Illumine (The Illumine Series #1) by Alivia Anders
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Overall: For me this book started out with a bang. We get to witness Essallie go through a very traumatizing experience when a demon kills her boyfriend. She tries to move on but then the demon shows up in her new life – and won’t leave her alone. Once the demon loses all trace of the scariness and evilness – I began to lose interest in this book and it drifted into becoming just another paranormal romance novel. I had very high hopes for this book after reading the first couple chapters. I thought that the rest of the novel would continue along a darker path than typical of the genre. Nope.
Characters: What a shame that my favorite character in the beginning lost quite a bit of appeal by the end of the story. I liked Kayden, the scary demon, until he became a love-sick puppy, who did nothing but stalk Essallie. I connected more to Ursula, the succubus who has to eat her lovers to survive, than to the leading lady. Essallie pissed me off with her reluctance to just go along with the program and with her treating Kayden like crap. Just because he shredded Essallie’s ex like Parmesan cheese, doesn’t mean that she has to blow him off for over half the novel.
Plot: Essallie goes to a party with her boyfriend. He tries selling her soul to a demon in exchange for immortality – but she’s immune to the demon’s powers and so the demon kills her boyfriend. Essallie moves and then goes to a party with her new classmates – demon shows up. Demon introduces himself as Kayden and then proceeds to stalk Essallie while Essallie experiences some not so normal teenage hormonal shifts to her body. This was a different twist to angel/demons, but I wish that Essallie wasn’t so damn stubborn in refusing to believe Kayden.
Ending: I did love this ending. I was definitely ready to pass up on this series until about 80% into this book. The ending had the scare and danger found in the beginning of the book. It made this book climb from a so-so book to a pretty good book. Basically, I liked the beginning and the end because it felt more like a horror novel. The middle felt like a paranormal romance novel. I wish that the genre was consistent throughout the novel.
For the past five months Essallie Hanley has been trying to forget about the frightening murder of her boyfriend. Haunted by vivid nightmares and hallucinations of the event she does anything she can to pretend she’s like every other normal girl in High School.
Only Essallie is far from normal. Able to conjure blue fire and a shimmering silhouette of wings from her body, she seeks the only known solace left to her name; her first home in Belfast, Maine.
But she soon realizes that her return home is only the beginning of a long and twisted road taking her as far from her humanity as possible, with Kayden, the demon originally summoned to slaughter her, leading the way. Unable to touch her but oddly curious, he joins Essallie in her search to find out just what she is. But neither of them were prepared for the secrets they’ve begun to unravel, secrets that will change Essallie and everyone around her forever.
An angel/demon novel great for fans of paranormal romance.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
(Picture and information borrowed from Goodreads.)
Alivia Anders was thirteen when she fell headfirst into the world of internet fanfic and RPG-forum board sites that showed her the ‘back door’ into the world of writing. Four years and many hours spent glued to a computer screen later she found her true calling in writing.
Alivia currently lives with her family in her hometown of Coopersburg, PA. She frequently admits that if she wasn’t so intolerant to dairy she’d live at her local ice cream shop called The Inside Scoop.