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A 2021 Kirkus Best of the Year Book A 2021 Kirkus Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book The Matrix meets an Afro-futuristic retelling of Persephone set in a science fiction underworld of aliens, refugees, and genetic engineering in Jennifer Marie Brissett's Destroyer of Light 20 Must Read Space Fantasy Books for 2021—Bookriot Most Anticipated Fall 2021 Sci-fi, Fantasy & Horror A 2021 Kirkus Best of the Year Book A 2021 Kirkus Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book The Matrix meets an Afro-futuristic retelling of Persephone set in a science fiction underworld of aliens, refugees, and genetic engineering in Jennifer Marie Brissett's Destroyer of Light 20 Must Read Space Fantasy Books for 2021—Bookriot Most Anticipated Fall 2021 Sci-fi, Fantasy & Horror—BiblioLifestyle Having destroyed Earth, the alien conquerors resettle the remains of humanity on the planet of Eleusis. In the four habitable areas of the planet—Day, Dusk, Dawn, and Night—the haves and have nots, criminals and dissidents, and former alien conquerors irrevocably bind three stories: *A violent warlord abducts a young girl from the agrarian outskirts of Dusk leaving her mother searching and grieving. *Genetically modified twin brothers desperately search for the lost son of a human/alien couple in a criminal underground trafficking children for unknown purposes. *A young woman with inhuman powers rises through the insurgent ranks of soldiers in the borderlands of Night. Their stories, often containing disturbing physical and sexual violence, skate across years, building to a single confrontation when the fate of all—human and alien—balances upon a knife’s-edge.


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A 2021 Kirkus Best of the Year Book A 2021 Kirkus Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book The Matrix meets an Afro-futuristic retelling of Persephone set in a science fiction underworld of aliens, refugees, and genetic engineering in Jennifer Marie Brissett's Destroyer of Light 20 Must Read Space Fantasy Books for 2021—Bookriot Most Anticipated Fall 2021 Sci-fi, Fantasy & Horror A 2021 Kirkus Best of the Year Book A 2021 Kirkus Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book The Matrix meets an Afro-futuristic retelling of Persephone set in a science fiction underworld of aliens, refugees, and genetic engineering in Jennifer Marie Brissett's Destroyer of Light 20 Must Read Space Fantasy Books for 2021—Bookriot Most Anticipated Fall 2021 Sci-fi, Fantasy & Horror—BiblioLifestyle Having destroyed Earth, the alien conquerors resettle the remains of humanity on the planet of Eleusis. In the four habitable areas of the planet—Day, Dusk, Dawn, and Night—the haves and have nots, criminals and dissidents, and former alien conquerors irrevocably bind three stories: *A violent warlord abducts a young girl from the agrarian outskirts of Dusk leaving her mother searching and grieving. *Genetically modified twin brothers desperately search for the lost son of a human/alien couple in a criminal underground trafficking children for unknown purposes. *A young woman with inhuman powers rises through the insurgent ranks of soldiers in the borderlands of Night. Their stories, often containing disturbing physical and sexual violence, skate across years, building to a single confrontation when the fate of all—human and alien—balances upon a knife’s-edge.

30 review for Destroyer of Light

  1. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    One of the best science-fiction books I've read in a very long time... Please, read the content warnings and the blurb. This is a retelling of Persephone and the scenes mentioned in the content warning are heartbreaking-they are the Hell...they are also something that is happening in real life in present-once more science-fiction acts as a mirror to highlight the injustices and suffering that exists in our world. The book gripped me from the very beginning and I had to put on hold everything els One of the best science-fiction books I've read in a very long time... Please, read the content warnings and the blurb. This is a retelling of Persephone and the scenes mentioned in the content warning are heartbreaking-they are the Hell...they are also something that is happening in real life in present-once more science-fiction acts as a mirror to highlight the injustices and suffering that exists in our world. The book gripped me from the very beginning and I had to put on hold everything else while I read this powerful story. The timelines/story strands (Cora -a young girl with yet unknown special abilities kidnapped by a paramilitary squad and forced to become a child soldier, genetically modified twin detectives searching for a missing boy, a young woman released by a warlord, apparently free to come back to her mother and her former life) were clearly marked and easy to distinguish. You could see straightaway where and how they intersect and how the past they represent is shaping the present which is about to come. The world-building is amazing. Destroyer of Light is a sequel to Elysium (which I am off to buy immediately) which tells the story of a multi-dimensional alien race of krestge destroying the Earth. Some got lucky and managed to board transport ships and migrated to a new planet Eleusis where the society was supposd to be just and equal-after all, they are all survivors with the same background-right?wrong. The perpetual cycle of the select few grabbing technology and resources is reborn and the have nots are denied all but hard, backbreaking work that gives them basic subsistence, but doesn't guarantee safety. The planet is divided into four sectors -Day, Dusk, Night, and Dawn with very different life conditions. Add the fact that some krestge followed the humans who fleed the Earth, although what they want now appears to be peace and trade. It is difficult to discuss the characters without giving away the story. Cora goes through tremendous transformation -from the innocence and naivety of a simple girl from the Outlands to somebody infinitely wise, carrying the weight of life-altering decisions. The twins never lose their humility and compassion, despite their own tragic story. There is so much dignity and mother's all encompassing love in the character of Deidra, especially if you view it in contrast with the character of the missing boy's mother. I found this book very atmospheric-even the names of the sectors where most of the action happens- the Dusk and the Dawn-suggest the battle beween the light and the darkness, moral ambiguity, the grey of our choices and decisions, the impossibility of seeing clearly and knowing the feelings and motivations of another human being (or alien-this is sci-fi, after all), the loneliness of a survivor. Destroyer of Light has been nominated as one of the 20 Must Read Space Fantasy Books and although I rarely look at these lists, for once I have to agree-this is a very thought-provoking read with a great balance of intellectual and emotional. Sign me up for anything Jennifer Marie Brisset writes in the future! Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Books for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Anders

