3 out of 4 stars
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Lightwarriors, by Brian L. Jackson, is a sci-fi story that revolves around Charlene "Charlie" MacLeod. She was born with the power of pyrokinesis. This made her and her family a target for the NSA, as they aimed to capture and weaponize her. Following the death of her parents, Charlie connected with and was adopted by David McAuliffe and his wife, Catherine, who also had powers. David teaches Charlie about the origin of their powers and the existence of "Lightwarriors" who use their powers to protect human life from "Dark Knights" who look down on normal humans and use their powers to satisfy their selfish desires. Together, Charlie, David, and Catherine attempt to evade being captured by the NSA and the "Dark Knights." Revelations about the extent of Charlie's powers are made, and she realizes that she is destined for much more than living on the run. Can she reach her true potential?
Lightwarriors was quite an emotional, empowering, and thought-provoking read for me. It will be very easy for readers to connect to the main character, Charlie, as readers will follow her journey from the point of her delivery. The readers will experience her struggle with controlling her powers and the dangers her powers pose to her. We follow her as she struggles to retain her innocence as a child despite being exposed to an abnormal life and how wicked the world can be. The strong start to the story, as the author dives straight into the action, is bound to keep readers hooked to the story as well.
The author does a very good job in character development and character description. It also helped that too many characters weren't included in the story, and this ensures that the story won't be complex for readers, with regards to telling the difference between the characters. The main characters are given likable features but also have bad sides, and the reader will enjoy seeing the main characters grow and how events affect them and their decisions later in the story. The villains, especially Eric Kain (the leader of the "Dark Knights"), were also easy to connect to, as I understood their goals and motivations. Eric's sense of humor and thought-provoking statements and questions made me question a lot of what I believe. He questions the meaning of good and evil and talks about how humans tend to justify wars and all the lies we tell ourselves to believe that we are not evil. My only issue with respect to the characters was how little Catherine's role was throughout the story. It was very easy to forget that she was a part of the story at times.
Furthermore, reading Lightwarriors felt like reading two books compressed into one. Parts of the story followed Charlie and her father's journey as they tried to evade the NSA before her father was killed. The other part follows Charlie's journey with David and Catherine after the death of her father. However, the book kept alternating between the two parts. This was quite confusing at times, and I would have preferred a chronological arrangement of the events in the book or putting both parts in separate books. With respect to editing, I would say that Lightwarriors is not well edited. Even though most of the errors I found were minor errors, they occurred too frequently.
Overall, Lightwarriors was an enjoyable read. The story was quite long though, but I barely noticed it as it was fast-paced and filled with a lot of action and suspenseful scenes. Another theme the book explored was revenge and forgiveness, as we follow Charlie's struggles with confronting those that wronged her and her family. I enjoy reading sci-fi novels, and I'm pleased to say that Lightwarriors didn't disappoint. The different themes explored in the book brought something different from what I've read in other sci-fi stories. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The book's editing convinced me against giving maximum stars. Besides that, I would recommend Lightwarriors to lovers of sci-fi and mystery stories.
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