Friday, April 13

Illumine: Book Review

Alivia Anders

January 7th 2012
 Young Adult | Fantasy
Demon | Nephilim

For the past five months Essallie Hanley has been trying to forget about the frightening murder of her boyfriend. Haunted by vivid nightmares and hallucinations of the event she does anything she can to pretend she's like every other normal girl in High School.

Only Essallie is far from normal. Able to conjure blue fire and a shimmering silhouette of wings from her body, she seeks the only known solace left to her name; her first home in Belfast, Maine.

But she soon realizes that her return home is only the beginning of a long and twisted road taking her as far from her humanity as possible, with Kayden, the demon originally summoned to slaughter her, leading the way. Unable to touch her but oddly curious, he joins Essallie in her search to find out just what she is. But neither of them were prepared for the secrets they've begun to unravel, secrets that will change Essallie and everyone around her forever.
Right at the beginning I got confused trying to pin down Essalie's age. In a two page span she is noted as sixteen and seventeen. I don't mean a birthday occurs in those two pages, more like a typo. I guess oldest mention trumps youngest plus it makes more sense to the story. My next complaint is way too many media mentions. This is the quickest way to lose my interest. I know the moment someone mentions current media, for example: Deal or no Deal, that I am not reading a potential classic. There are also some mentions of people or phrases that I didn't understand.
The beginning of this book is really weird and off the wall. I was wondering how she could possibly get in that situation with those people. Then we start to settle into a rhythm and the book and characters begin to take shape, if only loosely. It was still weird but in an acceptable way. And then I began to wonder where the book was going and what the purpose of everything was. I might have possibly begun to get bored when a few paragraphs later everyone is dead. Okay, not literally but I went from a state of head lolling sleepiness to horror and confusion. I had to flip back through the pages to make sure I didn't miss anything. Nope, I didn't miss anything, it is just a bit abrupt. Wait, the abruptness isn't over since the book is now quite suddenly finished. I am confused and wondering why? What is the motive for the bad dudes? Who is she? Why are all these odd characters in this mix and for what reason? 
Now the best part of the book is our wishy washy heroine. She goes through a very traumatic experience which seems to permanently effect all her future choices. Except when the instigator of her horrible experience decides to dog her steps, she starts to lose her reason and higher logic. Has she lost her mind? How could she possibly forget what Kayden did and who he is? Why would you ever trust someone who is evil and eats people? More specifically who is trying to find a way to eat you? I think if there were more development into Essalie and Kayden this transition wouldn't feel like such a violation of nature.
This book needs to be edited as it has a slew of missing words, misspellings, and sentence structure difficulties. These all disrupt the flow of the story. I don't mean by this that the book is terrible, it has potential. It just needs some polishing as well as more meat as the story progresses.The characters could also benefit from some extra TLC. Help me to understand their thoughts or feelings a bit more and I will be able to emphasize with them.
The book isn't as bad as I make it sound. I enjoyed reading it and might possibly read the next installment just to see if the characters fill out and my questions are answered.

Sexual: Mild
Violence: Graphic