Friday, March 30, 2012

Illuminate book review

I have just finished Illuminate A Gilded Wings Novel: Book One by Aimee Agresti. It is 531 pages long. It is published by Harcount. It has a beautiful cover with the lead character in a red dress with shadowed wings behind her. I really enjoyed this book. Here is the summary from the back of the book and then I will give mine.
 'Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything changes when she is awarded a prestigious internship at a posh Chicago hotel in the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing young Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called the Outfit.
As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they're in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set's plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?'
There are three main characters. There is Haven from who's voice we the readers follow the story from. There is Dante Dennis her gay best friend and then there is
Lance who makes the third of their group. The story is told in three parts. A major part of Haven's character is that she has three big scars. One over her heart and two on her back. She is embarrassed about them and tries to hide them.
The first part is about the group setting in to the Lexington Hotel and Haven learning that something is odd about the people who work there. The hotel opens with a bang as someone dies in public but of course it is swept up and forgotten. Lucian is wooing Haven and she wants to believe that a cool guy like him would be interested in her. Haven's first job for the hotel is too take pictures of all the Outfit, her fellow interns and herself. The pictures are important to the story and to Haven's powers in particular.
In the second part Haven learns more and more about the group that she is working for. Lance and her team up to learn about the world they are now in. Lucian's begins to court her in earnest and Haven is having trouble not falling for him. Haven has been exploring and she finds tunnels that lead her to eavesdropping areas around the hotel. That is where and when she learns that she is a pawn that Aurelia is trying to get on her side. The reader learns that the pictures are showing what the people really look like. So Haven can see who has sold their soul and who has not. Most of the plot happens in part two.
In part three Haven faces her death and all the evil that Aurelia has been working towards. The reader also learns why Dante and Lance are part of the plan at the hotel. Haven is not the only special one in this book. In the end good does win over evil. The pictures are used to help stop the evil in a way that only Haven could use. Haven finds someone who understands her in all ways and with the promise of a second book the author leaves the reader.
I liked the writing style it was easy to read. The beginning is a little slow but if you get to the second chapter when Haven and co get to the hotel things really pick up. The descriptions are very good, you feel like you are seeing the hotel or the pictures that Haven takes. I am looking forward to the next book. One of things that I really liked about this book is that Haven accepts herself pretty quickly. She has some moments of 'oh I am not that special' or 'No they can not be talking about me it must be someone else'. But she gets the idea that Aurelia and Lucian are really after her. I found that to be a breath of fresh air from girls who never believe that they are special at all. Haven does not get a big head about it, she just knows that she is more than most people. All in all good story.