This is a quick book review of Lights Over Cloud Lake, written by Nathan Hystad, at the suggestion of another author I read, Peter Cawdron.


The teaser text for Lights Over Cloud Lake reads as follows:

Cloud Lake is a hot spot for UFO sightings. Jessica Carver may have encountered one the night she disappeared. 
This is her story. 
Reporter Eva Heart is sent to Cloud Lake to write an exposé on flying saucer sightings, a subject she is extremely familiar with. Nearly twenty years ago, Eva, then known as Jessica Carver, went missing, only to appear a week later, confused and frightened. A man went to jail for the crime. Now Eva must face demons from her past as she meets both old and new friends along the way. Will her real identity be exposed? Can history truly repeat itself? Join Jessica as she discovers the truth about her childhood in Lights Over Cloud Lake, the newest novel from the author of the best-selling Survivors series.


The story transports us back to Aug of 2001, when a young Jessica is being questioned by a psychotherapist, where we learn about events that they'er trying to get to the bottom of, events that included Jessica's disappearance that lasted a week. Yes, she was gone an entire week, where she up and disappeared, then suddenly, reappeared again.

After that session, we're transported back to the near present or now in the story, and it's July of 2020, and we're looking at a grown up version of Jessica, who has changed her name to Eva. She did this to escape the spotlight of a girl who was abducted... by either a local creep or aliens.

But that week that she was missing, is a constant torment for her because she can't remember anything from that week.

What complicates the entire story is that where she was abducted from is a known UFO hot spot where on and off, people disappear, period.

And then in an odd set of circumstances, (Eva is a reporter for a failing online newspaper), her editor, out of the blue sends her on one last assignment, back to the scene of her abduction, to get a UFO story that could make her career for her. But really, back to Cloud Lake, where her life changed forever?

Yet it seems to be a huge coincidence and she follows through on her new assignment, to face her demons and put them to bed, and get her story.

At least that's the plan, but this story of Jessica Carver and Cloud Lake, ME., has a lot to uncover, between Jess's past as her efforts to write her story uncover memory fragments, and dodging through her old summer haunt, hoping no one recognizes her.

All while trying to uncover the truth about the perceived UFO events that take place over Cloud Lake.


The first thing you see when you land on the Amazon page for Lights Over Cloud Lake, is "Gone Girl meets The X-Files in this Sci-Fi Thriller" and I can't say that's wrong. The story reads as multiple mysteries that bounce back between 2001 and 2020. Author Nathan Hystad bounces us back and forth between events leading up to young Jess's abduction in 2001 and unfolding events in 2020 that related to both her past and present events taking place in 2020.

This is not a story with a ton of action until we near the end, but the missing action isn't noticed because of the mysteries that are developing all around the reader.

Not only are we intrigued by the mysteries, but we experience Jess's misgivings about lost loves and present-day love that could possibly move forward.

The other part I enjoyed was that while she'd dealing with the obvious, there are details in the story that have you wondering how they'll turn out, and if they do, because a lesser-skilled writer would take you exactly where you think it might go. While then another loop in the logic is tossed at us from out of nowhere.

If this is an alien abduction tale, it's one that focuses on the impacts events or perceived events like that impact the victims of these experiences. Or events. Or hoaxes. But like the author, I'll leave that up to you to decide which it or they are.


For an action-based kind of reader, I found myself pulled right along without much of the action I crave in my stories, which for me, says a lot about the Mr. Hystad's writing. (Or, I'm just getting older and maturing up... ug)

If you like a decent mystery peppered with some eluded mystery, and frosted with the mysteries of the human experience, this is the book for you! But be careful, you might need to carve out some time for it, as it can be pretty tough to out down at times! The book was published on July 22, 2019, and after 19 reviews on Amazon, has a 4.3/5 stars so far. I'm definitely picking up his other books/series!

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