2012-03-28

Review: Illuminate

Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1) by Aimee Agresti
Release Date ~ March 6, 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN13: 9780547626147
Review copy received from Thomas Allen & Son Ltd.
Goodreads Synopsis:
Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.
As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?
Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.

I have to be honest, I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book.  I mean, the description does kinda ruin the whole mystery of the book, and it looked to be fairly long.  Needless to say, I inhaled this book within 3 days of starting it.  This book comes with a lot of good reviews, and I think that it deserves each and every one of them.
  1. Characters:
    There are a fair amount of characters in this book, but I found it fairly easy to remember who they all were. Each character was very unique from the others. They all had their own distinct way of speaking, came from different backgrounds, and different personalities.  I really enjoyed that the characters had their flaws, and they weren't perfect.  I genuinely liked many of the characters, there weren't any that I thought were annoying or pointless.  Each character introduced had a role to play in the plot, and wasn't just brushed aside, which I appreciated.
  2. The Love Triangle:
    I don't know about any of you, but I'm not a huge fan of love triangles.  Frankly, my feelings are that too many books just kinda stuff them into the plot, without it making any sense, or not really understanding why they decided to go with a love triangle.  There aren't too many books where I actually enjoy the love triangle, but with ths one, I thought it was really well done.  Lucian and Lance are two characters that are great examples of two very unique people.  They are just about polar opposites.  I was really happy with the way it played out, and I really could see the appeal in both.  This love triangle, in my opinion, is one of the few that I read about and actually really enjoyed.  Another great thing about this particular love plot is that it is not the main focus of the book.  It is there, but there are other, more important factors that come first.
  3. The Plot:
    A lot of people have complained about the lenght of the book, and the pacing, but I really liked how the mystery slowly unfolded.  While yes, sometimes the charachters could be a bit clueless, they could also be very smart and think of things I hadn't given a second thought to.  I thought the mystery was carried out really well, and although it explicitly tells you the twist in the book synopsis, it was carried out really well.  Nothing came out too soon so that it was awkward. I, personally, thought that the timing on everything was perfect.  This book was unlike any other paranormal books I've read.  While it is fairly long, I didn't really mind it so much.  The story got a bit dark and creepy, and even disturbing at times.  I thorougly enjoyed how the whole other paranormal world was not taken really lightly.  It was a serious issue, and it was dangerous.  There isn't a whole lot of action in the beginning, but nearing the end, it gets more exciting.   
I really, really liked this book and I highly reccomend it for all of you to read.  I personally don't have any complaints for this novel, but I know that some do. I think that if you're looking for a bit of a different paranormal read, or are looking for a kind of creepy paranormal plot, or are just looking for the next book on your to-read list, you'll like it.



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1 comment:

Christa @ Hooked on Books said...

I really enjoyed this one as well. I know a lot of people complained about the length but I thought it was nice because you really got a lot of detail.

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