Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 400 pages
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Illumination Paradox
Source: eGalley through NetGalley.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I have had this book on my wish list for awhile (back when the author self-published it). When I saw it on NetGalley I was very excited and was happy to receive a copy of it to review. This was a very engaging and fast-paced YA steampunk read. The book is set in a creative world that I loved reading about. The characters are interesting and engaging too. This is the first book in a trilogy. The second book will be titled Noir and released earlier this year.
When Eyelet Elsworth was young a strange flash shattered the world and hide the sun behind murky clouds forever. Now that Eyelet is older she is determined to find her father’s invention, a device called the Illuminator. Eyelet believes that the Illuminator cannot only save her from herself (she has debilitating seizures that she has to hide lest she be accused of Madness), but also save the world.
Eyelet ends up fleeing the safety of her home when an evil professor named Smrt finds out about her seizures and is determined to capture her. Her flight ends up in her finding her father’s Illuminator, but it is being taken by someone else! Eyelet pursues the thief and her chase leads her outside the safety of city walls and into the world of Urlick Babbit, the young man who stole her father’s Illuminator. Now Eyelet is in Urlick’s world; it’s a world of deadly Vapours and criminal infested woods.
I absolutely loved the world created here. It’s a twilight world where humanity cowers behind walls in hopes of evading the Vapours which can change people into things that aren’t quite human. I love the ingenuity in how Urlick survives outside these walls. There’s a lot of creative elements here and I enjoyed it a lot.
Eyelet is a wonderful character; she has been well-off (if a bit ostracized) her whole life and being plunged into Urlick’s world is a shock. However, she is remarkably accepting of everything and very determined to complete her mission. Urlick is a well done character too. I really enjoyed how Urlick has to turn even common household items into some complicated (and occasionally dangerous) device. Some of the devices were very creative and fun.
The chemistry between the two characters is well done, but never absolutely heart-stopping. Still, Eyelet and Urlick play off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses well and I am eager to see where both their adventures and relationship take them in the future.
Overall this was a very creative and well done young adult steampunk read. I would definitely recommend picking this up if you love fast-paced steampunk reads with excellent world building, mystery and romance. The world is very creative and the characters are engaging as well. I am excited to read Noir.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge