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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.

402 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 26, 2013

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About the author

Jacqueline Garlick

17 books146 followers
Jacqueline likes gritty stories with beating hearts, dislikes wimpy heroines and whiny sidekicks, and loves a good tale about an irresistible underdog.
Don't you?

Lumière—a steampunk-fantasy, romance adventure—is the award-winning Book One in her young adult Illumination Paradox Series.

Jacqueline is a graduate of Ellen Hopkin’s Nevada Mentoring Program, and has also studied under James Scott Bell, Christopher Vogler and Don Maass, where she was the 2012 recipient of the Don Maass Break Out Novel Intensive Scholarship.

Jacqueline is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes pod casts, guest blogs, Skype interviews and speaking engagements, as well as comments and emails from her readers. Visit Jacqueline at www.jacquelinegarlick.com. Or follow her on social media on twitter @jackie_garlick, and like her on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jacque... She'd really appreciate it!

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 314 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,727 reviews1,279 followers
September 14, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Skyscape, and NetGalley.)

“I’ll fire up the Great Illuminator and use it to cure myself of these hideous seizures one and for all.”

This was an okay YA steampunk story, but I did lose interest in places.

Eyelet (and sorry, I don’t like her name), was a bit of a flighty girl, constantly getting odd ideas in her head and chasing after them, no matter the consequences. She did improve a bit towards the end of the book, and I did feel sorry for her when she lost her mother the way she did, but she still came across as rather immature.

The storyline in this was a bit confusing for me, and I struggled to understand what exactly was happening at points. I also had some questions over the world building, surely a world without sunlight wouldn’t survive for long? Surely sunlight is necessary for crops to grow? And even for creating power?
There was a little bit of romance in this, but it was pretty obvious.

The ending to this was a bit of a cliff-hanger, although it seemed like Eyelet had already got a plan in place to solve it.

6 out of 10
Profile Image for Donita Luz.
158 reviews49 followers
October 1, 2015
"Living in eternal twilight might sound romantic, but it's not. It's simply depressing"
Sounds intriguing right?

Tbh, Lumière got my attention with its gorgeous cover. But to be fair, this book totally sounds amazing as well.. it just didn't work out for me.

The plot was all over the place, confusing as hell world building in an alternate world of England, everything was spoon-fed to readers to the point that reading it get's totally boring, the characters were a total fail too. Sometimes, when a book tries so hard to portray the MC as strong and perfect, they most likely to end up as annoying and a stupid character on my eyes.

The plot:

The world was accidentally turned into an endless twilight-zone after the Night of the Great Illumination. 
"A flash so big, so bold, so bright, it fills my head, my heart . . . the whole universe.
Eclipsing all that came before it.
And all that is to come."
Brilliant isn't it? Well that's just the start of it. In this world, you have to avoid being guilty of 2 crimes if you don't want to find your head in the gallows.
"The first is Wickedry—the practice of magic, black or otherwise. And the second is Madness."
 Apparently, that's a little bit inconvenient in Eyelet's part since her situation kind of perfectly match the 2nd crime-madness. Eyelet, has this illness, where she her body starts to convulse all of a sudden, her eyes droops and drools like a beast, which is also known by many as madness, but they're wrong, because that's just the way her body is. It's funny how those sickness appears only when it's convenient and it's more funnier how the sickness was originated. The sickness was one of the few things I found absurd in this book.

The plot was going on circle, I feel like, 1/2 part of the book can be removed without making any real impact on the plot. I really dislike it when a book used the character's stupidity as a plot device. I mean, it's good when it was made to make it look like the character was growing, but no, it just looks.. well stupid and non-sense. Like the time where Eyelet started to get suspicious with Urlick, that she confronted him, only she didn't listen to any of his explanations, So you know what she did? She run away outside the house, knowing how intense the vapours were. Getting both of them almost killed, I can't see the brilliant logic behind that! Really.


At 91%, it took every thing in my strength to stop myself from DNF'ing this shit. I mean, I reach this far don't I? I just have to hold on, a little bit longer.. Why you ask?

Well it was when Eyelet and Urlick were followed with the use of trails in the compound/haven, by Smrt. You know what's funny? Both of them almost get killed by Vapours, Criminals and The Turned on the way there and then all of the sudden, Smrt was there like...


Not even a hint of struggles. Ok maybe we can crossed out the criminals, let us say they were indeed killed by Eyelet, which I highly doubt, because if I can count properly, she only killed 2, but how about the vapours? They obviously can't outrun it unless they have their own clean air and oxygen, and what about The Turned which were supposed to be a spirit that feast on the people's mind?! Not to mention that Smrt lives in the Commonwealth, he's supposed to find it hard to navigate the outside of Commonwealth.


I think the story was made like that to set-up the stage for the sequel, to keep the suspense coming.

Well guess what?

It didn't make me want to read the sequel.


**I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, Thank you!**
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,032 reviews2,604 followers
March 16, 2014
4 of 5 stars and Author Spotlight at The BiblioSanctum: http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...

I thought Lumière was fantastic, so much so that I read the whole book in a day. Some parts even made me want to give this one a 4.5 or 5 stars, simply because for an independently published Young Adult novel I thought this was really impressive.

As you know, I'm a pretty picky reader when it comes to the YA category, plus I don't always jump on board with self-pubs or indies. Still, this book's description drew me in when it was brought to my attention; something about the story just struck the right tune with me. Right away, I knew I had something good when the prologue opened with an introduction to the heroine Eyelet (what a charming name!) at age eight at the time, looking upon a brass mechanical steam-powered elephant at a carnival. What else will I find in this world?

Fast forward to the first chapter and we see Eyelet as a seventeen-year-old, nine years after that fateful day at the carnival where a mysterious flash lit the skies and changed the world. Troubled by occasional seizures and desperate to hide her illness from the authorities, Eyelet is determined to hunt down the Illuminator, a fantastical machine that was invented years ago by her brilliant scientist father. The machine may be her only chance to cure herself, but first she has to find it before her father's old nemesis gets to it first.

Jacqueline Garlick made it easy for me to root for her characters by giving them such endearing and energetic personalities. Not far into the story we get to meet Urlick Babbit, the young man who unwittingly rescues our heroine as she escapes capture from her enemies. The poor guy had no idea what he was in for! Even with Eyelet and her total disregard for other people's privacy or some of the churlish questions that spills out of her mouth, I couldn't help but find myself amused by the dynamics between these two, as something deeper begins to develop between them. I also like that they're not a conventional couple. Eyelet has her nettlesome qualities and Urlick isn't your usual drop-dead gorgeous Prince Charming, having experienced injuries during his birth that marred his appearance. I found their relationship very unique and refreshing.

Again, I just can't get over how rich the setting is. It's an original world packed with amazing qualities, flavored with a healthy dose of magic and steampunk. Here and there you will find all sorts of quirky mechanical creations and bizarre creatures -- some that are helpful like Eyelet's ravens, others that aren't so friendly like the zombie/ghoul-like Turned. There's also a good chunk of the book where Eyelet is holed up at Urlick's place, trapped there because of the dangerous Vapours storms, where she discovers all sorts of gadgets and other wonky inventions designed and constructed by the strange boy. Even though this section was a slower break from the action, I was kept interested, never knowing what Eyelet would find next in Urlick's hideout.

