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Light Errant by Chaz Brenchley

Light Errant (1997)

by Chaz Brenchley

Series: Light (2)

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Re-read of the sequel to the stunning dark urban fantasy Dead of Light. Ben Macallan fled abroad at the end of the first book, away from his gangster family and away from any temptation to use his supernatural abilities. But even so he finds himself in a situation where he has to intervene or watch a friend suffer. His promise to himself broken, he gets on his motorbike and heads for home.

But home isn't what it was. The city has finally found a way to defy the Macallans and their uncanny powers of life and death. Only the Macallan men have power, and their women are now hostages. Ben is sick of death and destruction, but a rescue, never mind a peace deal, may be beyond even his extraordinary talent.

It can be read as a standalone if need be, but I think is much better read in sequence with Dead of Light. That way you get a full appreciation of the growth in Ben, as he not only learns to deal with his own newly discovered talent, but convinces key members of his generation of the family to find another way to use theirs. It doesn't have quite the same impact as the first novel, because you don't have the suspense of wondering just how the Macallan clan control the city, but it's still an intense ride with a book that's well out of the usual run of urban fantasy.

Light Errant is out of print in its original paper editions from NEL, but has been re-released in ebook format by Book View Cafe, along with Dead of Light. You can find samples of both books at the BVC website. And maybe if enough of us buy them, Chaz will write a third... ( )
  JulesJones | Jul 3, 2012 |
Very readable sequel to "Dead of Light". Ben Macallan returns home after a couple of years abroad, to reconcile with his magically-talented, Mafia-like family and sort out the latest catastrophic situation they've got themselves into. ( )
  nicholas | Jul 17, 2010 |
Benedict arrives back to his Scottish hometown after travelling Europe for a couple of years and learning that no matter where he goes, his genetic inheritance makes him unique. He still doesn't like himself very much either.
(See first book Dead of Light for explanation of why he left and the mafia-like behaviour of his family who used their odd psychic 'talents' for thuggery and personal gain).

Home has changed. His gangster relatives no longer have the upper hand, as some group in the town has overcome their fear of the Macallan's, and is hunting them down and killing them. His family still don't like or trust him, with only his cousin Jamie of the clan extending a non-hurting hand.

This is a good sequel. It shows Benedict learning to gain confidence in himself the way he is and make a more grown-up resolution to his feelings for Laura (who is still with Jamie). Together, he and Jamie attempt to find out who is hurting their family before the entire situation escalates to their loved ones dying too.

I enjoyed the first person voice and the continued grittiness of this contemporary (OK Scotland in the 1990's) urban fantasy. It makes the fantastic seem very real, and thus more scaryily believable that it actually could happen if a family did have these abilities.

Although standalone, most readers would enjoy it more if they read Dead of Light prior to this book.

Of the two, I liked the first book more, but can't exactly work out why. Unless it's that occasionally in this book I wanted Benedict to get over feeling sorry for himself, That made the first half of the book drag a bit for me, compared to the first book.

I rate both books highly as different and well written contributions to urban fantasy.
The fact this urban fantasy duology is NOT vampire, magic or werewolf etc will be welcomed by those looking for something different in this segment of the genre. And hey, if you want to define it as horror, go for it. (But it's not that scary).

Read them if you find them (they're both out of print). Haunt ebay or abebooks like I did and you could find one. ( )
1 vote ryn_books | Jan 8, 2009 |
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This is for Carolyn: shortest, longest, cattiest of editors. Prrr, prrr ...
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Summer in Spain: beach sports, sex and slaughter in the sun.
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Returning home, Benedict Macallan, discovers that greed has run rampant through his family, and Uncle James has taken over the town. In desperation the townspeople have banded together & kidnapped the Macallan women. Something has got to give.
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Benedict Macallan, wonder-worker malgr‚e lui, has travelled the length and breadth of Europe since the events of Dead of Light, and still discovered no family like his own. Maybe Macallan blood really is a biological sport, a freak of evolution.

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