BloodLight: The Apocalypse of Robert Goldner

BloodLight The Apocalypse of Robert Goldner - Harambee K. Grey-Sun This review appeared first on Oh, Chrys!Saturated with psychedelia and philosophy, BloodLight is quite the eccentric read. Though I appreciated its strong poetic diction and its impacting imagery, I just could not find myself enjoying it most of the time. This is primarily due to a droning plot and unyielding, frustrating vagueness. Despite these poor qualities, I am glad that I stuck it out.Readers are introduced to Robert Goldner, a black wrestler attending high school. Thankfully for me, the wrestling did not dominate this book as I was expecting. Like most teenagers his age, Robert is searching for himself, but with the emotional upheaval he has endured, such as his mother's death, Robert repeatedly fails. He has no true companion in life, and the person he cares about the most, Davin, has been apprehended by the HSA - a murky governmental authority that takes in suicidal persons.What I liked the most about Robert, is his inherent ability to see meaning in the most superficial places. Whether or not this was Grey-Sun's attempt at having a "deep" character, I thoroughly enjoyed the poetic perspective Robert provides. Unlike the other blacks in his school, who Robert felt were disgracing the race, he has his head screwed on. However, I felt as though he obscured any chance he had at self-discovery because of his inability to rise out of his emotional distress. His relationship with the controlling Leigh is rocky. His sexual orientation and confusion has him living dishonestly. His school is overflowing with racists and other students who mock him. Yet rather than trying to resolve this, Robert festers in his pity, perhaps unintentionally too. Robert's life is pretty crappy, and so is his response this.The novel takes a turn when Robert begins to experience his body being overcome by an outside force. He has psychedelic hallucinations that are obviously metaphysical. However, readers are given no clue to what the cause of this physical and mental anguish can be. Soon these episodes become normal, and this gives the plot a repetitive, dull face. Part I, which should have been the section that encourages readers to trod on, is agonizingly slow. I am sure many after me will give up getting beyond it. It is not only until over half of the novel, that readers are given an obvious clue to explain what is happening to Robert when the mysterious Artemisia is introduced. This gives BloodLight a climatic push that it desperately needed. If I were to reveal what the push was, I would be spoiling the most interesting aspect of the book. Towards the end of the novel, readers learn more of this world that is thrusting itself upon the unsuspecting Robert. It is not until Robert transposes into this perplexing dimension, I got to see stronger worldbuilding. It is explained solely in metaphoric imagery, which was a brain-ache at times. However, the religious and mythological aspects explored are unique, and supply readers with thoughts to ponder about. There is not much more I can comment on the plot because of its vagueness; however, it is obvious that this book is primarily functional in setting the backdrop of the Eve of Light series. It is an insightful introduction to Robert Goldner's new beginning.I think it is safe to say that BloodLight was purely style-driven for me. This is what made this book increase by a star for me. Grey-Sun's writing is extremely abstract, especially when describing Robert's hallucinations. For some, this will be very tiresome to endure, especially if they cannot withstand reading paragraphs of abstruse, prolonged metaphors that are just as literal as they are symbolic. This is what may cause a lot of confusion for readers. Sometimes I felt the imagery was just to powerful, too rhythmic for such a stunted plot. Nevertheless, it is this evasive, exemplary style that fed my curiosity. I was not engrossed in the life of Robert as much as I was in Grey-Sun's writing. I especially loved the parts when Robert was transferring from dimension to dimension - when an unknown world was forcing itself upon him. I do look forward to learning more of Robert's Job-like plight, especially since BloodLight ends with him being endangered; however, it will not be much of a priority for me.