Review: Lumière (The Illumination Paradox #1) by Jacqueline Garlick
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.
3 Out Of 5 Stars
Genre: Another-World, Mystery, Royal-Court, Steampunk, Supernatural--
Eyelet has a condition where she experiences seizures, which identifies her as mad. Her family has kept her condition a secret so she won't be locked up in an institute, while her father tries to create a machine to fix her condition. Unfortunately, the machine falls into the wrong hands, causing the world to plunge into constant twilight and her father's death. Years later, Eyelet tries to track down the machine in hopes of saving herself and the world.
I really love steampunk which is what drew me to this book to begin with. I had been hearing about it forever, through blogs and Goodreads, everyone and their mother was talking about it. And then once I saw this cover, the pretty eye-catching cover, I knew I had to read the book. To be perfectly honest, I was a little let down by the book, or at least the first part of the story. I was just not able to engage in what I was reading, I found it vaguely interesting but not something I could not stop reading, and I was kind of bummed out about it. I really think my expectations were too high, and if I had picked this up without hearing about it so much, I might have been interested sooner. I found the world the author created to be incredibly complicated and I had a hard time following the plot and the gadgets at the beginning. That being said, I did find myself becoming more engaged once Eyelet found herself in a new "home" full of mysteries and danger.
I really liked how the two main characters are both flawed in different ways, making them unable to really be accepted in society. Eyelet experiences seizures which are a form of madness and she would be locked up if anyone knew, yet she guards her secret closely. Urlick on the the other hand wears his flaws on the outside, with birthmarks on his face and neck, as well as albino coloration of pale skin, white hair and pink eyes. I like how both can see the person beneath the problems society sees, making for great characterizations with depth and personality.
For the most part, this was an adventure/action mystery set in a very unique world with unknown gadgets, creatures, fears, costuming and phenomenons. The story takes place in what could roughly be called Victorian times, early 1900, but in a world far removed from what we know. There were criminals that were mutated by the natural elements and ate human flesh, vapors that killed when breathed in, people selling others for experimental purposes, an imaginary utopia that may or may not be real, an x-ray box that cures all, people who suffer from medical conditions which in turn classifies them as insane and must be institutionalized, accepted forever twilight, ravens that speak and Valkyries that can take people's forms. There was a LOT going on here. At times I felt like I was in over my head with all the ideas thrown at me. By the end I felt like had a good grasp of the story, even if I am not 100% certain of what the main plot is- maybe to fix twilight?
The ending was a huge mess that I would love to have answered for me. So I very much so would like to read the next book in series to see what will happen next. Overall, this was an interesting read that has potential.