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5.0 out of 5 starsExciting!
Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2020
Excellent story, great villians and despicable villains, set in a later post apocalyptic world. The entertwined plot twists of magic, er, scientific, devices were intriguing and kept me reading far later than I should have.
Buy the set then you won't have to make three purchases. The three books are actually one long book and well worth reading. I sat up late to finish book one and read the other two as quickly afterward as I could.
5.0 out of 5 starsExceptional Character Driven Fantasy Adventure that is just Brilliant!!
Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2020
This is the complete trilogy of Michael Wallace’s Luminoso Trilogy, and is a thrilling tale of political intrigue, fantasy adventure that has some of the most incredible world building you will read. The World-Building is so in-depth, and so intense, you will find yourself getting lost in amazement. Wallace is known for his exceptional Character driven stories, and in Luminoso, he out does himself, with so many exquisite characters that come to life in his outstanding world. This is a tale not to be missed, regardless of your tastes, it has something for everyone. Following are reviews for each individual Book, read the next one only after you have finished the previous one to avoid spoilers!! Enjoy this wonderful series, it won’t disappoint!! WANDERING STARS #1: This is just the most incredible tale of fantasy and adventure I have read in a while, Wallace has created such an in-depth world for his characters to engage on. In this realm, Quintana, the city is tier based, and is built on a huge rift. There have been generations in the past that have wiped themselves out through war, leaving behind remnants of advanced technology, some minor trinkets, others include the massive stone bridge that allows access over the river into the city, and can be withdrawn if necessary, stopping transit in and out, protecting the city. The city is ruled by 5 ruling Families, or the Quinta. Under this, there are the 40, which are the next 40 most powerful Families or People in the city, then the Thousand, and then the Dumbre, those that are left, or have fallen from above. For once you fall, you can’t rise again. It doesn’t stop those below from trying to reach up though. And there is fierce competition to stay in the 40, and even the Thousand, with each Tier having much improved living conditions in housing, water, and other amenities. Again, Wallace has created such a rich tapestry, bringing to life each of these tiers, exploring them and letting you understand what it is like to live within each. It is a fascinating tourist ride through Quintana for part of the book there is so much detail, you can totally immerse yourself in it. Of the 5 ruling Families, we get to meet 3 of them, Lord Torre, Master of the Bridge, Lord Carbon, who is in charge of the Coal Mines and Lady Mercado who is in charge of finances. These seem to be the most powerful, as the city runs on coal, so Carbon basically can hold the city to ransom at anytime, Torre controls the bridge, so can stop transit of the major shipping lane in and out, there are some minor access points, but nothing that would provide enough food. And finally Mercado could wreak havoc with money. Lady Mercado is one of the best characters in the book. At one point in the book, there is a special festival called the day of fools, in which everyone can party, sleep with whomever, bonds are forgotten, tiers are forgotten, there is a massive street party (paid for and supported by Mercado herself). Mercado opens up her house to anyone who wishes to come and look, but if you are caught on her property after curfew, it is the death penalty as per the code. If you are not in your tier without just cause it is death. You can be below your tier, you are always allowed to down (but who would?), but you can never go up. In the middle of all of this, there are dark creatures called Witherers that if they touch you, they basically suck the life energy out of you, turning you into a dried up husk. If you are touched by one and escape, the part is touched ‘Withers’ becoming black and withered, and within days you are dead, dying a slow painful death. The story itself revolves around several plot lines involving Lord Carbon and his Chancellor, another brilliant Character Lady Iiliana Diamante, one of the 40, Lord Torre, and the Cabalists, a sort of secret order made up of people from all the different tiers who collect information and secrets in exchange for money and favours, to very valuable commodities in a place where it is so easy to find yourself on the edge of the rift. Of all the new series I have read this year, this one has captured me the most, as it was so intriguing, with so many story lines, so much depth, and these exceptional characters. On top of that, there are these amazing evil creatures, and you do get to experience them in full flight. Each character has their own outstanding back story as well, but they also have a fascinating part in this tale that is so cleverly intertwined amongst each of the other characters to create this spectacular story. LUMINOSO #2: The Luminoso picks up basically straight after ‘The Wanderers’, with Lord Carbon and Lord Torre trying to solve both of their respective dilemma’s, Naila desperately trying to gain power in any way she can, and Salvatore, the Guardian of Secrets, trying to gain access to the artifact in the Carbon Mines. As with the first book, this book continues to have the most elaborate World Building I have ever come across in a story, allowing you to get so fully immersed within each and every environment you are exposed to, that you really feel that you are there, standing amongst the characters with one of the Luminoso’s artifacts to hide you as you watch the story unfold around you. In this book, Salvatore has decided that he must have access to the artifact in the mine, that it is paramount to the future of Quintana, not just for the Luminoso, but he believes it will bring about the Fourth Plenty, and he is going to do everything he can to get it. In the meantime, Naila is also scheming, using