First of all, do not read Falling Light unless you have read its predecessor, Rising Darkness. This is a complicated tale about complicated beings, and I’ll admit to feeling a little lost even after having read both books. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to just jump into this one with no background knowledge at all. The story is confusing enough without adding that extra level.
Michael and Mary are soul mates. They’re not your everyday soul mates, however, because Michael and Mary are not human. Once upon a time, they lived on another planet as alien beings. Born at the same exact moment, the two were destined from birth to go through life together. Currently, that means their spirits are reborn into human bodies every however-many years.
They’re not human, though. Michael and Mary are still aliens. They see the world in a physical and a psychic plane, and as they remember more about their pasts (both their human lives and their alien one) they rediscover old psychic abilities. This, in my opinion, would be enough to fill an entire book. Two alien soul mates, reincarnation, and the quest to find each other with the start of each new life.
Unfortunately, this series is not that simple. Michael and Mary left their peaceful life on their alien world for a reason—to stop the Deceiver. He was the villain of their race—a once normal being who somehow turned out to be bad. When he escaped to Earth by leaving his physical body behind, it was decided that seven…people…would to go after him to destroy him before he harmed too many humans. When Falling Light begins, Michael and Mary are newly reunited and finally on their way to meet Astra, the only other remaining member of their original group of seven.
A lot happens in Falling Light. Michael and Mary are eventually successful in meeting Astra, and they begin plotting to take down the Deceiver. The Deceiver schemes to destroy them before they can get to him. I won’t say much more than that, for this is primarily a book about an adventure, and I think discussing too many of its details would spoil that.
However, I can say that it seemed to me that Ms. Harrison bit off a bit more than could chew with this new series. I spent the entirety of both Rising Darkness and Falling Light asking questions about the origins of the alien beings. What did they look like? What was their home planet like? How were they able to come to Earth? Are there other alien planets? She touches just barely on most of these subjects at different times, and it bothered me to no end that I couldn’t have all the answers. Why create an alien race if you won’t explain its workings completely to your readers?
Another confusing too-little-detail-on-aliens problem had to do with the relationship between Michael and Mary. You see, although the two are soul mates, they don’t act as an average couple. Perhaps that’s because they’re aliens. Perhaps I wouldn’t have found this so odd if I’d known more about these aliens. All I can say is that in Rising Darkness Michael and Mary were so set on finding each other and reuniting that it seemed like their romance was fairly normal.
Here…not so much. Apparently, they could just as easily have been born as siblings, and I’m not sure that their genders were fixed as male and female. Astra comments to Michael at one point that he’s falling in love with Mary, which is a foolish thing to do. As an avid romance novel reader, I would like to know exactly what is so foolish about falling in love. I would also love to have someone point out to me just when Michael fell in love with Mary. It seemed to me that their being soul mates implied an instant, deep romantic love.
In spite of these problems, I wouldn’t give Falling Light a terrible grade. Underneath all of the confusion there was a good story line. I’ll probably waltz into my library on a whim someday and check out the next book in this series. Until then, though, I don’t see myself looking to reread Michael and Mary’s story. The well-written adventure/suspense plot just got too twisted up in this confusing business of aliens and soul mates.