The Luminaries

- Susan Dennard

Goodreads Book Blurb:

Hemlock Falls isn’t like other towns. You won’t find it on a map, your phone won’t work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you.

Winnie Wednesday wants nothing more than to join the Luminaries, the ancient order that protects Winnie’s town—and the rest of humanity—from the monsters and nightmares that rise in the forest of Hemlock Falls every night.

Ever since her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor, Winnie and her family have been shunned. But on her sixteenth birthday, she can take the deadly Luminary hunter trials and prove herself true and loyal—and restore her family’s good name. Or die trying.

But in order to survive, Winnie enlists the help of the one person who can help her train: Jay Friday, resident bad boy and Winnie’s ex-best friend. While Jay might be the most promising new hunter in Hemlock Falls, he also seems to know more about the nightmares of the forest than he should. Together, he and Winnie will discover a danger lurking in the forest no one in Hemlock Falls is prepared for.

Not all monsters can be slain, and not all nightmares are confined to the dark.

Series / Genres:

My Review:

***Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Teen for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.

solid, good read:
4/5
I’m giving The Luminaries a very hopeful four-star rating. In truth, the setup is a little shaky at times, a little caught up in the details, but by the end, it looks like this series is heading in a very interesting direction.

All around the world, the Luminaries live near fourteen sleeping spirits. Each night, when the spirits dream, their nightmares come to life. And each night, the Luminary hunters guard the world against those nightmares, one clan for every day of the week.

I tend to be more lenient when rating the first book in a fantasy series. When you’re creating a new world, even if it’s based on a recognisable setting, there’s still a lot of groundwork to lay. And The Luminaries certainly does not skimp on the details. The nightmares in the forest are based in legend and folklore, and the family hierarchies protecting the world from these nightmares have their work cut out for them.

I do think too much time was wasted on things that didn’t seem necessary to the plot, but it’s hard to know for sure until this series is completed. At this point, anything could end up being important, but it sometimes felt a little clunky and a little slow. Of course, that could also be because I just wanted more and more information about these delightfully creepy nightmares.

As long as my hopeful four stars don’t turn out to be a premature four stars, I think this will be a series to look out for.

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