Blurb: “Tonight, everything could change. I wasn’t ready to let go of anyone just yet.”
If you could change what you know is coming, would you? Cecelia Walker discovers an amazing ability deep within herself that gives her the power to change the future. When mysterious outsiders enter her life, she begins to question everything and everyone she once knew.
Years earlier, CeeCee’s life changed forever the day her parents were killed in a horrific car accident. Suddenly extraordinary people and bizarre events began to seep into her very small world. Surviving for years on her addiction to coffee and running, life suddenly deals her a game-changing wildcard and all bets are off. Her magnificent Gift of Light awakens a tremendous dark power wanting to steal what is hers.
Will Cecelia be able to change what she’s seen and set a new course? Has she met her otherworldly match against evil and found her true soul mate? Or, is nothing as it seems as the power of darkness threatens to consume her and those she loves?
My review, as usual, starts with the book cover. This cover is not going to win any prizes. I’m not pulled in, not tempted to buy this book based on the cover alone.
Having said that, the cover is totally effective in setting up my expectations for the book’s contents.
It is dark, it is mysterious, it speaks silently of unspeakable horror. And that’s the kind of oxymoron that drives reader’s curiosity to resolve the contradiction, to satisfy one’s curiosity by reading the book. Well done, yes, but risky in a world where readers judge books by their covers.
The book is currently ranked at number 137 in its genre (suernatural, psychic, paranormal), so I must conclude that Julie Cassar’s gamble on the maturity of her readers has paid off. “Fortes fortuna juvat!” (fortune favors the brave).
Julie’s readers, evidently, do not judge a book by its cover, like I do. And they understand the genre-specific symbolism that is evident in her choice of cover artwork. Again, it has paid a handsome dividend for her.
This is the first time I’ve read something by this author, so I didn’t know what to expect in terms of writing style, authorial agenda, or tendencies. I requested an Advance Review Copy because I wanted to read something with a good vs evil plot.
My latest book, Emily and David’s Quest, used this same plot, so I was curious to see how Julie Cassar would work it into the thread of her narrative. As you might expect, the book crosses genre boundaries. You find supernatural, paranormal, horror, romance, thriller, suspense, mysticism and eroticism all residing harmoniously within the covers of this book.
Here, I want to share an extract from the book, taken from pages 151-152, which shows the author dealing with multiple layers of meaning and multiple genres:
“The next blissful ninety minutes passed with ease and laughter between the two of us as conversation, good food, and wine flowed. Cash asked all kinds of questions about what I’d been up to over the last four years, and I, in turn, asked about all of the wondrous things he must have seen in his Stealing Light 242 years.
All too soon, Cash was paying the check and taking my hand to escort me out of the restaurant.
As we walked outside in the cool, night air, I pouted. “I don’t want the evening to end.”
Smiling, he put his arm around my shoulder, hugged me close to his side and simply answered, “Then it shall not.”
The warmth I felt spread from my wide grin, and flowed down into my chest, filling me with a delicious giddiness. A rare sensation that I’ve only recently begun to feel, and each time, only in the presence of Cash.
We strolled back to my apartment above the coffee shop and gazed at the star-filled night. Looking up at the glittering sky, I was reminded of something I had wanted to ask him.
“Where are your wings?” I said as I peered up at his gorgeous face, barely illuminated in the darkness. “And … is it … possible that I could have seen you flying earlier today? I could have sworn I saw a sparkling light stream across the sky when you left the coffee shop earlier to find Aaron.”
Looking down at me with a heart-melting smile, he answered, “My wings are always with me, Cecelia. Angels’ wings are not something that humans typically ever see. And … yes, I suppose you could see me. You’ve seen so much more than I Stealing Light could have ever expected you to.”
His voice was full of wonder and … what? Amazement? Longing? I wasn’t quite sure. I don’t know why I suddenly felt self-conscious, but I did. I turned away from him and looked down at our feet, as he hugged me closer to his side. Heat rose between us and the air seemed to crackle between our skins. What was that? I’d never felt such desire for someone before.” (end of extract)
So, what do we have here? Point of view is interesting to comment on, given the level of intimacy between Cash and Cecilia. For me, the author has chosen well, using FIRST PERSON POINT OF VIEW. This takes the narration and moves it completely into the interior of one character, Cecilia.
Why is this good? Since in first person, the story is told by Cecilia directly, the author as intervening narrator is completely eliminated. Julie Cassar is adding a bit of extra immediacy/urgency to the story and making Cecilia’s “emotional state” clear.
Indeed, it is quite clear that Cecilia is going to give in to the physical desire for Cash that she is feeling. She wants him, she needs him, she desires him, and the whole evening has been leading up to this moment. The pages of the book seem to be heating up in anticipation of what is coming next.
And as we turn the next page, expecting the normal progression of Cecilia’s desire, we are met with a bit of masterful authorial artistry. I won’t tell you what happens on this page, but it is literally a master stroke from the pen of a highly skilled author.
To sum up, I don’t like the cover of this book. However, between the covers of this book is a brilliantly narrated story that fans of the genre will surely appreciate. I take note that the book only has 6 reviews on Amazon so far. It deserves at least 10 times as many. 60 reviews would make this book more easily discoverable for a wider range of readers of this genre. As for me, I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. I give “Stealing Light“, by Julie Cassar, 5 well deserved stars.
Julie Cassar’s debut Young Adult Fantasy “Ruby Blue” Series has been met with rave reviews and has spent weeks on Amazon’s Fantasy Series Best Seller List as well as it’s Top Rated list. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art, specializing in Graphic Design, Cassar has also worked as a production artist, designer, painter and photographer. She has been featured in Fitness Magazine, “Outdoor Athlete,” and publishes a monthly blog.