Selah has finally found her father only to lose the rest of her family. And with her transformation to novarium in process, the clock is ticking down to her destruction if she doesn’t complete the final phase in time. Answers will only be found by returning to the one place Selah least wants to go: the Mountain. She must gather the answers she needs, rescue her family, and bring her friends to safety before time runs out.
I think my first mistake was probably in reading this book without having read Thunder, the first book in the series. I never felt like I could fully grasp the storyworld elements critical to the tale. I’m still not totally sure what Landers are and I definitely didn’t follow the First, Second, and Third protocol explanations or understand why they were relevant. A lot of the information comes out in the form of dialogue, but I kept feeling like I was missing the pieces of information that would make everything suddenly make sense.
The side characters were my favorite. Mari and Cleon and Treva, in particular. Selah felt uneven to me, sometimes acting like a grown adult and other times reading much more like a younger teen. Some of her conversations with Bodhi (I LOVED the character names in the story) felt like they were arguing because this is the scene in which they’re supposed to argue. Some of the dialogue felt like it was jumping around and responses didn’t seem to follow any linear ideas.
I liked that there were all these groups vying to use Selah for their own means. Even her father had his own agenda. That kept me guessing and wondering what would be around the next bend in the story.
Bottom line for me: if you’re going to read this series, start with Thunder. I haven’t read it, but I think I would have enjoyed Lightning a lot more if I wasn’t struggling to understand the mechanics of the storyworld in the midst of the tale itself.
There are some brief battles, but very little gory detail. One of Selah’s companions is fatally injured and asks to be left behind.