Layers of Light

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
339 Pages
Reviewed on 05/12/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I'm S. R. Cronin and I write speculative fiction about superheroes and the untapped potential in us all. My collection of novels is known as 46. Ascending and all six books are now available. Every one of them has a different protagonist and its own personality. Each is a stand-alone story, so please, pick the one that appeals to you the most, and start with it.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Layers of Light by S. R. Cronin is a beautiful story that handles complex and sensitive themes. Teddie is the female protagonist, just finishing high school when her best friend Michelle convinces her to spend the semester in Darjeeling, India. Teddie sees an opportunity for the adventure of a lifetime, but as she begins to make new friends, she discovers an underworld of crime involving human trafficking and the flesh trade. What makes it more complicated is that her friends are in danger and to save them she has to harness an extraordinary power she barely knew she possessed. Will she be able to find her missing friends and save them?

S. R. Cronin takes a very sensitive topic and skillfully develops it, drawing the reader’s attention to an inhuman practice without diminishing the entertaining nature of the story. The characters are lovely and well developed. I found myself rooting for the protagonist and I liked the supporting characters like her friends Usha and Hallie. The subplots are masterfully handled and they provide the suspense that makes for an exciting read. It is interesting how skillfully the author brings different plot elements together to create a seamless conclusion. There is a lot to enjoy in this narrative, from the crisp writing to the strong plot points. The author’s handling of the themes of human trafficking and the sex trade is impeccable. Strong writing and cinematic narrative combine with the elaborately developed cast of characters to make for a gorgeous offering. Layers of Light is a page-turner for fans of well-written stories with compelling characters.

K.C. Finn

Layers of Light is a work of fiction in the urban fantasy sub-genre and was penned by author S. R. Cronin. Written for mature readers, the work does contain some scenes of moderate mature content and language usage, as well as themes of trafficking and the sex trade. The central protagonist of the story is Teddie, a young woman who seems to have her head screwed on right, but everything in her life is about to change when a friend persuades her to spend a semester in Darjeeling, India. Here she discovers the sinister reality of sex trafficking, as well as an intriguing stranger who promises to help her hone undiscovered powers in order to save women in need.

Author S. R. Cronin has created a compelling novel that blends just the right amounts of fantasy content and gritty urban adventure. The novel can be read as a stand-alone, which is also part of the 46. Ascending series, and it was such an entertaining and self-contained story that it certainly makes you hungry for another adventure in the same vein. The plot is cleverly crafted to follow several different characters whose stories interweave, and readers who stick with it will be satisfied by an excellent conclusion that certainly ties up all the threads it creates at the onset. One of the things that I admired was the dialogue, particularly in representing characters who come from totally different cultural and geographical backgrounds. Overall, I would certainly recommend Layers of Light as a compelling urban fantasy read for those seeking their next gritty adventure.

Rabia Tanveer

Layers of Light is part of the Ascending series by S. R. Cronin. Teddie was looking forward to graduating high school and being happy. But when her best friend Michelle brings it up, Teddie signs up for the Exchange Program and before she knows it, she is in India ready to spend a semester there. At first, everything is fine, she enjoys herself and makes new friends. However, that all changes when her new friend Usha goes missing, and then Michelle is kidnapped. Scared out of her mind and desperate to find her friends, she meets a man called Lhatu who wants to help her. Lhatu promises to help her harness her “power” and find her friends. However, she has to believe in herself and the immense power she holds. How can Teddie believe she is extraordinary? She is just a girl who doesn’t know much. Does she have what it takes to save her friends?

Layers of Light is exciting and sobering at the same time. There are many characters in the story and each character has its own background story. Each subplot furthers the main plot while also making it more interesting for readers. Usha’s story is very different, and Teddie’s story had me hooked from the beginning. The author started the story in a very unique moment of action so that the reader is introduced to the protagonist and her “powers” before even she realizes. I really enjoyed that! The descriptions are really well-handled and Indian culture is explained appropriately. While I enjoyed the adventure/mystery elements of the story, the subject matter of the plot demands more attention. Human trafficking is a real danger to women all over the world and the author did it justice. S. R. Cronin touches upon the topic and makes sure the reader realizes how desperate and devastating it can be. I enjoyed this story of courage and believing in yourself!