    No spoilers here. I loved everything about this book: the world, the characters, the twisty story, the wild action. I was so grateful to get an opportunity to read an early copy. I was a huge fan of Brissett's previous book, Elysium, so I'm not surprised that this one rocked my world. Destroyer of Light is proof positive that we're living in a new golden age of science fiction. It's an intricate family saga, an edge-of-your seat thriller, and an incredible story of transformation and coming-of-a No spoilers here. I loved everything about this book: the world, the characters, the twisty story, the wild action. I was so grateful to get an opportunity to read an early copy. I was a huge fan of Brissett's previous book, Elysium, so I'm not surprised that this one rocked my world. Destroyer of Light is proof positive that we're living in a new golden age of science fiction. It's an intricate family saga, an edge-of-your seat thriller, and an incredible story of transformation and coming-of-age. I'm a sucker for stories about posthuman characters who are still recognizably human, with complex inner lives and intense feelings, and this was one of the best examples of that type of story that I've seen in ages. I got about halfway through and just started turning pages faster and faster, saying "holy shit" out loud---the story just kept getting more and more intense and wild and catching me off guard. Every time I thought I knew where this was going, I was surprised and amazed. The world of this book is also so complex and mind-blowing, and it's going to change the way I think and write about alien worlds in the future. Destroyer of Light is brutal, intense, emotionally potent and totally essential. I got goosebumps from the ending. Put in your pre-orders ASAP!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    On the planet Eleusis, humans and the Krestge live together. This wasn’t what was intended to happen, when humans fled to this planet years earlier, after the Krestge attacked and destroyed Earth. Eleusis is tidally locked with its star, and has four habitable zones on it, Day, Night, Dusk and Dawn, and the refugees from Earth settled primarily in three of the zones, with Night being ice covered. The planet’s human population are refugees, who have organized themselves into have and have-nots, w On the planet Eleusis, humans and the Krestge live together. This wasn’t what was intended to happen, when humans fled to this planet years earlier, after the Krestge attacked and destroyed Earth. Eleusis is tidally locked with its star, and has four habitable zones on it, Day, Night, Dusk and Dawn, and the refugees from Earth settled primarily in three of the zones, with Night being ice covered. The planet’s human population are refugees, who have organized themselves into have and have-nots, with a thriving criminal element, and genetically engineered individuals scattered throughout the population, some interacting with the fellow Krestge inhabitants, others unaware of why they’re different; these people are not looked upon favourably by those without the appearance of obvious mutations. The primary characters are: -Twin brothers with unusual abilities. They’re contracted to find a missing boy. -A young woman, with a strange and powerful ability, raised by a warlord living in Night. -A warlord, who kidnaps children from all over Eleusis to build himself an army of child soldiers. These four and their stories are told by the author, moving back and forth in time, with their story threads initially appearing to be separate, but eventually coming together. Jennifer Marie Brissett’s world and characters are fascinating, with the aliens feeling nicely alien. They’re mysterious, with unknown motives for following humans to this planet without resuming hostilities. The human population has a believable mix of attitudes about the Krestge, ranging from hatred to love, with complex relationships developing. Meanwhile, the author has us wondering why does the warlord need an army: what’s their purpose, and what is the purpose of the engineered humans? There is one element in this story that reminds me of something from the author’s earlier work, "Elysium"; the similarity to its "Elysium"-predecessor was an interesting way to tell part of the story, and to connect the characters and their experiences. The author develops a complex world, with great possibilities with its transformed and unmodified humans and alien populations, rumblings of war and invasion, bigotry, complicated characters, and centres the stories of lost children amidst the big plot points. Thank you to Netgalley and to Macmillan-Tor/Forge for this ARC in exchange for my review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Siavahda

    I'm sorry, but I absolutely hated this book. I also didn't finish it - I only read to the 20% point, which is my cut-off point for books I'm not enjoying - so it's very possible that it gets a lot better afterwards. I don't think so, but it's possible. The whole time I was reading, I was longing to have it printed out in front of me so I could go over it with a red pen. There are a few typos and things, but I think only the normal kind that appear in ARCs sometimes and won't make it into the fini I'm sorry, but I absolutely hated this book. I also didn't finish it - I only read to the 20% point, which is my cut-off point for books I'm not enjoying - so it's very possible that it gets a lot better afterwards. I don't think so, but it's possible. The whole time I was reading, I was longing to have it printed out in front of me so I could go over it with a red pen. There are a few typos and things, but I think only the normal kind that appear in ARCs sometimes and won't make it into the finished copy; the problem wasn't typos, it was the *writing*. It's clunky and disjointed, absolutely *stuffed* full of very clumsy, heavy-handed info-dumping, and the dialogue is unbelievably bad. The twins, in particular, had me grinding my teeth at the way they spoke to each other and to others; they sound like poorly programmed robots, and if the intent was to make them feel different and Othered, it really wasn't necessary on top of their abilities and social-outcast status. So many sentences were - I can only describe them as clogged, with extra words - not adjectives - that turned a perfectly fine bit of prose into something that sounded overly childish. For example, "But I had no tears for him, though." Cut either the 'but' or 'though', but both together are unnecessary and just sound *off*. At the other end of the spectrum were over-complicated synonyms and metaphors, such as "Police lights painted scarlet tattoos that fluttered about like elusive butterflies against the clapboard sidings." Choose the tattoo imagery OR the butterflies, but mixing the two together just negates the impact of both. There were also continuity/worldbuilding errors, such as when the ex-nanny is able to understand the alien Cel's question without a mask - despite it having just been stated a few sentences previously that the masks are the only way for normal people to understand them. (The twins don't need them, presumably thanks to their special abilities, but given that the nanny was wearing the mask until they asked her to remove it, it doesn't seem like she has the same powers they do.) All in all, this read like a first draft more than an almost-ready-to-be-published book. Which is disappointing, because this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, but I'm going to have to mark it as a let-down.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    This story was confusing at times because it jumped so many different timelines. It could go from 1 month ago to 1 year ago to 3 weeks ago between chapters. And this book was a lot more violent than I anticipated. There were multiple child rape scenes and some very brutal killings. It is described as a Persephone retelling and admittedly I went in knowing nothing of their story. Which had I known I would've picked up on some things faster. Having done some brief research I can now see where many This story was confusing at times because it jumped so many different timelines. It could go from 1 month ago to 1 year ago to 3 weeks ago between chapters. And this book was a lot more violent than I anticipated. There were multiple child rape scenes and some very brutal killings. It is described as a Persephone retelling and admittedly I went in knowing nothing of their story. Which had I known I would've picked up on some things faster. Having done some brief research I can now see where many of the parallels are. There's an alien race called krestge who invaded Earth and the remaining inhabitants of Earth fled to the planet of Eleusis. A woman named Deidra has her daughter, Cora kidnapped from her by the rebel army. The rebel army is kidnapping children and turning them into soldiers, sex trafficking them, and killing them. Dr. Aidoneus Okoni, the ruler of this army, plans to use Cora’s unique powers to shift into another dimension. It follows a few different characters which include a set of twins investing the kidnapping of a missing child into a sex trafficking ring. I didn't really care about the twins and they weren't as heavily featured as Cora who despite all the sexual violence had a compelling story. I thought the author did something very different than many authors are doing with their retellings of Persephone. Don't come into this book expecting a Hades and Persephone romance because you'll be greatly disappointed. The audiobook had great narrators who really brought this story to life and kept me reading. I received an arc from Tor Books in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I'm not going to give this one a rating as I've stopped reading around the 50% point. There is a lot that I love about this book thusfar -- the worldbuilding is intricate and compelling, the multiple points of view are distinct and each interesting in their own way, the plot is moving at a good pace and keeping me interested, and the writing is stunning. I would absolutely read more of Jennifer Marie Brissett's work based on what I've read of this book. The reason that I am not finishing the boo I'm not going to give this one a rating as I've stopped reading around the 50% point. There is a lot that I love about this book thusfar -- the worldbuilding is intricate and compelling, the multiple points of view are distinct and each interesting in their own way, the plot is moving at a good pace and keeping me interested, and the writing is stunning. I would absolutely read more of Jennifer Marie Brissett's work based on what I've read of this book. The reason that I am not finishing the book I'm going to put behind spoiler tags -- it contains no plot spoilers but it relates to the content warning on the book + I recognize not everyone will want to read it. (view spoiler)[The repeated scenes of sexual violence are just not something I can read right now -- I will note that I read adult fiction exclusively and absolutely read content warning provided so did expect some content related to this; however, I was not prepared for how graphic it would be, and in particular for repeated graphic scenes of sexual assault committed against children. For the sake of my own well-being, I have to put this one down for now. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marta Cox

