Series: The Shadow of Light #1
Author: Summer Weir
Published: September 29th, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: NetGalley provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review.
For seventeen-year-old Kira, there’s no better way to celebrate a birthday than being surrounded by friends and huddled beside a campfire deep in the woods. And with a birthday in the peak of summer, that includes late night swims under the stars.
Or at least, it used to.
Kira’s relaxing contemplation of the universe is interrupted when a piece of it falls, colliding with her and starting a chain of events that could unexpectedly lead to the one thing in her life that's missing—her father.
Tossed into a pieced-together world of carnivals and gypsies, an old-fashioned farmhouse, and the alluring presence of a boy from another planet, Kira discovers she’s been transported to the center of a black hole, and there’s more to the story than science can explain. She’s now linked by starlight to the world inside the darkness. And her star is dying.
If she doesn’t return home before the star’s light disappears and her link breaks, she’ll be trapped forever. But she’s not the only one ensnared, and with time running out, she’ll have to find a way to save a part of her past and a part of her future, or risk losing everything she loves...
The premise of this book was really interesting and the cover is gorgeous, so I decided to give it a shot. I love it when a SciFi has actual science in it instead of just “science themes” and the idea of worlds being connected by black holes is just brilliant. This book was both more than I expected and a little bit of a letdown.
My favorite thing about this book is the world *ahem* universe Summer Weir created. Weir blends magic and science seamlessly to where I am left bummed that insta-travel to other planets isn’t real. That being said, I felt that the parts of the book that involved the science aspects were vague at times and because of the ambiguity, huge chunks of the story were confusing to me.
Another aspect I liked about the book was the mystery. Other than the parts I felt were under-explained or just plain left out, there was plenty of other plot points that left me begging for an answer. Some of the reveals actually shocked me and others were expected, but I was thrilled about them as well. I will say that there are quite a few questions left unanswered, which will hopefully be explained in future installments.
Kira started out as a relatable character, who through her relationships with her mother and friends, as well as, her believable choices and reactions to an absentee father made her feel like an actual human instead of a fictional character. Her relationship with Zane was probably the most believable romance I have read in a YA SciFi in a long time – it was natural. Yet, as the story continued she became a little erratic. Many of her choices later in the book were both understanding and stupid. Although, I can applaud her for listening to heart when it comes to the main antagonist.
“… no façade can mask a dark soul.” – Link, Summer Weir
The other characters were great and I liked them, but I felt there wasn’t enough story to make me love them. During parts of the book I felt they were just “there” and the story could have moved along without them. I really liked both Zane and Evan. I felt that each boy’s past was well developed to where I felt they were interesting enough for me to remember them. How Kira’s relationship with her mother develops over the story is probably my favorite thing outside of the actual plot. It felt natural to me (although she did kind of disappear at the end)
“Mom had been right: not everyone has a choice in their fate.” – Link, Summer Weir
Which brings me to the romance. Like I said earlier, Zane and Kira made sense. They are adorable, believable, and refreshing to a market that is filled with insta-love. Then Evan showed up. Let me start off by saying, I have nothing against love triangles per say – I am just tired of how prevalent they are in YA. Most love triangles are there only for character angst. That being said, I am not entirely sure the love triangle in this book is meant to be that way. For one thing, the attraction between Evan and Kira is heavily-handed on one side. Evan had that insta-love moment regarding Kira and although I’m sure many will not agree with me, I think that type of behavior fits with his character development and history. Kira, although she is attracted to Evan and does have moments of feelings, she keeps a pretty level head when it comes to Evan. I’m intrigued to see how the romance in this particular story turns out.
“The soft blue light of his eyes, the mournful twilight of his heart, soothed my soul.” – Link, Summer Weir
Link sets up the series nicely, giving the reader a taste of the universe Weir created. Although confusing at times for both the right and wrong reasons, I would recommend this book to those who are interested in black holes, space-time travel, sweet romances, magic, and mystery.