Book Review of ‘Blacklight Born’
Blacklight Born is a mixed bag with some high points, but it is average for the most part.
The book is basically two parts — one from Murray’s POV and one from Cego’s POV. Both these sections suffer from pacing issues. If it weren’t the third book in the trilogy, I doubt I would have been enthused to read it cover to cover.
The portion with Murray is better with some good emotional beats. But this section is overly complicated, with flashbacks inter-mixing with the main plot. I am not a huge fan of using flashbacks as a story telling device, except where it actually adds to the plot and not to provide some cheap thrills/anticipation. And the flashbacks interspersed between the main story don’t really add to the first section since its relevance is in the second part. A linear approach would have been much better. Probably, the best part is that I didn’t see the ending coming.
Cego’s section has some unexplained portions with lots of handwaving involved. Cego suddenly has a change of heart, he is allowed back in etc. This feels rushed and jarring.
Making the Slayer totally evil is also not that great in terms of story telling. It becomes insultingly easy for us (and Cego) to not root for Slayer. I think the author missed a trick here by not making the Slayer more sympathetic. I would have loved to see a morally gray character (any rational human being) lead a worthy cause. I didn’t like how a soulless badass suddenly becomes a long lost character when it is convenient. Why didn’t this person reveal it earlier? It would have avoided all chaos.
Overall, I found Blacklight Born disappointing, especially after the first two decent entries in the trilogy.