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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
From one of the most talented authors I’ve discovered in the past 2 years, Timothy S. Johnston, comes the fourth book in his series about the new world beneath our oceans, An Island of Light. I’ve had the pleasure of reading all three of Johnston’s previous novels about Trieste City and the hair-raising challenges faced by its gutsy mayor, Truman McClusky. Johnston has consistently dazzled me with his cinematic descriptions of this world in the deeps, a world created and populated in the hopes of surviving the ravages of climate change on our planet’s surface. In each timely novel, McClusky envisions and works toward a united undersea world called “Oceania”, but typical of humanity, personal, societal, and political agendas are ever in conflict. In this novel, when McClusky’s twin sister, Meg, murders her father’s killer, she sets off a chain of events, many sadistically violent.
Through McClusky, Meg, and the supporting cast in An Island of Light, in his deepest analysis yet of human nature, Johnston explores the best and worst of mankind’s motivations and actions. The result is a most satisfying and substantial read, especially for me, as who we are is significantly more important than what we do. While the technology and science behind this undersea world are fascinating, as is the ever-evolving and twisty plot, in the end, it’s the characters who bring the story home. In conclusion, I have to say that of the four books in the series, An Island of Light is my favorite. That’s because this time the emphasis is more on what makes people tick than on what is ticking inside the subs, the SCAVs, and the bombs. Readers are as riveted, maybe even more so, by what people say and do than by the ongoing battles for underwater supremacy. Is this a new direction that Johnston will pursue in his stories about Trieste and the underwater colonies? I look forward to finding out. Brilliant, stylistically flawless writing again, Mr. Johnston. It's a pleasure to read your books for so many different reasons!