Lumiere (The Illumination Paradox #1)



One determined girl. One resourceful boy. One miracle machine that could destroy everything. 

After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find the Illuminator, her father’s prized invention. With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures before Professor Smrt—her father’s arch nemesis—discovers her secret and locks her away in an asylum. 

Pursued by Smrt, Eyelet locates the Illuminator only to see it whisked away. She follows the thief into the world of the unknown, compelled not only by her quest but by the allure of the stranger—Urlick Babbit—who harbors secrets of his own. 

Together, they endure deadly Vapours and criminal-infested woods in pursuit of the same prize, only to discover the miracle machine they hoped would solve their problems may in fact be their biggest problem of all.  (Summary and cover courtesy of

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review courtesy of Net Galley.


This was a very intriguing book.   I really enjoyed the world building and steampunk-esque aspects of this story and that had me almost bumping this rating up to 4 stars.  The reason I did not was because I felt the pacing was very stop and go.  It often seemed to be all-out action followed by a lull.  The other main reason was because I found the ending to be a bit of a hyperbole compared to the rest of the story.  I think I would still be intrigued to read the sequel to see if that pulled it all together, but it did disappoint me slightly reading this as a stand-alone.

Eyelet is a slightly ADD main character who is constantly distracted by shiny and interesting things.  Some times this makes her endearing, some times exasperating, but it certainly keeps the book interesting.  I loved the mechanical creations, particularly in the university.  All in all, I definitely enjoyed visiting Garlick’s world for this read.

Warning: Contains some violence

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Steampunk and Victorian fans looking for something along the lines of National Treasure with a dash of fantasy.

Want to read the whole series?

  • Noir (The Illumination Paradox #2)