I very much appreciated the nice blend of fantasy with the action-adventure elements of this one. And I was honestly surprised with the quality of the writing and storytelling; whatever polish it requires is very minimal, and as a whole the story was presented exceptionally well and flowed naturally. I wouldn't have devoured this book so quickly if it hadn't, and certainly the fun factor of the plot didn't hurt. I knew I was hooked when as soon as I finished the book, I went online and checked if there was an estimated release date for the next book. Alas, it won't be for a while yet, but definitely something to look forward to.
Profile Image for Cody.
203 reviews631 followers
July 29, 2016
Eyelet is a seventeen-year-old girl who lives in Brethren with her mother. Eyelet suffers with brain seizures and ever since the night of The Great Illumination, people who act strangely are accused of Madness and are entered into an insane asylum. Ever since this dreadful night the town lives without the sun and are endangered by a toxic gas called The Vapours, which lurks outside of the town. Determined to cure herself, Eyelet must find her late father’s research before it’s too late.

I loved the cover and concept on this book but was sadly not able to connect with it; I’m guessing I just not meant to be a steampunk reader. I enjoyed the characters but I just wasn’t able to care for them and be invested in their story. Ultimately what I struggled with what the amount of info-dumping about the world, how it came to be and the science and magic relationship behind inventions. Too often I found myself to be a little confused and overwhelmed and I would have to put down the book. Due to this I wasn’t able to pick it up again and dive right in, so I felt lost throughout reading.

However what I loved was Urlick Babbit. Instead of our usual gorgeous, swoony hot guys, Urlick would be considered a ‘monster’ with his albino eyes, birthmarks on his face and black and white hair. It was refreshing to read about a ‘disfigured’ character who is shunned by society but is still able to be our prince charming with his witty remarks, intelligence and kind hearted nature. I would have loved more romance between Eyelet and Urlick but I completely understand the slow turn around romance that comes with these ‘Beauty & the Beast’ type reads. This was sadly not for me but I may try again or at least give the second book a try, this would be perfect for steampunk romance lovers.

Literary-ly Obsessed
Profile Image for Ellen.
64 reviews2 followers
September 9, 2015
I"m not even sure what to say here. This book is a mess. The first 20% was interesting. I loved Eyelet's character, and I felt that I understood where this story was going, as well as her goals and motivations. Then she ends up at Urlick's home, and the story morphs into a pseudo - Beauty and the Beast storyline. Urlick is surly, mysterious, locks her in her room and tells her to "NEVER ENTER HIS LAB". Ok.... Somewhere in here she thinks he's a mad scientist, tries to escape, almost dies, is rescued and then is in love with Urlick. Wow. Throw in pieces of about 50 different sci-fi/fantasy/steampunk books/movies (zombies, witches, talking birds, steampunk not-Victorian not-England, a motorcycle that flys, circus people, Deus ex machina, and some magic) and you have a massive, confusing mess. Next throw in some heaving bosoms and I'm done.

I was provided this book for free on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Taylor.
767 reviews421 followers
March 10, 2016
I liked the concept of this book but I thought it was a little boring in places and the main character was all kinds of annoying.
Eyelet had a massive problem of just doing things and not thinking about the consequences. I found that to be extremely annoying. She was also really childish at times and I found it hard to relate to her. I wasn't really into any of the characters to be honest. I felt like they all could have been better written.
The story and writing style was pretty cool. The world building was lacking and I think because of that, it made the plot confusing at times.
Overall, Lumiere was an okay read. I have the sequel so I'll probably read it but I'm not impressed with the first book. The characters were not the best and I wish the world building was better. I did really like the story and the steampunk aspect though.
Profile Image for Stacie Ramey.
Author 5 books156 followers
August 2, 2013
I've been fortune enough to read this as a Beta reader and it is a beautiful book, a compelling story, and most of all, a love story for the ages. You should all put this on your to-read list!
Profile Image for Olivia-Savannah .
717 reviews479 followers
November 10, 2015
This book was published in 2013 but recently seems to be given a whole new surge of attention because a new edited edition was released! The minute I set my eyes on the cover of this book, I wanted it. I thought it was beautiful and it also clearly looked like a steampunk novel. If you know me, you know I love my steampunk and yet I feel like I don’t read it enough. Which is why I jumped at the chance to review this.

I had a few issues with this book, but there were also a few things I liked! So I am going to make this a list like review.

The bad:

- The villain’s name was Smrt. I am so sorry, but I couldn’t get over this. How was this even a name? It doesn’t have a vowel in it!
Some things needed a bit more explanation or description. Some things were just ‘there’ (especially in the beginning) and I wanted to know what they were, or what they meant. But they were brushed over.

- I wanted to see more of the world. There was a whole new world here, but we weren’t getting see much of it.

- Sometimes the language used to describe things was very strange. Like, I don’t want you to mention his ‘boysenberry lips’. I just want you to kiss him already. The language didn’t always flow so well.

Most of these bad things occur towards the beginning of the book. But around the middle and the end, I got really invested in the story. So here comes the good…

The good:

- We didn’t see much of the world but what we did see, I really liked. I felt like it was unique and a new place to explore with new rules.
The steampunk elements. Because steampunk makes me happy and that was done very well. YAY!

- Sometimes the language being strange suited this story perfectly and made it unique.

- I got caught up in the romance and the crazy story at the halfway mark and I wanted to see how things were going to end up.

- There’s lots of chases in this book. If you like a good chase, this one is for you.

- The plot twist wasn’t mind-bogglingly huge, but it was also not expected, so it was a pleasant shock!

- The cover is still perfect and beautiful. It also does a good job of reflecting the novel, which is something you will know once you’ve read it.

That’s all I have to say about this book! It was a mix of good and bad, but I still managed to enjoy this beginning to the series quite a bit. Oh, and it ended on a cliffhanger as well!

This review and more can be found on Olivia's Catastrophe: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/20...
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,163 reviews458 followers
August 30, 2015
**I received this book for free from (Publisher) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Young Adult, Steampunk, Fantasy
*Rating* 3-3.5

*My Thoughts*

Lumière is the first installment in The Illumination Paradox #1 series by author Jacqueline Garlick. The story is being marketed as being a Steampunk Fantasy Romance Adventure Novel. Lumière features two main characters in Seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth, and 18-year old Urlick Babbit. As the story begins, readers meet 8 year old Eyelet who is fascinated by everything she that sees, including a steam driven Elephant that nearly crushes her at a carnival. Her fascination overcomes the fact that her body is fighting against random seizure episodes that leave her unaware of her surroundings. Life in Brethren isn't fair to those like Eyelet. In this world, anyone who has mental defect like Eyelet's seizures, is either put to death, or entered into an insane asylum for the rest of their lives.

