Light Fighters

Star Children Saga: Book Two

Fiction - Fantasy - General
796 Pages
Reviewed on 06/13/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Light Fighters by Palmer Pickering is a speculative dystopian science fiction space opera and the second book in the Star Children Saga, preceded by the award-winning first book in the series, Moon Deeds. The series revolves around multiple point of view characters but the central plot follows twins Cassidy and Torr after Earth was aggressively colonized and its residents subjugated under a hostile technocrat autocracy. Earth's moon remains free and upon escape to the moon, Star Children Cassidy and Torr rest their hopes for survival on finding the ancestral, mythical Star People; a needle in a haystack against the massive macrocosm of space and its vast array of worlds and civilizations. Pickering surprises with a very welcome Star People point of view prologue before transitioning back to those desperate to find them. Over the course of the following three distinct and interconnected parts, the twins fight against separation, violent capture and an incredibly daring escape even with their Shaman capabilities hamstrung; a man named Ridge with abilities of his own is a hired hand to the grotesque leader Balthazar and is forced to check his ambivalence when push comes to shove; and the continued search for the Star People.

Palmer Pickering left readers of Moon Deeds with an entire universe of untied strings in a cliff-hanger ending. It was well written, thorough and wildly entertaining, but in hindsight I'd have preferred to start the series now that Light Fighters is out. I only bring this up so that Star Children Saga fans—and I count myself among them—can rejoice in the knowledge that the sequel concludes without those major hang-ups. For those who are considering the series, this is an excellent time to jump on the bandwagon. I can vouch that there will be exactly zero disappointment as you blaze through books one and two. Pickering is a master of character development and world-building, wielding her pen with skill enough to make even the most vile characters [we're looking at you, Balty] come across as authentic. Every character has their flaws, and the greyest of them are in Ridge. He's got a tiny conscience but the rest of him is self-serving to a degree that Han Solo would appreciate, so witnessing his evolution is the best part of the book for me. As for the many cultures and civilizations Pickering produces, keep your notepad handy because this book may require notetaking in the beginning. I was particularly fascinated by the Murians and the Tegs, but the levels of ingenuity of all races we meet is phenomenal. This is, as was its predecessor, a book worth the time commitment. As Ridge says, “Slow and steady wins the race.” Very highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Light Fighters is a work of fiction in the epic fantasy, adventure, and action subgenres, penned by author Palmer Pickering. It serves as the second installment in the Star Children Saga. It is intended for mature readers owing to explicit scenes of violence, sexual content, explicit language throughout, and references to substance abuse. In this thrilling sequel to Moon Deeds, we once again dive into a complex fantasy world where the shamanic and magically gifted Cassidy and Torr find themselves targeted because of their powers. As they fight for survival on the moon, their paths will soon cross with Ridge, who has his own magical struggles to contend with, and they may even find the Star People they’ve been hoping for all along.

I found that, despite the epic length and complexity of this work, there was plenty of detail from author Palmer Pickering for me to jump right into this second-in-series and enjoy the plot as I caught up on events from the previous book, which will also serve as a nice reminder for those who’ve already enjoyed it. One of the features that I found really impressive about this work was the pacing and the tension that unfold in each section of the plot, shifting from one theme to another as the different threads of the plot come together. Yet you never lost the sense that there was always something lurking around the next corner, and the surprises along the way were very satisfying indeed. For me personally, Ridge and Balty had the most interesting dynamic to explore, and Ridge’s emotional portrayal was realistic and exciting as he dealt with being pulled in so many different directions. I felt that there was an appropriate build-up to the more explicit moments that made them highly resonant to the plot and never gratuitous in any way, which made them easier to handle in context too. Overall, Light Fighters is a highly recommended fantasy epic for fans of the first book and newcomers alike who want a read they can truly lose themselves in.

K.J. Simmill

Cassidy had been kidnapped, taken from her twin, and forced to endure the most horrendous torture while her brother, Torr, fought for his life before embarking on a desperate struggle across the moon, hoping to get her back. But his journey is not just one for his sister, it is one of discovery. A new gift has awakened. The Star Children are coming into their power and must confront the odds to move forward. But Cassidy's captor is not one to let her slip idly through his fingers. Determined to find her, he sets his loyal dog upon them, unaware of the power he possesses and the trouble it will bring. If the Star Children fail on their journey, there may not be another chance. When one of the three Hearts-of-Sky exploded, the path home had been lost, and hope of survival along with it. But there had to be away, the scrolls had said so, and life could be forfeit should they fail.

I read the first book in Palmer Pickering's Star Children Saga back in 2019 and was thrilled to discover book two, Light Fighters, had been released. I love a big book when it's well written, especially a fantasy of such epic proportions, and Pickering once again delivers on her promise to entertain, engage, and stir her readers. Pickering is an expert scene setter. She builds the worlds, lore, and history one word at a time like an artist's brushstrokes to create vast, rich, and vibrant worlds, filled with deep characters, interesting quests, magic, twists, and a quest passed down by fate itself for the very survival of all.

There is such a vast array of characters in Light Fighters, from those you love to those you outright hate, those whose motives you question, to those you will see to be pure and true, devoted to their tasks and morals despite how others would view them. This is a book that will stir thought and consideration, and not just for the driving force and ideals of the characters within, but of the truth of how this came to be, and how mistakes once made are destined to be repeated if not learned from. The fate of all rests on the journey of the Star Children, life weighs heavily on their shoulders, and they must learn to use their gift, see what others cannot, and create the future written in the ancient scrolls as their destiny. But the path is never easy, but then again, if it was easy, anyone, not just those fated, would do it.