*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Seventeen-year-old Eyelet has one goal: find her father’s Illuminator, an invention that she believes can cure her seizures. Because in her world, a world devastated by the Night of the Great Illumination, seizures are a sign of Madness and will get one sent to an asylum or worse.
Just as Eyelet finds her father’s machine, it is whisked away, stolen by a strange young man named Urlick. As Eyelet and Urlick unravel the secrets and lies between them, they discover that they have more in common than one machine. And that what they don’t know could destroy them both.
First of all, I LOVE that Eyelet has epilepsy. I love that it’s part of her, but not the point of the story. I thought the portrayal of her episodes was well done.
Second, I thought the world was interesting. The opening scene of a mechanical elephant really grounds the reader in the world, and draws him/her in.
Unfortunately, that is about all I enjoyed from this book. I found inconsistencies within that world, as fascinating as it was. The dialogue and voice weren’t Victorian enough to really work for me. There wasn’t a discernible difference between Eyelet’s and Urlick’s voices, and I often found myself flipping back to determine whose head I was in. The physical descriptions and descriptions of physicality were lacking throughout the novel. I often couldn’t understand where someone was in relation to others, or their movements made no sense spatially.
This read like a novel in desperate need of an editor. It has a LOT of promise, and with a good substantive edit, could be amazing. Unfortunately, there are too many inconsistencies and issues for me.
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