Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Book Review: The Dark Light by Julia Bell

It's a cult on island. Try not to avoid listing those in your head.

Ten minutes to midnight!' Jonathan shouts over the sound of the blazing fire. Sparks rise into the sky and mingle with the stars. 'Only ten minutes!' Bevins says, falling down on his knees. 'So it begins.' Rebekah has lived on the island her whole life, and it's only now that she's starting to wonder what she might experience outside her strict religious community. Alex has been sent to the island to escape her dark past, and through her eyes it's a dark and sinister place. Thrown together by chance, Rebekah and Alex strike up an unlikely friendship and it's together that they attempt to break free of their worlds and make a world of their own. But when a kiss between the girls is witnessed by an islander there is no escape they can make - the Rapture is coming for them all.

This book about a cult on remote island, while my first YA novel that featured this, it's definitely not the first time I read or see something with that. This is a Christian cult with an insane American leader on a Welsh island so Wales is the almost original part of that sentence. Though, being original isn't actually a big part of the story.

We have two point of views from the two main characters but I didn't feel that they were distinctive from each other which I would have liked to seen with their different backgrounds. Also there were a lot of times I didn't know which character they were referring to. Even with rereading the sentence, I was still not sure who they were talking about.

The characters were a bit flat. I got frustrated with the main characters erratic behaviour and thoughts. I did try to be understanding that they were in a scary situation where they had to act a certain way to avoid punishment but as the book went on, it was hard to be understanding. My main issue is probably that I wanted them to be more rebellious. There was also something difficult about becoming attach to these characters so I didn't care that much about their outcomes, despite wanting justice because I like just desserts.

The set up for this book is pretty dumb as well, I'm about to state what happens in the first chapter. I guess skip if you're all about not being spoiled at all. It starts with Alex getting into trouble, therefore she has go to the island which is approved by a police officer and a Social Worker, despite the island not normally taking troubled youths or anyone. It is not normal to send minors to islands ran by cult leaders on the word of their parents alone, especially if they have a history of mental health issues.

The way this book plays out is bit rushed to be realistic. If the time scale had been longer then it could have worked for me, but major belief switches happen within a day. The ending was an ending. It was a tad bit annoying and almost feels tragic for the sake of it.

Overall, I give this book three out of five stars for poppies. This book is pretty short, so if you're still intrigued after reading mine or other people's thoughts; I say go for it. Personally, I'm still hunting for better YA cult books.

I got this for review off NetGalley and it's being published by Macmillan Children's Books on

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