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Reviewed by Michelle Mollohan for Readers' Favorite
Mindy Hite's debut novel, Light Bearers: The Awakening, is a fantasy novel about Sarah and her sister Amelia who were taken in by their Uncle Derek when their parents died. He has spared no expense to give them everything they could ever want. Amelia loves her new lifestyle, while Sarah longs for the simplicity of the life they left behind. He surprises the girls with a "family trip" that ends up being at Camp Tuano, a war games camp that he is in charge of. Amelia is taken by the attention of male camp enforcer Ben, despite Sarah warning her that she has witnessed physical abuse at his hand. At the annual campfire, Sarah is rescued from unwanted advances by Lucas, a camp worker who is a bit mysterious and has captivated her attention. Amelia refuses to leave the campfire and is later found tattered and bleeding at their cabin door. Sarah tries to find her uncle to get help, but Lucas reveals that her uncle is not who he claims to be and that they are in danger. Sarah flees with Lucas and travels to Ganheela. There she learns about the Terrobah, creatures who are disguised as humans and trick people into following dark paths. Pneuma helps her train to use the Light to fight the darkness so that she can try to rescue Amelia.
I found Light Bearers: The Awakening to be a touching tale with a strong focus on human connections. Sarah grows from an insecure young teen to a wise young woman that fully embraces her calling. Despite the differences that she has with Amelia, she never gives up hope that she can thwart the Terrobah's efforts to turn her towards the dark. Pneuma is a loving, motherly guide for Sarah, which was heartwarming to read. The intense bond and connection that Sarah and Lucas share felt very real to me. The overall theme of seeking light and rejecting dark resonated with my personal beliefs. I cannot wait until Mindy Hite releases the next book in the series, Light Bearers: The Deliverance.