It sounds clichéd; but a well written piece of fiction can transport you into a world you couldn’t imagine, and provide you with a new appreciation and understanding of cultures, people and beliefs that are foreign to you. When a book can transform your reactions and willingness to see others for their similarities and not their differences, people can start to lose the fears that engender discrimination. It’s my belief, and in the broad range of books I have read, it has always held true. Today’s offering has a central character that happens to be deaf, which is one of those characteristics that are underutilized in fiction in this way. I am thrilled to present Flying to the Light by Elyse Salpeter, and I think this is one of those books that will excite readers of all ages.
Title: Flying to the Light
Author: Elyse Salpeter
Format: Paperback or eBook
Publisher: Cool Well Press
Source: Author for purpose of honest review
Genre: YA Paranormal, YA Fantasy, Suspense
About the book: How far can you run, until you just can’t run anymore? Seventeen year old Michael Anderson and his kid brother, Danny, find themselves in mortal danger after their parents are kidnapped. Michael discovers Danny has a special gift—he knows what happens after a person dies—and now others want to know too. The brothers must outwit and outrun Samuel Herrington, a lethal biophysicist, the FBI, and even fellow Americans in a harrowing cross-country chase, because whoever gets to Danny first will have the power to rule the world.
My Review: I was contacted by the author and offered a copy of the book for honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and no guarantees were made for positive review. Don’t let the YA in the genre field prejudice your decision to read this book. It is completely engaging and full of tension and suspense; it just happens to be primarily narrated by a 17 year old boy.
Danny is 6 years old, deaf, and possesses the ability to commune with the souls of those who have passed on, but not necessarily moved on to ‘the light’. Michael, his 17 year old brother is thrown into the role of parent, protector and guardian when their parents are kidnapped. Much of the story is told from Michael’s point of view: his fear and confusion are clearly evident as he absorbs the seriousness of the dangers they face, and the unbelievable abilities of his little brother.
Written with exceptional emotional detail and a strong sense of tension and danger, I was as confused as Michael in trying to determine who would be trustworthy. The entire story was a series of twists and turns that left me guessing through the last pages, and the imagery attributed to Danny and his explanations of what he can do are detailed and clearly provide a sense of his “old soul” in a little body. It was not a book I could put down; I read it all in one sitting and will be one that stays in my library for a re-read to see if I missed tiny details that were important to the plot. It’s an extremely well-crafted read, and tackles the ages-old question of what happens when we die with creativity and a believable premise that is easy to accept and imagine as possible.
To see more from Elyse, including how to contact her – read more
Where did the idea for this book come from?
When I was first thinking about writing Flying to the Light, I was staring at a group of birds, watching them peck at food on the ground. It was so quiet and peaceful and I began to have this idea that maybe birds aren’t what we all really think they are. After that, this vision of a little boy came into my head. I wanted to make him special and have this great ability to connect with these birds on some level. When I decided to make the character deaf, it wasn’t because I wanted him to be perceived as having a disability, but simply be a part of who he was. His family and the people around him don’t treat him any differently; they just have to learn how to communicate with him effectively to find out all the wonderful things he knows. I also don’t see a lot of deaf characters in mainstream fiction and I thought it would be a unique and interesting concept for people to read about.
About the Author: Elyse Salpeter is the author of 6 novels and a host of short stories. Her first published novel is Flying to the Light, a Young Adult conspiracy thriller published by Cool Well Press in Nov. 2011. The sequel, Flying to the Fire, is scheduled for release early 2013. Her most recent short story, The Sun and The Star, was released in Feb, 2012 in the Timeless anthology from Cool Well Press.
When she’s not running after her twins, taking tae kwon do, jumping over walls in boot camp, whipping up dishes for her cooking blog called Battle Yum! or working as a salesperson for a national magazine, she’s writing and always looking for new ideas.