ARC Review: “Luminosity” by Stephanie Thomas

Luminosity (The Raven Chronicles #1) by Stephanie Thomas

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My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.

But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.

3 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for this eARC! This book is now available.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: Nothing frustrates me like a book that has awesome potential but fails to deliver.

Sadly, Luminosity was just another one of those.

When I requested this book, I thought it sounded so ridiculously awesome. I began to worry a little bit when the first chapter was really info-dumpy, but I calmed down as I kept reading. The world in which Beatrice, or Bea, lives is really neat, even if at times it seems very vaguely defined. (Yes, I know: info-dumpy and vague in the same paragraph. Trust me, I have no idea how that works any better than you do and I read the book.)

The idea was SO COOL. There are these Seers who protect ordinary Citizens, but only some Seers have really clear visions. Bea has seen the coming attack of the Dreamcatchers, people who can see into the past and see peoples’ intentions. Oh yeah, and Dreamcatchers can, with a single touch, kill a person and take their energy. The Seers are taken away from their families as young children and brought to live in something called the Institute where they are trained in everything from weaponry to art class. Bea is considered a hero, because she originally Saw the Dreamcatcher attack coming, but then a Dreamcatcher named Echo starts entering her dreams and telling her that they need to save each other, not kill each other.

Oh yeah, and Bea can’t decide if she’s in love with him or her long time friend Gabriel. Love triangle alert. *headdesk*

See, for me, Bea is where all the awesomeness started breaking down. The first thing is that, from the second she starts having her dreams with Echo, she is totally in love with Gabe while she’s awake and Echo while she’s asleep. Like seriously, she makes out with both of them and finds nothing wrong with it. She is also a total spaz, always freezing up right when the team of Seers she commands needs her. At the end of the book, the choices she makes seem to have absolutely no sense behind them at all. They just … happen.

Actually, that could speak for most of the book as a whole. Things just kinda happen, with not a lot of explanation or sense. Some of the characters are clearly just planted to be killed, and trying to invoke an emotional reaction for their deaths. Grief does NOT explain away everything that happens for the randomest reasons after that. Besides the Dreamcatchers, the other major people in the story seem to have no reasoning for why they’re doing anything. They’re just bad, or they’re just good. I hate, hate reusing this analogy, but SERIOUSLY, things need to stop feeling like a National Novel Writing Month novel, where the author was speed writing and got stuck and then just decided ______ would happen just so the story would start moving again. With that randomness in mind, however, I must say that none of the “revelations” in the novel surprised me. I had them pegged very early on.

Honestly, I’m mostly just frustrated because I know the book could have been so much better. There were all these spectacularly awesome pieces, but they just didn’t get threaded together very well. I appreciated that the book was always moving, but I wish sometimes things had made a little bit more sense or at least have been explained. Worst of all, I found Bea as a character to be flat and uncompelling, defined basically by the guys in her life. I would read book too, Evanescence, if it popped up on NetGalley, but I wouldn’t go looking for it.

Books 2 and 3 in this series have titles, Evanescence and Obscurity respectively, but no release dates.

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