REVIEW: Illuminate (Gilded Wings Series, Book 1) by Aimee Agresti
I was able to review this book thanks to an ARC tour hosted by Southern Book Bloggers.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Haven Terra is just a typical high school girl until she, along with her best friend Dante and classmate Lance, get pulled into a special internship which will last an entire semester. They are thrust into the beautiful, mysterious world of the Lexington Hotel, where every person there seems unbelievably perfect…and it’s not long until Haven finds out why.
When she begins getting strange messages in a blank diary, she also learns that there is much more to her than she ever imagined. And it will be up to her and her friends to combat the evil that is going on behind closed doors.
My first thought upon finishing this book…WHEW, I’m glad I finished reading this! It was a looooong 532 pages. My first thought when I started this book…Haven Terra is a ridiculous name. And I still stand by that. LOL.
For me, this book’s most important parts didn’t really kick in until about halfway through. But once they did, I was hooked. The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my FAVORITE books, so I was very excited that Illuminate did a unique and interesting take on it. The idea of it taking place in an opulent, historical hotel was just icing on the cake.
Despite her dumb name, I really came to like Haven. She grew quite a lot throughout the course of the book, and became strong and respectable towards the end. The same for Lance, he was a great character and he stayed as such for the entire book. The only thing I really had a problem with was Dante (and this is the same problem my fellow reviewers seemed to have). Just because he’s gay doesn’t mean he has to be such a caricature of a gay person…not only flamboyant, but an expert chef, stylist, and hairdresser? It was a bit hard to swallow.
Aurelia and even Lucian were slimy, creepy villains that were easy to hate. The fact that the Devil, AKA The Prince of Darkness, was actually being called “The Prince” kinda made me LOL.
I had many questions while I was reading this book, but towards the end, most of them got answered. The only other things I had issues with were: 1) Haven unquestioningly begins taking orders from the random book, which is super demanding and not at all polite in its’ messages; and 2) It was just a little too convenient that the tunnel and peephole to Aurelia’s office could be accessed from Haven’s room. To me it seemed like maybe Aurelia should have known about that? IDK.
Anyway, this book earned between 3.5 and 4 stars from me, so I rounded up. Here’s hoping the next book will be quite a bit shorter…because I’m quite looking forward to it.