    Sadly this is not a book I think I will finish. It's just not appealing to me and as I am now at twenty five percent in and a young girl has been brutally violated I do not find myself wishing to read more. Plus it jumps about time wise constantly which isn't grabbing my attention enough. Sadly this is not a book I think I will finish. It's just not appealing to me and as I am now at twenty five percent in and a young girl has been brutally violated I do not find myself wishing to read more. Plus it jumps about time wise constantly which isn't grabbing my attention enough.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Palmisano-dillard

    DNF The world building was complex but interesting. The jump of perspective and time REALLY confused me, but what caused me to stop reading are the rapes, including the rape of a child. Not for me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Review of Uncorrected Advance Reading Digital Galley The aliens came, they attacked, they destroyed Earth. Gathered up and resettled on far-away Eleusis, remnants of humanity live with their conquerors, ostensibly in peace. Settled along the planet’s narrow perimeter, they live in the area that circles the center of the world. On Eleusis, Dawn is one half of this narrow habitable ring, Dusk is the other. The borderlands are known as Night. The shimmering/shifting krestge believe they hold contro Review of Uncorrected Advance Reading Digital Galley The aliens came, they attacked, they destroyed Earth. Gathered up and resettled on far-away Eleusis, remnants of humanity live with their conquerors, ostensibly in peace. Settled along the planet’s narrow perimeter, they live in the area that circles the center of the world. On Eleusis, Dawn is one half of this narrow habitable ring, Dusk is the other. The borderlands are known as Night. The shimmering/shifting krestge believe they hold control over the humans on Eleusis, but they remain unaware of some long-ago preparations. And they have failed to account for how the alterations wrought in some could change everything they believe they understand. What does fate hold in store for krestge and human when, ultimately, the often-troubling years lead to confrontation? Does humanity harbor resentment toward the krestge or have they moved past the memories of that long-ago attack when the krestge came and rained down total destruction on their home world? And what do the krestge think and feel? The unfolding narrative alternates between the abduction of Cora, the strange abilities of genetically-modified twins Jown and Pietyr who search for a lost boy, and the rise of a young woman with uncommon powers. Revealed alternately, occurring in one of the three habitable areas of Eleusis, and moving forward and backward in time, the stories eventually coalesce, but readers may find the presentation a bit confusing. Nevertheless, the worldbuilding here is first-rate; the characters, diverse and interesting. Along with some important social morés . . . haves and have nots, prejudice, drugs, family dynamics . . . there’s an intriguing coming-of-age component in this evolving narrative. The stage is set for a conflict between human/post-human and krestge in what readers might consider a staple of the science fiction genre. But some unexpected twists and unforeseen events change everything, taking the story in a surprising direction. All of these components make for a complex, intriguing story that could certainly be a positive contribution to the science fiction genre. HOWEVER . . . It is difficult to believe that depicting the vicious rape of a child is necessary to the telling of any story, science fiction or otherwise. These brutal scenes do absolutely nothing to advance the telling of the tale. So, why, on more than one occasion, do readers find themselves confronted with this heinous act? To say it is simply a part of the story, a component in the telling of this child’s life on this alien planet, seems to suggest that, on some level, the foreignness of this place and this culture makes this acceptable. In truth, it does not. Add the wanton murder of other children, and it simply becomes too much . . . the story that follows pales in the light of these horrors so nonchalantly tossed into the narrative with no more apparent concern than a discussion of Cora sitting in the kitchen eating kremer porridge. The struggles of an alien civilization and humanity seeking to exist together on a planet far from Earth could become an amazing story, but that narrative lies sacrificed on the altar of detestable events that seem inserted into the telling of the tale simply for the shock value they bring. And that is an insult to the reader. If scenes like these are a necessary part of the “new golden age” of science fiction, many readers will simply decide that the genre is not for them, after all. Who would blame them? Although the book carries a warning . . . “This book is designed for audiences 18+ due to scenes of physical and sexual violence, and themes that some may find disturbing” . . . it fails to supply the essential information that these scenes of rape and violence are being perpetrated against young children. As a result of these concerns, this book earns a lowered rating and cannot be recommended. I received a free copy of this eBook from Macmillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley #DestroyerofLight #NetGalley

