by Aimee Agresti
Harcourt Children’s Books
Pub. Date: March 6, 2012
Book received from: Publisher
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Gilded Wings #1
Cover: This is what drew me to the book at first. I think it is gorgeous, and it actually shimmers a bit.
Characters: Well-developed and easy to understand their motives and actions, for the most part
Quote: “Everything sinful is glamorous these days, isn’t it?”
For Fans Of: Gossip Girl & Supernatural
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Worth the read? Absolutely- for those who like a well written story with great world-building and angels who are not all sweet and perfect.
The Short & Sweet of It: I will be honest and say that I was sure this was going to be another book about teen angels that I would stop reading partway through because of boredom or wishy-washy characters. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that Agresti has created and developed a world with very real characters that takes the grittier side of being an angel. When Haven and her two guy friends embark on a special experience to intern at a lavish Chicago hotel, they have no idea that they are about to become a part of a dark world that really is too good to be true. As they begin to uncover the secrets and the history of the hotel and those running it, they also learn their role and the truth about their own pasts. In a place where good does not always win, Haven finds out that her time is running out, but that it may be her life that saves others.
Illuminate is a very well written novel, and the author is able to build an unfamiliar world and make it easily understandable and palpable. While the 500-page book seems daunting at first, it never seems like it is too long or overdone. In fact, I was surprised to reach the end so quickly. There is a bit of romance involved, but it never overshadows the rest of what is going in. The world is alluring and seductive, rich and lavish, and dark and gritty. In short, it is desirable. I love that this is set in Chicago and that it really draws on the history of the city. I have a love for the city, and often authors try to make up a history for the sake of their story, but Agresti keeps an accurate historical perspective, while bringing in the modern world. I, for one, am looking forward to snagging a copy of book #2, Infatutate, due out in March.
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