Tuesday, November 5, 2013

REVIEW: Light by Nathan Burgoine

Light Light by Nathan Burgoine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was fun! It’s the second time in a row I used that word in a review, and it’s the second time in a row it’s for a book from a publisher (Bold Strokes Books) I have poor luck with! I want to say “used to have poor luck with” here but let’s not jinx it.

+ the hero

The hero was both a big negative and a big positive. Kieran was a big negative because he acted recklessly a handful of times, and I had half a mind to label him TSTL. He deliberately put himself in danger with little preparation. For example, one does not walk brazenly into a cult on their turf to snoop and then expect to quietly walk back out after one is finished snooping. Keiran did this not once, but twice. Both times, no disguise.

Second to Kieran’s poor sense of danger was his poor sense of discretion. The guy revealed his super-self too easily to other characters after so many years of hiding it ever since he promised his mother on her death bed to keep it a secret as a child. He was very fortunate those characters were genuinely good guys and trustworthy.

Kieran was a big positive because he took the time and effort to practice his superpowers and test the limit of what he could do. Not only that, he beseeched advice from Miracle Woman, an experienced superhero. It was one of those few times where Kieran acted perfectly sensibly. I didn’t expect it; half of it was because Kieran could be so frivolous sometimes and half of it was because super-people in superhero fictions, the many that I have read, rarely explore and practice their power.

I loved how proactive Kieran was. Kieran knew full well that to protect people, he would have to do more than simply just be there to stop whatever disaster there may be. Through online research and old-school snooping, he chased the villains. He searched for their weakness. He used his superpower ingeniously. He also warned the appropriate people.

In short, the guy was a character of contradictions. Sometime he could be so stupid, sometime he could be so smart. I actively liked and disliked him.

+ the other characters

As for the other characters, specifically the good guys, I liked all of them. I liked Karen, Kieran’s pushy female best friend, and Callum, Kieran’s overprotective older brother. I loved the fact that Kieran came from a nice religious Irish family, and that there was none of this disowning-because-gay crap.

Easter, Kieran’s cat, was so adorable and one of the nicest fictional cats I ever met. Hell, I think Easter is the only nice fictional cat I ever met. His cuteness rivaled Pilot’s, Sebastien’s pet dog. I loved how in the story all dogs helplessly love super-people.

+ the villains

I don’t care for books where the villains are homophobes because it touches too much of reality for me to be comfortable with. I don’t like being reminded while I’m reading for fun that there are bigots. I already get that from reading the news on a daily basis, thank you very much. Thus, I was very grateful that the book treated the homophobic villains like common criminals and not like something special the reader must explore in-depth and get close to face-to-face. They were bad guys who were going to hurt people, and that was all the reader needed to know.

+ the romance

Free spirit twink meets benevolent bear. The chemistry between Kieran and Sebastien was ooh la la. They matched so perfectly, and kind of kinky! The two needed to make out more. I took off zero point for this, but it would have been nice if there were smut instead fade-to-black. Just saying.

I also liked the small plotline of a romance between Karen and Callum, Kieran’s best friend and brother, respectively. It’s nice when minor characters are allowed to find their own happiness.

+ the ending

The ending was a bit cheesy. I didn’t think it was necessary how Kieran suddenly decided to officially play superhero, the operative word being “play.” I thought Kieran should have given more thought, some serious heavy-heavy thought, about what it would mean to be a superhero as a person would when they take on a dangerous job, like a police officer or a firefighter.

That said, the ending was very gratifying, if excessive on the saccharine. The bigots got their due, and the good guys got their festival. The book was a mood booster.


I rate Light 3-stars for I liked it. The book was fun, amusing, and lighthearted, considering who the villains were and the themes that were presented. I really liked how there was a direct connection between acceptance of LGBT people and acceptance of super-people, and that it all comes down to acceptance, period. While the ending was completely resolved, it would be marvelous if Light have a sequel.

Goodreads | Amazon

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