Saturday, October 10, 2015

#Saturday Review - Noir by Jacqueline Garlick (YA, Steampunk, Fantasy)

Series: The Illumination Paradox 2
Format: E-Galley, 372 pages
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Skyscape
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: YA / Steampunk / Fantasy

Losing him would make her overcast world one shade darker.…

Navigating her way through nightmarish lands devoid of sunlight, Eyelet Elsworth races to free her beloved Urlick Babbit, the first person to understand and accept her—differences and all. Framed for murder and sentenced to execution, Urlick is running out of time. And the Commonwealth’s tyrannical new ruler, Penelope Rapture, is strangely eager to speed up the clock.

Aided by a band of unusual yet loyal associates, Eyelet stumbles upon a startling rumor. And as she unravels a secret that could challenge Penelope’s claim to the throne, Penelope vows to divert Eyelet’s journey—straight to a dark and deadly end.

In Noir, the second thrilling addition to Jacqueline Garlick’s Illumination Paradox series, familiar friends struggle against new and old enemies, shocking secrets come to light, and the truth that could save this captivating steampunk world is revealed…if it doesn’t destroy everything first.

Noir is the second installment in The Illumination Paradox series by author Jacqueline Garlick. The story picks up right where Lumière left off. Urlick Babbit has been captured, framed for murder, and sentenced to be be executed by the new Ruler Professor Penelope Rapture. Eyelet Elsworth, CL, Iris, and Cordelia try to put together a plan to rescue him before its too late. This includes allying themselves with CL's former Freak Show posse (Martin, Reeke, Sadar & Wanda). This also includes finding a way to make a horse fly and using various steampunk gadgetry to break Urlick out of his prison. The discovery of Eyelet's childhood fascination, the steam driven Elephant, just adds to the awesomeness of this story! 

Garlick actually alternates between FOUR characters POV's this time around. Eyelet, Urlick, Flossie, and C.L aka Crazy Legs, one of Urlick's inner circle. I dare say that Garlick escalates things in a major way in Noir. Both Eyelet, and Urlick find themselves fighting to not only keep themselves alive, but to save the other from events that far exceeded the original story. I don't have a whole lot to say about Urlick. Yes, he finds himself in a bad way. Yes, there are a whole lot of secrets about his birth that makes a whole lot of people uncomfortable, including Penelope Rapture. Yes, he truly loves and adores Eyelet and that romance just gets stronger as the story unfolds. But, in the end, he actually has something good happen to him, whereas the rest of the characters, including Eyelet struggle with life and death situations. 

I really, really felt for Eyelet. She truly faces the most challenges of anyone in this book. She is sent away to the madhouse called The Brink after being caught trying to rescue Urlick. The powers that be really have it out for the girl. Their obsession with Eyelet borders on the absurd at times. There is no way I am going to spoil what happens to Eyelet in the Brink, but I will say that it was painful at times to read. There is no way that anyone deserved to be locked up in that place where the walls are alive, and rotate constantly to prevent people from escaping.

Eyelet is also feeling the effects of her fathers machine, and unless she can get a hold of the cure that was created for her by her father, she will die. Eyelet is still one of my favorite characters. She's bloody brilliant in my opinion. I loved the way she found a way to make Clementine fly. I love that while she is slowly losing herself in the Brink, she didn't just give in and allow herself to be totally lost. She makes an ally in Livinea who ends up helping her more than anyone else. I loved that her love for Urlick has gone one step further than the previous novel. I do want to see where Garlick is going with Eyelet. It is obvious there is a whole lot more to come after THAT ending! 

But, a third party in the form of Flossie, may be the most important character in this entire novel. She holds something that Eyelet dearly needs in order to survive. (The cure vial). She, however, hates Eyelet. After all, Eyelet did leave Flossie to die. She schemes and manipulates and makes alliances with a major player in this story (Penelope) all to get Urlick back and a cure for what happened to her. Flossie is definitely a villain, but I have to say I kind of feel sorry for her after you discover everything that certain OTHER people have done to her. Whatever Eyelet did to her, pales in comparison. One does hope that Flossie finds a way to redeem herself. 

Noir is an enjoyable ride with action, suspense, danger, humor, romance, likable and dangerous characters. There are so many secrets revealed in this episode, that you will definitely need a score card to highlight their importance to the story and the series itself. 

**I received this book for free from (Publisher) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

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