“an exceptionally good science-fantasy story” – review of the Dark shall do what Light cannot on Risingshadow

On the Risingshadow.net website, Seregil of Rhiminee has written a review of Sanem Ozdural’s new novel the Dark shall do what Light cannot, the sequel to her debut novel LiGa™. The frequency with which Seregil reads new books and writes detailed and thoughtful reviews is quite astounding, and the sheer number of such reviews he has written makes his comments on Sanem’s new book all the more meaningful.

Artwork: Alison Buck
Artwork: Alison Buck

Seregil starts by recalling LiGa™, Sanem’s debut novel, which he says was “an interesting reading experience for me, because the author did something that I didn’t expect to be possible” which he explains was that “she made bridge look sexy and fashionable by transforming it into science fiction”. Although the Dark shall do what Light cannot is a sequel to LiGa™, and includes some of the same main characters, Seregil notes that it is perfectly possible to read it as a standalone novel. Having been “thrilled” by LiGa™, Seregil was “amazed” again by this sequel which is “an exceptionally good science-fantasy story” which “outshines LiGa™ in every possible way”. He says that in this new book Sanem demonstrates “her writing skills and storytelling abilities, because she transports her readers into a fascinating world of light and darkness. She weaves a web of magic with a good dash of originality around her readers.” He enjoyed reading the book very much because “it felt fresh and exciting”.

Seregil then discusses some of the characters and how well their characterisation works, as well as the story’s plot and the “impressive worldbuilding” of the setting of Pera where much of the action takes place. It pleased him that Sanem “takes her time to introduce the characters and the world of Pera with its different areas and traditions” and “doesn’t rush with the story. She smoothly combines different elements and gradually deepens the story by revealing more wonders and terrors about the world of Pera and delivers an excellent story.” He goes on to add that he was impressed by the effortless and skillful way she manages different threads and elements and brings them all together.

He especially found reading about Shadow fascinating. Shadow is the soul of Pera and has the body of an enormous crocodile (as featured on the cover of the book!). He says that “Shadow is one of the most enthralling beings ever created in modern speculative fiction novels”. Praise indeed!

As well as Shadow, Seregil is impressed by how Sanem “infuses her story with intriguing mythic, paranormal and religious elements that blend seamlessly into one another”. He also enjoyed her fresh approach to pirates in Pera where they pay taxes and give merchants receipts when they rob them.

Seregil says that “what makes this novel stand out is its complexity and philosophical elements. It was nice that the author didn’t underestimate her readers”. This also includes the excerpts from the Book of Shadow which are “wonderfully creative, poetic and mythic”.

Finally Seregil says that this novel was “an enjoyable reading experience, because it isn’t often that one has an opportunity to read this kind of science-fantasy. The Dark shall do what Light cannot is a skillfully written novel that differs quite a lot from other new and contemporary science fiction novels. It’s a fascinating combination of science fiction, fantasy, paranormal elements, mystery elements, traditions, religion and mythic elements.”

In conclusion he says that it is “Good, imaginative and thought-provoking science-fantasy for adults”.

This was just an extract, you should read Seregil’s whole review here.