E-galley Review: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

Posted November 7, 2022 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 6 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

E-galley Review:  The Luminaries by Susan DennardThe Luminaries by Susan Dennard
Series: The Luminaries #1
Published by Tor Teen on November 1, 2022
Genres: YA Paranormal
Pages: 304
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: five-stars
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From Susan Dennard, the New York Times bestselling author of the Witchlands series, comes a haunting and high-octane contemporary fantasy, about the magic it takes to face your fears in a nightmare-filled forest, and the mettle required to face the secrets hiding in the dark corners of your own family.

A Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Pick
An Indigo Best Teen Book of 2022
A Junior Library Guild Pick
An Indie Next Pick
A Goodreads Most Anticipated YA Book

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.

“You’ll want to get lost in the world of The Luminaries again and again.”—Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author

My Review

This is my first book by this author, and wow, I was hooked right away! At first the part of having all the characters’ families be sorted by the days of the week was a little confusing/annoying, but I got it, and rolled with it into the story. I loved all the monster or nightmares as they were called. What would be so cool is if there were images within the final print copy somehow, pages from Winnie’s sketchbooks, etc. I mean they sounded creepy, but then when they were described in more detail as Winnie actually encountered each one in person, even creepier!

There was a lot of background history and mythology for this story, this world, these characters. The author did a good job of weaving it throughout the story without much of what I’d call an info dump. It fit into the settings and situations as they went along and only made them keep my attention even more. I read this in about one day, since I was home sick and could barely put it down!

But we’re left with a bit of a cliffhanger, and I don’t know how I can wait for the next book! There are a ton of questions we still need answered, and honestly not much was actually sorted by the end, except for a few answers about her dad and that she has taken the steps she needs to become a hunter.

Loved this one and will be eagerly awaiting the second book!

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6 responses to “E-galley Review: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

    • Lisa Mandina

      That would be awesome, I mean I was trying to picture it all in my head, but I’d love to see the author’s actual ideas. Yeah, that cliffhanger was a doozy!!!

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