Are you looking for a futuristic sci-fi book that cleverly depicts the deep divide that privilege can make in society? Letters From The Light is perfect for this, as this science fiction novel talks about a dystopian society where essential things like light are only considered a privilege for the rich castes. The lower castes live in astute poverty, are in complete darkness, and are all blind. This is taken as a given because they work in dark underground shaft mines and thus have no access to light.
There is only one boy in these poor castes called Sam who can see, which is considered a blessing by the holy sects. Sam keeps praying for a way out of his village of darkness and poverty and uncovers that it doesn’t have to be this way. His twin brother Harper, on the other hand, is an assistant to the religious sect of Civil Sisters who consider themselves above everyone else. The Governor of the town is self-absorbed and treats everyone who is not from the same social standing as himself badly and looks down upon them. Then one day, an explosion rocks the town, and all these characters have to work together to create a better living and join forces. Will this mean that the privileged society will end and a more unified society will come forward? This book also asks if people born into poverty can never escape it.
Therefore, Shel Copa has interspersed this science fiction book with societal issues like privileges, social divides and poverty. This could reflect our current society where there are deep divides between the people and poor people have limited access to things. She also does a great job of showcasing the views and ideals of each social stratum as the book unfolds. The best part is that even though this book starts as a take on a deeply divided society, the author has hope for the future where people will come together and overcome an explosion. This could also be a future projection for our modern society, where we can see the importance of sticking together no matter our class or caste. It is about human lives at the end of the day, and that is all that should matter, according to the author’s point of view.
Shel also writes a very optimistic tale of how people born into poverty don’t always have to stay poor and can rise out of it. It provides hope for the poor people who can see the world of light and enjoy whatever the world has provided to us equally. Even if a society is deeply divided, it can overcome these privileges and help each other to get out of this poverty and create a more uniform and robust society in the future.
Shel also creates a solid mystery angle in this book, as there are five main characters from different deeply divided societies who must come together in the wake of the explosion to uncover the deep dark secrets of the world. The author keeps you guessing until the last minute and leaves you with a fresh take on the power of humanity in a futuristic world.
You will also find yourself drawn to the timeline as it is set in around the 34th century AD and showcases a period where humans have gone to colonise the stars. This shows that the author feels that science and technology will advance to such a great extent that we can also colonise stars. The space industry in Australia is already very advanced and is looking to triple the size of its industry to $12 billion with more and more advances. Therefore this theory of colonisation of stars might not be as unrealistic as it seems, as the future of space technology will keep increasing significantly.
This novel also shows the author’s brilliant and creative mind, where she can carefully weave such a futuristic society and include the social aspects of humanity with technological advances.
Do you like these themes of a united society in the future? In that case, you should go through this book called “A Canticle For Leibowitz By Walter M Miller Jr”. It also talks about humanity’s struggle with finding themselves and uniting to overcome disaster and create a powerful force. It is a great read and will keep you hooked till the end.