Author: Jacqueline Garlick
Series: The Illumination Paradox #1
Pages: Kindle; 402
Release Date: August 11, 2015
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy steampunk adventures and mystery stories.
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Even in a land of eternal twilight, secrets can’t stay in the dark forever.Well now, this book was a bit of a oddity. Have you ever been completely confused by a story, but still somehow entertained? I think that middle ground is exactly where I fell during Lumiere. There were very few moments where my feet were on solid ground, I wasn't always a fan of the characters, but somehow the story just swept me up and kept me reading on. I fought with myself a lot on the rating, but I think a solid three is pretty much where this book stands.
Seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth has only one hope left: finding her late father’s most prized invention, the Illuminator. It’s been missing since the day of the mysterious flash—a day that saw the sun wiped out forever over England.
But living in darkness is nothing new to Eyelet. She’s hidden her secret affliction all of her life—a life that would be in danger if superstitious townspeople ever guessed the truth. And after her mother is accused and executed for a crime that she didn’t commit, the now-orphaned Eyelet has no choice but to track down the machine that was created with the sole purpose of being her cure.
Alone and on the run, she finally discovers the Illuminator—only to see a young man hauling it off. Determined to follow the thief and recover the machine, she ventures into the deepest, darkest, most dangerous part of her twisted world.
Let's talk about characters first. Eyelet (whose name drives me insane) is a very frustrating main character. Flighty, indecisive, and without any sense of self preservation whatsoever, she's the type of character that makes you want to pull your hair out. Then we have Urlick, our anti-Charming character. He's not what you'd expect a male lead to be, which I actually appreciated. A bit rough around the edges, secretive, and kind of awkward, I found myself clinging to his character. He was a nice addition to take the edge off of Eyelet, although their insta-attraction also drove me mad. More on that later.
In terms of setting, that was the one thing that I really enjoyed about Lumiere. Although the book doesn't explicitly state what time period this takes place during, the world has a definite 1600's feel. Witches are being persecuted, men are the only ones allowed to complete schooling, and women are the fairer sex. Add in a world that has been forever altered by "The Great Illumination", complete with wraiths and vapours that will kill you in an instant. It's a darker world, and one that held a lot of promise. I won't say that it was fully realized, that promise. But it absolutely held my attention.
Now, I suppose, we'll talk story. Which was confusing, to say the least. This book has a lot of great ideas. There are some great plot points, some exciting missions, and some deliciously evil villains. The problem is that they aren't in any particular order. It all felt so piecemeal. I felt like I was lost in the woods, without a map. I'd be excited about something Eyelet was about to do, and suddenly the road took a left turn and, distractedly, I wandered into those dark woods again. When you're angry and terrified about someone, and suddenly you're in love? There's an issue there. There's a lot of forward movement in this story, which is great! It just doesn't always seem to know quite where it's going.
Will I continue this series? Perhaps. Hopefully Eyelet gets herself together.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.