I really wanted to give this book a higher rating, but in the end it earned 2.5 stars.The plot was good - three races fighting for control, each with their own brand of magic and their own justified hatred of one another. The characters were compelling and I cared about them. But I couldn't stay immersed in the story because the writing was so rough. At first I just did a small double-take and attributed it to a sneaky typo missed during editing (I've been through enough rounds to know that there's always that one little weasel that gets through)... but by the end of the book, I was having to translate the book rather than read it. Pluses for Incandescent: - Intriguing premise of Elementals, Mages, and Darks. - Strong heroine who (except for once) was believable and real - Attractive anti-hero with the "dark and dangerous and sexy" completely owned - Mina. She is a great character and I would gladly read an entire book about her - Laurie's friends Rachel and Nicki. Though not heavily featured, they were believable too, and likeable
Minuses for Incandescent: - Really rough writing. It felt like I was back to tutoring freshmen for their papers for English 101. - New terms used with little to no introduction. I don't mind new terms in a fantasy book; I do mind when I'm two-thirds through the book and have to check the glossary in the back because I'm tired of being the only person in this world who doesn't know what a Cogent is. - The one scene that broke Laurie as believable for me for a bit. (Check out my Goodreads review if you want the spoiler version.) - Flow of time. I have honestly no idea the timespan covered in this book. I think it was a few months but it felt more like a few weeks at most.
If there are more books coming in this series (which I sincerely hope, given the rather abrupt ending), I am looking forward to reading them. Just please get another few rounds of heavy editing in beforehand to clean up the comma-splicing mess.