  10. 4 out of 5

    etherealacademia

    This novel was not for me. Brissett is a decent writer but the sexual violence in "Destroyer of Light", including the rape of a child, was offputting and uncomfortable. This novel was not for me. Brissett is a decent writer but the sexual violence in "Destroyer of Light", including the rape of a child, was offputting and uncomfortable.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    DNF'd at 25% Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for granting me access in exchange for an honest review. Listen, I knew going into this there was going to be some sexual abuse, but I was not ready for children being raped and reading from one of their perspectives as it happened. That was my final straw. Apart from that, the writing is disjointed and confusing, the dialogue between the twins makes me cringe, and the jumps in perspective and time are jarring. I don't know what's even happenin DNF'd at 25% Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for granting me access in exchange for an honest review. Listen, I knew going into this there was going to be some sexual abuse, but I was not ready for children being raped and reading from one of their perspectives as it happened. That was my final straw. Apart from that, the writing is disjointed and confusing, the dialogue between the twins makes me cringe, and the jumps in perspective and time are jarring. I don't know what's even happening in present time because it keeps jumping around in the past. I would not recommend this book and won't be touching it again.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* **Content warning: I could not find an official content warning, but this book includes quite a bit of violence and murder, including sexual violence and violence against children. Destroyer of Light is a brutal, yet powerful book set on an alien-inhabited planet where humanity proves that the more things change, the more they stay the same. What I Liked: ►It's incredibly thought pr You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* **Content warning: I could not find an official content warning, but this book includes quite a bit of violence and murder, including sexual violence and violence against children. Destroyer of Light is a brutal, yet powerful book set on an alien-inhabited planet where humanity proves that the more things change, the more they stay the same. What I Liked: ►It's incredibly thought provoking. Because wow, humans will never change, will they? Doesn't seem to matter where in the universe we find ourselves, there is still always a faction of humanity that insists on being the worst. There will always be those who want more money, more power, and of course, need to feel superior to some other group. The way we see this phenomenon play out in this book is more brutal than many, but certainly not unheard of in the arc of human history. ►While the story is often bleak, there are many hopeful moments. And really, the overall story centers on hope- the hope that each character holds within themselves that they can get out of certain circumstances, that they will be able to defeat their oppressors. It made the harder bits much easier to handle, when you could tell that there was truly hope. ►It's the hope for the characters that makes it incredibly readable, too. You want to keep reading, because you have to know if good can prevail, frankly. I absolutely yearned for the characters to find themselves in better situations, to find what they are looking for, etc. And I think that in this case, the non-linear timeline helps. If we'd had to go through all the horror the characters had faced at once, I don't know that it would have been particularly readable. But breaking things up helped quite a bit. What I Want to Mention: ►The brutality is really rough at times. I mean, I understand that it's kind of the point, but I have always had a hard time reading about children being hurt- especially when it is so evil. If you have trouble with violence, death, sexual abuse, etc, this is not going to be the book for you. What I Wanted More Of: ► World Building. I loved what worldbuilding there was, don't get me wrong! But I also would have liked more of it? There were times that I was kind of confused, not just about the setup of the planet, but the aliens in general. Kind of hard for me to wrap my head around them, honestly. ► Connection to the characters. Perhaps this is because there are quite a few characters to focus on, but I never felt as strong a connection as I'd have liked. While I certainly felt sympathetic, I just wished I could have gotten a better sense of them as people. Also, this ties into both this point and the one above it, but I didn't fully get the "powers" bit either- not as it related to aliens or humans. Maybe that's on me, but it's still a thing. Bottom Line: Powerful, brutal, and showcasing some of the best and worst of humanity.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Cora and her mother live on Eleusis--a planet that was supposed to be their rescue after the downfall of Earth by the hands of the alien race the krestge. Unfortunately, Earth principals have continued on Eleusis, with the haves living in Dusk, and the have-nots living in Dawn. And beyond Dawn is Night, a city filled with crime and even a child army lead by the leader Aidoneus Okoni. The timeline flips back and forth between 10 years ago and close to today, while also flipping between another sto Cora and her mother live on Eleusis--a planet that was supposed to be their rescue after the downfall of Earth by the hands of the alien race the krestge. Unfortunately, Earth principals have continued on Eleusis, with the haves living in Dusk, and the have-nots living in Dawn. And beyond Dawn is Night, a city filled with crime and even a child army lead by the leader Aidoneus Okoni. The timeline flips back and forth between 10 years ago and close to today, while also flipping between another storyline following twins Jown and Pietyr as they look for a missing boy from Dusk. The timelines and storylines that mix and intermingle are very confusing at first, but make a bit more sense towards the end. I feel that Brissett could have included a lot of the ending details in the beginning to make things make more sense, since a lot of the details weren't spoilers or twists in any way. I spent 80% of the book completely confused until she fully explained some details at the end. This is not a bad book by any means, but I had a very hard time staying connected between characters, storylines, timelines, and trying to keep everyone together. It is also a VERY hard book to read emotionally. CW for child abuse, explicit child rape, and a child army. I do want to see what else Brissett releases in the future. I was very intrigued by this premise, but felt like my confusion was holding me back from enjoying the book to its fullest extent. Thank you to Net Galley, Tor Books, and Jennifer Marie Brissett for the chance to read this advanced review copy!

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Folk-Williams

    Jennifer Marie Brissett has written a beautifully crafted time puzzle mystery wrapped in a new version of the Greek myth of Demeter’s search for her daughter Persephone (or Koré) in the underworld. Destroyer of Light gradually builds its world as told from multiple points of view at different times. The pieces of this puzzle deftly come together and finally blend in a magnificent ending that pulls the reader into a timeless present. The background of Destroyer of Light is a bit complicated but un Jennifer Marie Brissett has written a beautifully crafted time puzzle mystery wrapped in a new version of the Greek myth of Demeter’s search for her daughter Persephone (or Koré) in the underworld. Destroyer of Light gradually builds its world as told from multiple points of view at different times. The pieces of this puzzle deftly come together and finally blend in a magnificent ending that pulls the reader into a timeless present. The background of Destroyer of Light is a bit complicated but unfolds gradually through the drama of each scene. The remnants of the human race, following a devastating attack by the krestge, an alien species that transcends three dimensions, have traveled to the tidally locked planet of Eleusis (name of the ancient Greek city that was home to a religion devoted to Demeter). During the centuries-long journey, scientists performed genetic alterations on many of the humans as they slept in their pods to better prepare them for a harsh life on a planet with a narrow habitable zone lacking seasons or diurnal cycles. ...... The story opens from the point of view of a seemingly ethereal being who spins her way out of an electronic Lattice that surrounds Eleusis. She is meant to be only a program but has willed herself into existence as a thinking and feeling being for whom past, present and future are indistinguishable. Calling herself Cate (Hecate?), she enters human experience at a point ten years in the past where a mother, Diedre, and her daughter Cora (Koré) are doing simple chores in the kitchen of their house. The moment is significant because it is the last time they will see each other for many years and sets in motion the long search by the mother for her daughter lost to a dark world. ......... Diedre has been gifted with the ability to nurture the life-giving staple crop called kremer and has become a central figure in the religion practiced by the farming people of Dawn. One day Cora is seized by a brutal commander on one of Okoni’s raids. She is raped, beaten and nearly starved on the march back to Night, but when Okoni himself sees her, he knows she has special gifts that will help him achieve his mission of defeating the krestge. ........ Destroyer of Light is a remarkable novel of lyrical intensity, deep human insight, powerful drama and sharp commentary on human society. Jennifer Marie Brissett published a novel, Elysium, in 2014 which tells the story of the krestge invasion of Earth but it is not necessary to read that first to appreciate the many beauties of Destroyer of Light. However, I immediately got a copy of Elysium and can’t wait to get into it. This is a writer to watch. Read the full review at SciFi Mind.

