Review: Illumine by Alivia Anders

Illumine (Illumine #1) by Alivia Anders

Book description (from Goodreads) –

For the past five months Essallie Hanley has been trying to forget about the frightening murder of her boyfriend. Haunted by vivid nightmares and hallucinations of the event she does anything she can to pretend she’s like every other normal girl in High School.

Only Essallie is far from normal. Able to conjure blue fire and a shimmering silhouette of wings from her body, she seeks the only known solace left to her name; her first home in Belfast, Maine.

But she soon realizes that her return home is only the beginning of a long and twisted road taking her as far from her humanity as possible, with Kayden, the demon originally summoned to slaughter her, leading the way. Unable to touch her but oddly curious, he joins Essallie in her search to find out just what she is. But neither of them were prepared for the secrets they’ve begun to unravel, secrets that will change Essallie and everyone around her forever.


When Essallie is made the unwilling human sacrifice in a demonic ritual, her life is turned upside down. She may have survived the attempt on her life, but she cannot escape the memories of that night – images of her boyfriend being killed by the demon haunt her. Essallie was the intended victim that night, and she has no idea why the demon was unable to hurt her.

Trying to forget what happened, Essallie moves from New York to the small town of Belfast, Maine to live with her brother, Jayson. All Essallie wants to do is make it through her senior year of high school, but when the demon, Kayden, that was summoned to kill her shows up at her school, Essallie knows that her attempts at a normal life are over.

Kayden informs Essallie that he wants to help her find out who she really is. There has to be a reason why Kayden can’t touch her. The answer comes in a way Essallie never expected – when Essallie gets angry, her skin begins to heat and she can produce blue fire from her hands.

Is Essallie human? Does Kayden really want to help her, or does he have an ulterior motive?


I love the title and cover of this novel; it suits and captures the story perfectly. Illumine by Alivia Anders is a very intriguing, and at times a little creepy story, that kept me guessing. Throughout the novel there were quite a few moments of mystery, intrigue, and suspense.

The main character, Essallie, is very easy to like and feel empathy for. She finds it hard to fit in at her new school, as rumors of her attempted murder have followed her. She hears the whispers and feels the stares of her fellow students with every step that she takes at school; she can’t outrun her past. Essallie is confused as to what is happening to her, and she is irritated that the only one who can help her find out is the demon who tried to kill her – Kayden.

There is so much mystery surrounding Kayden. Why does he want to help Essallie all of a sudden? Can he be trusted? Kayden is a character that I shouldn’t like at all as he is an evil demon; however, there is something about him that makes him likeable. It’s kind of impossible to hate him.

There were a few times during the novel where I was a little confused by some of the minor details, but I was still able to follow the story line.

Illumine is a suspenseful novel filled with moments of creepiness, that I think fans of television shows such as Supernatural will enjoy. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the sequel, Obumbrate.


*Thank you to Alivia Anders for providing me with a copy of Illumine to review.


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