Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Darkest Light by Hiromoi Goto

Darkest Light

Author: Hiromi Goto

Publication Date: January 31st, 2012

Publisher: Razorbill

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Horror



Adopted as an infant, Gee has been kept ignorant of his troubled past. Now, at sixteen, he is a loner both despised and feared by his classmates. Dark feelings slowly grow inside him, but as he struggles to control them, his past catches up with him. Abandoning his adoptive grandmother and the place he has called home, Gee is compelled to travel to Half World, one of the Three Realms all living things must pass through. Fractured at one time, the Realms of the Flesh, Spirit and Half World have been reunited, but they are at risk: their fate rests on Gee's own journey of self-discovery. With two unlikely companions, a heartless cat and a self-destructive Neo Goth girl, Gee must fight the monstrous and the horrific and, most difficult of all, he must overcome his own propensity for evil.

My Thoughts: The struggle to keep the balance between the three realms continues in this sequel to Half World. For which you can find my review here. This time though we see little to none of Melanie. She is out of the picture pretty much and instead, this time around we are following Baby G.

Only, Baby G isn't a baby anymore, he's a teenage boy. Gee knows there is some dark mystery behind where he came from, but has not even the slightest clue just how dark it is. His "Popo" or pseudo grandmother has raised him and taken care of him and has kept many deep and dark secrets. But the secrets are forced out when beings from the Half World enter the Flesh World to reclaim him and bring him back home. That's when Gee realizes that nothing is as it seems. And there are reasons he has always felt like an outsider and never fit in or ever had any friends. Gee has a past that downright terrifies him, but he has no choice to but to face it head on if things are to be set right and the balance between the three realms restored.

I enjoyed following Gee much more so than I did Melanie. He had a lot more character depth. He was a lot more cynical, brave and forthright. Where as at times I found Melanie to be whiny and a little too childish. The evil and shadows that Gee has to conquer are astounding, and the strength required to  get through is almost unattainable. He luckily managed to make a friend just before his epic journey into the Half World began. But at times she is more than a burden than an aid. But I loved her as well. She was not afraid to kick some serious butt and to tell it like she sees it. She was very independent and courageous. Together they made quite a pair, ravaging there way through the Half World.

The visuals in this story are so vivid and bright. Even though Half World itself is supposed to be all grey tones, the imagery still shines through and  I think I would do some pretty terrible things to see this made into a graphic novel. There are a few random illustrations throughout, but they never pick the really gory and scary things that I wanted to see. They were easy enough to imagine in my own mind, enough to give me shivers and goosebumps.

I would recommend this story to any and all fantasy fans, or fans of Asian culture or Asian style story telling. But if you have never given that kind of thing a try, I think this series is an excellent place to start! But I will warn you in advance, this book is not afraid to get disgusting, evil and twisted. But it also creates hope and light among this dark moments. It's a fantastic, adventurous, terrifying read and I definitely think you should give it a try!

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