A review by Nalini Haynes
Ixion is an island of constant partying and total freedom until the youth are harvested by the Ripers (vampiric creatures) to feed their own kind and supply the human Elders from other islands with an elixir of youth. Having uncovered this conspiracy, Naif returns to Ixion with her friends to liberate the humans and the non-human slaves who serve the Ripers.
While many of Naif’s friends from the previous two books cameo in this final instalment, Shine Light is really a one-woman-show, with Naif planning and executing the crucial elements, exhorting others to follow her lead. I’m particularly confused as to why Kero stayed behind when and where he did, but this gave Naif centre stage when rounding up the youth for battle. I prefer stories that are more team-oriented and yet following Naif as central to the plot made the action immediate, success hanging by one thread.
In the lead up to the climax Naif visited the gangs to exhort them to join her; this slowed the pacing of the plot as well as being somewhat repetitious. I would have preferred more description of the final conflict, building suspense and horror before the pivotal moment, but this may have been a conscious choice to appeal to a less horror-tolerant and possibly a slightly younger market.
Overall the pacing of the novel was good, leading to the final outcome. While the final outcome dealt with the immediate, most urgent conflict, I wasn’t satisfied that this is the end of the story. There are too many important concerns for which answers are still life or death for the youth on Ixion that have not been resolved in addition to the issues with the pirates and the youth mutiny. Perhaps I’m looking at the narrative from a more adult rather than young adult perspective, or perhaps Marianne de Pierres intends to write a sequel trilogy to continue developing characters dealing with the aftermath and continuing to grow up.
Shine Light is a fitting conclusion to the immediate conflict with the Night Creatures, providing a resolution to the immediate vampire story while leaving an opening for a sequel trilogy. Fans will be delighted with scenes that are worthy of fan art and movies. Overall the Night Creatures trilogy is a light read with mild horror themes set in a fantasy/science fiction world, highly recommended for fans of YA of any age.