Friday, July 27, 2012

Illuminate (Gilded Wings, #1)

Aimee Agresti
511 pages
Released: March 6th
Publisher: Harcourt
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Haven has just been awarded a prestigious internship at a fancy new Chicago hotel with two of her fellow classmates, but when they arrive at the hotel things start getting a little mysterious.  First of all, everyone who works there is unbelievably gorgeous looking, including Haven's boss Aurelia and her coworker, Lucian.  Lucian and Haven seem to be drawn to each other, but there's something about Lucian Haven finds a little dangerous... maybe the fact that he's in the soul buying business and he wants her's next.  Meanwhile a mysterious book has come into her possession, new words showing up every night trying to explain to her what's going on.

I LOVED THIS BOOK!  Illuminate drew me in right away from page one and carried me through to the ending.  I didn't want to put it down to go to bed, but at over five hundred pages I just couldn't keep going.  Agresti is a great writer, she really knows how to paint a scene and her descriptions are very vivid.  I had a clear picture in my mind of the hotel Haven is working at and it was gorgeous!  Aside from the beautiful writing, I was drawn in by the character of Haven.  She's a bit of a mystery during the whole book, having been found at the age of five beaten and then adopted by a nurse at the hospital where her woulds, two slashes on her back and some on her chest, were treated.  Haven is a great character, not willing to take things as they are.  She's pretty adventurous and overcomes her fears many times.  There's one line in the book that really got me, "To know her is to know she can take care of herself." (p.489)  I love that!  I love a strong female lead who can take care of herself, but also is caring and helpful to those around her.

Then there's this whole business of soul stealing.  Very dramatic indeed, the way those working at the hotel were constantly looking for new recruits for their cult-like group to serve the devil.  Crazy!  It would have been so easy for Haven to fall into that, but like I mentioned before she never took anything at face value and that really worked to her advantage throughout the novel.  The whole thing culminates in such a battle between Haven and hell, I was almost literally at the edge of my seat for that!  I'll also mention that Haven's photography was a great plot thread that I really enjoyed.  She has such a talent beyond the obvious.

Five stars!  Illuminate is a simply delightful read, filled with mystery, intrigue, and beautiful people with ugly insides.  Illuminate is the first in a series and even though it wrapped up fairly well (i.e.: no major cliffhangers you cliffhanger haters!) I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.  I can't wait to see what happens Haven and Lance next.  Long story short, read this book!


  1. Though I've been seeing reviews on this book until now I wasn't real sure I'd enjoy it but your review had me adding it to my wishlist!

  2. I have been seeing mixed reviews of this book confusing me further whether to read it or not!

    1. I don't know why it's getting negative reviews, I thought it was perfectly delightful!

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  4. I love the Chicago setting since that is where I'm from and love the mystery in the summary! I also love a book I can't put down. I added this to my goodreads shelf. Thanks!

  5. This book has been on my Amazon wish list ever since I saw it. The cover is eye catching and the reviews sound great! Some of my favorite books are about angels, like the Unearthly series. I hope to add this book soon!

  6. I really enjoyed your review and decided to give Illuminate a shot, so I just requested it from my library. I'm looking forward to reading it.

  7. Great review, this sounds like an amazing read!!! Adding it to my wishlist


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