Luminous by Dawn Metcalf
July 7th, 2011 from Dutton Children's Books
As reality slips and time stands still, Consuela finds herself thrust into the world of the Flow. Removed from all she loves into this shifting world overlapping our own, Consuela quickly discovers she has the power to step out of her earthly skin and cloak herself in new ones-skins made from the world around her, crafted from water, fire, air. She is joined by other teens with extraordinary abilities, bound together to safeguard a world they can affect, but where they no longer belong.
When murder threatens to undo the Flow, the Watcher charges Consuela and elusive, attractive V to stop the killer. But the psychopath who threatens her new world may also hold the only key to Consuela's way home.
This book was all over the place for me. I was confused, interested, intrigued, captivated, and hopeful for Consuela - Bones - and the others in the Flow. I felt like I was riding a roller coaster while reading. I love the premise and think it is absolutely original, but at the very beginning of Luminous, I was confused. I wasn't really sure what was happening to Consuela and how she was able to make a skin out of water. Was this real? Was this her perception? Did she really go down the drain? Don't get me wrong, very cool idea! I just wish Consuela was a little more dumb-founded and surprised at her ability. The concept of Consuela putting her fingers through the back of her skull and pulling her skin over her head came too easy/naturally for her. If it were me, I would be screaming and freaking out asking for my Mother....just me. By page 15, she states, "This is who I am....The rest is just skin."
As Consuela accepts her new skeletal status, we are introduced to an array of really interesting characters with even more interesting names. V, Wish, Yad, and others live in The Flow (a place where spirits reside in order to help/save the living) and each is vastly different. I enjoyed learning about them and their special abilities and what they were drawn to. Each character had a bit of foggy mystery to them and I was glad to see that they weren't to fleshed out (no pub intended). Every few chapters or so, we get a glimpse of the killer as he murders members of The Flow. Some of these scenes give us a taste about who the killer is and what he is capable of. Sometimes, the scenes left me a tab bit puzzled as I tried to jump back into Consuela's story line. Regardless, the cast of characters and the whodunit question kept me in the book. The ending is a little predictable, but I was okay with that. The underlying Dorothy theme - you could do it all along - greats us in the end and I personally welcomed it.
Even though I had a few issues, I can see where a young adult would absolutely love this story. The cover alone will get a girl (and hopefully boy) to pick it up, and the originality of the story line will get teens to buy/checkout. I know my teenager would love this book and she will be a little more forgiving about the confusing opening scenes.
If you would like to read an interview I hosted with Dawn in which she talks more about Luminous, you can find it HERE