Tuesday, August 11, 2015

#Review: Compendium by Alia Luria


On the heavily forested planet of Lumin, the Network has slept, dormant, for over six hundred cycles. Only a select few remember that it resides beneath the crust of the planet, waiting, and for those, the battle for Lumin’s future has raged in the shadows.

When Mia Jayne’s path crosses with an ancient volume in the Archives of the Order of Vis Firmitas, this ancient battle moves from the shadows into the light. Compendium opens up a world of knowledge, and, for the first time since arriving at the Order, Mia has the key to reclaim the freedom she has lost. To do so, she must choose between her conscience and her heart. Conceived against an ailing world of fantastical beauty where long-lost technology tips the balance between extinction and survival, Mia must remember that there is always a choice, and that makes all the difference.


A planet is overwhelmed by the depletion of its resources, and is shutting down.  Sound familiar?

The Compendium (the book, as opposed in this case to Compendium, the novel) is a unique text.  It is a record of a planet and its people.  It can answer questions and extrapolate answers.  In the right hands, it is a valuable tool.  In the wrong hands ... probably doesn't bear thinking about.

The novel starts out in Lumin Cycle (think year or stardate) 9498.  The leaders of Central Counsel have instituted Gamma Protocol, which shuts down power on a planetary level, in order to give the source of the power a chance to heal.  Effective, but scary.  And long lasting.  Gamma Protocol will last for 500 cycles.

I have to admit, I was a little confused at the beginning of Compendium, but then I do not read a lot of fantasy genre novels. And seeing as it is the first novel in a series, there will be a ton of exposition; not just for the characters, but for the world of Lumin - social, political, scientific, etc.

Between the first and second chapters, there is a 650 cycle jump, and at first none of the same characters either appear or are mentioned.  So for a while I was at a loss as to how everything connected.  Truth be told, there was one connection between characters I did not understand until after I had read the entire novel and went back to scan through it again.

Compendium (the novel) has several things going for it.  1)  Some of the characters have difficulty communicating, either due to mistrust or outright subterfuge.  This creates a lot of problems.  2)  I like the respect for nature element, as in when Mia harvests parts of roots and the like, it is always with an eye to preserving the integrity of the parent plant.  3) Compendium (the book in the novel) is almost a character unto itself, and it has snark.  (And I LOVE snark.)

As Compendium races towards its conclusion, I found myself more and more engaged in the story.  I (silently) shouted encouragement to Mia and her team on their assignment to retrieve an old relic.

As I eagerly await being able to read the follow-up chapters in the "Artifacts of Lumin" series, I hold out hope for Compendium.  Those who have read the novel will perhaps recognize a double entendre in that statement.  Those who haven't read the novel ... read it and then we'll talk. ;)



Alia Luria is an award-winning author. She born April 11, 1977, in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Tampa, Florida.

She attended Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa. She was a voracious reader from the time she was little, graduating quickly from books like Chronicles of Narnia and The Phantom Tollbooth to the likes of Steven King. She began writing young, including poetry and short stories, some of which were published in her school's literary magazines.

Ms. Luria attended the University of Florida in 1995, but left school without her degree to become a full-time web designer and developer. After working for start-up companies and freelancing on projects, she returned to school and received her B.S. in Economics from the University of Central Florida with honors in the major. Her undergraduate thesis was published by VDM Verlag and remains for sale.

From there, she attended the University of Florida (again) and received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, in 2009. She received an LL.M. in taxation from New York University in 2012.

She currently lives in Orlando, Florida with her partner and their two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, where she practices law full-time as a corporate attorney specializing in mergers & acquisitions, technology transfer licensing and data privacy and security. She also writes and speaks on the topics of data privacy and security.


(Disclaimer:  I received an ecopy of this book from the author and publisher via Ebooks for Review, in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)


  1. I'm not sure how I feel about that jump in time that you mentioned... because that might throw me a bit. But it sounds like a decent fantasy book.

    1. I appreciate your visit and comment, Olivia-Savannah. Have a great weekend!

  2. Oh, novels that require going back and forth spoil the fun for me. Glad that it worked for you finally despite the initial hiccups!

    1. Thanks, Shilpa. I really can't wait until I can read the next installment! :O)