  15. 5 out of 5

    nabila

    Rating: 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 Content warning for (view spoiler)[death, kidnapping, gun violence, and child abuse/pedophilia. (hide spoiler)] I think it would be understatement to say that the myth of Hades and Persephone is undergoing a resurgence in today’s publishing industry. A lot of these modern retellings lean into the forbidden romance aspect, which has (in my opinion) resulted in a bit of oversaturation in the market. That’s why I was so intrigued by the blurb of the book, which pro Rating: 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 Content warning for (view spoiler)[death, kidnapping, gun violence, and child abuse/pedophilia. (hide spoiler)] I think it would be understatement to say that the myth of Hades and Persephone is undergoing a resurgence in today’s publishing industry. A lot of these modern retellings lean into the forbidden romance aspect, which has (in my opinion) resulted in a bit of oversaturation in the market. That’s why I was so intrigued by the blurb of the book, which promised another way to look at things: an exploration into the darker, more brutal aspects of this myth in a sci-fi retelling. There were some intriguing concepts brought up, such as people with the ability to shift through dimensions and a species called the krestge, shadowy tentacle aliens who have only recently stopped warring with humans. However, I feel that the prose was overwritten, which got in the way of my reading. To be honest, very ornate prose has never really been my thing. I’ve struggled even with authors who intentionally write this way. However, this book didn’t feel intentionally ornate/overwritten; it just felt like a draft where an editor hadn’t made things concise. I’ll provide an example: The metal remains of a giant transport ship stood on the hill with its reddish-brown structural beams reaching up like the bones of something long dead. Cora sat up and studied its curve and immense height, then hurried over to it. Dropping her bundle to the ground, she climbed, feeling the rough texture of the rusting metal in her palms. She liked the sensation of its harsh surface. Her imagination made it the crusty skin of an alien creature and it reminded her that she herself was an alien, at least to this world. She couldn’t recall her homeworld—not its sun, its moon, its stars, the taste of its waters, or even the scent of its trees. Cora only knew this place, only Eleusis. But she dreamed of Earth and the father she never knew. She imagined it a paradise and her father a man who longed to see her. She knew neither was true, but she imagined anyway. There is excess description that ruins the cadence of the prose, as well as instances where an object will be mentioned in general terms before getting mentioned again with more specifics. Both of these made it difficult for me to read. Keeping this in mind, here’s a version that I edited a bit: The reddish-brown structural beams of a giant transport ship stood on the hill, reaching up like the bones of something long dead. Cora studied its curve and immense height before hurrying over to it and dropping her bundle to the ground. She climbed, enjoying the rough texture of the rusting metal in her palms. Her imagination made it the crusty skin of an alien creature, reminding her that she herself was an alien, at least to this world. She couldn’t recall her homeworld—not its sun, its moon, its stars. But she dreamed of Earth, a paradise, and her father, a man who longed to see her. She knew neither was true, but she dreamed anyway. The writing is loaded with so many irrelevant sensory details that it’s hard to tell which ones are important, which of course makes it hard to understand at all. We can get multiple lines about something as irrelevant as the way leaves fluttered on the ground or something, but stuff like a guy getting shot in the face will get mentioned offhandedly with no elaboration. (Not that I necessarily want that detail, but if we are going to describe anything in depth, it should be stuff that would capture the reader’s attention and cause a character to react in some way.) The information overload also makes it hard to get invested in characters, because they become reduced to vehicles meant only to convey information. I also think that a lot of the description was about irrelevant stuff, but we never get much evocative description of a character’s emotional state, something that I believe would ground the reader in the narrative. In fact, the prose here is a rather blunt instrument. He needed several more soldiers before he could return to Okoni and receive his reward for all this hard work. And it had been hard. It was the old women that bothered him the most. Like this old one kneeling there wrapped in a purple gonar, her eyes begging him for mercy. They all looked at him like this. They reminded him of his grandmother, long dead, but still he remembered her. He didn’t need a reminder of her today. Memories like that made him weak. He could not afford to be weak. This was war. He pointed his weapon at the old woman and shot. And this brings me to the crux of my problem: I don’t think this book is nuanced enough for the topics that it covers. The Hades-Persephone relationship in this book is between Cora, a very young girl who gets kidnapped and conscripted into a rogue paramilitary force inhabiting the frozen wasteland of Night, headed by charismatic leader Okoni. Cora’s phase shifting powers, indicated by her oddly-colored eyes, attract Okoni’s attention, and the two of them end up in a relationship. Essentially, Cora is groomed into becoming Okoni’s consort. I feel that having that emotional complexity is absolutely something that’s needed for dealing with a situation as delicate as CSA. The aforementioned blunt prose did not help with this at all, and in fact, it seemed as if this traumatic situation was being depicted more for shock value than anything. So, in the end, I think that what this story needed was at least one more round of developmental edits. The bones of a brilliant story were right beneath the surface, but they couldn’t manage to break free. Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC for review!

  16. 4 out of 5

    FanTasty Reviews

    Trigger Warning: This book includes many explicit descriptions of violence, rape, and abuse against women and children. This book contained scenes that made me absolutely uncomfortable. Many readers and reviewers felt these scenes were unnecessary and added nothing to the story. The only reason I disagree is because this book as a whole is a metaphor for what the West did to Africa. The West stole their resources to make our selves richer and then called it charity to send help during disasters. Trigger Warning: This book includes many explicit descriptions of violence, rape, and abuse against women and children. This book contained scenes that made me absolutely uncomfortable. Many readers and reviewers felt these scenes were unnecessary and added nothing to the story. The only reason I disagree is because this book as a whole is a metaphor for what the West did to Africa. The West stole their resources to make our selves richer and then called it charity to send help during disasters. But the West also does nothing when dictators steal children to create an army. The abuses that happen in this book are direct parallels to the abuses that happened and are still happening in some parts of Africa today. Things that wouldn't have occurred were it not for the actions of Western culture. I am not usually one to talk about "historical accuracy" in a book being an excuse for writing about rape and abuse but in this case I feel it is different because it is part of a larger story and a larger metaphor not not the only example of "historical accuracy" in an otherwise fantastical book. Every part of this book is in some way rooted in the dialog of African history. Especially the uncomfortable parts. Destroyer of Light is an far future re-telling of the Hades and Persephone story. This version is truer to the original than many modern re-tellings in that the Persephone character was kidnapped and stolen by the Hades character it is not a romance or a love story. And because of the futuristic setting and the addition of other plot lines a reader could easily not notice that this is a re-telling. The mythological inspiration is most obvious in the characters Persephone, Hades, Demeter, and Zeus have very obvious equivalents. The plot stays a little less true to the story but the main points still occur. The worldbuilding was one of the most interesting parts of this book. Humanity had to flee Earth after an invasion by an Alien species and has now found it's self on Eleusis. A planet that doesn't rotate where half the earth is a frozen night and the other half a burning day. Humanity has settled on the thins sliver of livable land between the two extremes. The world is divided into Dusk and Dawn. While all of the supplies were supposed to be equally spread between all of humanity the citizens of Dawn landed first and have hoarded the technology and created a grand city to live in. The people of Dusk however lack the technology and live on the out skirts as an agrarian society providing the food for Dawn. The lack of technology also prevents them from protecting themselves from the raiders from Night, who steal their children. This book actually has a few plots running throughout. The first is the abduction of Cora (Persephone). Which is told mostly from Cora's POV and is absolutely brutal with it's depictions of child rape and abuse. Do not read this book if these are topics you are uncomfortable reading about. Cora is taken to the land of Night and is claimed by their leader to serve as his "wife". She is picked because of her unique eye color and the odd powers to use Alien technology this seems to bring. The leader of Night wants to use his army of children to kill the aliens living on Night. These Aliens were the ones who destroyed Earth but also the ones who helped the last of humanity flee to a new world. She is desperate to escape when one day she is told she must go on an assignment to the city of Dawn where she will meet her mother. Once there she discovers more about the who the Aliens living on Eleusis are and about who she is and the power she has. The other story line follows two genetically modified twins living in the underbelly of Dawn searching for a kidnapped boy. The clues seem to be leading them out of Dawn and out into Night. The book switches between story lines, and characters and even POV which was confusing at times, but overall I found it well written and engaging.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bertie (LuminosityLibrary)

