Monday, January 23, 2017

Review Tour: Light Up The Dark by Suki Fleet ~ (Giveaway)

Review Tour: Light Up The Dark by Suki Fleet ~ (Giveaway)
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Cover Design: Natasha Snow 


For two years Nicky has wandered the dark empty corridors of the overgrown Thorn Hall, unseen and untouched, feeling like a ghost. His only company, the cold man who promised to keep him safe from harm, Lance. 

But when Lance dies, Nicky’s assurance of safety disintegrates and his world suddenly becomes a lot more real and a lot more dangerous. Scared to leave the house, Nicky longs for daylight. He employs a gardener to clear the over-grown bushes and vines that have nearly swallowed Thorn Hall whole. 

The last thing Nicky expects a little light to do is show him something to fight for. 

Eighteen months in a young offenders’ institute has taught Cai two things: he occupies the playful puppy end of the How Dangerous Are You? spectrum, and he has an unfortunate knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Desperate for a job, he takes the first offer he gets. Even though Thorn Hall creeps the hell out of him and he barely knows one end of a pair of garden shears from the other. 

Things start to fall apart when Cai is drawn into Nicky’s strange world of sticky notes and secrets. Cai finds he is now a target, blamed for a crime he didn’t commit. Desperate not to go back to prison, he digs deep and risks all the good things in life to help Nicky run. 

But now Nicky has someone he wants to protect, he knows he can’t run any more.

Perhaps this is one of those books that has to be 'seen' e.g. via an adaptation for the small screen, and not read?

This is quite well-written, but starts off very disjointedly and then a whole host of characters appear, causing quite a lot of confusion and moments of, 'Why are they here? What's their relevance? Where did they go?' - as the tale ended, I still didn't have the answers to those questions in regards to about 5 of the characters.

Firstly, the Nicky character was so weird, so unlikable and so, so petty that I couldn't warm to him, not even at the end of the tale. TBH, I didn't see how Cai could fall for him, as 1) Nicky was really unpleasant to him and I didn't think that Cai was that much of a masochist, if even one at all, to put up with him, and 2) they hardly spent any time together, and for much of the tale, if not most, communication was one-sided, with Nicky leaving him post-it notes stuck to windows. Cai was sweet but a little naive and the 18m in the YOI (a British term, 'young offenders' institute') could have entirely been avoided if he'd told the truth and hadn't sacrificed himself for someone he only vaguely knew.

The tale starts with Nicky being a pole-dancer/go-go dancer type, drunk and drugged to the eyeballs and being paid for a private dance by someone called the Duke. This guy is apparently notoriously brutal and the drugs are to help Nicky cope, but he throws up and the scene fades out. It fades back in with Nicky's 'rescuer' the older Lance, promising to take him somewhere safe. The next part takes place a page later with Lance dead and buried and Nicky alone in the old guy's mansion, whilst Lance's relatives try to turf him out, but can't, as the Will hasn't been read yet.

There's no indication of how long Lance has been dead, but the water is still on in the house, though there's no heating or electricity and barely any food. Nicky seems to have adapted to his life but decides he wants the vines climbing the house cleared so that he can get daylight, and this is how Cai comes into his life.

There are quite a few issues with the tale not working, as in the UK, you can't cut off electricity, gas or water to a property just like that - proof of the deceased needs to be given, and in winter, there may well be rules that mean that this can't be done. Additionally, when there's a change of bank notes, the old, obsolete ones are valid for a short period of time, after which they cease to become legal tender, though one's own bank is likely to accept and exchange them, but sometimes with a delay. Shops and everywhere else would absolutely reject them after the crossover period is up, and reject them sometimes within the crossover, so I didn't buy how Cai and his sister and her friend could spend the out-of-date monies. Especially, a whole £4k of it.

There are also issues with the whole host of characters, as frankly, the tale was muddled and there were too many. At one point, I had visions of it descending into a take on Flowers In The Attic or Jane Eyre, with the appearance of another - mad? - person hidden in the house, and I couldn't really make sense of it. I also couldn't understand the reason that Lauren/Loz, who liked to refer to himself/herself as 'they', was in the tale, as really, he/she - my apologies if I am making mistakes here - didn't really have a purpose, unless the author wanted to provide a distraction, in which case she succeeded.

This had dark undertones of family secrets and horrors and felt a bit Gothic, but at the end of it, I didn't believe that the leads were together, I didn't believe in the undercover story, I didn't believe in the stranger living in the attic (where did she get even the basics of food and water from?) and I was entirely muddled about what I'd read. This wasn't a romance in my book.

ARC courtesy of the author for my reading pleasure.

January 3 - Dog-Eared Daydreams
January 11 - Back Porch Reader

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Author Bio

Award Winning Author. Prolific Reader (though less prolific than she'd like). Lover of angst, romance and unexpected love stories. 

Suki Fleet writes lyrical stories about memorable characters, and believes everyone should have a chance at a happy ending. 

Her first novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards, and was a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards. 

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