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One villain short of great,
This review is from: Homo Luminous (Kindle Edition)
Homo Luminous is primarily the story of David Werden and Chris Collins. The two men survive a cataclysmic event separately, but eventually come together along with several other eccentric characters. The group is compelled by visions to pursue a path to the coast. Difficulties arise, though, in the interpretations others have for these visions. Some are callous towards the message and ignore it. Others see the gathering at the coast as an attack on their seat of power and will do whatever it takes to bring a stop to it.
The nature of the Luminous portion of this book doesn't appear until almost a third of the way through the volume. The exact explanation of the Luminous abilities of key characters sees the least amount of narrative and plays a secondary role. This is to be expected, since Homo Luminous is a bit more character driven. Still, the explanation provided struck me as a very broad and existential form of spirituality. The spiritual nature of Luminous really only plays a role in the motivations of a single character.
The book's main flaw lies with its villains. There is a single compromised and selfish individual that strikes me as plausible in the post-apocalyptic environment, up until the very end. The volume's key villain is meant to function as an embodiment of evil or the wrongness of human nature, but ultimately comes off as more of an amalgam of unpopular or outdated ideas. His cohorts and other nameless bad guys are thugs who engage in acts that make them very comfortable as enemies in the eyes of the reader, a feat normally reserved for cinema Nazis.
Frost has little trouble communicating his ideas to the reader. The early portion of the book is rather dominated by the detailed explanations of how each character manages to survive in a new era without electricity. It isn't until later when David, Chris and the rest of the book's traveling crew really play off each other that the text starts to take off. Again, the confrontation with the highly compromised villain kept me flipping the pages faster than any other part.
As an ebook, Homo Luminous does better than the average publication. The table of contents is a fully functional component of the Nook's touchscreen, which is a feature that many Smashwords conversions are missing. The cover is viewable in full screen, but the palette of blues and blacks doesn't quite show up well in the black-and-white conversion.