In a plot that reads like The Matrix meets an Afro-futuristic retelling of the Persephone myth, alien conquerors of Earth resettle the remains of humanity on the planet of Eleusis. In the three habitable areas of the planet—Day, Dusk, and Night—the haves and have nots, criminals and dissidents, and former alien conquerors struggle to survive as the fate of all-human and alien life balances upon a knife's-edge.
Destroyer of Light has a wonky, science-fictional feel to it, which is something that still deeply appeals to me, even though fantasy, horror, and weird fiction seem to be more widespread and popular these days. Brissett plays with and transforms a number of familiar science-fictional tropes ... Destroyer of Light is a disorienting experience. As with so much of the best science fiction, the details of its worldbuilding sound crazy and arbitrary if you just summarize them flatly ... And yet these details coalesce into compelling and disturbing patterns as you read the novel as a whole and reflect upon the implications not just of its plot, but also of the overall environment that it renders. Brissett creates a weird and alien world, but one that resonates deeply with our own contemporary concerns ... Destroyer of Light also combines old and new in compelling ways ... Destroyer of Light, like most good science fiction, does not admit of an easy allegorical reading, because it treats its elements—characters and settings—as concretely and literally as possible.
... a book that sneaks up on you. If you can make it through the disorienting (somewhat intentionally because there is a lot of world building to do) first couple dozen pages, the reward is vast. Brissett has built a story that the 21st century needs, while never forgetting its roots in the Afrofuturism of a previous generation ... What makes Destroyer of Light such compelling reading is all of the other layers Brissett adds. This is a book about monsters and saviors—and how thin the line can be between the two. It’s about power and colonialism; mother and daughters; the cost of safety. It’s about Blackness and blackness and what both might look like under different circumstances.
The fast-paced, non-linear story unfolds over twelve chapters, and encompasses multiple perspectives over many years, bringing the reader to a world entirely unlike our own, yet endlessly informed by it ... Destroyer of Light is not flowery or romantic, and not for those looking for something simple or lighthearted ... Destroyer of Light is abstract. It is both a summary of several independent perspectives condensed into a singular narrative, and an exploration of the metaphysical–abstract in thought and in practice ... The best stories are those that linger, that make you ponder long after you’ve put the book down. Destroyer of Light will stay with you after you’ve read the final page, in large part because of the intention Brissett put into the complex morality of its world.