Book Review: Lightless

Book Review: Lightness, By: C.A. Higgins

I give this book two and a half stars but I am rounding it up to three. Fans of the “science” part of the sci-fi genre should enjoy this book. There’s cool stuff like black holes, asteroids getting farmed with a man made atmosphere, people growing up on the dark side of the moon, and lots of “rules of physics”. Crime fans or professionals in the fields of investigations, the military, and well anything to do with running a criminal interview or interrogation DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. I also have to believe anyone who’s studied human interpersonal behavior, or those who can’t tolerate complete lunatic decisions made by “best in their field” characters, will be dissatisfied with this book.

What I liked about the book:

1) The author has used her intense love and study of science to ground the futuristic ideas in real scientific theory. I had a love hate relationship with everything science all through school, so I don’t know/don’t care if the authors science is nonsense or real. It is one of the laurels marketing this book, and I did enjoy the science bits. It was cool to learn what the Anake’s super secret mission was, and I liked the idea of a black hole being inside the ship.

2) There are quite a few messages worked into this bit of fiction. The discussions about God and socialism were well presented. One of my favorite scenes is the back and forth between Althea and the Anake about God.

What I didn’t like about this book:

1) The author failed to do research about the less scientific things taking up at least fifty percent of the book. The interrogation of Ivan, and the military culture on board the Anake were poorly done. This book is a great example as to why writers need beta readers who are subject matter experts. It’s so sad to see a writer succeed at writing what she knows, but then fall flat on her face for not doing simple research into the occupations she’s not intimately familiar with. The interrogations were bad. Really-really bad. The awkward cobbled together military culture was even worse. As someone who has worked in both fields, it was insulting.

2) The plot is predictable. I think the biggest factor playing into this downfall is the number of one-dimensional characters. The only thing I didn’t correctly guess as each plot question presented, was the Anake’s super secret mission. Most of the plot can be determined by the books thirty five percent mark.

3) Call me a stickler for setting details, but there were several moments where I had a hard time believing this was set in the future. I was pulled out of the story every time a character shut off a manual alarm clock, or banged on a door. There is technology to house a black hole inside a spaceship, to run an entire craft on a crew of three, but bedside alarm clocks are still being used? Remote arms have replaced normal human functions, but characters are manually opening doors? My local Target store has auto doors, but the spaceship with a black hole in it doesn’t? That makes no sense to me.

I received an ARC of this book through Light in exchange for an honest review.