Arc Review: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

Title: The Luminaries
Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: YA Fantasy / Paranormal
Publication Date: November 1st, 2022
Publisher: Tor Teen
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“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.” (goodreads)

This is very different from her Witchland series but the writing is still the same! I liked seeing what she could do outside her usual fantasy world and I really liked the uniqueness of this story.

The book is told from one perspective and it comes from Winnie Wednesday. She was a part of the luminaries until her father became a traitor and the rest of her close family were basically excommunicated. This has really affected Winnie and can tell it has taken a toll on her mom and brother as well. Because of this, I could understand her choices when it came to wanting to participate in the hunter trials. She is tired of being treated differently and wants to feel like she belongs. This was her chance and she took it. It doesn’t exactly go as planned but that’s the thrilling part of it. She has to keep up a lie and you can tell it takes a toll on her. The grass isn’t always greener.

The other characters were fine but I feel like we didn’t get to know them that well. I did like Jay and feel like a relationship could blossom between him and Winnie. I do want to get to know him better though.

My favorite part of this book was the setting and the houses of luminaries. Forests/woods are always a cool setting and by having nightmares come from a mist makes it even better! I’m looking forward to seeing what else the houses have to offer because some seem very secretive, especially the council.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read. Very different, but I will definitely be looking forward to the sequel.


12 thoughts on “Arc Review: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

  1. Ooh, this sounds so good! I haven’t read this author’s Witchland series but since you mentioned it I just connected her name with that series 😂 I’m kind of sad that I skipped the IC monthly sub for this book now, LOL! This sounds really good. Will have to check it out! Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I am very curious as to what their edition will look like. I got the Barnes and Noble edition.


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