Flying to the Light
By Elyse Salpeter
ISBN# 9781618770233
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Verushka

This is a book that tries hard to be something it’s not – something that will make readers question heaven and hell, souls and rebirth and tries to provide some shape to what happens after death. It is an admirable undertaking, but one that is not properly executed.

Maddy and Gary Anderson are scientists that are kidnapped by Samuel Herrington. Their sons Michael and Danny are forced to go on the run in an effort to escape Herrington’s clutches and to try to find their way to the authorities. It seems an accident while Maddy was pregnant with Danny she gave him special powers – the ability to know what happens to souls when a person dies and to guide them into the light. He’s pretty much a mini-Ghost Whisperer with birds – which is where souls go.

What started out as a simple image – that souls go into birds, progressively gets more complicated as we learn more about Danny’s power. Rules are different for good guys and bad, and apparently, we learn that Danny’s power  hasn’t yet reached its full potential, which when it does, it is a terribly executed convenience that saves the day and his family’s lives.

In general, the writing is uneven and there is a formality to the characters’ voices that took me right out of the story. Michael and Danny are well drawn out and we get to know them the best. There are several secondary characters that more often than not serve as information sources for everything Michael doesn’t know about his family, which is a pity, because these were interesting characters, worth more than being information sources only.

However, the author seems to have a handle on pacing and how to create tension within the novel. It begins and moves along at breakneck speed. Everyone is out to get Michael and Danny, for Herrington’s pull is such that normal people will turn against them for money. It works fine, until twists and turns came thick and fast towards the end and are a distraction. It felt as if rounding off characters and their motivations were abandoned in favor of adding another twist.

All in all, an interesting premise, but poorly executed.