I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Author Jacqueline Garlick created an amazing, immersive world in the steampunk fantasy, Lumiere. This book had me hooked from the first page. I loved her vivid description of the carnival and Eyelet's fascination with the mechanical elephant. It creates the perfect opening for the novel. (I absolutely love the cover, too!)
Eyelet is as intriguing as her name. The daughter of a well-respected inventor, she is one of only a few women allowed to study. But she has a secret. Her seizures make her a target for condemnation and she faces possible execution for wickedness (execution method blew me away) or lock up in a mental institution. Her father created a machine that could cure her and then sold it. Eyelet is determined to get it back.
The story alternates points of view between Eyelet and Ulrick, the thief who steals The Illuminator out from under her. I loved seeing this fantasy world through both of them. Somehow, even with the alternating views, Ms. Garlick still manages to maintain secrets and create suspense. These poor characters go through so many life threatening situations, it's a wonder they manage to make it past the middle of the book.
The best part of Lumiere is the intense world-building. The descriptions are so vivid, I could easily picture everything in my mind's eye. So much imagination went into this story and it shines through on every page. I really enjoyed the romance between Eyelet and Ulrick. It added so much to the story. While this is definitely a steampunk romance, I would recommend it to everyone—fan of steampunk or not. If you haven't read steampunk before, by the end of this book you'll have found a new genre to love.