!Free Ebook ♶ Lightborn ⚐ Lightborn is a mind altering technology that has revolutionised the modern world It is the ultimate in self improvement, education and entertainment, beamed directly into the brain But in Los Sombres, a renegade form of Lightborn has attacked the adult population, resulting in social chaos and widespread insanity
My first thought on this is it feels like a teen TV show All the adults are no longer able to survive in a post apocalyptic scenario and it s up to the kids to band together and save the day This doesn t make it bad but limits it from being anything special, as used in one of the chapter titles it seems like just another zombie apocalypse.The device for this apocalypse is the Shine, a sort of direct brain interface training tool However, you could replace it with magic, psychic powers, the soul, the internet or 101 other things and it changes little They even refer to the devices for using it as macguffins.One of the real let downs is Xavier He is a particularly dull character and his sections are very boring until the changes towards the end Rocksana, on the other hand, is a great lead and really drives the story along I understand why it is necessary for us to see the events at the ranch but I wish we could have had Rocksana driving these revelations somehow.It comes together at the end reasonably well but the whole thing takes far too long and is okay than very good. For me this was an interesting, often admirable book, which I didn t enjoy quite as much as I d expected given what I d heard about this author and also what I d witnessed at a couple of conventions My main problem with the book was that it took too long to achieve take off The plot is stimulated by some interesting developments in AI and communications technology, and is set in a credible milieu, but the first two thirds of the narrative wanders around this set up at too great a length for my liking, a problem exacerbated by the ultra short chapters I was 300 odd pages in before the plot development started to grip me At that point, the intensity kicked up a couple of notches From then on, I was hooked all the way to the ending Had that kick up happened earlier, or the first two thirds been compressed a bit, I d have awarded the book a higher rating Other positives the novel is very well written througout, and I did like the main protagonist Roksana , though I wanted to see of her in the FallN persona In contrast, the other main character, Xavier, irritated me throughout Another reason for my somewhat lukewarm reaction to this novel is that it felt like YA dressed in adult clothes There s nothing wrong with that of course, but I m just not that into YA fiction and wasn t even as a YA, decades ago , so perhaps it was never destined to be my favourite thing All that said, I would read by Tricia Sullivan She s an interesting writer.7 10 overall Bloody star system This was a very cool and intriguing read.I will confess that I was a bit annoyed about the beginning of this book It immediately starts at the point where things go wrong Now this shouldn t have to be a problem if the author manages to work in the backstory of how things were before things went wrong pretty quickly She doesn t however and I had a hard time picturing how the world had been before the fall.That annoyance aside this was an amazing story The setting was disturbing and grim Sullivan manages to describe the ruined city so well I felt trapped in that dark, desolate world while reading and I couldn t help but feel sorry for those affected by the Shine The lead characters were really cool I did feel like kicking Xavier from time to time, because he was acting like a brat at the most inappropriate moments Things get a bit chaotic near the end of the book you really have to pay attention to understand what is happening and why I had to reread some passages to make sense of some things.I very much enjoyed this dark view of the future and I will certainly check out other works by Sullivan. Reviewers generally admired Sullivan s new spin on the fairly common postapocalyptic device of a world without functional adults They noted that as with several recent SF novels with young characters like Mira Grant s Feed and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins Sullivan forces her protagonists to face some very adult pain Critics were somewhat divided on her world building, however some found the ubiquity of the Shine technology implausible, while others felt it to be a realistic representation of the near future But despite such disagreements, critics agreed that Lightborn is worth looking into This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine. This is a story of a near future cyberdisaster in California, with all the adults brains corrupted by a massive software malfunction and two teenagers caught in the peculiar interactions of the badly damaged society Neuromancer meets Hurricane Katrina, perhaps.I previously had tried Sullivan s Maul, which made the shortlist for both BSFA and Arthur C Clarke awards a few years back, and wasn t enthused, completely failing to spot the link between the two story lines until I read someone else s review months later Lightborn left me a bit like that too, with densely described incident and characters, but also an abrupt ending which I didn t understand and lots in the middle which I couldn t keep track of I lost my place in it yesterday and found it surprisingly difficult to find again where I had stopped reading No doubt that is a reflection on me than on the author By far the best SF novel I ve read in a long time, LIGHTBORN is fiercely intelligent, with all the intense speculation of the best science fiction, but also with the sheer, heart thumping excitement of a really great zombie thriller The two POV characters are intensely real and sympathetic, grounding the speculative aspects of the novel in a strong emotional connection I really, really cared about what would happen to both of them, but especially to Roksana, who s a really fabulous, strong but vulnerable heroine.I loved it. I have read other books by Tricia Sullivan which were all good but so far Lightborn has been the best and most absorbing At the beginning of the book I thought the character relationships and plots were slightly predictable however, about half way through things seemed to change up a few gears and the story became much unpredictable and even of a page turner.The concept of the Lightborn was also very interesting and one I had not encountered before in reading, definately looking forward to reading books by this author. The urge to unnecessarily classify a project is a strong one and accordingly as I began this book I found myself trying to do just that The results were inconlusive, the two main protagonists are both in their early to late teens, so it could legitimately have been a coming of age story, but the book deals with the devastating although localised effect on humanity of a mind altering disaster and so my first thoughts were that it was a zombie apocalypse tale, although this evolved into thinking it was a dramatic exploration on the definition of consciousness And running throughout all of this is a seam of urban resistance, so maybe it s a war story.The answer of course is that Sullivan has taken all these threads and woven a beautiful tapestry from them Her writing style makes for easy reading but you have to pay attention to follow the intricacies of the si fi themes that she teases onto the page The plot also makes several twists and turns and is not handed to you on a plate Refreshingly though you do not finish this story with a huh on your lips, but rather a considered thoughtfulness.I m not convinced that she has accurately captured the voice of the children in her story as they all spoke with a far mature voice than I would have expected but then adversity forces maturation However, as a mother I suppose Sullivan is in a better place to judge than myself.Lightborn is one of the nominations for this years Clarke awards and the one whose premise attracted me the most In combining the themes that she has, Sullivan has not disappointed.Lightborn is available from Orbit booksIf you like this book then check these comicsThe Light from image Comics An apocalyptic story where people are infected by the LightDMZ from Vertigo comics Excellent urban war storyYou can check out an interview that Tricia did with Geek Syndicate at www.geeksyndicate.co.ukand a video interview I did with her at this years Arthur C Clarke Awards on the same site. I liked the concept of this book but found that it wasn t particularly well explained At the start you are introduced to one of the protagonists however there is just mention of shine with no explanation of what it is and how it is used, throughout the book it just takes the knowledge of shine as a given which I found quite frustrating Overall I found the plot quite jumbled and not explained to the reader very well and so you had to fill in many gaps yourself and at the end of the book I found the ending a bit disappointing and uneventful.