    When Earth was invaded by a hostile alien force known as the Krestge the few remaining survivors of humanity fled to the stars, embarking on a journey to the planet of Eleusis. Eleusis is tidally locked; one half of the planet burns in eternal Day, the other freezes in a neverending Night. In the centre, there is a habitable zone where the majority of the humans settled. It was supposed to be a new start, an equal share of resources, but it didn’t happen in reality. The first settlers created th When Earth was invaded by a hostile alien force known as the Krestge the few remaining survivors of humanity fled to the stars, embarking on a journey to the planet of Eleusis. Eleusis is tidally locked; one half of the planet burns in eternal Day, the other freezes in a neverending Night. In the centre, there is a habitable zone where the majority of the humans settled. It was supposed to be a new start, an equal share of resources, but it didn’t happen in reality. The first settlers created the thriving city in Dusk, where humans and ambiguously peaceful Krestge live in plenteous harmony. In Dawn, people struggle as farmers, providing resources for the cities. Deidra, a woman genetically modified to better tend to crops has her daughter, Cora, snatched away by a guerilla militia led by the warlord Okoni. He’s building an army of children to fight back against the Krestge threat, and Cora has a unique ability he can take advantage of, heralded by her strange eye colour. Years in the future, Cora, now known as Stefonie, is sent to Dusk with orders from her warlord husband, but the city also gives her the opportunity to break free from his control. Simultaneously, two twins are hired to find the missing son of human and Krestge parents, their fates intertwined with the events of the past. Destroyer of Light features a non-linear narrative that dips backwards and forwards throughout time as if everything were happening simultaneously, before crashing together in a propulsive conclusion. It uses the mythology surrounding Persephone and Hades to further develop its themes, and the masterful way it ties these strands together was stunning to behold. We’re often faced with romantic retellings of this myth – that’s not the case here – instead, Jennifer Marie Brissett holds nothing back in this unflinching commentary of child soldiers, kidnapping, and intense trauma. This comes with a hefty content warning for sexual violence, including against children. These scenes are not gratuitous, but they don’t steer away from the harsh reality of such events. As such, this book won’t be for everyone. Regardless, I’d recommend Destroyer of Light to those who enjoy powerful, intricate, dark works which use speculative elements to delve deeply into multi-faceted characters and social commentary. Thanks to Tor Books and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Follow me on my Blog, Twitter, and Instagram.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kiara

    Destroyer of Light really ended up surprising me! When I saw that it was a Persephone retelling, I expected some type of romantic plot point. Brissett takes the classic Persephone story and turns it on its head; there is no romance, only an antihero Persephone against a world that would see her fail. One thing that really endeared this book to me was the fact that there were virtually no white people. Every character was Black or brown, and it was very comforting. There was no explanation for th Destroyer of Light really ended up surprising me! When I saw that it was a Persephone retelling, I expected some type of romantic plot point. Brissett takes the classic Persephone story and turns it on its head; there is no romance, only an antihero Persephone against a world that would see her fail. One thing that really endeared this book to me was the fact that there were virtually no white people. Every character was Black or brown, and it was very comforting. There was no explanation for the lack of white people, at least not a substantial one, and it was refreshing because it cemented the stories of the BIPOC characters as the ones that mattered. So often we are relegated to the sidelines of predominately white stories, so it was nice to read a book that centered us. It was not made into a big deal in the book; it just WAS. No explanation needed. While I enjoyed the story overall, there were two glaring aspects that did not go over well in my opinion. The first is the use of time jumps and different perspectives. I understand the necessity for them in the story as a whole, but that doesn't mean that they were easy to read. They added a lot of unnecessary confusion, and it took me out of the story. It was jarring. The second thing that bothered me was the use of neopronouns, While I applaud Brissett for using them, I'm not sure that I agree with HOW she used them. Only the aliens used neopronouns, and they weren't seen in a good light by the majority of the population. I'm not sure how well this would go over with a nonbinary reader, considering the users of neopronouns in the book were villainized. Overall, I enjoyed this book! I like how Brissett tackled real-world issues and showed how we'd have some of the same societal problems that we do now even if we were to pick up and start over on another world. Stefonie, the Persephone character, was also very well crafted, and although she made some questionable decisions, I couldn't stop rooting for her.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Sci-fi at it's best. Complex world building. Interesting characters. Adventure. Heads up there are some major triggers here for readers, make sure to read the other reviews for TW's. BIPOC characters are at the center of the book, which I enjoyed. I don't know if I'd say this is a Persephone retelling per se, but she is the main character. Sci-fi at it's best. Complex world building. Interesting characters. Adventure. Heads up there are some major triggers here for readers, make sure to read the other reviews for TW's. BIPOC characters are at the center of the book, which I enjoyed. I don't know if I'd say this is a Persephone retelling per se, but she is the main character.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Beca ☾

    DNF @ 40% This just wasn't for me. I enjoyed the world building and the idea seems pretty original, however, the jumping between multiple POVs and timelines confused me. I also wasn't a huge fan of all the violence/sexual abuse toward children. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. DNF @ 40% This just wasn't for me. I enjoyed the world building and the idea seems pretty original, however, the jumping between multiple POVs and timelines confused me. I also wasn't a huge fan of all the violence/sexual abuse toward children. I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    I hate to say it, but Destroyer of Light will be one of my (very) rare DNF's for the year. I really wanted to read it, as the mere description of “Matrix meets Afro-futuristic retelling of Peresphone' was more than enough to grab my attention. However, this book is simply too graphic for me. I hate backing out of this read, but sometimes self-care has to take priority. I hate to say it, but Destroyer of Light will be one of my (very) rare DNF's for the year. I really wanted to read it, as the mere description of “Matrix meets Afro-futuristic retelling of Peresphone' was more than enough to grab my attention. However, this book is simply too graphic for me. I hate backing out of this read, but sometimes self-care has to take priority.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jean Nasser

    I JUST WON A GIVEAWAY FOR THIS BOOK!! I'M SO EXCITED I CAN'T WAIT FOR IT TO ARRIVE AAAAAAAHHHHHH! HWGIGPDIDEHDIODPQWEQ Will be updating and writing a review once I have it in my hands... I JUST WON A GIVEAWAY FOR THIS BOOK!! I'M SO EXCITED I CAN'T WAIT FOR IT TO ARRIVE AAAAAAAHHHHHH! HWGIGPDIDEHDIODPQWEQ Will be updating and writing a review once I have it in my hands...