*Full Review Posted @ Talk Supe Blog 08/30/2015*


Expected publication: September 15th 2015 by Skyscape
Profile Image for Gabs .
484 reviews74 followers
April 4, 2015
Read more of my reviews My Full Bookshelf

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Lumìere was an amazing read-full of some good ol' steampunk goodness! (I think it's starting to become one of my favorite genres)

First off, the characters were fun to read about and very likable. The main character, Eyelet, doesn't waste time being a damsel in distress. She can stick up for herself, and she's intelligent. Urlick is not your everyday hero, but I was rooting for him nonetheless. He and Eyelet make a good pair.

The book kept my attention-I never once got bored; my eyes were always glued to the page. It's full of romance, action, mystery, and much, much more.

I can honestly say this book isn't like anything I've read before. Yes, I've read steampunk, but never a steampunk book like this!

The cliffhanger--ahhh, the cliffhanger. Why, why, why must there be a cliffhanger? (i'm just kidding, I actually kind of like cliffhangers; they usually ensure that the next book starts off well.)

I really liked this book. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA.
Profile Image for Jessica (Goldenfurpro).
884 reviews252 followers
May 12, 2016
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I picked this book up on a whim. I've enjoyed many books by Skyscape and this book sounded very interesting, so I picked it up! I was pleasantly surprised by this book! It was so unique, fast-paced, and so riveting!

Eyelet lives in a society after the flash, which entirely changed the world. After being driven out of the city for being considered Wicked, Eyelet goes in search of her father's invention, the Illuminator. She's been plagued by seizures all hr life and her father dies before he could use the invention to 'fix her'. But before she can reach the Illuminator, it's taken by a stranger. She hitches a ride with him and actually stays with hi in his odd home, all the while trying to figure out this stranger and the Illuminator.

I'm kind of torn about the world-building in this book. Parts of it were very well-crafted, others not so much. I felt like the past needed work. I didn't quite understand what the world was like before the flash or much about the flash to be honest. I also didn't quite understand how the society was organized, mostly because the book spent hardly any time in the actual society. As for everything else, it was very unique and just fantastic! I felt like it was very well-written and as if I were inside the world. I thought that the outside of the society and the Vapours were actually really clear and so very unique. In fact, the very idea behind the book was unique!

As for pacing, this book was very fast-paced! Even when there wasn't a whole lot happening, it felt like there was, if that makes any sense. I was so invented in this book! Each time I finished a chapter, I had to read another! I had to actually force myself to put it down to go to bed!

As for characters, I liked them, though I didn't love them. This book has dual point of view of both Eyelet and Urlick. I liked the dual point of view, since I was able to see how they felt about the other character.

As for romance, this book did have romance, but it thankfully did not distract from the plot and was placed very well in the book, which is exactly how I like it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It was so interesting, unique, and I was incredibly invested in this book! I do recommend it and I've already gotten my hands on the sequel!
Profile Image for Jonel.
1,717 reviews315 followers
February 18, 2014
This story is intensely captivating and fast paced, drawing you in and keeping you from escaping. Garlick makes you feel like you’re part of the story. I found myself perpetually racing forward to find out what would happen next. I loved how she gave a look into the main character at a younger age, giving us some necessary background info at the same time, before jumping to the present day and the story proper. She combines a post-apocalyptic type world with the thrill of magic and science in a seamless storyline that really gets to you. And she does all of this in a very well written and easy to follow manner. Garlick paints a fantasy world for her audience with her words, creating the whole picture.

I found myself falling in love with this cast of characters. I fully admit that there were a few that had me thinking ‘did you really just…’ but they added a full bodied flavour to the cast. The dialogue in this novel is another key component to Garlicks all-round character development. It flows so naturally. It makes the characters seem even more real throughout.

Garlick has added a little something for everyone into this amazing tale. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series.

Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ian.
1,349 reviews188 followers
August 23, 2015
When her father disappeared, Eyelet and her mother eked out a life in Brethren, all the while hiding her affliction from the authorities lest she be sent to an insane asylum. Then her mother is accused of being a witch and executed and Eyelet must escape or suffer a similar fate.

With her only guide a cryptic message from her mother that she needs to find one of her father's inventions she sets off to the Gears where her father hid the machine. But just as the machine is in sight it's whisked away from her by the enigmatic Urlick.

Now she and Urlick find themselves right in the middle of a plot to turn her father's invention from it's intended use and make it into a super weapon.

This book was quite surprising. I honestly don't quite know where to put it. It's YA, definitely steampunk, but there is enough horror in there to make me leave a light or two on. It really isn't like any other book I've read. I can see that there will be no middle ground with this book, you'll either love it or hate it. I loved it.

And the ending is perfect in it's breathtaking simplicity! I'm almost tempted to give it the 5th star for that single line that ended the book.

Many thanks to Skyscape and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC
Profile Image for Stephanie (Bookfever).
984 reviews113 followers
September 25, 2015
Lumière was kind of underwhelming for me. I liked the story but the characters and world building disappointed me a little.

I guess I had expected more of this book. The story wasn't even that bad. I actually really liked the prologue but then it all went a bit downhill.

The characters were kind of a disaster. I really disliked Eyelet (although I really liked her name!). She was just so hysterical about everything and also very childis, especially at the beginning with Urlick.

Urlick on the other hand wasn't a bad character. I actually quite liked him. And as much as Eyelet annoyed me, I loved the banter between her and Urlick.

Another character that irritated me so much was Smrt. I mean, come on, what kind of name is that anyway? And as the villain of the story I expected a little more character developement with him.

I did like the steampunk aspect of the story. It was probably my favorite thing in the entire book.

Overall, I had a "meh" kinda feeling with Lumière. I expected and wanted more of of this book. But I think I will read the second one because I want to know what's going to happen next.
Profile Image for Erin.
101 reviews8 followers
May 19, 2014
I'm sorry, this book annoyed me. I liked the idea of the book, just not the way it was done.

Things I liked:

1. The opening chapter. I thought the imagery of the electrical elephant and the illuminator was done very well and I was excited to see how Eyelet and her parents fared for the rest of the book.

2. The first few chapters

3. Smrt – he was a pretty fantastic character

Things I didn't like:
1. "How much do you trust me?" - Ok, it wasn't said that often (11 times throughout the book), but it seemed like it and it seeemed like it was said at times where my response, had I been the character being asked, would have been, "About as far as I could throw you. We only just met and we hardly know anything about one another, so remind me why I should trust you?" The way in which this sentence was deployed reminded me of the weird hand dragged down someone's face thing they did in the movie Face Off.

2. The term "wickedry." I understand that this book takes place on Earth and it's sort of an alternate universe in which things aren't identical to how they are here; I just thought this was a silly faux-term.

