First Impression: Banshees, grim reapers, and football? This should be interesting…
Characters: Jake is a self-proclaimed “jeek” – a jock geek. He lives with his mom, stepdad, and sis Justine. The first few chapters reveal Jake to be an all-American sweetheart of a boy, who would do anything to help his sister and friends. Starting off slow, the story roars to life at a pivotal moment – Jake is shot. He then learns he is secretly a druid; the whole world is out to get him; he can’t tell his new girlfriend, sister, or best friend because he’s supposed to be dead. Oh yeah, and he’s on the run with a guy named O’Brian who is more than he appears…
Writing Style: Author J. Abram Barneck has a witty and arresting attention to detail – that answers almost every question the reader might pose. This is especially apparent when Jake and his friends are on the run / off the grid. An important aspect of writing displayed throughout was Barneck using action instead of feeling to describe what happens to a character.
What I Enjoyed: Right off the bat, I want to agree with two things. Some states such as Utah (and MN!) have two seasons – winter and construction. The other is oatmeal cookies should not have raisins. Thank you.
I found some possibly unintentional Christian themes in “Fire Light”, which was nice in my interpretation. Jake and crew go through elements of faith and prayer, and there is even a possible Bible reference - Matthew 6:24 talks about serving two masters. Intentional or not, it adds to the believability factor.
Deal Benders: Sometimes story details were repeated, such as when describing Jake’s home. I also found the intensity of feelings between Jake and Alexis a bit ridiculous. I can accept they are teenagers attracted to each other, but let’s not say they are already in love. With a bit of this sexual tension left out, this would be an appropriate YA read. However, I could only recommend it to adults in this case.
Overall Rating: I gave this book 5 stars because it wowed me enough to remember all the details days later. A book doesn’t have to be Shakespeare to be wonderful, and I believe we need to give more credit to today’s talented authors from genres outside classic.
Author’s Website: http://jabrambarneck.com/
Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18808593-fire-light