The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen

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4-stars

”Because I know the light will always belong to people like him. And those unwilling to look beyond their own little world will be left in the dark.” 

There was so much about this book I had not been expecting. To begin with I just imagined this was going to be another kidnapping / captivity story that held a lot of similar aspects to the others, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I enjoy those kind of books, but this story has a certain uniqueness about it that makes it a lot more enjoyable than many of the others out there. The twist of the story was not at all what I thought it might be. I was stunned reading it, it was so different to what I was thinking! Paul Pen deserves a round of applause for coming up with something so individual in a genre of books that are so repetitive. Also a round of applause to Kindle First for offering up this book, I have found most (not all) Kindle First books to be pretty bland and mediocre, but this was excellent.

Take the characters for example, they’re so difficult to understand. To begin with you just assume they’re the typical held-against-their-will kind of family but there’s so much more to them than that. Possible spoiler alert: Without trying to give too much away, even the nicest of characters can turn out to be horrible, horrible people.

Our POV comes from the youngest son of the family, we never know his name, and only through some simple detective work are we able to work out his age (psst, he’s 11). I thought after a while his way of description would begin to annoy me, but I found his simple and quick explanations of everything really helped to move the story along quickly. There was no point in the story where I felt bored to death by details and that’s what made this a quick and enjoyable read for me. When we get to the middle-ish of the book the story does change and puts us back 11 years in the past and I admit my reading did stumble a bit. I found things to be drawn out for longer than they needed to be, but it was actually probably about normal, just the contrast with the young boys POV made it seem exhausting.

The ending… disappointed me greatly and made me feel uncomfortable. I had to drop a star because of the end, if it had been resolved in the way I wanted it to I probably would have rated the a full 5 stars, but unfortunately it hasn’t worked out that way. I think it was supposed to be a happy ending, in a sense, but to me it just felt as twisted as the rest of the story. This is supposed to be about “finding the light even in the darkest of places” but anyone that finds light in this kinda thing is down right fucked up.

Buy it here!

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