In a cold universe close to death, humanity’s descendants orbit a black star. Eons ago, they retreated to the collective conscious, an artificial world that provided immortality. Millennia passed without change while people slept a dreamless state, until a distant explosion forced the ship to wake its inhabitants. Only one responded, Jerel. With the ship’s fate resting on her actions, she must choose. Leave the safety of their star, their sole companion in an empty universe, or strike out into the void, to investigate the anomaly. Soon, she suspects a malignant force lurks in wait, attempting to reverse her decision. Is it the ship itself, the collective conscious, or something worse?
Not every choice is an easy one.
Jerel was a well-developed and likeable protagonist. Her reaction to the strange events that happened after she woke up in the first scene was as understandable as how she reacted to even more unbelievable plot twists later on in her tale. I admired her curiosity and stubbornness. She needed both of these character traits and more in order to figure out what was happening on the ship and how she’d ended up there.
There were some minor pacing issues in the beginning due to the focus on world building and plot development. This made for a slower start than I was hoping to see, but once I reached the later scenes my patience was richly rewarded. The author knew exactly where they were going. While I would have liked to see a faster pace during the first thirty pages or so, I was quite pleased with how it all turned out in the end.
Speaking of the ending, it couldn’t have been written better. The foreshadowing for it was subtle but steady. I had an inkling of how it might be tied all together, but I appreciated how much space the audience was given to decide for ourselves which interpretation to believe. This was the perfect choice for both the main character and the odd world she came from.
Bright Lights Bound By Darkness was an exciting adventure.