Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Last Light - Book Review

Lights Out? Check
Technology Dead? Check
Killer Loose? Check
Food Shortage? Check
Mystery & Intrigue? Check...
Book review? Check!  I got to review a book called Last Light.
* BookSneeze has provided me with a complimentary copy of “Last Light” to read in order to write my review. The thoughts and review are all my own. I have not been monetarily compensated for a favorable review.*

Title: Last Light
Author: Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Zondervan  
Date of publication: September, 2005
Number of pages: 381

About the Book:
New York Times 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.
The city of Birmingham, Alabama, is experiencing a massive blackout. Planes suddenly lose power and crash to the earth. Cars stall in the middle of the street and won't restart. Cell phones and the Internet are dead. All communications are cut off. Is it a terrorist attack . . . or something far worse?
In the face of a crisis that sweeps an entire high-tech planet back to a time before electricity, the Branning family faces a choice. Hoard their possessions to survive—or trust God to provide as they share their resources and hearts with those around them? Yesterday's world is gone and now all they’ve got is family and community. Like never before, they must rely on each other.
Especially since someone close by is a killer.

My Review:
First let me say this book is a re-issue, it was first published in 2005. So for many it may be an old read, This was my first go round with this book and it was a believable plot. This is the first of the "Restoration" series with three more following.
The book started with a bang! Planes falling from the sky, Fist fights in Walmart over 10 - speed bikes, thousands of cars littering the roads going nowhere, and people trying to understand what is going on..... Chapter one was THE BEST chapter in the book! It draws you in and hooks you, so that you want to know "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT??"
  I can thoroughly see this happening in the world we live in.  I enjoyed how the author took an ordinary family (the Branning Family) and exposed their story. We got to see the world through the not so rose-colored glasses of the Brannings. 
Much of the story was about the oldest daughter Deni and her inability to accept life as it had become. When I say inability to accept life, I do NOT mean that she became Zena Warrior Princess and fought to help create a new world, I really mean she wallowed in self pity, selfishness, and an almost unbelievable naivety about the entire situation, and showed disdain for family and friends who were coping and she was literally unable to accept the new life as it had become.  Matter of fact most of the book was extremely hard for me to get through because I could not believe that a 22 year old young woman could be so gullible, so naive, so oblivious to anything that was not about her, so selfishly self important, as to make me totally DISLIKE her character (and she wasn't even the bad guy)! Deni's entire life depended on her getting from Alabama to Washington D.C. where she was sure her fiance was waiting for her. 
Matter of fact the bad guy's character at least made some sense and you knew what he was really about, but Deni Branning appeared to have had her brain and personality left on the cutting room floor during the editing process. Deni Branning made me want to skip all the parts that were about her but then that would have been about 90% of the book so I stuck it out and read all the way through.

I also must say that this entire story is VERY MUCH reminiscent of the television show "Revolution" (Does that still even come on??), only difference is those characters were actually entertaining. The characters from Last Light seem very one dimensional. There is no "real" connection to anything. There is really no back story as if their lives started when the lights went out.  The way this review appears to be very much about Deni, well that is how the majority of the book read. There was a few instances that dealt with the mother, Kay Branning, feeling in adequate to survive and care for her family in a post electricity world.  She had to come to a place where she REALLY relied on God to bring her through. Kay's come to Jesus moment never really came but the story hinted to a relationship with God. The book also had a few paragraphs about a 16 year old brother named Jeff who is the epitome of 16 year old insolence, and a 12 year old sister named Beth who is almost invisible in the story.  And the dad Doug Branning, who has to deal with the attitudes of a 22 year old prima Donna, a 16 year old rebel, a 12 year old shadow of a daughter, a self loathing, inadequate wife, and keep them all protected from a faceless maniac who is killing families and stealing all the goods in town. Oh yea, and the town has one black family and the father of this family becomes most likely suspect #1.
**Deep Sigh**
Because of the plot and write up, I really wanted to like this book. But the one-dimensional characters and Deni Branning made it a bit unbearable for me. On a scale of 1-5, I give this book a 1. I would not read anything else in this series but I might give Terri Blackstock another chance to win me over just because I felt that just below the surface something REALLY good could have and should have happened.

Blessings All,

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