(The Illumination Paradox #1)
by Jacqueline Garlick
Published: December 12, 2013
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.
I picked this one up because it's steampunk, and I love steampunk books (I have a post about it HERE if you're interested). But Lumière is more post apocalyptic steampunk and kind of different from others in this genre I've read before. I'm not even sure which year the story is taking place. The gist is that Eyelet, the main character, is ill and her father made this machine that can cure her but instead left the world covered in deadly smoke and without sunlight.
I already think steampunk is a bit weird but this book is weirder than it should be. Eyelet is an impulsive character who is supposed to be a smart one. I'm not saying she made a lot of stupid decisions here but I thought she'd be a kick-ass inventor or something. Well, I guess she is but I only saw proof of that in a wing she fixed and that wasn't a very detailed part in the book. Urlick can be so hot and cold at times and I don't get it BUT I like them both together. I really, really, really like them together.
There were some points that were unclear and that I couldn’t quite understand nor could I connect with the story. The scenes were too easily executed but all the running they did were still heart-pounding and made my palms sweaty with anticipation. There were dramatic instances and some dialogues were a bit cheesy and repetitive. Also, what the heck is the deal with all that magic versus science stuff? I mean, if you want to put it in there, sure! Go ahead. But there wasn't much emphasis on the topic and it made me wonder if Eyelet is just messing with Urlick by declaring that magic exists or if she even believes in it herself. The thing with the crows just made it all the more confusing.
Despite that, this was still a really enjoyable book. I couldn’t stop reading! I laughed a lot and realized I had a great time throughout. I can't wait to read Noir.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher and NetGalley.