There are just too many books to read. I have a huge number of books on my To Be Read shelf on my nook, most of them from free offerings. Like most people, I tend to read the books I pay for before starting one of the free downloads. Both of these take a backseat to books I borrow from the library because of the time constraints on library books. So I have no idea when I downloaded Last Light from Barnes and Noble, but when I was looking for a book to counterbalance the last book I read, which made me feel dissatisfied and soiled somehow, this one called out to me.
Terri Blackstock is a bestselling Christian author who says, "It’s my goal to write fiction that will keep you up all night." In Last Light, she succeeds.
The premise of the story is what if all modern electronics failed due to some natural phenomenon that caused an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP)? Planes fall out of the sky, cars stop working, there's no internet or telephone or even water because the pumps don't work. We follow the affluent Banning family, who live near Birmingham, Alabama, as they learn to cope with the new reality and how it changes people.
What most impressed me was how well the characters were drawn. Deni, the daughter in her early twenties with a wedding to plan, lands at the airport with her father just before planes start crashing. Totally self-absorbed, she thinks that her problem of being apart from her fiance and the job she's supposed to start in Washington, DC is the most important thing in the world. Her younger brother sneaks off to a pool party with his friends, drinks beer, and is a little too intimate with a girl than his father would like when he's supposed to be taking his turn to watch over the family. In other words, they behave the way kids do.
I have to admit I'm somewhat of a literary snob. I like books that increase my vocabulary, that have plots where everything is not as it seems, and have complex characters that make me wonder about human nature. Last Light has none of these. Written at what I believe is no more than an eighth grade level, with some annoying conventions (including men toting guns to protect the women), and a strong dose of Bible, it's exactly the kind of book I should have disliked.
But I didn't dislike it. Quite the opposite. I kept turning the pages, couldn't wait to get back to reading it to find out what happened next, and thoroughly enjoyed the story. It's probably the first time the tactic of offering the first book in a series for free with the hope that the reader will want to buy more books in the series has worked for me. Thoroughly enjoyable.