Welcome to my review of the steampunk novel Lumière by Jacqueline Garlick, the first installment in The Illumination Paradox coming from Skyscape, the Amazon Teen/YA imprint. Appropriate for readers 12 and up, a wonderful debut offering in the steampunk genre.
Opening with Eyelet (a wonderful evocative name) in a flashback scene as at age eight, she is watching a brass mechanical elephant, this story is packed full of steampunk gadgets, wonderful imagery and several unique twists that add tension and a sense of immediacy to the plot.
This is a chase to find her father’s invention, the Illuminator, while simultaneously outmaneuvering her father’s nemesis and hiding the fact that she has a condition that occurred after the ‘flash’ that causes her seizures.
Eyelet is a wonderful character, socially awkward and unaware or uncaring about personal privacy and secrets. She’s blunt and to the point, asking what she wants to know. Despite that, she’s actually quite caring and loyal, and her personality just blooms after the introduction of Ulrick. Unwittingly saving Eyelet from capture, Ulrick is far from the conventional (Thank You Ms. Garlick) male hero in teen/YA. He’s smart and clever, and quite able to manage Eyelet’s rather prickly demeanor, but more than that, he’s not conventionally handsome, rich or particularly trope laden. Their relationship develops with time: from strangers to friends, with a developing esteem. No insta-love or other tired moments, and while Ulrick is quite handy and capable, he’s not brought in solely to rescue Eyelet, who most certainly is NOT a damsel in distress.
World building is wonderful, the chase and adventure are fast paced and gripping, and the gadgets that are introduced: particularly those Eyelet unearths from Ulrick’s hidey holes in his home when hiding from the Vapours storms. There were not many moments where the action slowed, but even those were a treat with the descriptions and interactions. I read this book through in one sitting, and can’t wait for the next.
Author: Jacqueline Garlick
Series: The Illumination Paradox #1
Genre: Teen Reads
Published by: Skyscape
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours (approx)
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Book Depository
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.
See The Illumination Paradox series on GoodReads
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.