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Luminous Hardcover – June 30, 2011
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Unfortunately I never really connected with any of the characters and at times was confused with how things worked in this strange world of the Flow. Reviews seem to be split on this one and I understand why. This book is very original and creative and has some very beautiful writing but I had a hard time caring enough about the story line & characters that it took me a long time to get through this book.
If Dawn writes another book I’ll likely read it because I do like the way she writes.
Content: Some language including the F word
Rating: Tough call – 2.5 Take it or leave it – There are a lot of 5 star reviews so please read one of those before you decide to forgo reading this one.
Source: ARC tour through The Teen Book Scene
This was a very interesting concept, it is a nice take on near-death experience. It would be fantastic to change and create skins as Consuela does, so much freedom and adventure. So there are a couple of reasons I had to rate this low. One thing that bugged me was that Dawn Metcalf tends to repeat herself a lot throughout the whole novel. It is an ARC, and maybe all the repeats are cut out in the finished copy, but I doubt it. There just seems to be a tendency to reiterate things that had already been said within the same chapter, page or paragraph. "He wasn't here, yet, but like a shark with blood in the water, Tender could smell betrayal in the Flow. Wish knew--Tender wasn't here, but would be soon. And, like a shark, Tender was made for killing." That sort of thing happened more often than I would have liked. Characters would come to a conclusion and then come to that conclusion a few pages later and so on and so forth. The book could have been much shorter if the unnecessary repetition was removed.
The names were fairly odd, but lent to the whole weird dream-like world. After a while of reading this I had to put it down. It was just taking me forever to get through it and I never wanted to read it. I read a few more books, and then picked this one back up. I did love the descriptions. The flowery part of the writing was awesome, which is what kept me reading for so long. I wouldn't have finished this if I hadn't already gotten so far into it. I did thing about not finishing it a few times, but decided to just get it done with. There was a lot of world building, without too much happening in the beginning, and then the conflict and resolution seemed rushed. All of a sudden lots of stuff was happening and nothing was throughly explained. I felt like the ending was disappointing and mostly left me feeling a bit confused. I'm not really sure what happened to most of the characters, as it was never properly explained. Some explanations were alluded to, but nothing definitive. This book had a fantastic cover and some great descriptive writing, I may pick up another novel by this author, but I'm not excited about it.
"Consuela wrestled with an armload of jeans, trying to catch the hangers on insufficient hooks."
"Consuela knew that if she tried on a skin again, felt the rush of powerful freedom-thought, she'd understand; but the seduction was like a drug."
"Everything in her room was cold, but the candlewicks along the bath shimmered, whispers of wanting--light called to light, two flames become one--as simple as two magnets kissing with a click."
Disclaimer: I was sent this item to review. This does not influence my opinion.
While the above descriptions sound like "No duh," they do actually make sense in this case.
"Luminous" is by far the most different, mind-bending book I've read so far this year. Readers are asked to look at the world and their own existence through an unusual lens.
Ambiguous is the perfect word to describe "Luminous." The Flow itself and the majority of Metcalf's of characters are never really fully fleshed out. It feels like this is a deliberate decision by the author, but some readers will find it a distraction rather than an asset.
The story itself is intriguing, and Consuela's ability to shed her skin is both shocking and amazingly cool at the same time. Metcalf's prose is lyrical and her descriptions of Consuela's skins are beautiful.
"Luminous" leaves a lot of the story up to the reader, and some might find that off-putting.
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