ARC Review: The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs




Seven tightly interwoven narratives. Three harrowing hours. One fateful day that changes everything.

Delaware, the morning of April 19. Senior Skip Day, and April Donovan’s eighteenth birthday. Four days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the country is still reeling, and April’s rare memory condition has her recounting all the tragedies that have cursed her birth month. And just what was that mysterious gathering under the bleachers about? Meanwhile, in Nebraska, Lincoln Evans struggles to pay attention in Honors English, distracted by the enigmatic presence of Laura Echols, capturer of his heart. His teacher tries to hold her class’s interest, but she can’t keep her mind off what Adrian George told her earlier. Over in Idaho, Phoebe is having second thoughts about the Plan mere hours before the start of a cross-country ploy led by an Internet savant known as the Mastermind. Is all her heartache worth the cost of the Assassins’ machinations? The Light Fantastic is a tense, shocking, and beautifully wrought exploration of the pain and pathos of a generation of teenagers on the brink—and the hope of moving from shame and isolation into the light of redemption.


Ah, Sarah Combs, did you really have to write a book like this?!


That was me after I finished the book. I HAD to cool down because the book was as fantastic as its name!

The Light Fantastic is written from the perspective of seven narrators:


Ah, I must say. I loved each one of these characters. The author has taken her time to develop each one of these characters. One by one as we hear their sides, all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle starts fitting in and finishes into a beautiful story with an amazing theme.

The novel focuses on why so many teenagers are involved in violence, why they pick up guns and do what is going on nowadays. What drives them to do it, what entities can make them stop.It was a beautiful book and I don’t even know where to start from when talking about it.

Here’s the plot:

The Mastermind is the leader and he has selected a person from each place who shares his  hate and angst and has a come up with a Plan that would destroy all. They call themselves ‘The Assassins’. They are all teens who have been blinded by their age, fears and their hate for themselves and do not know where to channelize it.


Initially, the story seems like a complete mess. It is really disjoint and incoherent. But if you’re able to get through it, you’ll find how amazing the story it.

Every character was so well developed, and every event in this book so well connected.


April was born on April 19 1995 in Delaware, the day the Oklahoma City bombing took place. She survived despite her poor health condition at the time of birth, and hence the name ‘April Hope’.

April has a really good memory (understatement of the year) and in the story keeps recollecting this one instance when her former neighbourhood friend, Licoln Evans kissed her on her eyelids when they were children. And that he gave her his quarter collection.

April is smart, funny and I loved her.


Lincoln Evans has moved from Delaware to Nebraska and is schooling there according to the story. In Lincoln’s Honors English class is this girl called Laura Echols. He is completely besotted by her and yearns to learn her secrets and help her out.

He is sweet, intelligent and helps Laura battle her inner demons.


Gavin was a little irritating. I didn’t even understand why he was one of the narrators. With his stupid hashtags, I didn’t like him. But of course, in the end, I realized why Sarah Combs had to tell the story from his perspective too. Brilliant work. She could’ve toned down a bit on the hashtags though.


Sandra Heslip is Lincoln’s English teacher and I must say, she was as cool as my English teacher. I literally have no words to describe how much I loved her.



The Mastermind is a genius. He is intelligent and really skilled. He is the one who formulates the Plan and puts together ‘The Assassins’. The Mastermind’s original name is not revealed until the end.

He redeems himself thanks to his friend, Wendy.


Phoebe was a soccer player and sister to Angela. All is well in her life until she meets this guy called Dylan Fisher online. Thanks to him, her life turns upside down and she gets sucked into the Plan.

In the end, Phoebe gets back on track with the help of her sister who makes her realize that there is so much in life to continue living, that there is so much love left in this world.

This is what the story is about: How would it be if everybody with bloodthirst out there discover something that makes them feel that life is worth living? 


Pallav or Pal, is an Indian. He is the perfect student – good scores, spelling whiz and extremely well mannered.

I cannot talk much about Pal without dropping spoilers. Suffice to say that he never got a chance to redeem himself in the book.


It was overall a very interesting book and with a really moving plot.

*ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*



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