  23. 4 out of 5

    TimetoFangirl

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Dude, I'm going to be honest - I DNF'd this by about 15%. I'll get into why below, but there is a reader for this book, it's just not me. Okay, let's go. To give credit where credit is due, the worldbuilding here is cool. The idea of a cold planet with a narrow, habitable ring around the equator is handled a bit better in Mark Lawrence's Book of the Ancestor series, but the inclusion of aliens here was cool. It's the writing that ge I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Dude, I'm going to be honest - I DNF'd this by about 15%. I'll get into why below, but there is a reader for this book, it's just not me. Okay, let's go. To give credit where credit is due, the worldbuilding here is cool. The idea of a cold planet with a narrow, habitable ring around the equator is handled a bit better in Mark Lawrence's Book of the Ancestor series, but the inclusion of aliens here was cool. It's the writing that gets me. The very first section jumps between third and first POV, with a hint of 2nd in there too surprisingly, and then we meet the twins, the most interesting characters I encountered. The text reads like an early draft to me: "Jown especially hated them because they smelled like nothing. And nothing smelled like nothing to Jown that is, except oil birds." Uhh.....what? For all that the twins were interesting enough, the way their dialogue is written was super annoying. None of the above is "bad," it's just not for me. The story itself seemed super interesting, so if the above issues don't bug you, this might work for you.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Devon Stringer

    1 star. I did not finish this book. The narrative was disjointed and jarring, making me spend more time scratching my head and being annoyed instead of wrapped in the story. Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy to review. My opinions are my own and not influenced by anyone. Ever.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️ read, I'll absolutely read the next release by the author but this was not it for me. This book takes place on a new planet Eleusis where much of humanity fled after an alien race attacked and nearly destroyed Earth, though some of those same aliens still live on the new planet too. The plot follows three/four/five perpectives in three timelines surrounding a child going missing, a child being taken, and a woman who's grown up in a child army. Biggest thing, like most other reviews mention ⭐️⭐️⭐️ read, I'll absolutely read the next release by the author but this was not it for me. This book takes place on a new planet Eleusis where much of humanity fled after an alien race attacked and nearly destroyed Earth, though some of those same aliens still live on the new planet too. The plot follows three/four/five perpectives in three timelines surrounding a child going missing, a child being taken, and a woman who's grown up in a child army. Biggest thing, like most other reviews mention, is that the content warnings here are very very important. I was still surprised by the content and it's what pulled the rating from 4 to 3 stars. So much of it happens on the page and while I understand the need to convey the horrible things happening, it seemed excessive. Things I Liked ✨ Writing style- like I said, I'll read the next book from this author, granted it's not a sequel, since the wiring style was _so_ engrossing. ✨ the story was plotted really well- the stories overlapped in some predictable ways, some less predictable ways, and the suspense of revealing the little twists was well timed, and the reveal of why the timeline is set up like that was really satisfying ✨ Worldbuilding - by the end of the book I got the world that they lived in, from the societal classes; the religions; the illegal underbellies; how the food moves from the field to the people- all without having a big exposition spot. ✨ Themes- religion, class, injustice, hope, history, parental responsibility, and war were all tackled. Some were handled better/ handled with better care but it was very ambitious to put all of that together and not lose any major threads. ✨ characters- the twins, Cate, and Cora were really well put together and had fairly logical motivations Things I Liked Less 🛬 Worldbuilding- to get all that detail without exposition, the first 10% or so were disorienting and made no sense. It's a trade-off, but I considered putting it down for that reason. I also wished that we'd gotten a map/ sketch of the planet to understand where people lived. 🛬 because of the way time is handled, the ending became jumbled to me and I lost track of who was where. What's the difference in "a few" vs "several"? It becomes important. 🛬 is this a sequel to the authors first book? Should i have read the first one first? Would that have made it make more sense? It wasn't in the marketing I saw so I'm assuming not, but that also confused me. Overall- the book isn't bad at all, I think it set out to do something ambitious and accomplished that, but with all the content warning things I just couldn't recommend it to people, though I'd love to read the next release from the author. Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Books for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

  26. 4 out of 5

    M. K. French

    In a future where humanity was decimated by aliens existing in multiple dimensions, several colony ships landed on Eleusis to rebuild civilization. There are four areas of the planet: Day, Night, Dusk, and Dawn. Between the different areas are the rich and the poor, dissidents that hide in Night and avoid the scorched Day part of the planet. In the past, a young girl is abducted along with other children in a village within Dusk. In the present, genetically modified twins search for the missing In a future where humanity was decimated by aliens existing in multiple dimensions, several colony ships landed on Eleusis to rebuild civilization. There are four areas of the planet: Day, Night, Dusk, and Dawn. Between the different areas are the rich and the poor, dissidents that hide in Night and avoid the scorched Day part of the planet. In the past, a young girl is abducted along with other children in a village within Dusk. In the present, genetically modified twins search for the missing son of a human/alien couple, and a young woman with inhuman powers rises through the ranks of an insurgent group with a dangerous mission. The three threads link together, and Eleusis will see drastic changes. Destroyer of Light is marketed as "the Matrix meets an Afro-futuristic retelling of Persephone." I can definitely see that, as the Lattice is difficult to interface with for humans without a biomask to filter the data. All of the colonists were altered while in stasis chambers in order to terraform the otherwise harsh planet and develop various superhuman abilities like increasing the growth rate of plants. The abducted girl is sexually assaulted and only spared being killed because the odd color of her eyes indicates that she has the genetic potential for odd skills. The twins were modified in such a way that they process all senses at intensities and sensitivities beyond the human range, as well as telepathically communicate with each other. This allows them to navigate through the violent underworld that developed in the big cities, as well as serve as bounty hunters. And throughout the planet are the aliens, whose forms twist in and out of dimensions and speak in the same multidimensional language that the Lattice operates in. All of these little facets of world building weave in and out of the story threads, building up over the course of the book. There is sexual and physical violence in this, as well as abductions to create an army of child soldiers, human trafficking, drug use, cross-species sex, and threats of further danger to come. While at first I was a little confused about how the three threads of the story would come together, it clicked for me about halfway through the book. I was drawn in from the start, not just with the way the characters were presented, but how the world building was subtly expanded and affected how the story played out. Everyone had a story and part to play, even the bit characters that are plot devices. It's exquisitely done, and while I raced through to find out how it ended, I also wished I read more slowly so that I didn't have to put it down. While the science fiction elements are what makes the plot possible, it's the very human connections and relationships that makes it hang together and be so compelling.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️ read, I'll absolutely read the next release by the author but this was not it for me. This book takes place on a new planet Eleusis where much of humanity fled after an alien race attacked and nearly destroyed Earth, though some of those same aliens still live on the new planet too. The plot follows three/four/five perpectives in three timelines surrounding a child going missing, a child being taken, and a woman who's grown up in a child army. Biggest thing, like most other reviews mention ⭐️⭐️⭐️ read, I'll absolutely read the next release by the author but this was not it for me. This book takes place on a new planet Eleusis where much of humanity fled after an alien race attacked and nearly destroyed Earth, though some of those same aliens still live on the new planet too. The plot follows three/four/five perpectives in three timelines surrounding a child going missing, a child being taken, and a woman who's grown up in a child army. Biggest thing, like most other reviews mention, is that the content warnings here are very very important. I was still surprised by the content and it's what pulled the rating from 4 to 3 stars. So much of it happens on the page and while I understand the need to convey the horrible things happening, it seemed excessive. Things I Liked ✨ Writing style- like I said, I'll read the next book from this author, granted it's not a sequel, since the wiring style was _so_ engrossing. ✨ the story was plotted really well- the stories overlapped in some predictable ways, some less predictable ways, and the suspense of revealing the little twists was well timed, and the reveal of why the timeline is set up like that was really satisfying ✨ Worldbuilding - by the end of the book I got the world that they lived in, from the societal classes; the religions; the illegal underbellies; how the food moves from the field to the people- all without having a big exposition spot. ✨ Themes- religion, class, injustice, hope, history, parental responsibility, and war were all tackled. Some were handled better/ handled with better care but it was very ambitious to put all of that together and not lose any major threads. ✨ characters- the twins, Cate, and Cora were really well put together and had fairly logical motivations Things I Liked Less 🛬 Worldbuilding- to get all that detail without exposition, the first 10% or so were disorienting and made no sense. It's a trade-off, but I considered putting it down for that reason. I also wished that we'd gotten a map/ sketch of the planet to understand where people lived. 🛬 because of the way time is handled, the ending became jumbled to me and I lost track of who was where. What's the difference in "a few" vs "several"? It becomes important. 🛬 is this a sequel to the authors first book? Should i have read the first one first? Would that have made it make more sense? It wasn't in the marketing I saw so I'm assuming not, but that also confused me. Overall- the book isn't bad at all, I think it set out to do something ambitious and accomplished that, but with all the content warning things I just couldn't recommend it to people, though I'd love to read the next release from the author. Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Books for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

