Series: The Illumination Paradox #1
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk, Young Adult
Published by Skyscape on October 26, 2013
Reading Challenges: 2016 Good Reads Challenge, 2016 NetGalley Reading Challenge
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One determined girl. One resourceful boy. One miracle machine that could destroy everything.
After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find the Illuminator, her father’s prized invention. With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures before Professor Smrt—her father’s arch nemesis—discovers her secret and locks her away in an asylum.
Pursued by Smrt, Eyelet locates the Illuminator only to see it whisked away. She follows the thief into the world of the unknown, compelled not only by her quest but by the allure of the stranger—Urlick Babbit—who harbors secrets of his own.
Together, they endure deadly Vapours and criminal-infested woods in pursuit of the same prize, only to discover the miracle machine they hoped would solve their problems may in fact be their biggest problem of all.
5 Rambles about Lumiere (The Illumination Paradox #1):
- Steampunk FTW. I really enjoy Steampunk. This one is a little clumsy in its execution, but it is enjoyable nonetheless. Hydrocycles, mysterious machines, wonderful costumes, mechanical bird guardians…all the trappings of a fun steampunk.
- The characters seemed inconsistently written to me. Throughout the entire book, Eyelet appears completely useless one minute and then perfectly competent at everything the next. She also makes some extremely rash and incredibly stupid decisions, especially in the first half of the book that had me rolling my eyes at a few points. Urlick was somewhat similar, one second seeming the dashing, brilliant hero, the next failing miserably at everything. Also, everyone has exceptionally weird names: Eyelet, Urlick, Flossie, Smrt (that’s not a typo, his name is literally Smrt, with no vowels).
- There’s an odd mix of sci-fi/steampunk and fantasy/paranormal elements. So on the one hand you’ve got all the steampunk elements, then there’s cannibals out in the woods, and then Eyelet turns around and starts talking about Valkyries (in this case, women who can control/talk to birds/shape-shift into birds? It wasn’t super clear). Not to mention these weird fog/mist people that could control your mind or cause illusions or some such magic. So Lumiere is kind of a mash-up of a bunch of different things; it didn’t really bother me, but I would agree that it made the world building kind of messy.
- As I just said, the world building is kind of messy. I don’t 100% understand the geography of this world. I get that there was some giant explosion the night of The Great Illumination, and that stuff got destroyed, but I’m not totally clear on the government or lack thereof in the city of Brethren (which is rich people I think), vs Gears (which is poor people?) and then the Follies (country folk?). I understood enough to follow the plot, and as the world building isn’t central to understand the conflict, it didn’t matter too much, but I do wish it had been clearer.
- The conflict moves quite quickly (there’s a slower section about 1/2 through, but we got some character development so it didn’t bother me), and there’s a nice romance that develops (although that kind of revved up real fast around 50% suddenly, I wish that transition had been smoother). There’s plenty of action and chase scenes, with Eyelet and Urlick running for their lives, trying to solve the mystery of Eyelet’s father’s machine (that caused her to have seizures/The Great Illumination) while attempting to keep Smrt from getting there first.
So Lumiere definitely is a fun, easy read, especially if you’re a fan of Steampunk/Romance. It certainly has its faults, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Content: 14+. Some disturbing images (cannibals/death sentences), kissing, peril.