Fantasy – Fiction Book Review: Illuminate

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Haven Terra is just turning sixteen and given the opportunity of a lifetime. She and two other top students have been granted internships at a luxurious, high profile new hotel in Chicago. Haven immediately sees something different about the hotel staff (dubbed The Outfit) – they’re all model-beautiful with little personality. Haven quickly forms a crush on the gorgeous second-in-command Lucian, who barely looks out of high school himself. But with information given from a mysterious book, Haven soon realizes the hotel staff has a dark plan – trading souls to the devil. Now, Haven and her friends are all that stand against the evil threatening the souls of Chicago.

Agresti’s debut novel is impressive and surprising. Marketed for young adults, the subject matter is age appropriate yet dark and suspenseful enough for older readers as well. The hotel management and Outfit are incredibly ominous and creepy. Yet Haven’s innocence and goodness seems unshakable. While some of the outcomes are predictable (especially since the big mystery for Haven is unfortunately given away on the back cover), the suspense is not lessened in the least. While the novel is lengthy, the story didn’t seem to lag, keeping an even pace and steady character development. The characters were completely engaging, and the story had me hooked from beginning to end. Don’t miss this recent release from a talented new author.

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