Format: E-Galley | 400 pages
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: YA | Steampunk | Romance
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.
LUMIÈRE is the first installment in The Illumination Paradox 1 series by author Jacqueline Garlick. The story is being marketed as being a Steampunk Fantasy Romance Adventure Novel. LUMIÈRE features two main characters in Seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth, and 18-year old Urlick Babbit. As the story begins, readers meet 8 year old Eyelet who is fascinated by everything she that sees, including a steam driven Elephant that nearly crushes her at a carnival.
Eyelet's fascination overcomes the fact that her body is fighting against random seizure episodes that leave her unaware of her surroundings. Life in Brethren isn't fair to those like Eyelet. In this world, anyone who has mental defect, like Eyelet's seizures, is either put to death, or entered into an insane asylum for the rest of their lives. Eyelet's father built The Great Illuminator in an attempt to cure her seizures, but was never able to fulfill his promise to her because of his untimely death on the Night of the Great Illumination.
But Eyelet hasn't stopped searching for answers. Eyelet not only hopes the Illuminator can save her life by curing her, but can also bring an end to the perpetual twilight that descended on the world when she was 8-years old. After her mother, Lila, is accused of being a murderer and a Valkyrie by villainous Professor Smrt, Eyelet is next up to face the hangman's noose if he can catch her. With a little push from her mother, Eyelet escapes Brethren by jumping Urlick's wagon, and follows him into Ramshackle Follies where criminals, Vapors, and The Turned feast on those sent to the Follies.
I dare say that Eyelet is a fascinating character who is both enjoyable to read about and smart as a whip. But, she is quite the secretive type as well thanks to not being able to fully trust anyone thanks to her seizures. She is literally walking on borrowed time fearing that at any moment her inadequacies will be found out, and that will be the end of all hopes of a cure. She's also curious as a lark, and refuses to back down to even the strange boy with the scared face. Eyelet finds a bit adventure after meeting Urlick. One that leads to a wild ending, and a secondary cast which includes Iris, Crazy Legs, and Cordelia.
Urlick stole Eyelet's father's Illuminator from a warehouse where it was being stored, and Eyelet is willing to do whatever it takes to get it back. Urlick is an interesting fellow. He's been ostracized by his father, and lives in a Compound that has more gizmos and gadgets than you can imagine. He puts all his time and effort into creating marvelous things that are both dangerous and useful, while also trying to keep Eyelet's curiosity to a medium. Of course, there is romance otherwise I wouldn't have put it in my first paragraph. Happily, the romance isn't love at first sight, nor does it have any triangle possibilities. Urlick and Eyelet have more in common between them, then they don't.
I dare say that I will be enjoying the sequel to LUMIÈRE called Noir.
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