Breakout writer’s debut channels J.K. Rowling

Scott Redmond, Staff Writer

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When it comes to many of the big novels or series that people are familiar with, from the stone halls of Hogwarts in “Harry Potter” or even the vast works of Stephen King, the one thing they have in common is imagery.

A story is nothing but an interconnected set of words when you break it down. Those words can be entertaining and bring the same joy as reading any other work can, but it’s those pieces that really bring the world of the book to life that tend to stand the test of time.

“Blinded by the Light” author Joe Kipling may not have the clout and pop culture standing of many well-established writers, but perhaps one day she just might.

“Blinded by the Light” is Kipling’s debut novel, that follows a young woman named Mary-Anne who lives in a post-apocalyptic world unlike those that are popular to feature in movies and books in current times.

While the world described in the first of a series isn’t the first of its kind, it is a refreshing take. Instead of the world being totally wiped out and people living out of wrecks or warlords, the world Kipling created was struck by a virus that supposedly took out a good portion of humanity and in the aftermath something was built.

In this world, those that made it out of those dark times live in cities that are called “Neighborhoods” behind purported electrified fences to keep out those who are still outside the city that are said to be feral, mindless and predatory creatures.

In the “Neighborhoods” those with certain breeding are called the Alphas and they are the elite of society, while the Deltas are the servant class. In charge of it all is a secret organization called the Light.

In just a few chapters Kipling reveals a world that rose out of the ashes of the one before only to embrace many of the perceived flaws of the present day including celebrity worship, fast food consumption and rampant materialism.

It’s at this point that an event changes Mary-Anne’s world and the perfect image of society crafted for her comes crumbling down.

Kipling’s work, the first in a planned series, may not be the polished craft that comes from years of writing like King, but the story presented easily engages the reader in the journey of Mary-Anne and  the social commentary about our society and the ills that come with it.

“Blinded by the Light” easily will be the next “Hunger Games” or “Harry Potter” that will engage young adults in reading before being optioned for the silver screen years from now.

It is fitting that Kipling references the work of “Harry Potter” author J.K Rowling, with Rowling being from Kipling’s home country of Great Britain where the series is set as well. Kipling is well on her way to having her own world wide phenomenon just like Rowling.

“Blinded by the Light” is published by Cillian Press Limited and went on sale Oct. 1, courtesy of Amazon.

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