Into the Light by Aleatha Romig is possibly one of the most inventive things I’ve ever read as the plot, full of twists and dark elements, is incredibly original. It follows a woman who awakens in a strange hospital, unable to see, and remembers nothing of her past. Although it sounds like tons of other plots it differs from there forward and nothing is what you expect or imagine. This woman is told her name is Sara and that her husband, Jacob, is there in the room with her, waiting for her to recover from her injuries, which she’s told came from a car accident that also claimed her memories. She’s a member of “The Light,” a mysterious organization lead by a man called Father Gabriel. Without her sight, past, or knowledge of herself, Sara’s new world becomes the only one she’s known, though the way she’s living feels wrong and unfamiliar. She has no choice but to learn to trust blindly, or wait for herself to return.
It’s not easy to go much farther into describing the plot of this book, because every chapter makes you reevaluate what is happening, who is good and who is evil. The events of the book, particularly in the middle portion, are cringey to say the least, for readers living in the typical 21st century era of female empowerment and social justice. However, it’s clear that the author doesn’t condone the actions of her characters, and the book itself becomes a statement against sexism and fanaticism.
The book is told in multiple perspectives including Sara, the woman who wakes up without her sight; Jacob, her husband; a pilot; and Stella, an investigative reporter in Detroit, getting closer to uncovering a mystery that involves her missing best friend and a slew of women turning up dead in abandoned buildings. The entire thing is a race to understand what’s happening before one of many possible terrible outcomes occurs.
The writing is engaging and fast-paced, with realistic and interesting dialogue. The characters, though some are terrible people, are all well-written with backstories you learn or want to know about. The book gives you enough details so it doesn’t become frustrating like many other thriller and mystery novels, but in the last 20 pages it delivers 4 or 5 consecutive insane twists that completely shift the truths of the book you’ve been led to believe. Absolutely one of the best twist endings I’ve ever read (partly because it’s not just one twist, but many in a row). This book is fantastic, underrated, and hopefully the next “big thing.” It also has an incredible sequel, Away from the Dark, that was released at the end of 2016.
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Into the Light by Aleatha Romig | Goodreads
Sara Adams awakes blind, unable to remember the most basic details of her life, but her darkness seems a blessing when she discovers the terrors of The Light. Stella Montgomery investigates the news from the mean streets of Detroit, where she’s noticed a disturbing trend: young women are vanishing. When her best friend disappears, Stella digs for answers—despite warnings from her police detective boyfriend—following a twisted trail that leads her through the city’s most dangerous and forsaken precincts. There she uncovers something more sinister than she could have imagined: a shadowy organization known as The Light, led by the enigmatic Father Gabriel.
As Sara struggles to understand her place in the strange world she’s awakened to—an oppressive cult demanding unquestioning obedience—and her feelings for Jacob, the husband she can’t recall and whose harsh and tender attentions confuse and beguile her, Stella risks all to discover the truth. But enlightenment always comes with a price.