The Light Within Darkness David C Jeffrey book review
book review

Book Review: The Light Within Darkness

THE LIGHT WITHIN DARKNESS by David C. Jeffrey is a fantastic addition to the Space Unbound series that delivers on the promises made in earlier novels. Reviewed by Joelene Pynnonen.

The Light Within Darkness

by David C. Jeffrey

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

ISBN: 9780998674261

Print Length: 422 pages

Reviewed by Joelene Pynnonen

A fantastic addition to the Space Unbound series that delivers on the promises made in earlier novels

A planet that can seed new worlds. A dangerous man who wants to replace all life with his monstrous creations. For Aiden Macallan, Commander of the state-of-the-art flagship, Sun Wolf, these are the sorts of situations he’s faced with daily. When a powerful half-cyborg, half-clone assassin attacks him, however, he realizes that the threat humanity is facing will be more lethal than ever before. 

Suspicions rise that Cardew, the man who killed Aiden’s mother, is generating forces in an attempt to overthrow all natural life. The Sun Wolf’s new mission is to find out where Cardew is hiding in the mostly uncharted solar systems beyond Bound Space. The precarious mission hinges on one single clue from the mind of a broken man. A clue that may have been planted by humanity’s worst enemy.

Space Unbound is a series that just keeps delivering. Light Within Darkness, the third book, takes place seven months after the events of Sun Wolf. Unlike its predecessor, it would be difficult to read this one without starting at the beginning. The world is incredibly well set up but complex enough that rehashing the entire thing with each new book is impossible. The timeline in the beginning is helpful for remembering the events of previous books and the political landscape, but a glossary of terms would make this a much easier read.

This series does a fantastic job of raising stakes. In every novel so far, the main characters have become more powerful. And, in every novel so far, the antagonist has become more terrifying. In Light Within Darkness the threat that was taking shape in Sun Wolf becomes a palpable and horrifying reality. The emergence of cloneborg assassins—enemies that are smart, fast, practically unkillable, entirely lacking in empathy—amps the tension up tenfold.

The worldbuilding never fails to amaze me. In every book, the world has unfolded a little more, but in a seamless, organic way that completely changes the trajectory of the novel. The voidoids, portals used to cover vast distances in space, were the game-changers of the second novel. In this one, it’s the way certain planets can bring life to other planets. The way that the whole of known space is working toward the advancement of itself. 

The interconnectedness of the Universe is a theme that runs through the Space Unbound series, and it only gets stronger in Light Within Darkness. While I love the feeling that the Universe is an ecosystem in which all parts function together, the execution of the theme lost me here. Previous novels in the series have a little fantasy scattered through the hard sci-fi. In Light Within Darkness, the fantasy element is much stronger. With Elgin Woo playing a larger role in this novel, a feeling of pseudo-science invades the piece. Technically he’s meant to be a scientist, but on the page he’s more like a shaman. He knows things without forming hypotheses or conducting experiments. It waters an otherwise powerful story down.

The stakes are higher, the villains more terrifying, and the worldbuilding more complex than ever before. At its heart, The Light Within Darkness remains a deeply personal foray into the wonder of humanity, nature, and life, while it takes you on a fantastic adventure led by a compelling crew.

Thank you for reading Joelene Pynnonen’s book review of The Light Within Darkness by David C. Jeffrey! If you liked what you read, please spend some more time with us at the links below.

0 comments on “Book Review: The Light Within Darkness

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: