While I don’t know that I can say that I loved Luminaire more than Florence, I do know that it came pretty darn close! A lusciously exotic underwater world detailed in vivid colours and textures, a selfless protagonist that put friends before anything else, and a twisty action-packed plot combined to make Luminaire a page-turner from the first page!Everything I loved about Niemela in Florence has returned with a bang in Luminaire, only this time, we get to see a slightly darker side to the vibrant sea creatures that inhabit the Oceanarium, and how they can be manipulated to do the merfolks bidding with the power of thoughts.But where the setting really stole the show for me in Florence, in Luminaire it was the plot. Haunted by a mysterious and beautiful mermaid in her dreams, Florence realizes that the merfolk she has come to love, are in danger. Following the vague directions given by her dreams, Florence enters the Life Path Tournament, determined to keep the children of Niemela safe. Inside the tournament is a maze, where through every portal, she is thrust into increasingly more dangerous situations. I absolutely loved watching Florence try to solve each puzzle the maze threw her way, and with each puzzle she solved, I found myself growing more and more proud of how much she had grown since Florence. With secrets laying in wait behind each portal, the suspense was palpable and I couldn’t have relaxed even if I had wanted to. With so much focus on the Life Path tournament and solving the maze, the romance in Luminaire really took a back seat, and for that, I was pleasantly surprised as Rolan was still extremely hot and cold with Florence, which was just as confusing for me as it was for her.I also loved watching Florence grow as a character in Luminaire. While still unsure of her place in Niemela, and even more unsure of her relationship with Rolan, the one thing she was sure of was that she wanted to stay – she wanted to find a place within Niemela to call home. I loved that Cho didn’t grace her with a magical ability to handle one of the life path’s with ease; I love that she struggled. I loved that she felt like giving up – multiple times – and that her promise to Yolee gave her the strength to persevere. And I love that, at the end of the day, she persevered to keep a promise BUT also because it’s what she really wanted.The one thing that I think could have been explained a little better, was the reason Florence HAD to enter the tournament. I know she was visited in dreams – and at times, in waking – by a vision that said she had to enter the tournament. But while she helped her friends find their way through the maze, she really didn’t seem to be a necessary force to keep them moving. I kept waiting for the moment, that “a-ha!” moment, where I realized Florence’s key role in the plot, where had she not entered the maze, she wouldn’t have been able to accomplish something. So by the end of Luminaire, while having watched Florence grow but having not had that moment, I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated of something.A solid sequel to what’s quickly becoming a favourite series, Luminaire definitely lived up to the expectations I had set for it after how much I loved Florence. With stunningly beautiful imagery, likeable characters and an action-packed plot, I couldn’t help but read it in one sitting!