Author Harambee K. Grey-Sun
Release Date: February 7, 2013
Page Count: 160
Genre(s): Science Fiction
Summary from Goodreads:
Deep down, Robert Goldner knows he’s a mistake. His mother told him so when he was just five years old. But he never found the courage to ask just what she meant before she was murdered under mysterious circumstances on his eleventh birthday.
Now, on the eve of his seventeenth birthday, Robert is dead set on becoming a Virginia high school state wrestling champion in order to redeem himself once and for all, reversing whatever curse his mother saw within him. One of the few blacks on a predominantly redneck team, Robert has struggled for years to remain clear-headed and independent in a school divided by race and conquered by cliques. But when something from Beyond takes possession of his body and mind, wrestling with his very soul, he may find his “birthday” to be a gateway to a horrifying truth about himself and the fundamental nature of Reality.
In all honesty, I don’t have many positive things to say about BloodLight. This book is boring, lacks decent characterization, and, really, doesn’t have much of a plot. At no point in reading this novel was I connected to the narrative, and I couldn’t wait for it to be over so I could put it behind me and move on to the next book on my TBR pile. Looking back, I shouldn’t have DNF-ed this and not put myself through the trouble.
Based on the blurb, I was expecting a young adult sci-fi along the lines of And All the Stars. Teens struggling to survive after alien invasion and dealing with body-snatchers. Sadly, I liked BloodLight even less than I liked Höst’s book, which is probably saying something. Harambee K. Grey-Sun isn’t a bad writer, but he isn’t a particularly engaging one, and it was a struggle to finish this.
Basically, this book is about Robert, a black American high school student who’s on the wrestling team. Robert, also, is one of the most mopey, whiny, emo characters I’ve read in a long long time. His mom thought he was a mistake, his dad doesn’t understand him, his girlfriend hates him, his teammates are openly racist against him, it’s probable that he’s struggling with his sexuality after some kind of drunken night with his best friend, Devin. Seriously, this Robert kid is a complete mess. And while I’m all for those issues being portrayed in fiction, I think Grey-Sun allowed Robert to become defined by these issues. Rather than becoming fleshed out, he was a walking billboard for “the struggles of disenfranchised youth” or something. Hardly endearing.
And then there’s the “alien” element, which was too vague to make sense, even with the info-dump that came toward the end. All that happened was Robert had visual hallucinations that ebbed and flowed as far as intensity goes. Then some chick shows up and tells him all about what’s going on. After that I have no idea what happened because I was skimming and didn’t care enough to find out.
I can’t think of anything really nice to say about BloodLight, actually. It’s a mess from virtually the first chapter. This book makes no sense, has no plot, tries too hard to be relatable to teens (I’m not even sure if it’s supposed to be YA), and just fails in general. Complete waste of my time, really. Needless to say, I probably won’t be reading anything else by this author in a hurry.