I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Lightbearers by Nora M. Garcia
Published by 1st Books on November 9, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
THE LIGHTBEARERS is the story of an ancient Egyptian King and Queen, Akhenaton and Nefertiti, who have been reincarnating together for the past 3300 years. They have been entrusted with the mission of The Lightbearers, whose responsibility is to be guardians of the human race and to enlighten any whose path they cross. Through reincarnation, during each of their lifetimes, they strive to overcome violence, greed and injustice and in each lifetime they leave pockets of individuals with whom they have shared their secrets of life and death. They have also been ascribed with the powers of telepathy, astral projection and psycho kinesis. They are highly evolved and highly enlightened.
Discovery of their innate mystical powers is facilitated by the assistance of an alien being who introduces them to the mission of the Lightbearer. Through a series of flashbacks two of their previous lifetimes are revealed beginning in Ancient Egypt and including 17th century France where they switched genders.
The story unfolds in the 21st century where Jean Crystal, Nefertiti’s incarnate, has been kidnapped by Dr. Natas, whose plan for world domination has been temporarily disrupted by Jean and her husband George, Akhenaten’s incarnate. Jean and George have discovered a secret about Dr. Natas experimental school, a school completely computerized and robotized.
Jean is held captive on a laboratory table by a motion sensitive laser directed toward her central nervous system. Not realizing this, upon awakening from a narcotic sleep induced by the doctor, she attempts to move and is suddenly wracked by a mind numbing pain. The more she moves the more pain she receives. By astrally projecting herself she is able to overcome the pain and investigate her circumstances. George has already been assassinated and while awaiting her own demise, George pays Jean a visit in the lab, assuring her of their eternal vow to each other. Jean is very shortly, thereafter, assassinated. Upon the joyful reunion of their spirits on Petite Terre, a tiny island just off the Normandy Province of France, Jean and George plan their return. While it is possible to determine their gender and the time in which they return, they cannot predetermine their identities. They must pick a place, a time and a signal by which they can find and identify each other in their subsequent lifetime. In this particular lifetime, their favorite song was “Imagine” by John Lennon and so on the first Monday of October, 2024 at 12 noon, they decide to meet outside the computer science building on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. She will find him sitting under a tree near the building with a guitar strumming “Imagine”.
Their reunion takes place 20 years later, albeit not without a hitch. Together they set out to rescue the United States from Dr. Natas’s well-placed plans, he has already begun to execute.
My Initial Reaction…
The Lightbearers was not the sort of book I probably would have found on my own, but I’m glad it found me. It’s one of those books that just makes you feel good. It’s about good people trying to make a difference (for centuries!) and the kind of love you see in action is very heartwarming. I wanted more of some elements and less of others, so it wasn’t perfect, but it left me smiling.
The heroes of The Lightbearers are Akhenaten and Nefertiti , an Egyptian Pharaoh and his bride reincarnated over and over for thousands of years, trying to help humanity rise above things like power hunger and greed. We first meet them as George and Jean Crystal, embroiled in an attempt to shut down a school run 100% by computers – including the teachers. In so doing, they’ve made a very powerful enemy – Dr. Natas, who runs the schools – and he’s having them killed. While he’s holding Jean we’re treated to a series of flashbacks to help us learn about how she and her husband ended up in this situation – going all the way back to the first lives they recall, as Akhenaten and Nefertiti. I found the flashbacks a bit jarring – we didn’t transition to them as easily or clearly as I would have liked – and a bit off from the rest of the story. They were absolutely essential parts, especially for our getting to know Jean and George and how this whole reincarnation thing is working. In some ways they felt too rushed, like they deserved a story of their own, and other times to slow – because they didn’t have their own story, I almost just wanted the essential details and to move on to the story I was reading.
There’s so much about Jean and George that we don’t get to know – this book covers so much time very quickly, and because of their deaths they aren’t in a good chunk of it – but we do get to see an incredible relationship. They’ve been together, in various lives, for over 3000 years… and they’re still so in love. I enjoyed the way they could interact psychically and would have loved to see that developed even more. I think Nora Garcia did a good job of showing two characters who are essentially still the same people they were 3000 years ago, but they’ve also changed over time. I would have liked to see more of that change and of their experiences in previous lives, perhaps in another, earlier book. But their lives really isn’t what Lightbearers is about. It’s about them doing everything it takes to save humanity from itself.
I think I liked the story for The Lightbearers more than the characters, since it was better developed. Also because it felt eerily believable and I couldn’t help but be a little wowed – but also disturbed because of the very believablity – of the society Garcia has crafted, a mere 11 years in our future. Dr. Natas has developed a robot run school, but as Jean suspects from the start, there’s something not right about it, besides the fact that children need social interaction. We learn very very early that Dr. Natas wants power and control – in that way he’s a pretty flat character, with a single-minded focus. He’s a bit like the robots he makes, cold and calculating. Even though I don’t tend to like flat characters, I think it was an appropriate choice for his role. As the story progresses through a good 20+ years we see Dr. Natas growing in power and the things he’s willing to do to amass that power — all while the country is glamoured by his natural charm (in the literal, not fantasy sense). When Jean and George (now Cassandra and Phillip) reincarnate and grow up enough to get back into the game, the country is in a perilous place and they’ve got limited time to act if they’re going to save humanity from itself.
There’s not a huge mystery to solve, since we have an omniscient view of events, and the plot moves forward in semi-predictable ways. But that didn’t keep me from enjoying it – I found myself cheering on Jean and George up to the very end. It wasn’t earth-shattering, but it left me with a smile on my face and an all-around happy feeling. And it does somehow manage to convey a message of hope about the potential of humans to just be good and loving. I’d recommend for a quick, happy read.
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But wait! There’s a giveaway!!
As part of my month-long celebration of things that go bump in the night, I’m participating in the Something Wicked Returns Giveaway Blog Hop! This review is one of many of my recommended Paranormal/Fantasy Reads this month and commenting on this post can earn you extra entries in the $25 Giveaway at the end of the month! Enter below and good luck!