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Reviewed by Sherri Fulmer Moorer for Readers' Favorite
Rayne: Luminescence (Book One of The Rayne Trilogy) by Quoleena Sbrocca is a wonderful coming-of-age sci fi novel. The future finds mankind has evolved to a higher level of existence, more in tune with the earth that homo sapiens had destroyed through war. The new species, Homo praestans, possesses Luminescence, a mystical ability that tunes them into one of ten heightened senses that define who they are and their place in society. The gift of Luminescence usually happens on a child’s second birthday, but for some reason, Rayne is an anomaly that never experienced it – at least until it was fifteen years too late. As she wakes on the verge of independence from her family, she discovers that Luminescence struck her late and hard, as her gifts explode from her in instances that are astounding and shocking - not just to her, but to all of those around her that have become comfortable with her status as an unregistered “sape.” Rayne experiences both the thrill and alignment that comes with being a late bloomer in a society that values courtesy, structure, and identity through the gifts of Luminescence that have been strictly categorized and defined in their society.
Rayne: Luminescence is a fantastic science fiction novel that gives a glimpse of the future that is more balanced than the popular dystopian views in current best selling novels. I like the hopeful message that mankind can evolve to something higher, if they are willing to tune in to the world around them, and to be true to the essence of who they are and what they can contribute to the world. I also appreciate how well Quoleena Sbrocca handles Rayne’s late maturity in society. She captures the range of Rayne’s emotions perfectly, from the joy of finally being an equal to her peers, to the shock that comes with the realization that late bloomers usually confound those who criticize their slow development when their gifts finally emerge in a manner that is bigger and more powerful than the norm. It’s a wonderful, unique science fiction novel with a surprise ending that demonstrates how people can be better than they are if they are willing to embrace the world as it truly is.