3. Eyelet. I'm sorry, she was ultimately annoying to me. At the beginning of the book I actually liked her. I liked the way she interacted with her parents and with Professor Smrt, I liked that she came off as intelligent, and I liked that she was able to hold her own. And then she meets Urlick...Once she's in Urlick's house, he tells her about the rules of his home - don't talk to Iris, don't go into the laboratory, my father likes his solitude so don't bother him, etc. and suddenly she's all, "Ugh! Who does he think he is? Giving me rules that I have to follow while staying in his house…"

Uh, yeah. He didn't invite you to his home, you hopped onto his carriage and pretty much forced him to take you along. When he finally stops at his home, he lets you know that there are several dangerous things you need to be aware of in the area, like the criminals who roam the woods, the Turned, and the Vapours, all of which are deadly. He then takes you into his home and offers to let you stay there until the Vapours clear and you can go back to your home. Seems pretty nice to me considering he didn't HAVE to let you stay with him. The least you could do is follow the rules, even if he did kind of say them in a rude way.
If that was all, I might be able to let it slide, but then there’s this whole thing where Eyelet draws asinine conclusions on absolutely no evidence. Instead it’s just what Eyelet thinks is the truth even though there is nothing to lead her to believe this other than her own wild imagination. She jumps to so many conclusions about things that I honestly sat there was a WTF look on my face at times because I couldn’t figure out how she determined those outcomes.

4. The Romance. There was this whole he’s cute/he’s repulsive, I like him/I hate him, ohmygoodnessIcan’tgehimoutofmyheadandallIcareaboutishim! Wait, what? Seriously, I didn’t understand their relationship and its growth. They both seemed to dislike one another with random “he/she isn’t so bad” moments here and there until Eyelet tries to run away. When they get back to Urlick’s house, she’s suddenly like, “His eyes are wonderful” and shortly thereafter, they get close to kissing one another. I’m sorry, you just accused him of patricide, wearing his face as a mask to dupe people, and performing sordid experiments on those in his care. Yes, he explained all that, but it seemed like such a 180 from minutes before.
And then there was the almost sex scene. Whut…?
I’m sorry…At this point I can at least say sure, they like each other. But to go from 1 to 143 on the “I have enough energy to have sex” scale in a matter of a page or so seems ridiculous. Especially when they stop a moment later because they hear a sound and decide to investigate. Urlick has to collect her in his arms and when they get close to the sound, asks if she is ok to stand on her own (p. 398). If you may not have the strength to stand on your own, HOW DO YOU HAVE STENGTH AND STAMINA TO HAVE SEX?!

Behold the healing powers of sex!

5. I didn’t care for the ending. Some magical stuff happened that I rolled my eyes at and it’s a cliff hanger. I honestly don’t care enough about the characters, their relationship, and their world to read any other books in the series.
Profile Image for Simona B.
892 reviews2,985 followers
February 5, 2017
*I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

"How very different it is to be inside the skin of the afflicted, compared to watching the afflicted inside their own skin."

This for me was one of those particular books which make you so excited that you're sure you would like them even before starting. Unfortunately, at least in my case there are only two ways in which this kind of enthusiasm can be channeled:
1. Indeed I truly and utterly love the book;
2. I wind up asking myself why on earth I was expecting so much from this bunch of nothing.
From my rating you can easily imagine which one of these came true this time.

Even now, if you asked me what Lumière is about, I reckon you would find my answer rather unsatisfactory. And I'm not even so sure the fault would all be mine.
From my point of view, throughout the first half of the book the plot itself and its finalities were kind of rambling: after Eyelet, the protagonist, flees from her city in order to escape her mother's same fate -a sentence to death- she follows the boy who's stolen her father's greatest invention, the so called Illuminator, a machine which, according to her, can cure her from epilepsy and do a lot of other magical wonderful stuff. The thing is, this machine was originally designed to work as a x-rays machine, or something alike. Now, would you mind explaining me under which science this wonder-machine can do all these things? One would think this is the central point of all the story, and the finds out it is the most confused and confusing of all.

The same happened with the world building. At first it seemed so interesting and promising, and for a while I kept repeating myself that even though it was still not so well defined and looked like the rough copy of what it could have been, it was just a matter of time, by the end of the novel all the pieces would end up in their place and the whole picture would look gorgeous.
It didn't. It remained stuck at the rough-copy stage.

The main character, Eyelet (speaking of whom, nice name): she's a thorn in the flesh. Urlick lodges her in his own house and at his own expense, and all she can do is getting about without never, ever stop complaining. About everything. All the time. She's one of the most annoying heroines I've ever encountered, and moreover she proves to have no other particular quality able to redeem her.
Urlick, well, I'm not sure what or who he was supposed to be in this book. The eerie man with the even eerier past? The wrecked boy? The gifted inventor? All of the above? Turns out he didn't manage neither. The same for professor Smrt, the evil on call, who reveals to be extremely banal and clichéd.
Urlick’s eyes are wild, his teeth clenched. “Go ahead, tell us. What is it you really want?”
Smrt snorts, jutting his neck out over the stone floor. “What I’ve always wanted.” He lowers his voice. “Power. Ultimate power.”
That's it? You sure you don't want a cup of coffee along with it?

For what concerns the other characters, instead-

Wait. Are you saying that there were other characters worth naming? Well, that's what I call a surprise.

At last, the writing. Not even here I could avoid being disappointed. Garlick's style seemed to me careless, shabby, far from mesmerizing or elegant or anything else that could have make it stand out. Also, I came across some spatial incongruities -some moves or gestures appeared senseless or, how can I say... miscalculated (I guess a revision would have been useful). The dialogues are inconsistent, and so the difference between Eyelet's and Urlick's point of view. The descriptions of Eyelt's seizure are the only passages in which the author shows a bit of originality.

Summing up, a big disappointment on all accounts. I don't know if I'll go on with the next one.
Profile Image for Fafa's Book Corner.
512 reviews298 followers
August 24, 2015
This review will also be posted on both of my blogs:

I received this copy from Skyscape and Two Loins via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Out of all the arc's that I requested this was the one I wanted to start with first. I was drawn into the explanation and immediately requested it. But because I downloaded A Thousand Nights and Hunter first I had to start with those two otherwise my 50 day countdown would be up.

This book was even better than I had assumed it would be! When I read the explanation of the book I thought it would be a 3 star. Boy was I wrong!

Lumiere is about Eyelet Elsworth the daughter of a very well known professor and Urlick Babbit (more about him later on). Eyelet suffers from seizures and in this world seizures is a sign of 'Madness'. Her father and mother told her that if she revealed to the world her seizures she would then be tossed into an asylum. After that she has lived in constant fear about getting thrown into an asylum. Her father built The Great Illuminator to some how cure her seizures. In the beginning of the book (Eyelet is 8 years old in the prologue) it is revealed that her father 'sold' the machine to a circus performer. After stating that the machine is not the circus performers, her mother ushers her out of the circus. While running they see a flash of light that changed their world forever. It jumps to when Eyelet is 17 years old the audience is told that her father died a day after the carnival show. She lives with her mother and the only reason she has made it into the academy is because her father was a very well respected professor. She goes to school only to run into Professor Smrt. Smrt get under her skin and finds out that she has seizures. While in the process of writing a diagnoses one of her other teachers reveals that her mother has been accused of killing the prince and is going to be executed along with Eyelet. Eyelet escapes and finds her mother dying. Her mother urges her to live and gives her the pendant on the cover. Deciding that she needs to find her fathers machine she sees Urlick stealing it. She jumps onto his carriage in a sense forcing Urlick to take her with him.

