The Light Pirate

Jane’s Pick: The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton

I really liked this tale of liminality. It is in the new genre I love: end of days speculative fiction with a touch of the magical and a message that is both depressing and hopeful – (examples: Station Eleven, Leave the World Behind, The Displacements)

The Light Pirate is set in a not too distant Florida – where climate change and extreme weather claims Florida and survival requires decisions and adaptations at every moment. The story explores the way in which we individually react to the change we can not control.

The magic comes in the form of light transmitted in a new and powerful way, but is it magic or a natural adaptation?

Each part of the book – Power, Water, Light and finally, Time – are lyrically introduced. And Brooks – Dalton brilliantly captures the changing landscape and the complex characters.

I am a little disappointed in the rushed ending – especially after so much power in the rest of the book – but, it is a small complaint because overall the book is so unique and well written.

Here is the opening passage – the most magical, yet realistic description of a hurricane. So poetic, and yet, it struck me as exactly how it happens…as a Florida girl, I could picture it so easily.

“Somewhere west of Africa, so far from land the sky is empty in all directions, a storm begins.  The water is warm, the waves are high. The air is heavy with moisture. A breath of wind catches, then circles back, churning itself into something new: a closed circuit gathering power, tighter and tighter. In this way, the storm grows. It matures. Learns to hold a shape. The warm water feeds it, fattens it, the urges it westward”

from The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton