BOOK REVIEW: “The Light In The Darkness: A Titanic Novel, Book Two (Parts IV-V)” by Carla Robinson

Welcome back, one and all, to the saga that is my review of Carla Robinson’s The Light In The Darkness: A Titanic Novel! In case you’re just joining us… seriously, where have you been?!

Catch up on The Light In The Darkness: A Titanic Novel, Book One (Parts I-III) and we’ll be waiting for you when you get back!

OK! Everybody is back?  Good!  Let’s get into The Light In The Darkness: A Titanic Novel, Book Two (Parts IV-V).


ICEBERG…. I mean… umm… SPOILERS, DEAD AHEAD!  


Complete tangent: I had a shirt in high school that said “The boat sank… get over it.”

Every day, TONS of classmates (and even some teachers) would ask, “Is that about Titanic?”  They all had the same shocked, almost offended, expression.  I’d respond, “No, it’s about the Lusitania,” every time with the same eyeroll. 

Ah, my sullen teenage years!

Back on-topic!

So, yes, the boat sinks.  If that spoils the book, consider it spoiled.  I will try to keep from mentioning which of the characters survive. 

Book I of The Light In The Darkness focused primarily on the days before the doomed ship was, well, doomed.   The second book begins about the time disaster strikes, and takes us on a wild ride to find out who lives and who dies.

And, this is where the story picks up serious steam!  This book is faster-paced and action-driven.  The big question on my mind while reading was, “what happens to these characters?”  Now, stuff is flying, people are yelling, and relationships are tested as we get closer to the answer.

What I thought about characters in the first book gradually started to change.  Seeing someone through the eyes of someone who loves them makes the character come to life.  Also, seeing the characters in crisis raised personality traits both eye-opening and realistic.

Robinson skillfully maintains tension throughout Book II.  Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, who was going to perish… the scene would change.

I’ll admit, the change in pace from the first book to this one was jarring.  But, getting over it was easy.  Most chapters followed one character and ended with me wondering if they live or die, only to have the next chapter following the fate of someone else.

It reminds me of George R.R. Martin’s “cliffhanger” style, and made me want to keep reading.  In fact, according to my Kindle, I read Book II twice as fast as I read Book I.

The one complaint I have is that it seems like Robinson mixed up the characters’ names a few times.  In one instance, the character speaking is identified as the eldest Gresham sister, but calls the youngest sister “my baby.”  Now, while I can’t be positive this is an error, it’s not realistic for her.  I believe the character was supposed to be the sisters’ mother.

Other than that, there were few mistakes and few points where the story dragged.


Final Score:

4.5 out of 5 stars!  The Light In The Darkness: A Titanic Novel, Book Two (Parts IV-V) book was riveting.  I was engrossed in the story, and found it much easier to read than the first book.    Despite a few slip ups, and my personal opinion that the first book had pacing issues that bled into my review here, this is a great book.

Even though historical fiction isn’t my favorite genre, Carla Robinson’s take on the Titanic disaster is interesting.  She makes the characters’ emotions come to life during an unimaginable tragedy.

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