Urlick is also the son of a professor who lives on the 'bad side of town'. He agrees to take Eyelet into his home on the condition that she will do his dishes. He sets out all the rules of the house and then is off to tinkering with the machine. Urlick is actually deformed. He stole the machine so that he can 'fix' himself. Later on in the book they agree to work together so that they can get the machine working by getting Eyelet's father's journals.

Despite the fact that the explanation says that Urlick keeps secrets, Eyelet is the one that does. I found it odd how Urlick eventually revealed everything to her but she did. I'm assuming this is because she was scared he would judge her. But that still doesn't make it fair.

This book had a unique plot, good world building, and relate-able and realistic characters. I would've given it a 5 star but the ending with 'Pan' pushed this to a 4 star.

Overall this an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading the sequel!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Vippi.
481 reviews16 followers
September 14, 2015
2.5 stars

~I received this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review~

The first few chapters hooked me and made me want to know more about Eyelet and the whimsical world she lived in. I appreciated the original setting, spiced up with a good combination of magic and steampunk, as well as the atypical nature of the two imperfect main characters.

Unfortunately, the rest of the book was not up to that captivating beginning: the worldbuilding was only sketched and quite confusing; and the characters (their behaviours, their choices, their dialogues...) were not at all believable (above all, that "How much do you trust me?" thing really annoyed me *rolls eyes*).

What a pity!
Profile Image for Sharon Mariampillai.
2,011 reviews86 followers
March 1, 2018
I received a copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Actual Rating: 3.75

This was a good read. This is my second steampunk read this year, but I found that it was lacking a bit in parts. The storyline was confusing, and I had some trouble getting into the story.

The characters were interesting. Eyelet is a girl that has a lot of weird ideas. I didn't like her at first, then as the book progressed, her character became more developed. I felt sorry for her after she lost her mother. However, she was a little bit immature.

There was a bit of romance. The ending was okay. It ended in a cliffhanger. I need to read book 2 because I want to know what happens. Overall, an okay read.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,651 reviews161 followers
November 18, 2018
"How much do you trust me?"

I know, the line is a bit Aladdin, but I was willing to forgive it for all the Steampunk fun in the story.

So I can't say I loved this one but I did enjoy it. It took until at least half way for the story to really hook me. At first, I was confused by the Steampunk items like the birds and the cycle thing but eventually I was able to roll with it. Too many things weren't explained at all but hopefully more will be revealed in book 2.

I did like Ulrick and he was ultimately the saving of the story although I thought the pantry scene was a bit gross. Eyelet's name is just annoying but otherwise, her stubborn will and inability to actually listen to Ulrick was frustrating but I was glad once they both started to trust each other.

It was an interesting story and I'll read Book 2 just to see where it goes with the story.
Profile Image for Milliebot.
810 reviews23 followers
September 27, 2015
This review and others posted over at my blog.

I received this book for free from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own.

From Amazon: Seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth has only one hope left: finding her late father’s most prized invention, the Illuminator. It’s been missing since the day of the mysterious flash—a day that saw the sun wiped out forever over England. But living in darkness is nothing new to Eyelet. She’s hidden her secret affliction all of her life—a life that would be in danger if superstitious townspeople ever guessed the truth. And after her mother is accused and executed for a crime that she didn’t commit, the now-orphaned Eyelet has no choice but to track down the machine that was created with the sole purpose of being her cure. Alone and on the run, she finally discovers the Illuminator—only to see a young man hauling it off. Determined to follow the thief and recover the machine, she ventures into the deepest, darkest, most dangerous part of her twisted world.

Rather than write my own blurb for this book, I wanted to post what initially interested me and prompted me to request this book on Netgalley. Now, having actually read the book, I can firmly say the cover design (which I do think is fabulous) is the best part of this book. That, and the fact that I’m done with it and never have to read about these stupid characters again. First off, what kind of a name is Eyelet!? All I could think of was holes in cloth, for threading rope and whatnot. I obviously didn’t absorb her name when I first read the blurb prior to requesting the book, because when I started reading I was shocked at how ridiculous it was. This oddball name was followed by others – Urlick (which I decided to mentally pronounce as “Yur-lick” to keep things fun), Flossie and Professor Smrt. Yes, SMRT, no vowels necessary! I’m not sure what the thought process was behind that last one and because I don’t think the book could be any more ridiculous, I started mentally pouncing that as “Ess-em-arr-tee” rather than “smart” without the “a.”

I have many issues with this book, but I’ll do my best not to rant. In a nutshell, this book was full of confusing imagery and half-developed ideas, which led to the feeling that Garlick was making up the rules as she went, to suit each situation, rather than establishing solid rules and boundaries for the world she created. I thought this would be a post-apocalyptic steampunk adventure and while I think Garlick did focus on the steampunk elements, everything else seemed to fall to the wayside. The “mysterious flash” and following blackout described in the blurb was the most disappointing element. One would think, with there no longer being any sunlight in England, that there would be catastrophic consequences and that Eyelet’s daily life would be greatly impacted by this factor. But no. I think it was mentioned maybe once, that the sun didn’t shine and that she used something called a “bumbershoot” (never came close to figuring out what that was) for light, then it was never discussed again.

About halfway through the book there are also magical elements, such as demons made of vapors, ravens that can shape-change and a motorcycle made of bones with leather wings. His name is Bertie, if you were wondering, and he is “alive,” in that he can whimper, chortle, shudder, whine and sigh when you talk to him. Perhaps Bertie (what a terrible name for a potentially awesome character) could have been developed into something fantastic, but there was no mention of how he came to be created or what gave him his sentience. Like Bertie, the magic system was never really addressed, so it wasn’t clear what the rules where and who possessed magic or how it could be used. It felt like a convenient plot device to help our heroine when needed, only to be discarded moments later when it was no longer of use.

The characters are cardboard cutouts. Eyelet is your traditional beautiful, smart, witty, headstrong, somewhat clumsy heroine. In fact, she appears to be the only good-looking person in the world. There’s a man with no arms, a girl without a tongue, a rival with a harelip and a big hairy mole on her face and her semi-albino lover. She does suffer from seizures (which she insufferably refers to as “the silver”) which was intriguing and unique, but I don’t think Garlick pushed that envelope far enough. Urlick is an albino…with black hair…and a wine stain birthmark (on his face, described several times as a snake’s open mouth, ready to strike) and a permanent hand-shaped bruise on his throat. Eyelet eventually falls for him, as anyone with half a brain would know was coming, and their “relationship” felt rushed even by YA standards.

With quotes like “My heart rattles like a bag full of snakes,” and a scene where Eyelet shakes Flossie’s hand and can smell “weakness and a lack of a warm heart,” (WHAT.EVEN.) it’s no wonder I wasn’t impressed. I could probably dissect this book into a million, horrible, disjointed little parts, but this review is already longer than I planned. Sadly it’s just easier for me to rant about a bad book than praise a wonderful one. I really can’t say I’d recommend this to anyone.
Profile Image for ♛Vanessa♛ Fangirl Faction.
849 reviews599 followers
May 4, 2021
I received this book for free from Skyscape via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The world that Garlick creates in this book is so captivating! There are so many elements to this world. The world building is good. In fact, in some areas it is great! This story is so unique and so enjoyable. The characters are vibrant and fascinating. Overall, a very good read. I'll definitely recommend this. This is the type of story that you just become so invested in and cannot stop reading.

