Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Illumination Paradox Book 2

August is almost over and kids are heading back to school. It is officially time to back up the summer reads for next year's trip to the beach. We are now moving into fall which means Halloween is coming! That means some great creepy, crawly books are on their way. (It also means the unfortunate amount of zombie stories will be out there too. sigh.) Jacqueline Garlick has some great ghouls in her Illumination Paradox series.

Noir by Jacqueline Garlick

The second book in this trilogy proves it has some writing chops. The action just keeps on rolling and all the characters keep it light with great humor. The novel manages to feel serious without being depressing. It is absolutely brimming with love and laughter even in the depths of madness. While I don't usually go for the lovey-dovey goo, I really had fun with Urlick and Eyelet's love development. They certainly have some passion. Garlick shows how a story can have passion without vulgarity which always wins huge points for me.

The first aspect that really elevated this novel for me was the additional character points of view. We now see the world beyond just Eyelet and Urlick. The first novel had many great characters and now we get the voices to get an full-sided insight into the world Garlick has created. There is an authenticity to reading through a whole chapter in the character's point of view, not just the dialogue being in the character's voice. This is seriously a huge plus to this novel. The C.L. chapters really add to the comedic relief of the story.

The second aspect I really enjoyed was the steampunk twist of our modern technologies. Sure you can have automatons and steam powered gadgets, but this one takes the cloud to a whole new level (haha--I seriously recommend you pick up a copy to find out why that is funny). Since reading the Baskerville series by Emma Jane Holloway, I have been very intrigued by the new steampunk genre. It has been fascinating seeing how each author treats this category. Most have been a little boring to me with just the bland shift of steam power in place of electricity. Garlick takes a more metaphysical and humorous approach to how the inventions in a steampunk world would be different. This is not Victorian England alternate history. It is some futuristic, post-apocalyptic place with all our current knowledge warped by those experiences. I am much more appreciative of this look at steampunk because it is all possible without tainting history.

**EDIT** Four stars only because of a continuity error that kind of peeved me because it rocked the balance of my reading. I was really into the imagination of the story when it just knocked me right out of the zone. The e-book has been corrected as well as subsequent print editions. Five stars now. Definitely very excited for the third novel, though, and avidly recommend the first two books so far.