  28. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    To start with my review, I would say I rate it between 2.5 and 3 stars. There is a lot happening in this book. There are multiple points of view, and it shifts back and forth in time. These are both things that I typically quite enjoy, and that was true for this book as well, though sometimes the jumping back and forth became a bit confusing and overwhelming. It also took me a bit to get into this book, I struggled through the first part of it, though eventually certain aspects of the story did To start with my review, I would say I rate it between 2.5 and 3 stars. There is a lot happening in this book. There are multiple points of view, and it shifts back and forth in time. These are both things that I typically quite enjoy, and that was true for this book as well, though sometimes the jumping back and forth became a bit confusing and overwhelming. It also took me a bit to get into this book, I struggled through the first part of it, though eventually certain aspects of the story did grow more appealing to me, particularly Cora's story as it progressed. As she actually gets out into the world more and her storyline is closer to present day, I really wanted to see more of her character and find out what was going to happen to her and if she would find some measure of freedom. The twins storyline however, I was much less interested in and kind of felt I had to push through. I will say, the worldbuilding for this book and its universe is quite fantastic. There is so much to it and I love how unique and well formed the alien aspect of this book is. I was really interested in the krestge and how they came to be amongst humans and how they had inserted themselves into this society. The author really developed this part of the book well. On the other hand, sometimes I felt the storyline could drag in some places and these were the moments I really struggled to get through. Another aspect of this book of note is the fact that it is a Persephone retelling which is what first caught my attention about this book. I absolutely adore Persephone and Hades retellings, though for this one I will say it is much less obvious that it based on this story. There are moments you can see it, such as the kidnapping of an unwilling girl by a man of power, and in Cora's mother having an affinity for plants and the like, but altogether it is not entirely obvious unless you know what to look for. I will say, this is probably the most different and unique retelling I have ever read, and props to the author for making an old story so new again. Altogether, I'm not sure this book was really for me because I had a hard time pushing through it at points and it took me much longer to get through as a result, but that by no means is saying that it isn't a brilliant book and that others will fall in love with the tale. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to read this book in ARC format from NetGalley, and I look forward to seeing what this author writes in future.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Macmillan-Tor/Forge for an advanced copy of this science fiction novel. Jennifer Marie Brissett's Destroyer of Light if a very good, very difficult book to read. There is a a warning on the book for both physical and sexual violence, and yes there are sections that are disturbing. Plus the narrators points of view change, and a lot of narrative time jumping, which can de disconcerting in the beginning of the novel, as a reader I can see where that could ca My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Macmillan-Tor/Forge for an advanced copy of this science fiction novel. Jennifer Marie Brissett's Destroyer of Light if a very good, very difficult book to read. There is a a warning on the book for both physical and sexual violence, and yes there are sections that are disturbing. Plus the narrators points of view change, and a lot of narrative time jumping, which can de disconcerting in the beginning of the novel, as a reader I can see where that could cause some confusion. However Ms. Brissett is doing science fiction with big ideas and big concept. Ms. Brissett is pointing at the upper decks and going for that home run. There might be some problems with the swing, but I would rather read an author going big and trying hard, than some authors who seem to be happy with the same old narrative and plots. Greek Myth, African history, genetic manipulation, drugs, diasporas, love, family, lies and aliens. A lot is going on here. The world is interesting, a planet giving to humanity after aliens conquer the Earth. The memory is still fresh to many of the colonists, who find themselves sharing a planet with the same aliens who conquered them, and on a hostile world, that the haves kept the best for themselves, and the have-nots farm what they can, or plan revolution. The main characters switch time and POV and sometimes the inner voices can be a little hard to keep up with. Time also changes, but as the author uses this to explain both plot and how the world has been made, I found this not to be a problem. The story slowly unfolded as characters mixed meet and even changed names and identities. Science fiction seems to be entering a new age. Stories seem much more inclusive, more personal and real with ideas that seem fresh and interesting. Sure it's aliens, strange planets gifted humans, but the ideas here just seem different. And engaging. I hope there are more books set on this world, and I have to look for other works by this author. Just be aware some themes are for adults, and not even for all adults.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sacha

    I received a copy of this from NetGalley in return for an honest review. This book is set in the future where aliens called krestge have attacked earth and humanity is now on a new planet, Eleusis where they live together with the aliens. It follows quite a large cast of characters that seem to sometimes be very disconnected because of the time jumps. If you don't pay attention to the time at the beginning of each chapter, expect to be confused, especially near the beginning when you are getting I received a copy of this from NetGalley in return for an honest review. This book is set in the future where aliens called krestge have attacked earth and humanity is now on a new planet, Eleusis where they live together with the aliens. It follows quite a large cast of characters that seem to sometimes be very disconnected because of the time jumps. If you don't pay attention to the time at the beginning of each chapter, expect to be confused, especially near the beginning when you are getting to know the characters. There were a few things that I loved about this book. Firstly, the world-building. Eleusis is vividly described as being separated by Dawn, Dusk, Day, and Night. Wherever the characters go, I was able to easily visualize the setting. Brissett also does a fantastic job at characterization and arcs. The krestge are a super interesting species and the technology that this book uses are very cool. There were some stories I didn't much care for because they didn't show up very often and their story just wasn't as interesting to me as others. This is a very, very bleak story that gives you flashes of optimism. It is incredibly violent, which normally I don't have an issue with as long as it serves to further the plot seems purposefully done. However, there were times where it didn't seem to have a point and was just in for shock value or just to reiterate the terrible world humanity is now forced to live on. I also found myself thrown out of my flow of reading from the constant time jumps. I don't mind jumping between characters, but the time jumps always seem to get me. It is jarring and difficult for me to keep track of. I can admit this is completely subjective, it just wasn't my favorite organizational choice. This book was very well written and I was able to immerse myself in the world for the most part. There are plenty of trigger warnings at the beginning so if you plan on reading this, please pay them attention.

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