What I liked
I loved the characters! The characters are very well developed and so fascinating. Most of the characters are very mysterious, so much so that you are compelled to keep reading just to find out more about them.

I liked the romance in this book. It was written very tastefully. I love how Urlick isn't drop dead gorgeous like the men in most books, and that Eyelet isn't perfect either. They both have their issues, and that makes their love more believable. Their relationship is quite charming. I was rooting for them the entire time!

What I didn't like
There are some areas that could use improvement in the world building of this story. Parts are described beautifully, but some seem to be less so. I would love to have more background information about this world. What was this world like before the flash? Maybe a better breakdown of the society after the breakdown. We see only parts of this society, but don't know much about it.

I think that if the elements of this story linked up more then it would be spectacular! There are so many different things going on, and some of these things are only hinted upon. For instance, the magic hidden world in the sky or the fact that he mother's pet bird was a Valkyrie. Those things aren't fully touched upon and added to the rest of the story it becomes very confusing since nothing is happening with those things.
Profile Image for Kimberley Little.
Author 13 books509 followers
December 31, 2014
I loved this steam-punk fantasy novel! Lumiere is so well written, exciting, with twists and turns, and a luscious romance! Can't wait for more by this author. And the cover! The Cover! The Cover! Need I say more? :-)
Profile Image for Fay Roberts.
109 reviews8 followers
September 14, 2015
In the opening pages of the novel a steam powered elephant makes its way across a Victorian era carnival. A mysterious machine takes pictures in a tent, making the people in it glow green. Then there is an explosion and the whole world is plunged into an eternal gloom as the sun is permanently blocked out. “Ohh,” I thought, “So this is Steam Punk…”

Completely new to the genre this was a wonderful novel to start with. The fast paced, action packed plot was full of dark and macabre images. Waxy death masks, screams in the night, a woman with a black stump in her mouth instead of a tongue, and a hero with glowing red eyes in a land of perpetual grey were enough to make me have a few shivers before I fell asleep. Then there was the technology of this world; creepy teasmaid machines that seem almost alive, animatronic ravens that act as a security system, a bicycle with wings that appear to be made of human skin. The world of the Commonwealth was bleak, atmospheric and chilling.

Eyelet is born in the Commonwealth. Her father is a scientist at the renowned Academy. Eyelet is afflicted with seizures so her father sets out to invent a machine that will cure her before others discover her secret so she is not pronounced mad and thrown into an asylum. Setting out one day on an errand regarding the machine her father promises to meet Eyelet and her mother at the carnival. But this is the day an explosion changes the world forever, covering the sun and making the world grey. Her father never returns and Eyelet and her mother are left alone, Eyelet remaining uncured.

Eight years in the future a 16 year old Eyelet is a student at the Academy. Persecuted by a strict professor she is studying hard, looking into her father’s research, and trying to discover the secret to the machine he invented to cure her and its whereabouts. When her mother’s pet ravens arrive at the Academy en force Eyelet doesn’t at first recognise the significance, but soon she is racing through the city, her evil professor on her heels, as her mother is executed, accused of wickedery and Eyelet is slated for the same fate.

Following clues to the machine’s location she finds herself in an insalubrious part of the city searching for a warehouse that should house the machine. Witnessing the theft of the machine, Eyelet chases the thief as her Professor and his men chase her. The thief makes his get away on a mechanical coach and as she chases after him he swings her up and she is face to face with a red eyed and scarred monster, Urlick. This is where the story really gets started.

Urlick and Eyelet are linked together by their brilliant scientific fathers and the mysterious machine, The Illuminator. Told from both characters points of view this was an action packed adventure story in a wonderful, atmospheric world.

As an adult reader there were a couple of parts that made me roll my eyes and think “oh come on,” but these parts won’t be a problem for the target audience and didn’t have any impact on my enjoyment of the book. Garlick’s style, plot and sense of the macabre mean that Lumiere bridges the YA/Adult genre gap quite nicely in the same vein as Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments Series or The Hunger Games and is enjoyable for both groups.

Being new to the genre I had some patches where I found it hard to fully visualise the surroundings of the characters. This was not a lack on behalf of the author, but purely because the world was so foreign to me. I think maybe a bit more description would have helped. I couldn’t get a fix on Urlick’s house and layout at all but it didn’t really matter.

A fun, interesting read. As we enter the dark gloomy days of winter, the Commonwealth is a great place to spend the nights. I have book two lined up and ready to go.
Profile Image for E.A..
949 reviews28 followers
June 3, 2016
( I received this book free from Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review )

This book, though it seemed to be slow going at first, intrigued me enough to keep me reading. I'm normally the, get to the point, now!, kind of reader. But this wasn't the case for this book. Everything about this book pulled me in, each word had me holding on and holding my breath at the same time. It was a weird feeling, one I haven't felt from a book before. The gliding pace, set the tone, and set the road for Urlick and Eyelet.

Urlick and Eyelet are quite the pair. Though they do spend most of the book fighting, and keeping secrets, which in truth didn't bother me as much as it does in other books. I felt that it was necessary for both of them to keep themselves guarded. After all, Eyelet pretty much highjacked Urlick's coach.

They grew naturally, and learned to trust one-another. Their romance was simple and innocent. Love was never mentioned, but you knew that they cared deeply for one another long before they figured it out. I am invested in these two, I want them to work, so that cliffhanger at the end, god, I was nearly in tears.

I'm excited about this book, this series, I have already started the second book and I can't wait to know what will happen between my new favourite couple.

I loved all the different inventions, and how they were described. I was never lost or confused, the attention to detail was immaculate. Not just for the gadgets, but in the world building itself. Jacqueline Garlick has created a masterful dark world full of deadly gases, creatures that stalk the forest feasting on discerned criminals to, grand schools to nurture the talents and a city to house the rich. She divided the line splendidly.

Lumiére is a mystery wrapped in a mystery. It will have you clinging to every word, it will have you keeping notes as to try and solve the many mysteries that this book holds. It is a tale of two different people, from two different worlds, in search of cure. A cure for things the world, its people, believe is madness, broken, ugly. This book is one that should be read, studied.

I highly recommend this books, it is truly one of a kind.

Happy Reading

-E.A. Walsh
Profile Image for Lynsey is Reading.
664 reviews229 followers
November 9, 2015
Eyelet, daughter of a great inventor, finds herself in a whole heap of trouble very quickly in Lumiere with only one objective in mind: Find the Illuminator. The machine built by her father that's said to be the only thing able to cure her of her debilitating seizures. Along her journey to find it she meets Urlick, a young man of a similar age who seems to need it just as badly. The two of them clash wonderfully upon first meeting as they both hold on to their own secrets. As readers, we know Eyelet's, but Urlick is a different matter all together and he and his household proved a very crurious puzzle I really enjoyed investigating.

