- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 469 KB
- Print Length: 336 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1456387456
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004D4ZOYG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #993,687 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||£11.65|
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Luminous and Ominous Kindle Edition
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|Length: 336 pages|
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The plot is simple, and in line with the genre. An alien organize arrives on Earth via meteors, and promptly starts to reproduce and take over the planet. Governments collapse. Civilization crumbles. We know the drill by now.
But where the book shines is in Gillman's ability to make the collapse personal. The chapters jump back and forth between the present efforts to survive in the brave new world of Cornucopia Blue (as the alien life form has been called) to how the main characters first joined together as the threat to humanity was just beginning. Often in these stories, the survivors are archetypes. The sassy heroine. The crazy gun guy. The nerd. There are no archetypes in this book; only fully realized flesh and blood characters that you develop a significant empathy towards.
Another aspect of the book that makes the story all the more compelling is the greater philosophical question it poses. In most survival horror, the nature of the threat is obviously worse than our civilization. The bleakness of the genre is that the world is left a shell of its former self, devoid of life. But with Cornucopia Blue, there is a strange feeling that maybe this outbreak is an improvement over mankind. The characters often find themselves stopping to look on in awe at the beauty wrought by the alien life. The life form transform everything from barren deserts to concrete office complexes into lush, vibrantly colored jungles. Colors are more intense. Scents more exhilarating. Textures richer and fuller. Even though Cornucopia Blue is rapidly destroying everything mankind has created, there is an underlying sense that maybe that isn't a bad thing in the grand scheme of the universe.
The book has a few consistency issues that pop up at odd moments. The narrative voice sometimes jumps from the third person omniscient to the first person, if only for a sentence or to. It happens enough that you find yourself having to stop and reread section to make sure you didn't miss something.
And then there is the tendency of the author to use exclamation points at weird times! Otherwise wonderful scenes have the mood shaken with unnecessary exclamation points! It is as if the author couldn't figure out how to stress a point otherwise! He wanted to make sure the reader knew how important this point is!
Yes, that gets annoying after a while. It happens throughout the book.
But these are minor issues that don't distract from the overall experience of Luminous and Ominous. And yes, reading Luminous and Ominous is an experience. It is a brilliantly executed look at the nature of humanity when confronted with extinction.
Reviewer note: Author provided a comp copy for review
Admittedly there were a few small editing type mistakes, but nothing large enough that it detracted from the story for me. Thank you Noah for a great story!
The alien "invaders" of this unique science fictionish novel are exactly what the title tells us, Luminous and Ominous, a ravenous plant species with a mesmerizing beauty and a will to live as strong-or perhaps stronger-than any human survivor. And therein lies the problem for our protagonists: not just surviving in a new world, but preserving their very sense of what it means to be alive, and be human.
I'm a bigger fan of Noah K. Mullette-Gillman's second novel than I was of the first (and I'm a pretty big fan). The writing is as mesmerizing as the beautiful alien Cornucopia Blue it describes, and the characters' thoughts and struggles pull readers along with them just as surely.
Reading Time: On the Kindle, Luminous and Ominous is a little over 5,000 locations, which would make it 500+ pages in the physical world. But how long it takes to read? I'm hardly competent to say-it took me a weekend: I couldn't put it down.
Recommendation: It's 2011, and apocalypse scenarios haven't been so popular since Y2K. So let's not pigeonhole Luminous and Ominous as strictly science fiction-it's General Audiences all the way.
The large cast of characters, the intense descriptions of foliage and highly conversational style of storytelling makes this an ideal story for serial adaptation. If I had to describe the story in one sentence, I would say it's like "Lost" meets "John Carpenter's Thing," only much better written with more realistic dialog. The depictions of several individual characters' demises are fairly gut-wrenching (literally in one particularly vivid case), making this more in the SF/Horror genre than a straightforward SF. However, the individual actors' interactions are emotional and complicated, adding a very welcome sense of human drama that is frequently missing in similar "end of the world" stories.
That said, the "end of the world" is far from clear, even by the end of the story. The reader is only able to see world-changing events from the eyes of a select cast of characters living in a certain area of the world, with only a slowing dwindling number of TV channels to piece together the truth. I can easily see future installments of the same events (or future events) told from the POV of other groups of survivors/victims around the world.
Will Cornucopia take over the world? Will it stop at certain geographical boundaries (the Gobi and the Himalayas, for example)? How are the oceans changed? Luminous and Ominous only gives us a brief glimpse into what could be a springboard for a fantastic new SF TV series.
My only complaint is the increasingly repetitive media references. The music references especially added little to the overall story (though perhaps they did allow us to guess Henry's age, and that of the author). Ragnarok, Kali Yuga, and Plato references made the middle third of the book seem more like a Freshman Seminar course than a novel about the apocalypse. But perhaps that was also part of the point: the world will end with not a bang, but a whimper?
The idea is uniquely told and doesn't hold back. Not short on decriptive scenery, brutal snags in "the walk" back to civilization, and colorful characters (several I could never warm to). The most colorful character is the alien it's self. Leaves one wondering what is going to pop up next. I don't suppose I'll ever look at dogs and bugs the same way again. The various philosophies and playlists were lost on me but in the end I liked that Henry had to make do with a hospital gown and a bed sheet. I felt his vulnerability and loved how he turned the sheet into an escape tool. That's the kind of character I cheer for.
Thanks Noah. Entertaining stuff.