Suscribe to Justice Through Suspense!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bonnie S. Calhoun: Lightning

By Kelly Bridgewater


After she found her real father, life for Selah should have felt settled. But the horrors have just begun. In her broken world of toxic earth and tribal clashes, Selah must 
battle the forces of nature alongside those in the Mountain who are calling for her blood. Haunted by the pain of mounting losses, she forges on, seeking her lost family and 
uncovering new mysteries. But the ultimate betrayal of her own body may soon make her quest impossible as it becomes apparent that what has made her new could also drive her to a life of madness

My Thoughts:

After reading Thunder by Bonnie S. Calhoun and truly enjoying it, I couldn’t wait for the next installment in her futuristic Dystopian Stonebraide Chronicles. This time around there is a prequel to cover the time period between Thunder and Lightning. It is entitled Aftershock. It is about fifty pages, so it didn’t take long to remind me of the key characters and the situations that were occurring.
From Amazon

I liked that Lightning picked up right around the time that Aftershock ended, and how Calhoun started the story with a dilemma where Selah needed to find her mother. It gripped my attention and took me away to another time, wrapped in chaos and confusion.

While on the journey to free her parents, Calhoun creates this fallen world with great detail. I could see the danger and the Air Wagon as it lurked through the woods. I really felt like I was there, running for survival along with the crew.

The main issue in Lightning centers on Selah wanting to find her stepfather, mother, and little brother. She needs to protect them and free them, so Selah travels through the woods and on the boundaries of Stonebraide, but ultimately has to go back into the dreaded mountain where she freed her father, Gale, in Thunder. Emotionally, Calhoun really doesn’t allow me to feel a connection with Selah. I know she wants to free the family that raised her, but other than that, I really don’t feel emotionally connected to her at all. A word of caution there are a couple of point of view shifts that occur on the same page. One minute, I was in Selah’s point of view than in jumped into Treva. Made me read this section again.

Once Selah enters the mountain, the story picks up in pace. One moment I am running through the Blue section, then crossing over to the Green section where I watch as Selah hides for her life. The last third of the book moved extremely fast, making me not want to put the book down. I really enjoyed how Calhoun placed timers at the beginning of each chapter near the end to hasten the dilemma’s urgency. The major event toward the end was unexpected and original. I liked how the story ends.

Even though I did enjoy Lightning, I had a few issues with it. The first two-thirds of the book dragged on and on. I didn’t see the point of them traveling around in circles on the time with a couple of encounters with troublemakers. None of the people they met really caused them any harm, even though Selah was a wanted fugitive. 

Second, when they arrived in the mountain, Calhoun has Selah run into Bethany, the scientist who causes a lot of trouble in Thunder, and now wants to destroy and use Selah’s blood. After an escape attempt from Bethany, Selah keeps running back into Bethany over and over again. I really wished Calhoun would have allowed Selah to run into different trouble. Why allow Selah to run into the person who wanted her dead a number of times?

Third, once in the mountain, I had a really hard time visualizing the surroundings. If I was inside of a mountain, then how are all these different colors or cities different from one another? What did they look like? Are they only different because of what work they do or the color of their t-shirt?

In true dystopian fashion, Bonnie S. Calhoun’s latest installment in the Stonebraide Chronicles Lightning features reoccurring characters and a fast paced last third of the book, but there are issues with detail while in the mountain and a villain who kept showing her face too many times too count. Even though this story was not my favorite of the two full-length novels and two novellas, I anxiously wait to see what happens to Selah and Bodhi in the next installment.

I received a complimentary copy of Lightning from Revell Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars 

Purchase Lightning

No comments:

Post a Comment