Title: The Light of the World (#1)
Author: Tara Brown
Published: November 19, 2012
Good to know: explicit language
Amazon Summary: As if going off to college isn't hard enough, Rayne discovers she has other challenges beyond roommates or first-year workload. She discovers the fate of the world resting on her small shoulders, not to mention the creepy whispers that taunt her in her sleep each night. In the haze of her dreams she hears it, 'You're dead. You're dead and I just forgot to tell you.' The sentence is alarming in itself. Add to that, the voice whispering to her is her mother's, and you have a real nightmare.
But what happens when the whispers in your sleep are warnings and the ghosts in the water are your friends? What happens when the guy you fall for freshman year is your family's oldest enemy? What happens when the only sleep you get is when you lie with the dead, and the only way to save yourself is to murder your parents? With the help of her new friends and old lovers, Rayne discovers her destiny has very little to do with midterms and more to do with the fate of humanity.
'The Light of the World' had a very interesting storyline.
I didn't like the first chunk of the story and still feel that if it'd been cut out of the book entirely (in other words, if the beginning had been done differently), it wouldn't have made a difference nor affected the storyline or the characters. We meet Rayne when she's just started college and meets her roommate, Mona, old friend, Michelle, and an annoying flirt, Wyatt.
This will be the key group of characters throughout the story and I have to say; some I were okay with and some I just never liked.
Rayne was okay. She wasn't a stupid girl, she had some backbone. But again, the beginning of the book just put everything in a distasteful light. There were so many, unnecessary sexual references and odd, unrealistic situations.
Rayne gets sick and stays and sleeps at a total stranger's dorm for two days which her "friends" find to be completely fine since he says he'll take care of her. What.
From one chapter to the other, very early on, two months has passed and Rayne has gone from okay to several degrees below that - carelessly sleeping around and partying, basically having hit her head.
Sure, she suffered from major heartbreak from a guy she barely knew but could not live or breathe without (oh how this bugged me; but all would later be explained). Though, I don't see why it was necessary for her to go through such a drastic change in personality. I just couldn't help but like her much, much less.
There was so little for you to hold onto in Rayne that made you relate to her and really like her as a character. I would've wished for more of Rayne's emotional thoughts, something that'd make you feel with her and understand her.
Mona was the good friend and support throughout the story, but hers and Rayne's friendship didn't grow on me, nor did Mona. She didn't have much substance and didn't bring anything to the story. The upside was that, without Mona, Rayne would've been running around for the majority of the book on her own, which would've been lonely (and, perhaps, boring.)
Rayne is supposed to have known Michelle since before, but there's literally nothing that makes you believe that they have been friends earlier.
Michelle having originally been Michael was interesting, cool, something new. But holy [insert choice of word] did I feel like this character had dropped from another planet to be in 'The Light of the World.' So out of place, irrelevant, and melodramatic.
Rayne's vision of their friendship was quite sappy, with little explanation as to why she loved Michelle so much.
[SPOILERS:] Even after Michelle had tortured her. With a sword. While she hung from the ceiling, arms dislocated. Yet again. Say what. And really, the whole thing about Michelle spontaneously deciding to stay at a church and become a nun (which we'll later learn did her absolutely no good. You'll see) was just, regretfully, comical. I was glad to get her out of the story for the moment. [SPOILERS ENDED.]
And Wyatt. This guy. Incredibly cocky and confident. I didn't like him and didn't want to like him, so it came as a shock that I ended up warming up to him (which I especially did when strange, uncanny Constantine came into the picture.)
What I didn't understand was the sudden "relationship" between Rayne and Wyatt. His kind was supposed to despise her but due to an unknown reason, he didn't. He just constantly wanted to make out, claiming he could never love something like her, but she knew he did. And she secretly loved him, too, when she wasn't hating on him. It was such a push-and-pull situation. Just... what is what, now?
She'd let Wyatt or Constantine be horrible to her and then call them up, laugh and joke, and claim to "need them."
This girl lacked some good sense.
[SPOILERS:] While in a dead-serious situation, having kidnapped a priest and tied him up to get answers, she STILL had the time and sense to recall her and Constantine's sexual past, and try to seduce him in the room. Really, just really.
She risked her life returning to Wyatt's home where his whole family wanted to kill her and had attempted so, after learning that he was planning on killing her as well, just to get a peek of him. I mean, come on! And it all ended up with her fleeing for her life, as expected. [SPOILERS ENDED.]
Also, there were multiple times that "he" and "him" were mentioned and you'd have no idea who Rayne was referring to until a page later. Sometimes it'd be Wyatt or Constantine or even her father or another random character; you had to guess back and forth. Is it Wyatt? I think so. No, wait. It could be Constantine. But I'm pretty sure it's Wyatt. Or Constantine. Oh, she's talking about her dad.
Throughout the entire story someone would be mentioned (Ellie this, Ellie that... who is that?) and things would happen without explanation until you, somewhere down the road, managed to connect the dots on your own.
And what was up with every single person cussing for no reason at all? "Shit" was said 57 times throughout the book, and "fuck" 32 times. I just had to look it up.
Yes. I had a lot of issues with the characters. I feel that they need a lot of work and love to be likable, strong characters.
The story was very fast-paced. Settings and situations would change abruptly. From one word to another, Rayne would be someplace else entirely and you wouldn't know if it was a dream or a new scene or if she'd plain out teleported. Sometimes it was hard to keep up and you'd find that the story was zooming in and out, flashing from left to right.
However, despite my rant (honestly, I had no idea how much I had to say about this book before I actually sat down and started writing this review). Believe it or not, I did enjoy 'The Light of the World.' It's an interesting, very intriguing storyline involving many supernatural elements - witches, vampires, faeries.
I didn't get invested or attached to the story, however, it kept my attention and had many unexpected turns. I really liked the idea of it (which my three points are for!) I think with adjustments and more work 'The Light of the World' could be really great.