her place in the Luminoso to try and get her husband, Daniel, who is totally useless, into the head of the Torre household (a position he doesn’t want), by removing both Lord Torre and his nephew and choice for his replacement Pedro. This is a book of scheming, and political intrigue, with some characters moving pieces on a chess board to get their own way, but others moving those own pieces to either get their own way, or to guard other assets. Plans are made and remade. Without giving too much away, there are some brilliant fight scenes in this book as the city is reduced to almost Civil war by the actions of the Luminoso. Book 1 was a fascinating insight into the operations of this amazing place, with its tiered system of living, and the Luminoso who collect and study artifacts of ages lost to the current remnants of humanity. Book 2 picks up from there, racing along with multiple plots and intrigues, all surrounding the Luminoso and their complete lust for power. As with Book 1, ‘The Luminoso’, has some exceptional Character work, from the powerful Lords Carbon, Torre and Mercado, each with their very distinct and unique personalities. Carbon is a fascinating character, having come from the slums of the Dumbre, been adopted, and now one of the 5 Lords of the Quintae, but with his own secrets, his character is just brilliant. Salvatore is another outstanding character, his drive and passion to bring on another ‘Plenty’ of mankind at any cost, but his absolute dedication to the cause of both the Luminoso and finding out what every artifact means for humanity. Naila is just pure power and greed at any cost, if she had to throw a nursery full of babies into the void to take another step towards power, so be it. She is the most ruthless, power hungry character you will come across, and nothing will stop her reaching her goals. One of the more understated characters is Iliana Diamante, Lord Carbon’s Chancellor. She is pivotal to how things are going to play out in the Quintana, incredibly smart, and with the backing of one of the most powerful men in the Quintana, Iliana is one of the best characters in the book. And this barely scratches the surface – there are so many incredible characters in Book 2. This is one of the most intricate and well told stories I have read in a long time, but more than that, it is one of the best stories I have read in a long time. This is an easy choice to recommend – can’t wait for Book 3!!! CHASM OF FIRE #3: In the third of this fascinating series, The Chasm of Fire, The Quintana is in a quandary over what to do since Naila revealed herself to be the Master of Whispers and in command of the Luminoso. Lord Carbon and his loyalists have discovered an artifact that could destroy the city of Quintana, or there is the possibility that if someone with more intelligence, patience and less hunger for power than Salvatore took the time to study the old texts, they could placate the object, and possibly even use it. However, Naila only wants power, and she will do anything to get it, including tearing the city to pieces and putting it back together in her own image later. She has gathered her own forces, taking artifacts from the Temple. The final book in this exceptional series is going to come down to a series of events, battles and a race against time, to see who can take the city first, who can get to the artifact in the rift first, and who has the better allies. There are some amazing revelations in this final book that you will never see coming, and Wallace continues to enthrall us with a spectacular array of artifacts, creatures in the rift, and outstanding characters that continue to bring this story to life. Each of his characters have such in-depth backgrounds, and in this final book we not only continue to see more of these backgrounds, but there are astonishing disclosures and information that comes out about several characters as to give several twists and turns to the story that you just never see coming. And this is the true magic of Wallace’s character writing, his characters are so cleverly crafted that they can just have these alter egos, are sudden developments, and rather than it seem extreme, it is just a natural part of the story he blends it so well. This way he manages to hide some stunning surprises in plain sight. Naila is one of the biggest character changes from books 2 to 3, as she pretends to be the Master of Whispers, and then strikes at the power of the Quintana, attempting to kill the main houses; As this is underway Carbon, and Iliana join with Lady Mercado and what is left of the Torre’s to try and stop not only Naila from killing them all, but the end of the entire Quintana from the Artifact. Carbon is another exceptional character, and we have seen him been fully developed as the series has continued. One character that perhaps didn’t get the attention she might have was Iliana, and whilst on the surface, she did get some attention, it would have been good to get a more in-depth storyline. Without giving too much away, one of the best parts of the 3rd book was the back story of Lady Mercado. Chasm of Fire will not disappoint as the final chapter of this the Final Part in the Quintana Series. Overall, Wallace has again shown that he is a writer of unparallel skill in whatever genre he puts pen to, creating not only magnificent characters, but just the most intriguing and fascinating storylines to go with it. The Quintana series has something for everyone!!
5.0 out of 5 starsI read each book separately and would totally have snagged this bundle
Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2020
This book reminds me a bit of A Canticle of Lebowitz. An interesting story about humanity as it tries to recover from multiple dark ages. These books move at a good pace and are easy to pick up and put down. This made them an ideal books for my commute or a quick afternoon read. For $0.99 I'd say its a steal. Why are you still reading this review start reading these books.
Michael Wallace writes incredible books, The Luminoso Trilogy are three of his best. As an added bonus, buying the trilogy means you don't need to patiently wait for the next book to be launched! What more could you ask for? Three books, one terrific author and no wait!