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Luminous and Ominous

Luminous and Ominous

4.0 5
by Noah Mullette-Gillman

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If you had three days’ warning of the end of civilization and a safe place to hide:

What would you take with you? Who would you save?

And who would you leave behind?

Henry Willingham and his friends have three days to make the most terrifying decisions of their lives. The world has been infected by an inescapable living nightmare of


If you had three days’ warning of the end of civilization and a safe place to hide:

What would you take with you? Who would you save?

And who would you leave behind?

Henry Willingham and his friends have three days to make the most terrifying decisions of their lives. The world has been infected by an inescapable living nightmare of alien vegetation that will replace all life on Earth. They must get everyone they love safely underground into a fallout shelter. There's not enough time. There’s not enough room for everyone. Who will they save? Who will they leave behind?

How will they live with the consequences?

After hiding underground for a year, the last three survivors must brave the otherworldly infestation and travel through what used to be upstate New York struggling for their lives and their humanity.

82,000 words

Product Details

Noah Mullette-Gillman
Publication date:
Luminous and Ominous , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
881 KB

Meet the Author

Noah Mullette-Gillman was born in Montclair, New Jersey. He spent his childhood there, as well as in the town of Manly, Australia, and the woods of upstate New York. He earned a multidisciplinary degree in Philosophy and Creative Writing at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. He currently alternates his time between walking in the woods and hiding underground.

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Luminous and Ominous 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
F-N More than 1 year ago
Having read this author's first novel in PB format, I decided to take a small risk and download an ebook for the first time. I regretted it instantly, b/c the futuristic storyline yet down to earth style, combined with a "leapfrogging" plot made me want to stay up late in the night until I finished the story...or at least until the batteries ran out... The large cast of characters, the intense descriptions of foliage and highly conversational style of storytelling makes this an ideal story for serial adaptation. If I had to describe the story in one sentence, I would say it's like "Lost" meets "John Carpenter's Thing," only much better written with more realistic dialog. The depictions of several individual characters' demises are fairly gut-wrenching (literally in one particularly vivid case), making this more in the SF/Horror genre than a straightforward SF. However, the individual actors' interactions are emotional and complicated, adding a very welcome sense of human drama that is frequently missing in similar "end of the world" stories. That said, the "end of the world" is far from clear, even by the end of the story. The reader is only able to see world-changing events from the eyes of a select cast of characters living in a certain area of the world, with only a slowing dwindling number of TV channels to piece together the truth. I can easily see future installments of the same events (or future events) told from the POV of other groups of survivors/victims around the world. Will Cornucopia take over the world? Will it stop at certain geographical boundaries (the Gobi and the Himalayas, for example)? How are the oceans changed? Luminous and Ominous only gives us a brief glimpse into what could be a springboard for a fantastic new SF TV series. My only complaint is the increasingly repetitive media references. The music references especially added little to the overall story (though perhaps they did allow us to guess Henry's age, and that of the author). Ragnarok, Kali Yuga, and Plato references made the middle third of the book seem more like a Freshman Seminar course than a novel about the apocalypse. But perhaps that was also part of the point: the world will end with not a bang, but a whimper?
cubblet More than 1 year ago
It's a decent book, but not as good as I hoping.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GraceKrispy More than 1 year ago
When Henry gets a disturbing video from a friend in the Peace Corps, he formulates a plan to save a dozen or so of his closest friends from an alien invasion. Gathering the friends turns out to be the first of his problems. After convincing them of the danger, he must plan for how to keep them alive and safe until this danger blows over. Something goes wrong in his plan, and he and two friends are left out in the world to fend against the alien plant life and find a way to escape the "Cornucopia Blue." Does Henry have what it takes to survive? Is it even worth the effort? Written by Noah K. Mullette-Gillman, this story jumps between the story's present time (2014) and the beginning of the alien plant invasion (2012). I found this a really clever and effective way to tell this tale. The story starts out with Noah and his two surviving friends making their way through the altered landscape, and quickly switches to show the start of the invasion. With two such intriguing introductions to the two time periods, I was immediately engaged. Telling the two parts of the tale concurrently was a great technique to maintain attention, and, with clearly marked chapters and predicatable switches, it's easy to follow both story lines until they connect at the very end. Original and descriptive, it was an appealing tale. Where this story really shines is in the originality of the concept and the imagination involved in creating this alien life form. I could easily picture "Cornucopia Blue," as the plant invasion was christened, and I could almost feel the power of its allure. Where this story really lacks is in the editing and the writing style. This story could definitely use another editing pass. There were enough errors to be annoying, with typos and some sentences that didn't make sense because of missing words. The writing style itself was very simple. It was written as though geared towards (or written by) a pretty young audience, with trite dialogue and a lack of true depth. I had to do a double check, thinking perhaps this was marketed for a youthful reader. It does make for a fast read, but I felt the writing style was much too simplistic and somewhat immature for a tale that had the potential to be truly intense and wonderful. There were also several points in the story where there was a sudden proliferation of exclamation points (in the narrative as well as the dialogue!), which increased the feel of a juvenile writing style. The ending tied the two parts of the story together, yet left some ambiguity for the reader to decide what truly happened to Henry and his friends. All in all, not a bad ending. It answers the question of how they got from one half of the story to the other, and it leaves the reader to wonder "what happens next?" Although the ending was ok, I wish there had been a little more. There was a thread throughout the story that started with something Henry's stepdad had said to him: "Are you in a cave, or in the Universe?" Henry thinks of this question at several points throughout the story, but it's conspicuously missing at the end of the book. I think this could really have tied the story together in a way that added depth and left the reader with a greater sense of satisfaction, and made the ambiguous ending stronger. Overall, a clever and unique tale that I felt was held back by the writing style. The originality and interest level of the storyline itself bump