Year: 2015
Author: C.A. Higgins
Length: 304 pages


There seem to be a few cardinal sins most writers are cautioned to avoid at all costs. Two of these sins are exposition dumps and “show, don’t tell.” While the entire book doesn’t necessarily fall into these pitfalls, Lightless spends a big chunk of its 300 pages in telling the reader about all the exposition to the story that’s currently playing out. Instead of reading an interrogation, I would have much rather seen the events that led to the current state of the solar system. On top of all this, I failed to care about any of the characters or their plights because this method of storytelling was so impersonal.

I’ll admit that I almost gave up reading this book right before it became interesting again. The ending does a pretty good job of re-invigorating the plot, but it might be a case of too little too late. Furthermore, not only were there plenty of weird logical leaps, accents that were told to the reader but not shown in dialect, and actions that didn’t make much sense, but there was almost too much coincidence in the appearance of certain characters. The fact that I thought it would have been a more interesting story if the System interrogator was the terrorist all along, coming to tie up loose ends, says something about the standard nature of the plot.

In the end, this book suffers from being the first of an intended trilogy, as well as being this author’s first work. The amount of exposition crammed into this book is merely a setup to something that’s likely more interesting to read, not that I’ll continue with this trilogy. Additionally, there were quite a few times where the awkward wording of a sentence or the repetition of a particular word pulled me out of the narrative. Finally, I felt it took way too long for the computer specialist to figure out what the problem was. The clues were evident almost from the start, but she only “got smart” about it when the plot demanded it.

An interesting climax that required an expositional slog to get to, I give Lightless 2.0 stars out of 5.

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