It's a while since I've read a book with so many new ideas and creations and such incredibly memorable and original characters. It's not even like any other Steampunk I've read in terms of gadgets or machinery. At no point during the read did I ever think, "Ah, yes, that's a bit like that other book I read". I was really impressed by this as it's quite hard to find "new" when you read so much within the same few genres.

I truly, truly loved both main characters. How utterly brave of Garlick to give us a leading male and potential love interest that looks the way he does, lives the way he does. I was enthralled by the relationship between Urlick and Eyelet and their (thankfully) nice and slow progression toward romance. Can't wait for more of that over the next two books! Eyelet was a fun character, too; brave and bold to a frightening degree with a terrible tendency for sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. Loved her!

A wonderful start to the trilogy.

4.5 Stars ★★★★1/2

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alisha.
926 reviews78 followers
May 20, 2016
An unexplained flash destroyed life as Eyelet once knew it. No-one has seen the sun in years, they live in perpetual twilight, clouds obscuring the sun, deadly Vapours lurking outside the safety of Brethren, all thanks to the flash. But that wasn't the most devastating thing to happen to Eyelet that night, her father was found dead, and Eyelet has always felt abandoned by him. Now 17, and with the entire city of Brethren after her for false accusations, Eyelet sets out to find the invention her father made for her, and then sold all those years ago. It's called the Illuminator, and it was her father's prized invention.

With it, Eyelet hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures, like her father promised to. You see, in Brethren, having seizures is grounds to be classed Mad and locked in an asylum, something her father's arch nemesis Professor Smrt is determined to do. He's determined to find out her seizures and have her locked away. Pursued by Smrt and his men, Eyelet locates the Illuminator in Gears, only to have it whisked away by a strange boy. Eyelet follows the thief into a strange, unknown world. Her quest is not the only thing compelling her, the allure of the boy with the secrets is also playing a hand. Eyelet wants to know what the screams she hears in the night are. She wants to know what exactly is going on in the compound. And she wants her father's machine.

Together, they must endure the deadly vapours, and the creatures it creates, as well as woods infested with criminals who don't always stay hanging from the tree's, solve a riddle, and outsmart Smrt. But when they finally find their prize, truth's about their father's come out, and the machine may be the biggest problem they face.

Jacqueline was very kind to me, and sent me a copy of this all the way from the US when I asked if I could buy the special edition, and I must say, I enjoyed sipping my tea and eating my sweets while reading, not to mention the invention that has helped aid my laziness! I would urge anyone interested in the book to grab a special edition copy if there's some left, as the artwork included was beautiful!

The first thing I have to say about this book is that it's been a long time since I've been affected by a character death, and then the only times it's truly upset me was with Headwig in Harry Potter, not to mention Dobby, and Max in Mortal Instruments. I found myself out of sorts for hours after Bertie died. Truly gutted, and Bertie isn't even a real person, he's a bike. Although somewhat living shall we say?

That is how truly amazing the writing is, and how much emotion is inspired by the world and characters created. From the first page I was hooked right in to the twilight world created with a few words. The writing was atmospheric, and most definitely cinematic. Everything was described perfectly, but concisely, I could picture the buildings, the city, the layout, the inventions, and the characters.

With my special edition, I got some artwork, one of Bertie, and then some of other characters. I didn't look at these until after I'd finished the book, and I could immediately tell which character was which, just from the descriptions in the book, and the image in my head.

The premise of the book was unique, with the history of the flash and what happened to the city, not to mention the storyline about the invention. I've read steampunk books before, but never any with a story quite like this. Everything was so unique from the inventions mentioned, through to the creatures lurking in the woods, and the vapours. So many books in this genre all tend to have the same type of machines described, but I didn't come across a single machine that I've read about before, it was unique through and through.
I freely admit that whenever I read the word Flash I heard "aahhh aahhh" in my head!

I loved the characters, I had a connection to Eyelet, I thought she was a very strong girl to have dealt with everything she did, and to keep going, to venture in to the unknown and to carry on with her mission no matter what else happened. I loved Urlick, he's a hero, but he's not your usual hero. He's not perfect. He has birthmarks over his face, and that's marked him as different, and his back story was heartbreaking, but he's still so strong. I loved how Urlick and Eyelet both thought no-one could ever love them because they're different, and they found each other. I love how they're not perfect, that they have obstacles in their lives and they're not cookie cutter main characters.

Each of the characters was written with depth, and these amazing personalities. They jump off the page, and when you're finished reading, you realize that for the time spent reading they where so real to you. The supporting characters where written so well they could stand on their own, and you felt a connection and an emotional attachment to all of them, even Bertie!

The story is told from Eyelet's point of view mostly, but we get Urlick's point of view quite frequently, and rather than reading the same scenes, word for word, but from two different points of view, we saw a scene with Eyelet, then an entirely different scene with Urlick, and then a scene with Eyelet that occurs after Urlick's scene. This was brilliant, it kept the narrative fresh, and you saw a different side to Urlick in the beginning when we where getting to know him, as well as how the characters where coming across to each other, and at one point we saw more of Iris and how she really is.

The plot was fairly complex. We have a mystery to unravel. What caused the flash? What happened to the machine? And so on. We start out just looking for the machine, but then it swiftly gets more complicated. You have to work out what Urlick's hiding, find the journal's, find out what Smrt's really been up to and what his plans are, and find out what happened all those years ago between the scientists. There where plenty of plot twists, and none of them where predictable, I found myself being constantly surprised, which delighted me as that is so rare these days!

Lumiere is fast paced, with a fantastic flow. Any background information is delivered concisely, and doesn't upset the narrative or flow of the book, and we don't have reams of background that's hard to slog through. Some of the background is delivered in flash backs that are blended seamlessly in to the narrative, and you can picture it on screen flashing back! We also have a fantastic set up for the second book, which was woven in right at the end and will have readers gasping for more. I'm really interested to see where this will go!

Lumiere is a fantastic addition to the genre, it's unique through and through, and a proper page turner, having you laughing, crying, and sitting on the edge of your seat in suspense. This book went everywhere with me. In the car, on the train (I'd been out for my birthday and was reading it on the train home at 12am), I was reading it while eating (quite a feat), it had to be pried out of my hands before I went to sleep, I'd dream about it, and then wake up and start reading while I was getting dressed and brushing my teeth.

Lumiere has romance, it has suspense, it has action, it has inventions, it has such fantastic world building that you are lost in the world created for you and it's a shock to jolt back to reality. There's characters you'll love and characters you'll love to hate. There's plot twists aplenty, and a tonne of intrigue and mystery that'll drive you mad trying to figure it out. Did I mention there's a kick ass heroine? A near dystopian steampunk world? A man with incredible flexibility and no arms? A talking Raven? A machine that could potentially destroy the world?

See....you really don't want to miss it!
Profile Image for Eric Mesa.
697 reviews17 followers
December 5, 2017
Book #71 for 2017 was this gem I'd overlooked on previous trawls through Calibre to select which book I'd read next. I'd have to check Calibre later to check my tags, but I'm pretty sure I got this book from one of the Storybundles - maybe Steampunk or maybe Alternate History. Either one works given what we learn of the world throughout the book. This is a long-winded way of saying that I didn't choose this book on its own merits, I own it because it was part of a bundle I found interesting.

