REVIEW: “Shine Light,” Marianne de Pierres
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Title: Shine Light (Night Creatures #3)
Author: Marianne de Pierres
Published: November, 2012 by Random House
Pages: 229
Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: Booktopia

Ixion. The island of ever-night.

If she had a choice, Naif wouldn’t go back. But her friends will die if she doesn’t find a cure for the badges that are slowly killing them, and her brother is there, fighting against the Ripers who hold everyone in thrall. And Naif has knowledge that might save them all.

First she must solve the mystery of Ixion’s eternal night. Then she must convince everyone – rebels and revellers alike – to join her cause. And all the while, she must fight the urge to go to Lenoir – her greatest love, her mortal enemy.

The secrets of Ixion must be revealed. The evils must be stopped. A new dawn will come.

Final Thoughts:
This was such an improvement on Angel Arias. I found the last book harder to get into, but I just breezed through this one. I think it was due in part to the return to the night world of Ixion. A couple years of passed and a bit of the magic has faded, but Shine Light proved to be a worthy successor, drawing me back into the carnival-esque land of church dorms, clubbing, rival gangs and life–stealing monsters. Book two left all of that behind. Perhaps if I had skipped straight from Burn Bright to Shine Light I may have enjoyed this series more than I did.

Bringing old characters back, the new ones we’d met in Angel Arias seemed to fade to the background, further highlighting how this could have been a really great two-book series. Nevertheless, this one gets on with things pretty much straight away, getting us back to where the action is. With its short page count, things were kept tight, so it didn’t lag. The revelations were spread fairly evenly over the course of the book, answering most of the questions about Ixion and how it came to be. Not everything is laid out for us though, so be prepared for a few unanswered questions.

Like I said, it’s been a while since I started this series, but I recall there being hints of romance going on back in the first instalment. Here, it’s almost non-existent. It’s all about the fate of the island and its inhabitants. There was a scene or two with the Riper-creature guy, Lenoir, but I wouldn’t exactly call him romantic. It was actually kind of creepy. I didn’t enjoy reading those scenes. Instead, I found myself trying to imagine how our main character, Naif, could perceive him in a romantic light. He came across way more forceful than caring.

Focussing less on him as the book progressed, I found Naif’s journey not only allowed us to witness her growth into a leader, but also the struggles of the people left behind earlier in the series. Most of them had changed since she’d left them, some growing tougher and others cracking. While I know the series is told from Naif’s perspective so we couldn’t get to see what went on in the time in between, a short story or two set on Ixion during Angel Arias’ timeframe would be nice.

I found that the end fight rushed through to the conclusion a little too quickly. It had such a build up as Naif went about rallying allies, so to have it simply happen and be done with in a matter of pages felt like short-changing, at least to me. I like a bit of blow by blow in my action scenes along with the mental warfare that goes along with it. This felt like it was over with before it really started. There was no real payoff to the fight—that moment where the main character really shines through as the hero. With the series over, Shine Light left me longing for just a bit more. I suppose that’s a good thing, but it doesn’t help the niggling feeling of not knowing how a few things would have turned out.

If you’re behind on this series, pick up Burn Bright, and then jump straight into this one.