The Blue Light Project

Published October 2, 2011 by myliteraryleanings

The Blue Light Project by Timothy Taylor

Overview from www.bn.com:

Spanning a four-day hostage situation in the not-too-distant future, The Blue Light Project looks on as a city unravels and three lives intersect in unlikely ways.

When an armed man seizes a television studio in the center of town, Thom Pegg, a former investigative journalist turned tabloid reporter, is as surprised as anyone to learn that he is the only person to whom the hostage taker will speak, bringing him inside the studio and in contact with the frightening truth.

From outside, meanwhile, the drama of the enthralled and horrified city is revealed through the eyes of two very different people thrown together by the crisis. Eve is an Olympic gold medalist and local hero. Rabbit is a renegade street artist who has just completed a massive and mysterious installation on the tops of hundreds of buildings throughout the city.

As events churn to chaos, Taylor paints a powerful picture of the sinister side of our interconnected world, taking us on a dizzying journey through black sites, 24/7 media cycles, cults of celebrity, gang stalking, underground art, societal paranoia, and dangerous cynicism. The result is a gripping work of dark brilliance, from which Taylor ultimately surprises us with grounds for hope.

My Review:

Right off the bat I want to say that “The Blue Light Project” is unlike anything I have ever read before so the writer get points for originality here.  However those points were not enough to save the book in my opinion.  Now unlike my brief foray into the sci-fi world, which you can read on the blog if you want, I didn’t hate this one– I just didn’t like it much.

Its biggest fault was that it was hard to follow at times, at least for me.  The characters of Rabbit and Jabez in particular were difficult to figure exactly who or what they were.  We are told that Rabbit is a street artist but I didn’t really understand what a street artist was and during the times when I thought I did understand, I didn’t see how such an individual could make a living off of that like Rabbit seems to do.  As a consequence, I spent the better part of the story frustrated because I didn’t know who or what Rabbit was and what he had to do with the hostage crises.

The bright side of the coin was Eve.  She was the only character that I think I truly liked in this story.  She seemed to convey a warmth that the other characters lacked and I didn’t get the impression that it was due to her being a woman.  Although I wasn’t entirely sure that I understood the subplot where she goes looking for her estranged brother, it did bring some humanity to the story.  I understand what it is like to lose touch with someone who you care about and I think so do most people.

The Thom Pegg was less baffling than Rabbit but still had me a little stumped.  The biggest problem I had with him was during the time when he was getting ready to speak with the hostage taker after he was told that the hostage taker said that he would only speak to him.  I didn’t understand why Pegg didn’t once ask why the hostage taker was so interested in him.  I mean if you’re a bottom-feeder in the journalism world who was once accused of making up sources, wouldn’t this be a fair question?  But Pegg either doesn’t have the guts to ask the question or thinks that he won’t get an answer anyway.

Another problem with his character is his relationship with Eve.  We are told that certain portions of the story told from Pegg’s point of view are from his book about the crises but I still don’t understand why his conversations with Eve comprise such a large portion of them.  And on the other hand we rarely hear much about Pegg in Eve’s portion of the story leading us to believe that perhaps Pegg only included the part about her because she was famous.

Finally, the last part of the novel was a let down as we never find out exactly who the hostage taker is.  I know that the focus of the story is apparently not on this hostage taking but it still would be nice to know who he is and not just the type of person he is.  Perhaps the author would say that it doesn’t really matter, that it is not the point of the story but I don’t think its right to just throw in such a dramatic episode without that little bit of closure.  Do you?  Let me know what you think.

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