Book: The Secrets of Islayne
Author: Kari Lynn West
Summary: A boy who can restore forgotten moments from the past unearths a secret that threatens his entire future.
For centuries, the island of Islayne has given certain residents the ability to revive other people’s memories. These gifted individuals are known as luminators, and sixteen-year-old Ronan Saunders desperately desires to join their illustrious ranks. As he struggles against the prejudice of the old, powerful families who have an iron grip on the trade, Ronan falls under the tutelage of a reclusive luminator, rumored to be insane.
Just when his long-desired future is within reach, Ronan and his three friends discover a deadly secret on the island. As they delve deeper into the mystery, what they find forces them to question their loyalties, doubt long-held beliefs, and wrestle with the dire consequences of revealing the truth. Ronan finds himself torn between everything he loves and the only future he’s ever wanted. The entire fate of the lumination trade hangs in the balance of his decision.
Review: I really enjoyed the originality of this story. This was something on the lines of what I’ve never heard of before and it’s pretty good. Here are the pros and cons of this novel:
Pros: The whole concept of Luminators was interesting. According to the novel, Luminators are people with an inborn ability to bring back the faded memories of a person in a much more clearer, fresh and vivid way in their mind. The humour, though forced at a few parts, flowed naturally enough. The plot was good and everything fit perfectly like pieces of a puzzle at the end.
Cons: At first, I was quite confused as to when the story was unfolding. Usually, lots of fantasy novels occur a long time before. So until a part where cars were introduced, I had the image of the story occurring in the 1600s or something. Also, sometimes I felt the story get kind of tedious to read with all the explanations of how the council worked but of course, it was an essential part of the world building. The romance felt quite cliché.
Conclusion: All in all, it is a pretty good novel. I might not have read it in one sitting but it was memorable enough. It got intense at the end so I would forgive it for the so-so middle. Kari is a promising author and I would recommend The Secrets of Islayne to all those who are looking for a book with a fresh and interesting concept.
Star rating: 3.5/5
Age recommendation: 12-18 y/o
About the author: Kari Lynn West writes contemporary YA fantasy—normally while drinking far too much coffee. She likes to create character-driven stories that are set in the real world with a twist, weaving fantastical elements into everyday life. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two daughters.
Many thanks to Kari for providing me a free copy of her book in return of a honest review.
I hope this review might be useful to you all!