Stars - RedPeer Review of The Light Who Shines

by Madhuri Blaylock

Author of The Sanctum Trilogy

Lilo Abernathy is a masterful storyteller, which she proves emphatically with her debut novel, The Light Who Shines.

Set in the twenty-first century of the Red Ages, a time when Gifteds and Vampires help keep Norms safe from Dark Vampires, TLWS centers around the brutal murder of a young boy and its investigation by Bluebell “Blue” Kildaire, an investigator for The Supernatural Homicide Investigation Unit.

Blue is a Gifted, an interpreter of souls, and an excellent and empathetic detective, but there is more to her story and very early on hints are dropped that she holds a key to something very important, that she is very significant to the souls, both human and supernatural, around her.

Abernathy’s writing style, her rich, detailed world-building, and her meticulous descriptions keep you turning the pages of TLWS, wanting more of Blue’s story, her painful past, her interesting (and painful!) present and her intriguing future.

Then there is Jack.

I love Jack.

I don’t know how Ms. Abernathy feels about Jack – every writer has their favorite character, like my love affair with my own character, Darby Winthrop – but I love him. This love runs counter to my initial intention, which was to fall head over heels for Blue, since she’s a working woman in this man’s world, making her way on her own and whatnot.

But Jack entered the picture and all girl power stuff was pretty much forgotten. Pretty freaking fast.

Also, I should clarify this little love fest – I initially met Jack through Blue’s eyes and honestly, wasn’t that intrigued. He came across as a sexy, sure-of-himself vampire, a character I’d read hundreds of times over. Then I actually met him, for the story is told from his perspective as well, and that’s when I fell for him.

Yes, he’s sexy and sure of himself – you would be, too, if you were an old ass, been-around-the-block-a-few-times vampire. But Jack has layers that make him very interesting, much more than the one-dimensional character Blue introduces us to at the crime scene.

He’s vulnerable, insecure, protective, conflicted, loving, controlled and he’s hiding something huge. HUGE.

Oh. And as an added bonus, homeboy is gifted in his knowledge of a woman’s body. I mean gifted. Whoa, Lilo writes good sex. Trust me when I say, everyone, man or woman, needs a little Jack in their lives. (For the record, I fell for Jack long before I learned of his excellent bedside manner.)

But I digress.

Needless to say, if you are looking for a new fantasy author and series to follow, I highly recommend picking up Lilo Abernathy’s The Light Who Shines. The world she has created will pull you in from page one and then the characters take over and hold your attention until the very last word.

My only regret is that I cannot immediately turn my attentions to book two in the series.