Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.
She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.
When Leah stumbled across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.
I really enjoyed An Absence of Light. It was a nice change of pace from my normal reads these days. Right from the opening scene, the reader is pulled into what Leah’s world is like, filled with these shadow creatures that she doesn’t understand. Her struggles, her sadness, and her guilt compile to make this story stand up a little straighter. Leah’s just nineteen, but she’s had to grow up quickly. As she leaves the home she’s known and stumbles across a small group who can empathize with her losses and understand her world of the Shadows, she is given a chance to fight back. I enjoyed the character dynamics between Leah, Manuel, Adam, Emily, and Nana. This story had so much going on that we really didn’t need to be introduced to many more characters, but those others that came along throughout the story played an important part in developing the plot. As an editor, I enjoyed the lack of “filler story” within this novel; it got down and dirty with the issue of the Shadows and each character’s internal battles.
We all have demons, some are just a little scarier than others.
If I were to point out anything that needed work, I’d suggest another round of editing. I also wouldn’t classify this story as a horror one, though I understand that decision.
Overall, I enjoyed this story and I’d definitely read something else by Houston. This story was a different take on the thriller genre and fit the Young Adult mold quite nicely. I would be comfortable having a younger teen read this story without worry of anything explicit in the book. The gore factor is not terribly high, though there are moments that are fairly cringe-worthy.
The Final Countdown
Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Ending 4/5 Stars
Total: 4 Stars
-When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
-She’s also an anthropology professor and loves getting people interested in studying humans.
-If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.