Book Review: Spear of Light by Brenda Cooper + The Glittering Edge Series Giveaway
***The giveaway is now over, thanks to everyone who entered!***
A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Book 2 of The Glittering Edge
Publisher: Pyr (June 7, 2016)
Length: 400 pages
Spear of Light continues the story from Edge of Dark—which was a novel I consider to be one of the best sci-fi surprises for me last year—and it certainly does not disappoint. Brenda Cooper continues to handle the subject of transhumanism with a keen sense of thoughtfulness, tackling all the important questions in this exciting conclusion of The Glittering Edge duology.
The first book saw the rise of the Next, a post-human society that has returned from deep space after many centuries of living in exile. And for some unknown reason, they want a claim on the planet Lym. Unable to stop the stronger and more technologically advanced Next, our characters from Edge of Dark were left with no choice but to cede parts of the land to them.
Now the residents of Lym are angry. Humanity is angry. Many have joined the Shining Revolution, a rebel group that vows to fight the Next, even if it ultimately means taking out Lym with them. This puts those like Charlie between a rock and a hard place. As a ranger whose family has devoted generations to protecting and re-wilding the planet, it chafes him to see these more-machine-than-human invaders his home, but neither is the idea of Lym’s destruction acceptable to him. The Next may be building cities on his beloved world, but at least they have vowed not to harm anyone—unless they are attacked first.
Ambassador Nona Hall has also fought hard to maintain this peace, but it’s difficult when every day more and more are actually seeking to join the robots. With their methods of downloading a person’s consciousness into a carbon fiber body and incorporating them into a greater network, the Next are essentially offering a form of immortality, and idea which some cannot resist. To the Shining Revolution though, it is an abomination. But as the rebels go on the offense, they are also endangering the fragile peace, each attack pushing the Next to make good on their threat. Sooner or later, something’s going to break.
Unsurprisingly, both Charlie and Nona are back to reprise their roles as point-of-view characters in this sequel, but this time they are also joined by three others: Satyana, Nona’s aunt from the Diamond Deep space station; Yi, a character from the first book who was forcibly turned into one of the Next; and Nayli, one of the top leaders of the Shining Revolution. Together, these five characters provide a well-rounded picture of the conflict from all perspectives, showing the far-reaching consequences of everything that happens in this story.
But perhaps the greatest drama occurs on Lym. Spear of Light addresses a lot of questions about this world, like why the Next are interested in it, and also why its history is so important for humanity. But before we get to those answers, we have the battle for the planet. What would you do if your home was invaded by an unbeatable enemy? Would you still fight, even if it meant certain death? Would victory be worth it, even if it meant completely destroying the thing you sought to protect in the first place? The tensions are high as the people of Lym make their choice, and Cooper does an incredible job presenting the dilemma from every side possible.
Dealing with the Next is also no simple matter, as I realized very quickly that there are no clear villains in this story. While I found it hard to sympathize with the brutal and violent tactics of the Shining Revolution, neither could I make myself fully embrace the Next because some of their members were so thoroughly machine-like, especially those who have lost much of their humanity after being around for such a long time. This is why I thought Nayli and Yi’s chapters were so important; their perspectives succeeded in balancing each other out, raising this story to another level by making it a much deeper and more engaging one.
The final parts of this book were just phenomenal, bringing this duology to an end with thrilling climax and conclusion. There were also some shocking revelations to boot. All told, I still think I liked Edge of Dark a little bit more, but I have say it was really close. Spear of Light lacked some of the emotional impact I experienced in the first book, but it made up for that with its high suspense and tight pacing. This novel merely confirmed to me that The Glittering Edge is one of the most solid, well written sci-fi series out there, and it deserves a hell of a lot more attention. If you have an interest in transhumanism or stories about what it means to be human, you really need to read these books.
More on The BiblioSanctum:
Review of Edge of Dark (Book 1)
The Glittering Edge Series Giveaway
Interested in checking out The Glittering Edge duology? With thanks to the publisher, the BiblioSanctum has a set of these books up for grabs. The winner of this giveaway will receive a print copy of Edge of Dark and a print copy of Spear of Light. This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada. To enter, all you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your Name and valid Mailing Address using the subject line “THE GLITTERING EDGE” by 11:59pm Eastern time on Friday, June 17, 2016.
Only one entry per household, please. The winner will be randomly selected when the giveaway ends and then be notified by email. All information will only be used for the purposes of contacting the winner and sending them their prize. Once the giveaway ends all entry emails will be deleted.
So what are you waiting for? Enter to win! Good luck!