A story filled to the brim with adventure, thrills, danger and characters that you cannot help but love.
Author: Jacqueline E. Garlick
Source: NetGalley Ebook Review Copy
Lumiere is the first book in the Illumination Paradox series. It follows Eyelet Elsworth as she is forced to find the only thing that can save her life: her father’s invention – the Illuminator, an incredible invention that has been missing since the world was plunged into eternal darkness. When her mother is cruelly executed, leaving Eyelet orphaned, Eyelet finds herself thrown into an adventure far greater than she could ever imagine, teaming up with the mysterious Urlick to hunt down the missing Illuminator.
This book is as much driven by the plot as well as the characters. Neither completely takes control of the reigns so you find yourself being driven along, completely absorbed by the world you’re in, rather than finding yourself wanting for a particular side. The plot itself is fascinating and sets up well for the rest of the series. While it does end with an opening into the next book, you do feel like the story within this book was complete and I did find myself wanting to find out what happened next.
I really enjoyed the characters in this book. None of the ‘good’ characters are perfectly designed with that unnatural beauty that so often occurs in fantasy books. Instead, one protagonist has epilepsy, the other has a disfigured face. Indeed, of all the characters, only the villainous ones are in any way approaches the norm. And, to top it all off, Garlick does a fantastic job of doing this without you being aware of it. She treats the characters like people and gives them realistic personalities and emotions.
Eyelet is brilliant as a female lead. She is not overly perfect, has multiple interests, and matches Ulrick, the male lead, in terms of intellect, bravery and role in the story. Urlick does take a while to get used to, as he himself is not used to meeting new people. But with the two point of views, Garlick is able to distinguish the characters as well as demonstrate how differently two people can perceive on event.
The world this is set in is one plunged into darkness, one where technology can reach new heights and magic is forbidden. It is rare to find a story where magic and technology work so well together, yet this is one of those rarities. There were times where the two blended so well together, that it was near impossible to tell them apart.
This world has everything you could possibly want – magic, romance, adventure. There is a living, flying motorcycle, wraith-like zombies, and a land bordering on Hell itself. When I first started reading this book and everything began being introduced, I did feel a bit like Garlick had taken on too much. It all seemed a bit overwhelming to me. But, as the book moved on, everything slotted into place and now I can’t imagine the world she created without anything she put in – even the smallest detail.
This is a brilliantly-crafted book that left me wanting more. Garlick treated all the characters with respect, so much so that I felt I could bump into anyone of them in the street – they all felt so real. The story is one that keeps you on your toes with a series of events which push the characters to the edge and over. I really loved Lumiere – the cover is beautiful, the story is excellent and I cannot wait to start reading the next one, Noir.
The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Lumiere/9781503944558