When Elora starts being followed everywhere she goes, she assumes it's paranoia, afterall, if you can't see it, it can't be real...can it? Things grow increasingly weird in Elora's world; the sound of wings, footsteps and physical attacks with no one in sight. Could she be losing her mind?
When an attractive stranger saves her from her assailant, she can't help but think he might be in on it.
Who can she trust when she doesn't even feel able to trust herself.
This is a fantasy and romance book aimed at the young adult market. I usually stay away from that target as so much of it is very juvenile but there are a few well written gems aimed at the older sector of YA such as Stephanie Meyers Twilight sagas and Rachelle Meads Vampire Academy that have found their way into my keepers list. Of light and Darkness isn't up there with them but for a new author its very well written with a storyline that is engaging and flows well, and I feel as she hones her craft Lily is going to be an author to watch out for. She's added a new spin to the fantasy genre with Angels instead of the market saturated Vampires ( I love vampire novels but sadly there are so many that seem to think all a story needs is a few dark brooding vamps to be a success – its not – a well written plot and storyline is essential). She describes her characters well and we can see them as real fully dimensional people from her writing.
The story is narrated in the first person by Elora – the main character – who is quite an isolated figure; she has few friends and feels different from her peers. She has an odd background and upbringing and lives alone, as her parents have always had her looked after by nannies, and now she's older they work away and have infrequent contact. She appears to be in her last year at school, she has a part time job and much of the setting takes place in and around her home, job and home town. At the start of the book she begins to imagine she is being followed everywhere and thinks maybe she's being paranoid, but she feels as if wings and feathers surround her with danger although she can see nothing. She then gets saved from an attack by an attractive stranger. The stranger who turns out to be the angel Raziel knows something of the danger but cannot tell her about it. He stays to protect her though and helps her through a couple of difficult attacks, and they quickly fall in love. He later gets captured himself along with his brother angel Barachiel who has been helping Elora try to find Raziel. Barachiel isn't anything like Raziel, and yet he and Elora have gradually found a mutual respect and become good friends too. Desperate to find them Elora enlists the help of none other than Lucifer who has been chatting to her letting her know a bit about what’s happening – now the Lucifer in this story is the Devil but has such handsome appearances (apart from one incident when he shows his tail and hooves) and way of deliberately attracting people Elora lets down her guard and chats to him as if he was a friend. Fortunately for her he isn't out to harm her but also wants the angels found, explaining that its all an amusing game to him, and it suits his purpose to guide her this time to find them. I have to say he has some of the very best lines – he comes across as a really funny guy and the scene where Elora introduces him to her best friend Thomas in the coffee shop is fabulous. Poor Thomas comes from a very god-fearing family and holds out his cross to Lucifer babbling out the Lords Prayer at the same time. Lucifer picks up the cross and admires the workmanship remarking to Elora he gets this sort of response all the time....
Of course the end comes with Elora heroically saving the day and her angels safely at her side, and the opening left for a further book with the announcement of a new cult springing up that appears to be connected to the people who captured Raziel and Barachiel and attacked Elora.
The story was easy to follow but there were some odd segments, such as her best friend Thomas family. His mum feels Elora is a bad influence and he seems very under her thumb – not something I'd think typical of a teenage boy and yet his sister Sarah is allowed far greater freedom even leaving home to live with her boyfriend. We here a lot about Sarah and her boyfriend but never really meet them ( we may have met Sarah – I can't recall so it must have been brief) So much was made of her mystery boyfriend that I had thought maybe he'd have some connection to the attackers but that never showed up and other than moving in with him as we heard via Thomas we never read any more of them. It feels as if the author had intended to use them in the storyline but changed her mind – it would have been better I think to either use them or leave them out, as it is their inclusion is just word filling and they serve no additional purpose in the story.
I enjoyed this book and would be interested enough to read the sequel – its like many YA books, very easy to follow, no heavy story lines and no great drama but some gentle adventures and romance but enough to hold the readers interest. I'd recommend it for YA readers definitely and for older readers who are happy to pay the current 99p price tag for a few hours light reading.
Its a self published novel of decent length at 643 KB and currently only available on kindle. As far as star rating goes I’d give it 4 stars – its not gripping or high drama but I enjoyed it and of course I'm not the target audience, maybe a young reader would give it 4.5 - 5 stars.
~ Midnight Ruby
~ Midnight Ruby