Sunday, December 8, 2013

Light by 'Nathan Burgoine

Reviewer: Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (Oct. 2013)
Pages: 190

Five stars out of five!

Since he was ten years old, Kieran Quinn has been aware that he has psychokinetic and telepathic skills, which he has developed quietly, as there have been instances where people with his “powers” have been harmed and even killed by people who considered them evil. As a young gay man in Ottawa, Kieran works as a masseur at a day spa, using his talents to help relax his clients. Taking his vacation during Gay Pride Week, as has been his habit, he soon finds out that there could be problems this year, due to the presence of an evangelical homophobic preacher, nicknamed Stigmatic Jack, due to his ability to make his palms bleed, claiming it is proof he is a messenger of God. He also somehow causes those who oppose him to develop mysterious bleeding cuts, and Kieran uses one variation of his powers to distract the preacher and his followers to minimize injuries. This turns out to only be the beginning of Kieran’s involvement, as he becomes the anonymous “Rainbow Man” who intercedes each time that the preacher tries to create havoc at a Gay Pride event.

Burgoine’s initial novel is a marvelously intricate story, stretching the boundaries of science and paranormal phenomena, with a cast of delightfully diverse characters, all fully nuanced and relatable to the reader. The nature of the story creates a mystery as to how this will be explained, with clues seeded throughout. The author also shows a great sense of humor, in depicting Kieran’s dismay as becoming a tacky “gay super hero,” and in his spot-on interactions with his cat and a friend’s over-affectionate dog. I honestly could not put the book down, and recommend it highly, as I look forward to his next novel.

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