Lightpoints is a magical, mesmerising and surreal sci-fi. It is also very spiritual and wondrous, with near-death experiences (NDE’s) and out-of-body experiences (OBE’s) being described in brilliant detail, allowing the reader to imagine even the smallest of details whilst the victim is in this state. Peter Kassan introduces the concept of the ‘lightpoints’ well, intriguing the reader from the very beginning and ultimately gripping the reader’s attention to the very last page.
What if you suddenly discovered you had a sense-and powers-that almost no one else in the world did? When Amanda Lindner Nichols, a 24-year-old graphic artist living with her husband in Queens, New York, is revived from a near-death experience, she discovers she perceives everyone around her as points of light-but not with her eyes. She soon learns she can not only perceive the life energy of others, but she can give and take it. With the help of others like her, she brings her husband Chris to the brink of death and back to bestow on him the same remarkable faculty, and they’re the happiest they’ve been. But not for long. All over the world, people who’ve been revived from their own near-death experience at just the right moment discover themselves with these same unusual powers. They find ways to use them-some for good and some for evil. When Amanda and Chris encounter a ruthless group of gangsters with the same faculty, tragedy follows-and Amanda faces the greatest challenge of her life.
The drama and tension begins as 24 year old, Amanda Lindner Nichols, is stabbed at Grand Central Station. Amanda experiences a near-death experience and doesn’t regain her consciousness until later in the hospital. The reader is then taken on a mesmerising journey with Amanda as, when she wakes up, she discovers that she has some unusual qualities – she can now see people’s lightpoints! All of their energy, along with their approximity and emotive state, is clear to her.
Although quite confusing and strange for Amanda she tries to keep her new sense to herself, without wanting to alarm her family. This did prove difficult, especially with her husband, Chris. I felt a little sorry for Chris as he is shut out a little from Amanda and during intimate moments she rarely kisses him. However, once he is aware of Amanda’s abilities he wants to be like her and have the sense himself.
Throughout Lightpoints, Peter Kassan tells the story of the nicer and the darker sides of being a sensitive. For example, when Amanda becomes acquainted with Lisa she realises that Lisa looks out for new sensitives and reaches out to them, allowing them to talk over their new senses and to not feel so alone. But the reader also discovers that some people use their new ability for evil by sucking the life from other sensitives, or even taking as much energy from them as necessary in order for the individual to carry out actions that they would never consent to, before giving them back their energy.
I really liked the style of writing and the tension when the darker side was mentioned, i.e. with the gangsters – as they were trying to reach any sensitive they could find ask them to work with them. If the approached sensitive refused then their end would be met.
Here is an example of the darker side of some sensitives and the tension Peter Kassan builds up. Inside a parking garage two gangsters are trying to convince another sensitive to join them. The guy is in his car, at the wheel ready to leave when they approach him. The guy shows no interest in their offer and so they know what they are expected to do. Besides, he’s not only turned them down but he is also a witness who could identify them:-
‘They heard footsteps, and they both dropped to the asphalt until the footsteps receded. When it was silent again, Stanley reached through the window with his gloved hand. He pushed the guy’s head back, pinched his nose and put his palm over his mouth.’
This is powerful, eerie and violent. Amanda’s experience and relationship with Lisa and John is a complete contrast to this darker side.
I loved following the story of Amanda, her husband, Chris, and Lisa and John (sensitives). I didn’t see how some of the other characters fitted in to the story, although there were some great examples of how the light could be used for evil purposes. As the story continued the reader begins to guess that Amanda was to come into contact with some of the other sensitives mentioned.
I found some areas of the story, in particular the process of Chris trying to become a sensitive, to be a little repetitive. I could understand why as it was used to build up momentum and tension, however once the first and certainly the second process was mentioned then shorter descriptions for the subsequent processes would have been sufficient in my opinion.
It also didn’t become obvious until a good way through the story that the good and evil were to encounter each other. This led to a small moment where I wondered what the point was of explaining the evil sides to the reader but it does become clear and the story finishes with a surprising dramatic end.
I enjoyed ‘Lightpoints’ with its captivating concept and storyline. I would be interested in reading a sequel, either with the same characters or even with fresh characters and maybe set in a different part of the world. There were some characters mentioned that didn’t seem to fit in to the main plot but used as examples of the darker side. Maybe these characters could be revisited in any follow-up novels so that the reader can follow their story.
Lightpoints is the first book of its kind that I have read and it really leaves an impact, making the reader think about mortality, the spirit world and what truly does happen when we meet our end. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
Lightpoints was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker