Book Review: Come See the Light
Reviewed by Audrey Davis
A wonderful journey teeming with uncertainty and self-discovery
Norman Luce’s futuristic novel Come See the Light gives readers a front-row seat to a quest of discovery. Maya Douglass, a quick-witted girl born after all non-biological electricity is destroyed in “The Wave,” is told that she may have a chance to restore the lost electricity.
She must confront the unpleasant past, reflect on what she currently has and encounters along her journey, and ultimately “experience and learn how and if humanity is worthy of Power,” both literal and figurative, once more.
Maya, 19 years old in a drastically different world than the one before her, must form her own opinions of her current surroundings and the past, present, and future.
As she meets new characters, she has to decide what to believe in and who to trust. Maya realizes that her mother’s generation was handed a pre-determined future, “whether they wanted it or not,” and now she and the generations after her can and must decide their own future, if the power is a necessity, and how to adapt with the consequences handed down while minimizing newer, negative ones.
The novel is divided into relatively short chapters, which makes the entire work easier to digest. The uncertainty and the intriguing plot definitely keep the pages turning. And since there’s no electricity, it is great to imagine the setting and the living modifications the characters must have had to make.
The book is complete but has potential for a part two. In other stories, Inari’s character might come off as a little tooon-the-nose, but for this story, it works wonders. Wild animals generally don’t approach humans, let alone come back, assist, and seemingly communicate—and Maya notes this several times throughout, too—so it adds an almost spiritual element, separate from the story’s trajectory but not detached.
Since Maya must explore all resources available to her to complete her journey, Inari allows her an extra frame to be both introspective with her past and community-minded for the future. And it doesn’t hurt that Inari provides some much-needed companionship.
I would happily recommend this book to fans of action-adventure novels or futuristic stories with resilient messages. It presents such an interesting what-if and is fleshed out and always well-written.
I especially enjoyed the appendix; these supplementary materials inspire the mind to continue a story without the author. In this case, they provide a little more insight into the nature of The Wave and some additional art. The reader is left with the feeling of “passing the torch,” so to speak—that it’s better to learn from, influence, and outline the course of the future together as a multi-generation society, and not overpower others’ free will through compelling harsh beliefs and misshaping the immediate future.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Dystopia
Print Length: 366 pages
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