Luminous

Dawn Metcalf. Dutton, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-42247-1
Rife with discomforting, horror-laden imagery, Metcalf's first novel appears to be a meditation on death, but in fact it explores more difficult territory—that borderland between life and death, where the body is in one place and the mind is in another. After a fainting spell, 17-year-old Consuela Chavez takes a bath to relax. When she checks the injury she got when she fell, her fingers sink through her skin, which she discovers she can shed, walking free as nothing but a skeleton. "This is who I am," she thinks, and she teaches herself to assume new skins of air, water, fire, and more. There are others like her—Sissy, V, Wish, Tender—all of them inhabitants of "the Flow," which none of them quite understand even as they navigate it to rescue vulnerable humans in the "real" world. Consuela becomes desperate to escape this new existence, though it's unclear why—she displays little emotional attachment to her former life, and even the systematic murders of her new peers don't really factor into her desire to leave. The dreamlike plot may not make complete sense, but Metcalf's virtuoso prose compensates. Ages 14–up. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-50682-0
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-51622-5
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