Review of sci-fi A Light Beam for Faith by E.K. Highland
She’s not waiting for a hero to come save her; instead, she becomes her own heroine. Hazel’s world comes crashing in front of her in an instant during a family trip to Mont-Tremblant. What she doesn’t know is that she is from the stars, and so it’s no wonder she must return in order to find the answers she seeks.
She embarks on a trek aboard the Imperial Bona Fides, the mothership of the Alpha Cygnians people. With the help of her best friend Zita, and the others she will meet along the way, she will journey to places she never knew existed. Hazel will learn to tame her fears and become the woman she wants to be.
This is the story of different worlds that must learn to co-exist. They must all put their differences aside, and with a bit of faith they will all witness a new dawn. We are all compelled to be inspired when faith is with us.
This story is for anyone who enjoys what we look for when we wish to get away in a sci-fi fantasy book. You will live vicariously through the energetic characters as they go on through their incredible first trek. There is a sense of youthfulness and coming of age in this story that makes it a great read and appealing to a wide audience with the implemented strong characters and exciting action.
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Excerpt from A Light Beam for Faith
We opened a door at the bottom of the stairs and arrived outside where a completely unexpected scenery awaited us. We rubbed our eyes with disbelief and were stunned to see a large spaceship that was almost see-through, as if it were trying to be translucent and there were weird glyphs written on it. Somehow, no one else were around to witness this spectacle. There were three women dressed in clothes fashioned in a way we aren’t accustomed to seeing here on Earth. They wore grey, black, and dark purple one-piece suits, and their boots had flashing lights on them. Their hair was black and pulled slick back inside their hoods. One had dreadlocks sticking out of a hole at the back of her hood. Their faces were ornated with a style of makeup that we would consider different here on Earth. They had different skin tones, ranging from dark to very light brown. They were strong, robust like men, and were doing some type of mind control on the twins. The scariest one of them had eyes coloured purple and orange as she was emitting her powers, rushing the twins to enter the spaceship. She seemed like she was the strongest of the two. The other one was holding a device that was emitting waves that were pulling the girls toward them. The girls seemed like they were putting a little effort in fighting what was happening to them, but eventually they gave in. Mom was running with all her might toward the UFO and screaming: “Please don’t take my children! Stop it! Those are my girls! Help! Help! Someone please help us!”.
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My Review of A Light Beam for Faith
This book’s description sounded amazing, and the concept grabbed me. After a decade of dystopian sci-fi overcrowding shelves, I’m on the hunt for uplifting stories of the future. Hazel’s journey definitely falls into that category, and I appreciated how she and so many others found their inner strength to build the world they want to see.
While the concept was fantastic, the book itself felt like it lost the description somewhere. From the description, I expected a book about Hazel’s journey, which is how it started. The beginning showed Hazel’s family facing your everyday family trials and the “call to action” of Hazel’s sisters being abducted. Once Hazel makes the decision to go after them, I expected a book about Hazel doing that, which I eventually got, but not until a rather large chunk of the story went to explaining backstories and people that Hazel didn’t even know. The worlds and civilizations the author constructed are fantastic, and I wanted to see Hazel wending her way through them to grow into the woman she wants to be. The chapters and chapters of information about how the bad guys are bad and the minute details of all the bad things they’ve done brought the story to a stand-still. I kept reading in hopes I’d get back to Hazel, but it took a very long time. I did get a glimpse at her sisters and some others, but it was all told from Hazel’s distant eye, so it was less like I was watching stories unfold and more like Hazel was just narrating everything that ever happened to the people she loves and anyone who was around them.
I wanted to love this so much. There were some truly amazing moments, but overall, I felt bogged down in descriptions of planets, people, policies, and all the terrible things that had once happened or could happen if people didn’t take action. The story felt sprinkled in among lots of warnings and backstory. I also kept forgetting this was set 300 years in the future. As a teenager, I expected Hazel to make references to things in her timeline, but pretty much every cultural reference was to stuff happening on Earth in 2022 and the decade leading up to it. I would actually be startled when something very futuristic popped up because I felt so engrained in the 2022 timeframe.
If there was ever a book I’d describe as a “diamond in the rough,” this is it. I could see the story arc stretching out over Hazel and the wonderful worldbuilding present in this novel, but it was mostly buried beneath large chunks of information that stalled a lot of the forward movement of the story. I loved the elements and characters of this book and wish they’d been more central.
About E.K. Highland
E.K. Highland is a Haitian-Canadian first-time author who enjoys sci-fi and fantasy stories. The problem is, she wants to see more diversity in those genres. While growing up in Ottawa, Canada, she felt that books and television lacked representation of more Black characters.
Now she wants more characters who resemble her likeness as a Black woman in the science fiction and fantasy genre, as there are increasingly more Black authors who are writing science fiction and including characters of different color and ethnicity.
After attending the University of Ottawa in hopes of understanding English literature better, she decided to finally write her own sci-fi fantasy novel. And, you guessed it, the lead character resembles her because representation matters.
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