Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance
Approximate word count: 130-135,000 words
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Lilo Abernathy lives “amidst the Smoky Mountains and can sometimes see the shadows of clouds lying on the mountains from my front porch.” The Light Who Shines is her debut novel. You can learn more about her by checking out her website and blog.
“When Supernatural Investigation Bureau agent Bluebell Kildare (a.k.a. Blue) arrives at the scene of the crime, it's obvious the grotesquely damaged body of the deceased teenage boy was caused by far more than a simple hit and run. Using her innate sixth sense, Blue uncovers a powerful magical artifact nearby. She soon discovers it acts as a key to an ancient Grimoire that was instrumental in the creation of the Vampire breed and still holds the power to unravel the boundaries between Earth and the Plane of Fire.
Blue and her clever wolf Varg follow a trail that starts at the Cock and Bull Tap and leads all through the town of Crimson Hollow. Between being sidelined by a stalker who sticks to the shadows and chasing a suspect who vanishes in thin air, the case is getting complicated. If that isn't enough, Dark Vampire activity hits a record high, and hate crimes are increasing. However, it's Blue's growing feelings for Jack Tanner, her magnetic Daylight Vampire boss, that just might undo her.
While Blue searches for clues to nail the perpetrator, it seems someone else is conducting a search of their own. Who will find whom first?
Danger lurks in every corner, and Blue needs all her focus in this increasingly dangerous game or she risks ending up the next victim.”
I have mixed feelings about this urban fantasy. While I liked the overall story, I wasn’t a big fan of the style in which it was told. And that was the key problem. The story was being told to the reader instead of being shown. This style made it hard to identify with the characters because it all seemed impersonal. This story is mainly told through Blue’s eyes as she investigates the death of a gifted teenager who had been held hostage and tortured. With Blue’s Gift of empathy she is a valuable asset to Supernatural Investigation Bureau, but she puts herself at risk in an effort to prove her worth to her team. As Blue’s past is unveiled, to both herself and us, it becomes clear that there is more going on than the story at hand.
It is important to note under the chapter headings the POV (point of view) changes are announced along with the date. Some days were several chapters long. I found it hard to follow the dates or day changes. Occasionally the POV changed to Jack’s point-of-view, which helped clarify why he responded to Blue the way he did at times. Jack is not only Blue’s boss, he is her guardian (which is unbeknownst to Blue) and he is unsure how much of the prophecy surrounding the Grimoire he should share with Blue. He also feels like he doesn’t deserve Blue’s affections, despite his overwhelming desire for her, because his soul is tainted with Lilith’s dark mark.
I really liked Ms. Abernathy’s inclusion of Varg, the mysterious wolf that appears when Blue is attacked in the alley. I am a bit partial to wolves and am anxious to learn more of his story. He turned out to be an excellent guardian for Blue. However, I was puzzled when Varg ran to greet the chief of police in the park. It was completely out of character for the wolf and this action was used to force the plot along a certain path of the author’s choosing and didn’t ring true. I had this reaction with a couple other spots in the story concerning Blue’s actions as well.
Bottom line, I think this series has promise. I would like to see the author improve the flow of the story and remain true to her characters personalities by allowing them to lead the story. I felt like the supporting characters were strong and well developed. Maud was a hoot, everyone needs a friend like her, and Alexis was an interesting friend to have around. She was a good emotional support system for Blue to have. I think both friends will play vital roles in the future of this series.
The Light Who Shines is the first book in the Bluebell Kildare Series.
It contains explicit sex, foul adult language, and graphic violence.
I found no significant issues with proofing or formatting.
Rating: *** Three stars
Rating: *** Three stars