Illuminated | Critical Book Review

A Journey Through Teenage Turmoil

Illuminated by Iris Marsh takes readers on a tumultuous coming-of-age journey, blending emotions with entertainment. While the narrative captures the essence of adolescent struggles, it occasionally leaves readers yearning for more depth and sophistication.


A Chaotic Commencement

The story opens with a bang, plunging us headfirst into the chaotic world of Nikki, a seemingly ordinary 16-year-old facing typical teenage challenges. High school, budding romance, and a deteriorating family life are compounded by a shocking revelation: Nikki’s mental breakdown is not what it seems. She’s actually awakening to supernatural powers, a member of the clandestine society known as the Illuminae. Her father embarks on a mission to shield her from the ominous Siphoner, a rogue Illuminae member with sinister aspirations of immortality and world domination. Suddenly, high school becomes the backdrop for a whirlwind of psychic abilities and imminent threats.


A Fusion of Fantasy and Mystery

Marsh crafts a narrative that effortlessly oscillates between fantasy and mystery, ensuring the reader’s heart races with each turn of the page. The mystery surrounding the Siphoner’s true identity and the safety of Nikki and her family keeps the suspense alive. Yet, beneath the supernatural façade, the novel raises a thought-provoking ethical question: how much power is too much for one individual to wield?


A Tale of Adolescence

At its core, Illuminated is a coming-of-age story that effectively encapsulates the emotional turmoil of late adolescence. The precarious balance between childhood and adulthood, heightened by the discovery of magical abilities, mirrors the universal experience of growing up. It’s a journey riddled with fear and uncertainty, even in a world filled with extraordinary powers.


Characters With Layers

Iris Marsh excels in breathing life into her characters, portraying them with depth and nuance. Despite their occasional lapses in judgment, readers can’t help but empathize with or comprehend their motivations. This multi-dimensional character development enhances the overall narrative, making it more engaging.


The Essence of Personal Growth

Surprisingly, the most captivating aspect of Illuminated isn’t the existence of superpowers, but rather Nikki’s personal growth through her relationships. The novel could easily stand on its own as a drama centered on Nikki’s personal life. Psychic abilities and the menacing presence of the Siphoner serve as intriguing side notes to her character’s development.


The Verdict

In one word, Illuminated can be described as “fun.” Young adult fantasy enthusiasts will find it difficult to put this book down. With potential for a sequel, there is ample room to further explore the intricacies of the Illuminae, Nikki, and the uncharted adventures awaiting her as she hones her psychic gifts to change the world.


In conclusion, Illuminated by Iris Marsh offers an engaging blend of fantasy and coming-of-age themes. While it successfully captures the rollercoaster ride of adolescence, some readers may crave a deeper exploration of its complex world and characters. Nevertheless, it remains a compelling read for those seeking an exhilarating journey through the challenges of growing up in a world filled with magic and mystery.

Modern Book Details:

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
IndieBookViewYoung Adult / Fantasy / Coming of Age413 pages978-9083276618

A Journey Through Teenage Turmoil Illuminated by Iris Marsh takes readers on a tumultuous coming-of-age journey, blending emotions with entertainment. While the narrative captures the essence of adolescent struggles, it occasionally leaves readers yearning for more depth and sophistication. A Chaotic Commencement The story opens with a bang, plunging us headfirst into the chaotic world…