Title: An Absence of Light
Author: Meradeth Houston
Published: October 31, 2014
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction
An Absence of Light reminded me of the Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas series and The Host by Stephenie Meyer.
The story starts out with a bang with a murder scene and Leah escaping because she knows she will look guilty - was set up to look guilty.
I found the idea of the Shadows (which reminded me of the bodachs in Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas books) intriguing, especially since everyone can't see them. Even more interesting is Houston's description that they are blacker than night, despise and avoid light (sort of like vampires), and that they actually feed on darkness - both the scientific absence of light as well as the intangible darkness in all of us. When it is revealed what they actually are, I suppose I was a bit disappointed because I had a preconceived idea of what they are. If the glass is half full, however, I'd call this an unexpected and interesting twist.
I like the pace and the progressive build up of the suspension. I like all of the characters, though our protagonist, Leah, isn't my favorite. She is moody and oftentimes snaps at those trying to help her. But, she's a decent person, and I couldn't help rooting for her. Nana is, by far, my favorite, but that may possibly be because she cooks all the time, and that made me hungry while reading (I swear I could smell her homemade tortillas). She's very warm and loving, and I really like that about her.
There was one thing that bothers me though. Leah and her group of friends call the creatures Shadows. When they began to communicate with them, and we get to know some of the Shadows, they refer to themselves as Shadows. That didn't seem realistic to me. Without spoiling the plot, I can't say much about this. But, what I can say is, no matter what they are, they would have already had a name for themselves as a group that probably wouldn't be Shadows. A shadow is simply an area of darkness created when a source of light is blocked, something they wouldn't necessarily be familiar with prior to the events in this story.
Overall, this is a fun read with a good amount of suspense. It's dark and filled with action. I think fans of both horror and science fiction will enjoy it.
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