Author: Yana Metro
A fusion of fantasy, romance and philosophy, this is a story of a girl who goes to a parallel world in search of meaning.
At just eighteen, Lilly White has lived multiple lives. There was the cold, hard reality of growing up in an English orphanage, isolated and unwanted. But paradoxically, visions and dreams of lush forests and mystical creatures, and most troubling of all – a warm, loving family. Lilly doesn’t know if these are the delusions of a lonely mind, or something more.
When a man with a raven reveals a portal to a lost world, she finally gets proof she is not insane. But for all the ethereal beauty of this impossible place, a toxic darkness creeps closer, consuming everything in its path. Caught between the desire to find her family and fight against an evil that threatens all of existence, Lilly must hone gifts within herself she never could have imagined, and embark on a journey of self-discovery, transcendence and love.
The cover of Luminiferos: The Omen of Light, the first novel in the Luminiferos series, immediately drew my eye and made me want to read it. I believe there will be seven novels in this series, which gives a lot of room to develop everything from the characters to the story. In this first novel, it does feel a little shaky as it tries to find its ground. I believe as the story moves forward, it will begin to feel more solid, so, even though, I have mixed feelings for this one, I think the rest, when they are available, would be worth a try. The story follows Lilly White, who is trying to find her place in a magical world after living in an orphanage since she was five for thirteen years. As the lives in the modern world, this magical world initially seems to exist only in her mind, but Lilly believes it is real.
The story’s world-building is interesting, although a little wordy in places. Some of it is told through dialogue, which threw me off a little, but was a nice way to introduce everything. As for the actual dialogue, though, there was a bit too much for my taste. Sometimes there would be pages of it and I feel it took me out of the story. The story also has a lot of telling over showing, this is especially true in a two-month time jump in the story where there is some telling to fill in the gaps. For me, this took me right out of the story as the reader loses connecting to any develop. Another element of the writing was an increased use of adjectives as there seemed to be tons per page. It was easy enough to picture everything, but I think a little more polish was needed to make it flow smoother.
As a character, Lilly was filled with self-doubt and anxiety as she goes through her journey. Since there are some moments that seem unrealistic given her age, I do wish her character was aged up slightly. Her inner dialogue, however, sometimes read a lot younger, so, for me, she was not quite consistent as a character. Since her story seemed to follow the “chosen one” trope, I feel there needed a little more set-up in the very beginning. I can see readers no finishing the story as it takes a bit to understand the reasons behind different events, which can be frustrating. Since I read the entire story, I think some of this initial set-up could be moved to earlier sections of the story and it would entice the reader to continue more than its current state. Overall, this series has a lot of potential and has a lot of room to grow. The novel itself has some polish needed, but it is off to a great start and a great introduction to the author.
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, 1137 PRESS, for the opportunity to read this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**