February 04, 2014

People of the Lightning by Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W. Michael Gear

This is probably the oddest book of the series so far.  The 7th book, it isn't necessary to read any of the others before reading this one, it doesn't even really reference too much from any of the other books.  But it certainly has a weird plotline and characters.

Pondwader was born special.  He is a lightning boy, which is what his people call albinos.  To satisfy a debt, he is married to a warrior woman of a neighboring village.  But she has some problems of her own and doesn't really want to drag around a new husband, although she does care for him.  Her village has been attacked and her first husband taken, and she has to go save him.  Pondwader's destiny is tied up with hers and he needs to go with her, despite the consequences.

Pondwader has no filter.  He loves almost everyone he comes in contact with, and it would seem that he loves them almost instantly.  His mother is a strange character to and while she provides an antagonist at times, she's almost unbelievable in her actions.  His wife, Musselwhite, is cold most of the time but at least she seems to care about her family.  And his sister is probably the most well-rounded character of all.  At least she's the one that acts halfways normal and seems to really care for her brother but have other interests outside of him. 

I must admit, I didn't really care for the story in this book.  I thought it was rushed, somewhat contrived and a lot of things never explained.  You have what Pondwader's destiny is spelled out very early on, but then the ending branches off in a way you wouldn't expect and it's done a bit jumbled.  There's a spiritual element to this book, and more talk of not necessarily Dreamers, but spirit destiny, but for once that was the understandable part of the book.  It was the characters actions and delusions that were the inconceivable part this time.  There's the usual amount of violence and sex in this book, and it is described, not just eluded to.  Another flaw in the writing was the continual use of the phrase "yes, my wife" in response to his new wife.  I get that he was excited to be married but it was repetitive and I think he would have called her by name a few times at least.

It sounds like I'm complaining a lot about this book and maybe it's because the previous two I had actually enjoyed.  This one wasn't terrible but it did have enough flaws to sink it quite a bit lower than the previous ones.

People of the Lightning
Copyright 1995
584 pages

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