Customer Reviews for

Illuminate (Gilded Wings Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Wow! This book was fantastic! I have been waiting to read this b

Wow! This book was fantastic! I have been waiting to read this book for awhile now, and finally decided I couldn't wait any longer! I am glad I didn't!

Haven Terra was so cute. She just really wanted to do well. She swooned at the PERFECT HOT GUY. It was so typical, an...
Wow! This book was fantastic! I have been waiting to read this book for awhile now, and finally decided I couldn't wait any longer! I am glad I didn't!

Haven Terra was so cute. She just really wanted to do well. She swooned at the PERFECT HOT GUY. It was so typical, and it not once annoyed me! I loved Lance from the start - the nerdy, shy kid. Dante was also a fantastic character - the gay smart kid who just doesn't give a damn and grabs life every chance - he is the gay best friend I really wish I had!

Haven, Dante and Lance get accepted to this internship at a hotel, but not everything is as it seems. I found this novel was constantly surprising me! I thought I had it figured out, but alas, I was mostly wrong!

The only complaint I have with this book was it was quite long, roughly 530 pages, and I felt it dragged on in some places. But otherwise it was amazing! Buy it, devour it, LOVE IT!

posted by ClaireFrith on April 3, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Haven and her two friends are chosen (out of the blue) to work i

Haven and her two friends are chosen (out of the blue) to work in a prestigious up-and-coming new hotel. I’m not sure what kind of public school system they’re a part of, but they get to leave school and live at the hotel for an entire semester. It’s almost too good to ...
Haven and her two friends are chosen (out of the blue) to work in a prestigious up-and-coming new hotel. I’m not sure what kind of public school system they’re a part of, but they get to leave school and live at the hotel for an entire semester. It’s almost too good to be true. All of the hotel staff are young and impossibly gorgeous and Haven feels pretty special just being a part of it.

Soon enough, odd things start happening (a plant spontaneously catches fire, photographs do weird things, people disappear) and Haven becomes suspicious. Throw in a diary in which passages suddenly appear and seem to give Haven directions, and she really gets freaked out. I have to admit, I would have become a little nervous much sooner than Haven and her friends did.

Haven was an okay protagonist, though I had some issues with the way she handled some things. She had some scars on her body and didn’t know where they came from (she was an orphan, found on the side of the road), and when in danger, her scars started to hurt. Um, hello? Big fat warning sign. Does Haven pay that any mind? No. When the aforementioned plant catches on fire, she just tosses the thing and forgets about it. Besides the previous nitpicks, I did like how real she was. She was shy and nerdy, but also kind and friendly. I love the way she and her best friend Dante talked to each other, like they’d been friends forever. Lance was a nice addition to their duo and I especially liked how he and Haven grew as friends.

Haven’s love interest Lucian and her boss Aurelia (anyone else think of areola when they see that name? No? Just me then?) were supposed to be just regular people, but I never fell for it. They were too perfect and beautiful and cunning and powerful. I never believed they were just normal, so it made it hard for me to be shocked and upset when Haven found out the truth and felt that way.

The dialogue was standard stuff, nothing too artsy fartsy or simple. The mystery part of the story was interesting, although I think anybody else would have come to the obvious conclusion sooner than Haven did. But I’m probably just nitpicking. The length of the novel was way too long. The entire middle part dragged on and on. The beginning was interesting, as we learned about the characters and their environment and the ending was fast and held my interest, but the middle was unnecessarily long, without a lot of action or new information to move the story along.

The cover is beautiful and appropriate. The wings are subtle (I didn’t even notice them at first) and she actually wears a similar dress in an important scene in the story, so props for that.

The sum up: I wasn’t as excited about this book overall as I was in the beginning. It had a lot of promise and started off well, but didn’t finish as strongly as it could have.

posted by The_Busy_Bibliophile on January 11, 2013

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Haven and her two friends are chosen (out of the blue) to work i

    Haven and her two friends are chosen (out of the blue) to work in a prestigious up-and-coming new hotel. I’m not sure what kind of public school system they’re a part of, but they get to leave school and live at the hotel for an entire semester. It’s almost too good to be true. All of the hotel staff are young and impossibly gorgeous and Haven feels pretty special just being a part of it.

    Soon enough, odd things start happening (a plant spontaneously catches fire, photographs do weird things, people disappear) and Haven becomes suspicious. Throw in a diary in which passages suddenly appear and seem to give Haven directions, and she really gets freaked out. I have to admit, I would have become a little nervous much sooner than Haven and her friends did.

    Haven was an okay protagonist, though I had some issues with the way she handled some things. She had some scars on her body and didn’t know where they came from (she was an orphan, found on the side of the road), and when in danger, her scars started to hurt. Um, hello? Big fat warning sign. Does Haven pay that any mind? No. When the aforementioned plant catches on fire, she just tosses the thing and forgets about it. Besides the previous nitpicks, I did like how real she was. She was shy and nerdy, but also kind and friendly. I love the way she and her best friend Dante talked to each other, like they’d been friends forever. Lance was a nice addition to their duo and I especially liked how he and Haven grew as friends.

    Haven’s love interest Lucian and her boss Aurelia (anyone else think of areola when they see that name? No? Just me then?) were supposed to be just regular people, but I never fell for it. They were too perfect and beautiful and cunning and powerful. I never believed they were just normal, so it made it hard for me to be shocked and upset when Haven found out the truth and felt that way.

