In her debut novel S.K. Anthony introduces us to the Luminaries who are part of a secret organization who are tasked with government jobs that no one else can succeed at:
Annie Fox was saved from a bad foster home situation when she was a teenager and brought into the Org to start her training, she knew that it would eventually lead to her changing all the way down to her DNA. When Annie was genetically altered she gained strength, unlimited strength and energy courses through her body and she has spent years learning how to harness this strength to take down the criminals of the world. But there is one thing that all the strength in the world cannot heal, her broken heart. Her husband (ex-husband now) betrayed everything that they both knew and he is on the run from the Org and Annie has vowed to be the one to end his life, but a split second can change everything, some feeling really never go away as much as you would want them to as Annie finds it hard to kill someone that she has loved, but she knows he is a bad man, right? Annie finds herself questioning everything which puts her and her friends in danger, all for a love that no longer exists right?
I was really really excited to read this book, the premise sounded interesting , I thought that Anthony was going to add something new to the Urban Fantasy genre, however, I think that Anthony only succeed on part of this (Note: the above is my premise of the book not the one that the publishers used so the following criticism are based upon their premise). First off, I think that the Luminaries idea was very interesting/cool, the thought that people could be genetically enhanced in order to get different powers, but you never know which power you are going to get beforehand, you can get anything from super strength to healing to being able to teleport. Very cool, makes you wonder what in your DNA would cause you to get certain powers. Now here is the fuzzy part as it is never really explained how this process works or even how it happen or discovered. There is about 1 page that describes an asteroid coming to Earth and the particles from it being turned into a liquid that is injected into people to create the powers. It was something along those lines (I think), all I can say is that I was really scratching my head when I read that ONE PAGE. I think that maybe Anthony did not think this part out enough and just tried to squeeze it in there. Maybe it is something she wants to address more in later books, but I think it is something that should be discussed right up front.
My disappointed with the premise is that it made me think that this was going to have some romance elements in the book but that it was not only going to be based on romance but the hunt for her ex husband who has been killing people and stealing the secret from the Org. This is not the case. Instead what we seem to get a book that is mainly romance based, with the characters trying to figure out what is going on, but you never have the lead character, Annie, doing any sort of investigative work (as she is basically under house arrest), she receives all her information from the secondary characters and if there was danger to them, she never really learns or experiences things first hand. This book may revolve around Annie, but I felt like she never really does anything in the whole book, minus the beginning and ending.
I will say that the latter quarter of the book started to redeem itself as it became interesting again and there was some much needed action that was missing. The majority of the book felt like it was soap opera, where nothing really substantial ever happened. What made it even more odd was the passage of time sometimes between the chapters. They would start out with "One month later" or "Four months later", I mean there are some serious things that are supposed to be occurring, what has happened in those months, why has it taken so long to find this information or come up with a plan of what you should be doing. I just felt it was an odd approach to the novel. Overall I found myself getting bored with the novel and I did not really want to pick it up to finish it (I did, but I think that sentence says everything).
To begin with I was fan of Annie, the opening scene was priceless and I thought maybe we have another Gin Blanco type here take no prisoners, someone betrays you you take them out, and then she fell off the deep end. Yes, she is a great fighter, but I found her too complacent with the rules that are set out for her, even when she knows that they are bogus. Then I found some of her reactions to situations to be off and just she could not get over things even when she is showed evidence to counter what she thought she new.She just was hard to relate to, and just lacked the spark to be a lead character, plus having her cloistered in her house for most of the book while the secondary characters did the leg and dirty work also hindered everything as you do not get any other point of view in the book other than Annie's. Maybe if Anthony would have had the views from some of the other characters as they completed missions this book would have flowed better and been more interesting.
Those who want something new, and that is more romance soap opera than mystery you will probably enjoy this book. Personally this book was not for me and I would not continue on with this series, even though I think that Anthony could have had something great here if it was executed a different way.
If You Like This,
Check These Out Too: