I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lumière by Jacqueline Garlick
Published by Skyscape on September 15, 2015
Buy on Amazon, B&N
Even in a land of eternal twilight, secrets can’t stay in the dark forever.
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.
Eyelet is a member of the Afflicted, a group of people who have strange, fear inducing conditions that are labeled madness. She hides this affliction every day with the hope that one day she will discover The Illuminator: a long lost machine her father built to cure her illness. Eventually she tracks down The Illuminator and catches an mysterious boy in the act of stealing it. The law wants Eyelet dead and she has little choice but to spirit away in the boy’s carriage. So begins the story of a girl who learns the Earth shattering truth about her father’s Illuminator and uncovers a dangerous secret that could destroy the world.
I have such mixed feelings about this book. I don’t know how I feel.
I loved the steampunk atmosphere and the mystery. I found myself surprised by the twists in this book more than once and extremely curious about what created”The Vapours”. I found this book delivered rich world building, interesting steam powered technologies and the Victorian dress style which I normally associate with the Steampunk genre. I really should read more Steampunk, it never fails to transport me to fascinating and unique worlds! I unfortunately didn’t believe the relationship between Eyelet and Urlick or really have the proper appreciation for the ending. I have a bit of a love-apathy response to this book and I’m not entirely sure where I stand.
It took awhile for the book to “get going” and I couldn’t really get into the story until 30% of the way through. I’m uncertain if this had something to do with the reading rut I was in or the storytelling, but it definitely took me awhile to bond with the characters. Eyelet is a strong, independent girl who goes through plenty of heart ache and uncertainty but she never gives up hope. I could really identify with a character who displays tons of no-nonsense, lets-get-this-over-with attitude. Meanwhile, Urlick is distant and secretive which helps create the aura of mystery. What does he do down in his workshop? Why does he need the Illuminator? How did he know where it was hidden? Seriously, I need to know now!
The early stages of romantic development between Eyelet and Urlick became the most powerful part of the book for me. A story where a mysterious boy with plenty of secrets takes in a stubborn girl during a poisonous fog? A romantic win! I definitely believe the author has a knack for creating believable, slow growing romances for young adult audiences. I was captured, immersed in the story, waiting for the two love birds to finally realize they liked each other. I enjoyed the light banter between the love interests and frankly, beyond the strong world building, the romance was the only thing that kept me interested.
The technologies were fantastic! Garlick beautifully describes steam powered, mechanical elephants and a strange machine, The Illuminator, that spouts electricity and turns people green. The school is protected by mechanical ravens (of all things) and there’s a sentient bicycle! I definitely enjoyed exploring the technology of this book and it helped to develop a world I really want to visit. The Vapours were an interesting touch and I loved learning about C.J. and (tongueless). There is definite promise for spin off series starring the minor cast members. I wouldn’t mind reading about how they came to be part of Urlick’s family.
I felt that UIrlck and Eyelet’s relationship morphed into insta-love which was incredibly unfortunate. The relationship’s progression kind of leaped into warp drive half way through the book and never slowed down. I felt it difficult to believe their relationship once they were suddenly so in love. I felt like the novel started off with one kind of relationship and half way through the author changed her mind. Also, if you are too tired to stand up on your own you definitely shouldn’t have enough energy for sexy-time. I felt this entire “will they or wont they have sex” scene was awkward, completely unnecessary and physically impossible considering the condition Eyelet was in only a few pages before.
The ending was a little strange as well with certain characters reappearing that I felt probably should have stayed gone. A large part of the ending had me rolling my eyes because it seemed cheesy. I will definitely read book two at some point, but the cliffhanger wasn’t nearly as “Oh! My! God!”as it was meant to be. Eyelet and Urlick’s inta-love made it really hard for me to take the ending seriously.
Honestly, I feel like I need to read book two to know if I actually like this series or not. It’s a nice read with fantastic ideas, but it didn’t make me stay up all night reading either.
This book would appeal to readers who enjoy Steampunk, unique worlds, young adult romance and novels with a paranormal flair. Petticoats, mystery and dangerous cannibals abound!