Monday 17 October 2022

Book Review: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard (YA Fantasy)

Title: The Luminaries
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Daphne Press
Publication Date: 1 November 2022
Pages: 384
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Hemlock Falls isn't like other towns. You won't find it on a map, your phone won't work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you.

Winnie Wednesday wants nothing more than to join the Luminaries, the ancient order that protects Winnie's town—and the rest of humanity—from the monsters and nightmares that rise in the forest of Hemlock Falls every night.

Ever since her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor, Winnie and her family have been shunned. But on her sixteenth birthday, she can take the deadly Luminary hunter trials and prove herself true and loyal—and restore her family's good name. Or die trying.

But in order to survive, Winnie enlists the help of the one person who can help her train: Jay Friday, resident bad boy and Winnie’s ex-best friend. While Jay might be the most promising new hunter in Hemlock Falls, he also seems to know more about the nightmares of the forest than he should. Together, he and Winnie will discover a danger lurking in the forest no one in Hemlock Falls is prepared for.

Not all monsters can be slain, and not all nightmares are confined to the dark.


The Luminaries was a pleasing opening to a new YA Fantasy series. The premise was interesting and the world building mostly worked well. I still had a number of questions at the end, but hopefully they'll be answered as the story progresses in the next book. Winnie was a fun character and I was really able to get behind her. I would have liked to have seen Jay fleshed out a little more, but, again, this may come in future books in the series. Overall, it was a solid start that left me keen to discover what would happen next, so I am interested in reading on in book two. It gets four stars from me. Recommended for YA Fantasy fans.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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