I'm no Steampunk know-it-all, I'm just a fan of the genre. But what I like about Lumière is that the steampunk elements are window dressing rather than the main focus. Compare it to the difference between a movie with 3D as a gimmick vs using 3D as an element of the storytelling or simply to add depth. Lumière is an example of the latter. Yes, there is an inexplicable device at the center of this plot, but it's neither a MacGuffin nor does it dominate the story. Outside of that, there are a few devices used here and there, but it's mostly a Victorian society with some tech that straddles steampunk and magic. It's almost Urban Steampunk Fantasy if things aren't being called magic by unreliable narrators.

So, if it's not a story for tech's sake or a caper (as many steampunk novels seem to be), what is it? Well, it's mostly a character study with hints of romanticism and also using the Victorian setting to comment on both feminism and superstition. Let's take these one at a time, even if this review is going to end up getting a bit rambly.

While I love the things Ms. Garlick does differently than most Steampunk novels, I also enjoy one thing she does that seems to be a staple of steampunk - have a female protagonist. (Well, to be accurate, somewhere around the midpoint it becomes a multiple point of view novel in which one of the POVs is a male) I don't know why this segment of SF ends up so female-centric vs traditional SF, but I think it's a good thing. We need more females - especially written by women. There is a different tone to things - thought processes, gaze (as in male gaze or female gaze), pacing, and of course the way love/sex/attraction is treated. Of course, men can succeed at this and women can succeed at the exact opposite, but there's just something about writing what you know that tends to work out better. And, as a male-bodied person, it's always refreshing for me to see things from a different point of view. And I could be completely speaking out of turn, but I think it's this female-writer influence that strongly affected the way the one bit of female/female conflict plays out.

Sticking with Eyelet, our main character, I also enjoyed a rising trend I've noticed in indie SF and fantasy - including a protagonist who isn't neurotypical. I've noticed a lot more autistic or spectrum heroes recently. Eyelet isn't autistic, but she does suffer from seizures. Of course, in a Victorian society women are more vulnerable than now (although with all the news recently you wonder, don't you?) because they are legally second-class citizens. Eyelet, as brilliant women have done in the real world, struggles against this and the view of women as too weak for strenuous work and thought and then has to deal with something that seems to prove she's too weak that she has no control over. Additionally, it obviously puts her at greater bodily harm risk both sexually (which I don't remember being in this book - again probably because it's not written by a guy) but also from passing out at the wrong time - which is something she deals with as the plot needs. Of course, it's also worse for her as Ms. Garlick explores the issues with science giving way to superstition and a somewhat accurate explanation of what we used to do to people who had disabilities even if they were disabilities that allowed them to function well in society most of the time. Victorians through to the modern period finding people deathly afraid of shame.

As a character study based on POV chapters, most of Eyelet and Ulrick's (the guy) growth comes from the fact that they had imperfect knowledge surrounding their circumstances. So they force each other to grow as they literally take each other out of their figurative cocoons. (Eyelet from her city and Ulrick from his fortress-home) Ulrick had two paths available to him as a disfigured outcast - to become the most macho-est of machos or withdrawn. Ms. Garlick goes with withdrawn. This leads to fun moments as Ms. Garlick plays with the trope of "OH MY GOD YOU SHOWED AN ANKLE!" that makes fun of our nudity taboos by pointing out how strict they were back then. That they are both outcasts makes the subplot between them a fun bit of tension that you can see somewhat reflected in my status updates rather than a boring cliche. Speaking of breaking cliches, I love that

The growth of the main characters was great as well as necessary. Because the one and only complaint I have is that the book doesn't end the plot. Yes, something major happens, but it's not like The Matrix (first movie) or The Hunger Games that tells a complete story. Yes, there's more to be done - hence the trilogies - but you could read the first book, stop, and be happy. This book 100% ends with a wink at the audience (ALMOST literally) that the characters will be back. I know, I know - we haven't gone 100% digital yet so books have to be a certain length to fit in people's hands. But I think a trilogy should expand on an already completed story, not exist simply because it would be absurd to have a 1000 page book. (Tell that to GRRM) Anyway, my gripe is over. It was a great story of character growth and that was good enough.

Anyway, there's a lot left unexplored at the end. If you've read my reviews before, you know that's not enough by itself to guarantee I'll come back. I won't DNF a book because I have to see how the book ends, but I feel no such compulsion against series. When it comes to The Illumination Paradox ....... I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THE NEXT TWO. I'll have to wait because I have a long TBR list, but I have added the books to my to read list and will probably be getting to them in a few months. (Unless the Winds of Winter comes out)

I'm probably forgetting some stuff I wanted to comment on, but that's what the comments section of Goodreads (and my blog when this ends up there) are for.
Profile Image for Magda Żmijan.
300 reviews49 followers
September 21, 2015
Check out this review and more at https://maginibooks.wordpress.com

I picked this book from NetGalley mostly because of a pretty cover and the number of requests ;). I know, that’s pretty shallow, but this one happened to be a great read! I have no regrets and the second part is already on my NetGalley reading list.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lumière will take you to the world of steam mechanisms, clever inventions, unusual people and deadly vapors. The world where the sun stopped shining and people are easily accused of madness.

Eyelet is a daughter of a great inventor, who died a tragic death on the day the sun stopped shining. She’s not a normal girl in standards of this world. She’s privileged enough to go to school, yet she’s afraid people will discover her seizures and send her to the asylum. Add to that the fact her mother talks to crows and you have an accident waiting to happen.

And indeed it does happen. Her mother, accused of wickedry, is about to be executed, and people want to make it a double execution, just in case the daughter takes after her mother. Eyelet has no choice but to run.

Now she has to find the machine her father invented to heal her. The problem is she’s not the only one looking for it.

First of all – I loved the beginning of this book. The author painted a great image of the carnival and the surroundings. I felt like I was just in the middle of everything.

There might not be that many characters in the story, but they are all important and interesting.

I liked Eyelet. She wasn’t perfect, at first she might be a bit immature, but she’s a teenager, she has every right to behave like she does. As the story progresses Eyelet gets stronger and smarter. She’s still a bit panicky in the wrong moments, but also brave in the right ones.

Ulrik is awesome :). Finally a hero who doesn’t look perfect, but has just the right character. He’s smart, inventive and caring. He also knows how to deal with troublesome guests… I admit, I had my doubts whether he’s sane or not, should Eyelet trust him or not, but it all worked out fine.

As for the main enemy – Smrt, he kind of reminded me of Snape from Harry Potter books, although he was much less likable (yes, I like Snape, but who doesn’t?)

All the events in the book build up nicely until the last chapters when everything blows up (well, kind of blows up if you know what I mean). Author planned it well. And the ending… it’s bad and good in the same time. Bad – because it’s a cliffhanger and you need to wait for the second book to know what will happen. Good because it’s a cliffhanger ;) it’s like a promise to readers that the next book will start with something exciting. I can’t wait to start reading Noir.

It’s a very good beginning for the first book in s series (I do hope this will have more than two books). I can recommend it to young-adult and steampunk fans. You won’t be disappointed.
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