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Into the Light (The Light Series) by Aleatha…
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Into the Light (The Light Series) (2016)

by Aleatha Romig

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This book... How do even start? I've googled for help on how to write a negative review and remain respectful but I'll admit that most of the advice is unhelpful. I'll just have to do the best I can.

Into the Light is the first of two books in The Light series. It opens with a woman waking up - seemingly with amnesia - and being told that her name is Sara, she's married, and she belongs to a cult. Well, maybe they didn't use the word cult, but I've always preferred calling a horse a horse. Sara is quickly thrown into a misogynistic world where nothing quite makes sense to her and she is unable to verbalize the questions that she has, for fear of 'correction' from her husband. In accordance with calling a horse a horse, I'll say it now: 'correction' is just a nice way of saying 'domestic abuse'.

Husbands in the cult known as The Light are expected, nay, encouraged to correct their wives behavior. As the big strong man in the relationship, responsibility falls to them to make sure that their meek little wives don't lie, keep secrets from, or question their husbands or the cult leader, Father Gabriel. In Sara's case, her husband Jacob corrects her with a slap and his belt throughout the book, and it's heavily implied that the other wives receive more severe abuse. This is all, of course, greatly disturbing and honestly left me tempted to DNF it. (I get enough misogynistic assholes in my regular day-to-day, I don't need them following me into fiction, ya know?) Nevertheless, I was dead set on Sara getting a satisfying ending, hopefully one away from the cult, so I soldiered on.

Along with the Sara chapters, we get a few chapters from the perspective of Jacob, which let us know that something bigger than just amnesia is going on, and we get chapters from a woman in Detroit named Stella.

Now, Stella... Stella, Stella, Stella. I had trouble connecting with her character. A lot of trouble.

We're told that Stella is a kickass investigative journalist, and while she does put some information together with little to connect it, I still feel that I was left hanging. Her powers of observation seemed like they were pulled out when it was necessary to move the story along, but ceased to exist at any other time. There was a fairly obvious twist that I felt that a character with Stella's experience should've have figured out, but she never does.

We're told that she's looking for her best friend Mindy, who has been missing for months, but while she is trying to find any lead she can, that storyline is completely unresolved within the first book. Granted, Mindy's disappearance leads Stella to The Light and the men behind the cult, but I really felt annoyed that by the end we don't have any answers about Mindy.

We're told that Stella believes her police detective boyfriend is a bit too controlling for how early on their relationship is, but Stella makes no moves to - forgive me for saying it, but - correct his behavior. He is frankly one of the worst male characters I've ever read about and I found myself getting the creeps multiple times over his controlling and angry behavior.

We're told that Stella's boss is a bit old fashioned and she doesn't like the way he treats her, but she only gets mad at him briefly, and never tells him that his behavior is inappropriate. He acts almost like one of those over-protective fathers you hear about all the time, he even goes as far as to look into her boyfriend's past to make sure he's 'right' for Stella.

Honestly, all the males in this book were misogynistic and gross. The Jacob chapters were particularly awful as we hear constantly that Sara is just 'too cute' and he doesn't want to correct her but she has to learn, and even though he doesn't really know her, he's definitely falling in love with her. Literally the only male who I could stomach reading about was Foster - a colleague of Stella's, and even then I don't really like him, I just didn't actively dislike him which put him ahead of the curve.

Near the end of the book, the action picked up, but just as suddenly as it began, the book comes to a close on a fairly predictable cliffhanger. Now, for me personally, unless I really love the author or the book series, I absolutely despise cliffhangers. I always feel like I'm being conned into reading the next book, lest the answers be withheld forever. That is indeed the case here, because while I was kind with my rating (see my spoiler bit for why I upped it), I really wouldn't have picked up the second book without my want of answers.

Overall, this book was just not for me. I enjoyed reading from the perspective of a person without their memories, and I found it chilling how easy it was to imagine memory loss being taken advantage of for nefarious means. It would have been a solid 1 star rating if it hadn't been for the twist that I didn't see coming, I totally thought that Sara was Mindy the entire time. When I found out she was actually Stella my jaw almost hit the floor. Others may have thought this obvious but I was completely duped, which I think was deserving of an extra star. ( )
  daydreamofalife | Aug 5, 2017 |
This is an excellent mystery. I thought I had it figured out, but I didn't. I should have known by now that this author would take me on an emotional ride, but I was completely knocked back by it. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book!
I recommend having a stiff drink ready. ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
Books like this are the reason I love to read. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book. The journey it takes you on is one full of so many twist and turns your almost scared to see what is around the next corner but yet you cant help but make that blind turn – your compelled to keep going.

Imagine awakening with no memories to find yourself part of a cult called The Light, where you have to be subservient to your husband and all other men of the group. The teachings of Father Gabriel are law and any infractions against him and his word are dealt with by punishment.

The author did a fabulous job of taking the reader into the life of a religious sect – the brainwashing, the rules, how some men in role of power abuse it and twist it for their own benefit. But this is not just some local self contained cult – no its a far reaching one and we dont find out the extent of that until the next book.

I'm not going to talk about the characters in my review as it would be giving to much away. You need to go on the journey with them through each chapter and book to experience this crazy world the author has created.

This is the first of a two book series. It ends on a huge cliffhanger but fear not the second book is already out so no waiting for the conclusion. ( )
1 vote CindySnS | Nov 12, 2016 |
Books like this are the reason I love to read. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book. The journey it takes you on is one full of so many twist and turns your almost scared to see what is around the next corner but yet you cant help but make that blind turn – your compelled to keep going.

Imagine awakening with no memories to find yourself part of a cult called The Light, where you have to be subservient to your husband and all other men of the group. The teachings of Father Gabriel are law and any infractions against him and his word are dealt with by punishment.

The author did a fabulous job of taking the reader into the life of a religious sect – the brainwashing, the rules, how some men in role of power abuse it and twist it for their own benefit. But this is not just some local self contained cult – no its a far reaching one and we dont find out the extent of that until the next book.

I'm not going to talk about the characters in my review as it would be giving to much away. You need to go on the journey with them through each chapter and book to experience this crazy world the author has created.

This is the first of a two book series. It ends on a huge cliffhanger but fear not the second book is already out so no waiting for the conclusion. ( )
  CindySnS | Oct 26, 2016 |
3.5 ( )
  Amanda105 | Sep 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
God gave us memory so that we may have roses in December.

- J.M. Barrie
Dedication
To parents near and far. The lessons you bestow may seem to go unheard, but each word is buried deep in the hearts of children. With time, those memories provide the foundation to carry us through to another day.
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An impenetrable fog cloaked the woman's thoughts, seeping into her being, binding and erasing everything she'd ever known.
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