- Non Fiction
Lightning in the Dark (Turning Creek) by Michelle Boule
List Price: £6.39
Paperback: 208 Pages.
Published: 02 December 2014 by Michelle Boule
Descended from the mythical harpies, Petra Celaeno is content living a solitary life in the Colorado Territory until she meets dairy farmer, James Lloyd. As her relationship with James grows, Petra fights against her harpy instincts and questions the traditions of her ancestors. James Lloyd came to Colorado looking for a fresh start, but he can not shake his obsession with a favorite myth from childhood. Something sinister is lurking beneath the earth of the Rockies and it is calling to James. Life in the small town of Turning Creek is about to change. A terrible prophecy will be fulfilled and Petra will have to choose between protecting her home and saving the man she has come to love.
by Debra Found
Had Potential but Rather a Let Down
Petra is descended from one of the original harpies of Greek mythology. There are many "remnants" living in society who are descended from the gods or mythological creatures. This is a concept that I liked very much - a sort of adult "Percy Jackson"!
Petra and her harpy sisters live close to the town of Turning Creek. We aren't told exactly when this book is set but it seems to be sometime during the American gold rush period. This is a small town with various humans and remnants living amicably side by side. However, something is drawing remnants to the town and made farmer James Lloyd turn his back on his farm and start digging.
The idea is great. Admittedly the harpy sisters are a little more likeable than their ancestors but on the whole the concept was sound. Unfortunately the actual structure of the book wasn't developed enough to give this idea the book that it deserved.
We do meet various characters as well as the harpies - Iris, Reed the Sherrif, James Lloyd the farmer, Henry the blacksmith and so on. However, they are really very shallow characters who aren't developed throughout the book. I see that this book is designed as the beginning of a series. Perhaps the author plans to develop the characters more fully during the subsequent books. However, a reader needs to get under the skin of the characters in the first book of a series in order for them to care enough to read further. I didn't feel that the characters were well developed and by the end of the book I really wasn't bothered about what happened next.
The setting of this book did present a few problems. Description is not this author's strongest point. I was never able to imagine the town or the countryside around it. Petra rides into town but I learn nothing about her route - how difficult the terrain is, how hot the weather is and so on. The town itself has little character with place just not being described enough. A skilled writer can enable a reader to imagine a place in a matter of just a few words. This author has yet to acquire this skill.
Having said all of this I was prepared to read to the end and had hopes for further development in future books. Unfortunately the ending let this book down plunging it from a almost a four star down to a three star. Again description was a failing. Petra & her sisters are at a feast which appears to be half way up a mountain. The food, tables and even log cabins have all arrived and been constructed in a matter of two days? Really. The big climax was also a let down. The sisters needed to obtain something to be destroyed (I won't elaborate further!) which they seemed to achieve in a matter of under two minutes. There was no battle, no taking sides, no intrigue just a bit of a scuffle & it was all over. I did feel let down.
This is a book which had potential but was a long way from living up to it. It is such a shame as I really liked the idea behind the book but the book itself was weak. I won't be looking out the further books in this series.