Friday, 11 January 2019

REVIEW - A LIGHT IN THE DESERT BY ANNE MONTGOMERY

Title: A Light In The Desert
Author: Anne Montgomery
Genre:  Fiction
Publisher: Treehouse Publishing/Amphorae Publishing
Release Date: 6th November 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
A Light in the Desert traces the story of a lonely pregnant teenager, a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper who, as he descends into the throes of mental illness, latches onto the girl, and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon. The Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst’s, a deadly act of sabotage. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when local and state police, FBI investigators, and a horde of reporters make camp by the twisted wreckage of the Sunset Limited. As the search for the saboteurs continues, the authorities find more questions than answers. The girl mysteriously vanishes, the assassin struggles to maintain his sanity, and a child is about to be born in the wilderness.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
The author actually reached out to me via email asking if I would like to review this book as I had read and really loved her previous book The Scent Of The Rain. 

The cover is a dark blue night sky with stars and also feature cactus representing the desert mention in the book title and talked about within the book. I would say the book falls into the general fiction genre.

There's a lot going on in this book with I would say four different characters on their own journeys. There's Jason Ramm a Vietnam veteran suffering alone with post traumatic stress disorder. He has worked as some sort of assassin and has lots of false documents, identities and access to a large amount if cash. 

There's Kelly, whose Irish father Bryan Kelly thought it amusing to give his daughter the name Kelly, so she is Kelly Kelly. Kelly has had a sheltered life, not going to school and kept at home due to her having Moebius syndrome which is a rare neurological disorder characterized by weakness or paralysis (palsy) of multiple cranial nerves, most often the 6th (abducens) and 7th (facial) nerves. Other cranial nerves are sometimes affected. The disorder is present at birth (congenital). When her father committed suicide and her mother met a new man Eduardo, and took his surname Garcia she insisted Kelly do the same. Eduardo takes advantage of Kelly and she ends up pregnant. Miranda, Kelly's mum is embarrassed and wants her pregnant daughter out of the way for the birth. Miranda cannot share Eduardo with her daughter or her daughters baby. 

The Children of Light, a religious cult, play a major part in the book too. They refer to each other as "Elect" and then their names such as Elect Peter and Elect Sun. The Children of Light seem harmless enough in the book and just want to help Jason Ramm and Kelly Garcia. In fact when Miranda wants Kelly out of her home the Children of Light take her in.

There seem to be a lot of "issues" going on in such a small place. The book kind of introduces you to the central characters of Kelly, Jason, Billy and the Children of Light. The book was an interesting read but at times felt like four different stories being told. The factors that bring the characters together are the Children of Light and a rail"accident". I did like the book, though I feel it felt disjointed in places and that there was too much going on and felt a bit muddled. After the rail accident there is the introduction of the characters of the media and some police officers too. 

I found the pace of the book slow and if I am honest had I not read the authors other book I am not sure if I would have stuck at it. I did stop reading this one for a couple of nights and then decided to give it one last chance and became curious as to what was going to happen to the characters as the book delved into their individual back stories. In my reading notes and Goodreads notes I have actually put "Not sure about this one. It feels like it is jumping about to different characters too much. Hopefully it will improve as I read more of it". I felt like some of the individual character back stories were rushed. 

My final thoughts about the book were that it is a bit of a mixture of tales all mish mashed together. I honestly don't really know what to make of it. I read it and it was okay it just didn't feel as polished and finished as The Scent Of The Rain was.

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