Monday, March 17, 2008

Lights Out! by Amber Green

TITLE: Lights Out!
AUTHOR: Amber Green
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 50k)
GENRE: Paranormal historical erotic romance
COST: $6.99

In war-torn New York City, the darkness does more than protect the city from Nazi attacks. It provides cover for monsters who feed on fear. When Lorie runs from those she tried to expose, she runs straight into the arms of Huntsman, Jack French. Jack and his twin brother Tommy are doing what they can to find and destroy the same monsters who nearly got Lorie. But what they don’t dare tell her is just how close they are to becoming monsters themselves…

The opening paragraph of this short novel hooked me in. The author’s crisp, vivid prose kept me there. I held my breath as I devoured the story, and when it was over, I was reluctant to exhale. It’s rare for me to get so thoroughly thrust into a story, even if the historical setting demands it. This period is easier for me to get lost in than others, but that isn’t why it happens here. The author chooses appropriate detail to suck a reader in, with clever turns of phrase to depict a singular voice. I could probably find a quote on every page that I adore.

The story starts in what feels like the middle of a scene. As a reader, you have no idea what’s going on, who the characters are, what shadows lurk around the corner. By midway through, you only have glimpses to some of those, but that didn’t stop me from racing into the latter half of the novel. Most of the sex is in that first half, hot and needy, and in many ways, I was a lot like Lorie – hooked into seeing it through to the end though I felt completely out of control. The pacing maintains a frenetic tempo, and the dark flashes we get into Jack and Tommy only heighten the sense of danger. Until three-fourths of the way through the story, I still wasn’t sure if there might not end up being a twist to surprise me. Frankly, I would have embraced it. The story certainly supported such a development.

The story’s primary weakness lies in its greatest strength – world-building. The author creates a war-stricken world with just a few words, and yet, when it comes to the paranormal elements of the story, the details are stingy. I waited and waited for answers to come, but when they did, they were scanty and unsatisfying. That doesn’t impair my enjoyment of the story too much, but it does lend the question of how truly amazing this would have been if the details had been there. Jack would have been more tragic, Lorie would have been earthier, the danger would have been higher. But you know what? I’ll still enjoy this the next time I read it. I’ll probably enjoy it even more, because I’ll be able to take some of the things I know about the world and slap those into the place.

Because I will be reading this again. Multiple times.


9/10 – Vivid, authentic prose. Only the lack of detail in worldbuilding holds it back.


8/10 – Edgy and dangerous


7/10 – More realistic than the hero, but not as well-fleshed

Entertainment value

9/10 – Read this with my breath held throughout the whole thing. I almost didn’t want to exhale when it was done.

World building

8/10 – The period detail surpasses anything I’ve read in a long time; only the paranormal elements suffer here.



1 comment:

Teddy Pig said...

Totally Agree in fact I got lost trying to figure out the why and what a few times.