08 July 2011

Luminous by Dawn Metcalf

Luminous Bookplate

As reality slips and time stands still, Consuela finds herself thrust into the world of the Flow. Removed from all she loves into this shifting world overlapping our own, Consuela quickly discovers she has the power to step out of her earthly skin and cloak herself in new ones-skins made from the world around her, crafted from water, fire, air. She is joined by other teens with extraordinary abilities, bound together to safeguard a world they can affect, but where they no longer belong.

When murder threatens to undo the Flow, the Watcher charges Consuela and elusive, attractive V to stop the killer. But the psychopath who threatens her new world may also hold the only key to Consuela's way home.

Although this book turned out good it got off to a rocky start. The author rather dumps you from the "real" world into the Flow, and I felt very disjointed and confused over what was happening and where we were. I think it was done to emphasize the disorientation and confusion of Consuela, but it isn't done in a way that made me identify with the character. Instead I wanted to put the book down. It was just too fast, plopping us into the fantasy world without explanation or reason, and the contrivance is only emphasized by Consuela’s placid acceptance rather than questioning of the issue.

I endured, though, and as the author got around to explaining what happened and why I started to enjoy the world and the characters, although I never really felt as if I understood it or them. In order to maintain the mystery of the plot the characters all have hidden agendas and ulterior motives, and you're always questioning why they're doing what they're doing, but you're also questioning why you care. There are a lot of characters that seem to be put in place so that they can die to amplify the plot, but because you didn't ever identify with them it doesn't work as well as it could.

However, even with these major flaws there is something about the book that is absorbing and makes you want to keep reading despite all the incertainty and confusion. Perhaps it is the artful dealing with the subject matter: what happens when we die, and what about people who seem to be *dead* but are still functionally alive? What do they experience? What do they feel? Add in an overlay of murder mystery and a dash of romantic subplot and the question is very deep as well as entertaining. This gift extends even beyond the ending, turning an ending that is simply ambiguous into a cliffhanger mystery that keeps you thinking about the book even after you're done with it. Although this book wasn't altogether my cup of tea I can see many people who would be able to look past its flaws and fall completely in love with the great existential mystery that is presented in this book.

I received this book free from Librarything as an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Sounds worth a read once it gets to my book rental.