This is a special review my friends because I was able to read The Lustre by Kate Policani before it was released as part of her Launch Party which happened a few days ago. This review was originally posted on my site Quill Wielder, but I want Kate to get as much exposure as I can give her.
Hidden within Human society is an entrancing race of beings who look just like us. They are the Akataromai. Originating on Earth, they conceal themselves, blending within the Human population. Though they appear to be Human, mature Akataromai live for centuries and feed upon negative Human emotions. Angelina Quorra is an Akataromai, a Human-looking girl who might never die. But Angelina is unique among her people, absorbing pain as well as emotion and giving anyone who feeds her overwhelming pleasure. This is her story, told by the men who adore her. Her talent is called The Lustre, bringing her great fame, and great trouble.
I feel specially attached to this story as I have read its earlier drafts when Kate asked me to critique it for her. I even get a special thanks mention at the start, which I wasn’t expecting, but thank you Kate.
The Lustre is a wonderful tale of a young woman’s journey from innocence to woman-hood, I simply loved how this story was told from the point of view of all the men in Angelina’s life. We only get to see her through the eyes of others, which gives a unique perspective for the whole story.
The whole story from start to finish holds your interest with a unique plot with human-like creatures, closely related to vampires, with the ability to absorb people’s emotions as sustenance. I know Kate didn’t want it to be a vampire novel, but the similarities will interest those who are fans night-time blood suckers.
Angelina’s goes through a journey of self-discovery as she learns about love and her powers, the Lustre. This novel kept me wanting more, with every new chapter I learnt more about the characters and their feelings for Angelina. I wanted to keep reading to find out how Angelina would deal with the next obstacle that came her way.
This coming of age story is one worth reading, with The Lustre’s unique take on so many things this story won’t disappoint. I hope that Kate will write some more novels featuring the Akataromai, I would love to find out more about them with more adventures.
When Interviewed Kate had this to say about her novel:
What was the inspiration behind The Lustre?
The Lustre actually started out as a vampire story. The way it was written was too salacious for my tastes with the vampire genre, so I shelved it for a long time while I tried to figure out what to do to make it less obscene. One evening my husband and I were discussing it and he came up with the idea for drinking emotions rather than blood. Somewhere in the discussion, we also were talking about how a character’s attributes are often enhanced by the opinions of other characters rather than just a straight description. I was fascinated by this concept and so I changed the voice of the book to reflect the points of view of the male characters. You’ll notice that Angelina never speaks for herself in the story.
I originally was going to release it unedited as a free ebook, but I got scolded so much by my friend Cynthia, who loved the story, that I decided to expand it, edit it, and publish it.
Where did you get the name “Akataromai”?
I was looking for something old-sounding and perhaps an actual or mythical race from ancient times. I didn’t find any in my research that fit the description, so I translated the term “without curse” in Greek (with Google Translator—yes, I’m so very authentic). I based the idea on the book of Genesis where Adam and Eve are cursed because of their sin of disobedience to God. The Akataromai became a race that sprang from creatures that existed alongside Adam and Eve, but didn’t choose to sin and so weren’t cursed. It kind of grew by itself from there.
Do you have plans for more books about Angelina or other Akataromai?
I don’t have any stories in mind, but I am open to them. Friends have suggested an expanded story about Isa and Idris, or a book about another Akataromai with The Lustre, such as one of Angelina’s children. The chances of another book will depend on how well The Lustre does.