I received a review request from author Steve Griffin regarding his novel The City of Light. I was intrigued by the premise, and so I happily agreed to the request in exchange for an honest review.
The City of Light is the first book in The Secret of the Tirthas series. As the story begins, Lizzie Jones is settling into her new home; her great uncle has died, and left her mother his property. Lizzie, whose father died in the previous year, is ambivalent about country life, but she is drawn to the elaborate gardens. She discovers that one particular statue in the garden serves as a portal between her English village, and the Indian city of Kashi. It’s scientifically impossible, but Lizzie cannot deny that she is actually traveling to India each time she journeys through the portal. But she barely has time to process this fantastic secret before she realizes that there is a terrible killer afoot; not only does she need to stop the creature, but she might be its next victim!
This was a lovely book. I loved the way that Indian culture, religion, and mythology was incorporated into the plot. Griffin’s descriptions of Kashi are vivid and realistic. I also liked the mystery element; Lizzie begins to suspect that someone else is using the portal- for sinister reasons. She isn’t sure who she can trust- and who she should suspect. The story is fast paced, and there is always something going on.
I would recommend The City of Light. This book is ideal for older “middle grade” readers. There some scary moments that might frighten younger readers. This is an exciting story, and even readers who have moved on to “Young Adult” books might enjoy this book. I am looking forward to Lizzie’s next adventure!