Review: Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1)
by: Aimee Agresti
Publication Date: Mar. 6, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Fantasy/ Paranormal
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed from e-library
Page Count: 534 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars
I had Illuminate on my e-book library list for awhile now and finally within the last week it became available for me to read. I was intrigued by the summary (see above) and decided to give it a shot.
Overall, I would say that I liked this book, though it really did take a long time to set up the plot and really get moving. Agresti is very detailed and I felt some things were drawn out a bit unecessarily. But, after awhile, there was just enough intrigue to keep pushing through and finally towards the last half of the book, we really got rolling and I couldn't stop reading.
Haven is really no one special. In fact, she is almost invisible in high school. She is quiet and is described as plain. This job opportunity falls into her lap, and she and her best friend and another classmate are whisked away to work in Chicago's Lexington Hotel. Here they are assigned to work with the elite, beautiful socialites if you will, of Chicago. However, my motto of this book would be, "At the Lexington, nothing is as it seems." Perfect and shiny on the outside, but horrible, evil, and ugly on the inside.
Aurelia is Haven's mentor, and from the beginning, you know she is trouble. She is powerful and commanding, which is the complete opposite of Haven.
Lucian, is her second in command, and Haven falls for him instantly. Good-looking, powerful, arrogant, and charming- you know that he is just too good to be true.
Dante, is Haven's best friend, who is her rock for the beginning of the book. Unlike Haven, he is outgoing and adventurous, and helps her come out of her shell for her first little bit at the Lexington. However, Dante begins drawing away from Haven, and she finds herself befriending their classmate, Lance.
Oh, Lance. Dante actually referred to him as the 'Clark Kent' type in the later portion of the book and I have to agree. He is quiet and reserved, like Haven, but brilliantly smart and she finds herself working with him on multiple occasions. Agresti really did not build his character or really have him show any kind of depth until the last half of the book. However, he ended up being one of my favorites.
As the book progresses, we find out Haven is indeed very special, and obtains guidance through a mysterious journal to help her find out the deep underlying secret of the Lexington Hotel. Haven is much more important than she knows and will literally face the forces of Hell to prove this.