Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids's Reviews > Luminous

Luminous by Dawn Metcalf
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's review
Dec 01, 2010

bookshelves: 2011-debut-authors, 2011-release, arcs-i-own, mundie-moms-reviews
Read in June, 2011

With it's unique world, interesting mythology, lore and a cast full of diverse characters who have a wide variety of paranormal abilities, Luminous is unlike any YA book I've read. I liked that Dawn doesn't hold back on her diversity in Luminous from race, to ethnicity, religion, gender, social class, and so on. One of the things I found to be unique with Luminous is the story's theme of perception and I liked how Dawn tied that into the story's rich diversity. I found this theme to be both fascinating and realistic, and she allowed me to see how the characters were perceived in both the real world and in the Flow. For example, Consuela, the story's main character is a beautiful Latina girl who in real world she perceives herself as someone who's different and doesn't feel comfortable in her own skin, but once she enters the Flow she starts to see herself for who she is.

I'll be honest, at first I was both a little creeped out and intrigued by the fact Consuela can literally shed her skin, transforming her skeletal frame into an element around her. Not only does she learn to love who she really is, but he learns to become more comfortable in her own skin, literally. I liked the uniqueness of Consuela and her ability to change into the element to save someone, like transforming her skin into water to save someone from drowning. Along with Consuela is a cast of unusual, intriguing characters who all of a power that they use while in the Flow to save others. Despite that fact I liked reading about each of the characters, I felt like I didn't have any sort of connection with them, and I can't pinpoint why that is. Surprisingly that didn't hinder my ability to like the story. Each character offers a lot to the story itself.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the story is the setting, the Flow. A place set between time or life as we know it, where each character's ability is used. I liked that the character's experiences in life as well as their cultural differences/experiences defined who they are here. In the Flow each character is perceived differently than they were in life, which helped drive the story's theme on perception home. Other elements I liked about the story is Dawn's use of cultural references, and her research with a variety of those cultures, as well as cultural literature really stands out in the book.

Luminous is a very intriguing read and I commend Dawn on incorporating a variety of cultures and diversity in her debut book. I was pleasantly surprised with the flow of the story, and I didn't have a hard time following the plot or what was going on. This is a very diverse, interesting, unique read. I'd definitely recommend this book to teens and older readers who enjoy paranormal books and with a lot of diversity.

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