inventing" newer, better stuff; and if you don't own it, you are considered poor.  

Well, imagine if, without cause, ALL of our tech--cell phones, cars, electricity, planes--ceased to work.  

Scary thought, right?  

In a nutshell, that is what happens in both the show Revolution and Terri Blackstock's "Last Light."  A massive, worldwide outage.  You get the picture, yes?

Except there is a huge difference between the two stories.  In Revolution, it is a dog-eat-dog world.  They've been without power for sixteen years.  Mini wars rage cross country and citizens are controlled by a corrupt militia.  Murders occur everywhere you look.  Robberies.  Theft.  

They have no hope.  

Similar to the television show, the characters of Blackstock's "Last Light" experience the same event (though in no way are they connected authors/story-wise.)  Revolution features intense episodes filled with a high body count and absolutely no hope for relief.  While "Last Light" suffers the results of a worldwide catastrophe in which they lose power to everything, yes, they still have a hope and trust in the Master of Creation.  A huge difference in the two stories. Here is a great summary of the two:

  Revolution:  
It's Hopeless.  

"Last Light": 
God is in Control.  

Make sense?

This novel centers on a family of six, the Brannings, and their struggle to survive in a world turned upside down.  When the outage first occurs, cars stall in the middle of highways, planes fall from the sky, and the electricity, as well as any and all technical devices power down, leaving the people of Alabama (at least as far as they know, it's just them) in an eerie silence.  Even the water system is not functional, for only a trickle seeps from the faucets.  Banks are in shutdown mode, leaving most with no money whatsoever.

As the description above insinuates, this crisis brings out the worst in people.  Theft breaks out like an epidemic and murder results from petty greed.  The family, including everyone in their neighborhood, is forced to ration food, rely on bicycles for transportation, learn traits that would be considered primitive--such as, hand-washing their own clothes, and beginning a compost pile in their backyard--and conserve water and any other items that might be of use.

Deni Branning, a central character, is a 22-year-old independent, stuck-up, vain, selfish, cocky, "the-world-revolves-around-me", spoiled brat.

Can you tell she wasn't my favorite?  =]  At least not at first.  She learns her lesson, the hard way. 

Her father, Doug, another main character, though imperfect like everyone else, tries his utmost best to provide for his family and see the good in every situation.  He is the first to consider the outage as a wake-up call from God.  It could have been so much worse.  They still have their family, a roof over their heads, comfortable beds, and food.  He and his eldest son, Jeff, take up the responsibility of protecting the family when news of murders echo throughout the neighborhood, adequately displaying the man's role as a protector and guardian.  Doug Branning is a great example of a godly father with a clear purpose: to protect and serve his family and those around him.  His wife, Kay, tries to be strong for him and the children, and, no matter how difficult, always manages to put others first.

In conclusion, this novel was a eye-opener.  One of those slap-in-the-face, WAKE UP kind of eye-openers.  We take so much for granted in this world we live in, that we lose sight of being grateful for the little things: having hot water for a shower, flushing toilets, a freezer full of frozen meats and veggies, a pantry full of food, a washing machine, working vehicles--I could go on and on.  The Branning family comes to realize how much we rely on those things that, if something like an outage actually happened, would be completely useless, obsolete.  They learn to trust wholly on God, even when it feels hopeless.  And in Deni's case, when she had strayed so far from His path, she learned that God will never give up on us.  Though we do not deserve it, He loves us and will never leave us.

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I was provided a free copy of this book thanks to BookSneeze.com.  

Recommended ages:  18+ 
(due to graphic content)

My rating:

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3 comments:

Brittney Johnson said...

Great review! I think I'll look into getting this book =)

Claire M. said...

Sounds cool!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Thanks for commenting, ladies! Yes, I liked it alot. =]

I forgot to mention this is the first of a series... That'd be good to know!

^__^