    The dialogue was standard stuff, nothing too artsy fartsy or simple. The mystery part of the story was interesting, although I think anybody else would have come to the obvious conclusion sooner than Haven did. But I’m probably just nitpicking. The length of the novel was way too long. The entire middle part dragged on and on. The beginning was interesting, as we learned about the characters and their environment and the ending was fast and held my interest, but the middle was unnecessarily long, without a lot of action or new information to move the story along.

    The cover is beautiful and appropriate. The wings are subtle (I didn’t even notice them at first) and she actually wears a similar dress in an important scene in the story, so props for that.

    The sum up: I wasn’t as excited about this book overall as I was in the beginning. It had a lot of promise and started off well, but didn’t finish as strongly as it could have.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    Okay so I was looking for a good read at the bookstore today. Th

    Okay so I was looking for a good read at the bookstore today. Then out of the blue the saleslady said she had this great book that she is reading that I might like. There were no copies of the book on the shelf so she went to the back. Luckily there was one copy so I think it was fate for me to read this. I'm looking at the reviews  and hope its is as fantastic as everyone is saying. 

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    Okay, I just want to call this book out RIGHT HERE. Note the wor

    Okay, I just want to call this book out RIGHT HERE. Note the words in the last line of the blurb “suspenseful” and “exciting.” This book is 534 pages that it doesn’t need to be because it is NOT suspenseful or exciting in a lot of places.

    The problem is, this book is WAY TOO BIG. The pacing in this book is really wacked out, and the editing also strange. If Illuminate had been half the size (or smaller!) it could have been a really awesome read for me, a higher starred one to boot. But this book GOES. SO. SLOW.

    The fact that I finished this book is actually a fluke. I’ll admit that there was something compulsively keeping me reading. The prose was rather purple-y and overdone–further slowing down the already slow plot–but in some places it really did click. Flashes of action would crop up, but that’s all they were, flashes. Flashes of action is not actual action, people.

    WARNING! MILD SPOILERS BELOW!

    Our main character is supposed to be a protagonist. But the problem is, she isn’t. The entirety of the plot–when it does move forward–seems to be happening around her. The reason she starts doing ANYTHING is because she finds this notebook that tells her everything to do. It’s aggravating, especially when Aurelia and everybody start freaking out because Haven’s powers are growing and she’s effecting the photos but HAVEN ISN’T DOING ANYTHING. She isn’t any different, she isn’t even trying to be magical. It just happens.

    What in the world is going on in this book? I’m not kidding! The blurb tells you that Aurelia and crew are stealing souls, but what is Haven’s role? What’s her job? What kind of lore are we dealing with? I was asking these IMPORTANT questions all the way up until about halfway through the book! You don’t even find out what the deal is with Haven until later than that. I understand that since this is the first person and Haven is clueless she can’t exactly TELL us, but geez.

    And then when things actually happen… It doesn’t seem to FIT. For instance, when Haven finally figures out Lucian, I wanted to shout NO, REALLY? And then when things start rolling and some plot points are explained I went, WAIT WHAT? Because they happened too fast for me to get a handle on them.

    However, however, I do admit, I adored a few things…

    The character of Dante was awesome. I was upset we got to see him so little in the middle of the book. The Lance/Haven thing was also cute, because they took time to get to know each other, trust each other and THEN fall in love with each other. Major plus in my book. I spent so long on criticism I feel bad I don’t want to prattle on too much here, but yeah. Those were two major points for me!

    Now … the ending. THERE WILL BE NO SPOILERS HERE, even if it kills me. However, I must say, things REALLY got rolling here. It was like, after 500 pages of blah blah blah all of a sudden it went EVERYTHING is GOING TO HAPPEN, THE END. I truly did enjoy the ending, though it ended pretty abruptly after what I was used to.

    In a nutshell, this book was something. It was really slow for ages, then really fast for about 20 pages and then you were at the end. If you are the kind of person who reads books were something NEEDS TO HAPPEN then I would avoid this one. However, if you don’t mind slower reading and a slower reveal of plot points then you might find this one enjoyable. Though I did finish this, it really wasn’t quite the right fit for me–a fast reader with a short attention spam.

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  • Posted March 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Review: Illuminate

    I haven't been looking forward to this review. I knew it was going to be a hard one for me to write because I never felt I had a firm opinion on the book. I'm hoping that writing this out will help me get a better grasp on my thoughts.

    First off, Haven. She's seems like a smart girl, but she completely bought into this scholarship thing. What person would honestly believe they won a scholarship they never applied for. They just don't work like that. I didn't buy it, and neither should she. Besides that, I really liked her. I thought her background was interesting. I loved how she interacted with her friends. And even though I knew the opportunity was fake, I loved how she embraced it a made it the best she could. I also liked how she fell hard and fast for the wrong guy (we know teenager girls can do it), got hurt, but discovered something better.


    I actually didn't mind the storyline either. I think it really could have worked. But, I don't think it was explained very well. While I understood what Haven was, it just seem that I fully understood what she could (or maybe it was I could never figure out why it mattered). She's suppose to be the really powerful being that hasn't unlocked her full potential yet. To me she just seemed like a smart, normal girl who just happened to see people as they really were. I just didn't get it.

    I did like the hotel. It seemed creepy. I think that could have been explored more. I feel like we're barely skimming the surface of those who are working the hotel. What's they are doing to ensnare people, etc. I think Haven figures out way to quickly that something is wrong and is constantly on guard. Therefore, we see things through her eyes (obviously sense it's told from her point of view).


    The biggest problem for me...it's long. And not in a good way. There are times this story seriously dragged on and on. It's a lot of information and very little action. I was bored for most of it.

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