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  • Caitlyn Lynch

Book Review: Under the Northern Lights by S.C. Stephens

This is one of those books which can’t seem to decide what it wants to be. It starts out reading like a harrowing survival story, detailing Mallory’s life choices which lead her to the point of a plane crash in the remote Alaskan wilderness, and then derails into a mountain-man romance of the type which have been very popular on Amazon of late - except without the sex and with a lot more angst, pining and religious overtones.

Michael’s decision to live out in the wilderness without any means to contact help if anything should go wrong seems just as stupid and contrived as Mallory’s failure to carry a radio or a distress beacon. Seriously? She has a loving, caring family, and none of them said “here, before you go off alone in the wilderness, take this GPS watch with an inbuilt distress beacon?” It was so contrived I was constantly annoyed.

Not only that, but Mallory is the absolute definition of a self-entitled little brat who thinks she can get everything she wants if she just pushes other people around enough to get it. Michael saves her life and she barely takes a moment to be grateful before she’s trying to push him to tell her the life story he clearly doesn’t want to share. Worst of all, her pushiness gets her everything she wants in the end, which is just appalling - I only have to think about how much I’d hate this story if the genders were reversed and Mallory were a man pushing a woman into intimacies she expressly says she doesn’t want.

For a doctor, Michael seems surprisingly unconcerned about antibiotics or anything resembling proper wound care, including his apparent need to take stitches out of a serious wound 2 days after putting them in. I’m pretty sure any medical professionals reading this would be shrieking in horror.

Honestly, I’m not even sure why I battled through to the end of this one. I haven’t abandoned a book from sheer boredom in ages, though, and I don’t believe in critiquing something without full and complete knowledge of it. So having actually finished it, I can now definitively say; oh dear lord, this was SO BORING. Don’t waste your time. Two stars.

Disclaimer; I received a copy of this book for review via NetGalley.

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