Brought to you by OBS reviewer Caro
“The barista hated coffee. He loathed the taste of it, the smell of it, and the sound of it…”
This is how the first chapter of Lights Out begins. What better way to start the story, I might say. With these words, my attention was caught immediately -I’m not much of a coffee person- but once the barista’s mind started to pour out its thoughts, I was hooked.
Just as the story takes off, Paul, our tormented main character, reveals himself to the readers as a professional killer. He seems like your typical next door neighbor. He has a “job,” a nice apartment, a girlfriend, and you would never suspect anything bad from him. Until we learn about his past. My favorite part about Paul and the character in general is his mind. He has a very interesting way of thinking. His thoughts are more concerned and/or directed on questions that are there floating around but we usually don’t mind asking or paying attention to. There’s a part in the story where he and his girlfriend are having an argument, in an amusing and sarcastic way, he starts thinking on how women seem to accumulate things over time. His thoughts might exaggerate a little at moments, but I still find him likeable.
Author Melissa Groeling might have just written my favorite male character of the year. His conscience always has something to say back at him, hardly staying quiet. I like to think of it as another character, an uncomfortable partner to work with. But, enough about Paul.
We also meet, Aaron, a character that thinks to have full control of Paul. As the reader learns more about these two, Aaron is shown as a sort of savior to Paul. He took him out of the streets as a teenager and sheltered him, but at a great price: kill those that hurt people just like he was once hurt. Aaron, and not just him, has an obsession for Paul, to the point of gifting him a child, which Paul goes through hell to save. There’s a whole assemble of characters that appear as the story progresses, but writing about them would be too much of a spoiler.
Throughout the story, Paul goes from hit-man, to treasure hunter, to avenging angel, to finally facing the ghosts from his tragic past. Lights Out has a deep message, human traffic, which one takes in consideration once one has analyzed the book. There was something I did not like, at a certain point the story drags becoming uncomfortable, like Aaron mentions it, the chit-chat was too much. Even Paul starts to feel the effects becoming lost and paranoid. Other than that, I found the writing to be refreshing and it immediately catches the attention of the reader.
If this is your type of genre, this book is for you. If you’re looking for something refreshing other than romance novels, you can give this book a try. But beware; there are some violence and sexual scenes not for the faint of heart or those looking for some lovey-dovey time.