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Born of Illusion by Teri Brown (3 stars)

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Born of Illusion by Teri Brown stars Anna Van Housen, an aspiring magician in 1920's New York with a fame-crazed mother who does mentalist shows and forces Anna to assist in her illegal, but profitable, after-show seances. It has its flaws, but Anna is an overall likable protagonist, and the magic illusions are fun. :)

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
Series: Born of Illusion #1
Genres: YA, Supernatural
Published on June 11, 2013
Published by Balzer & Bray
Final Rating: 3 stars

Anna Van Housen has a secret.

A gifted illusionist, Anna assists her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums, and mentalists in 1920’s New York. As the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini—or so Marguerite claims—sleight of hand illusions have never been a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her own gifts secret from her opportunistic mother. Because while Marguerite’s own powers may be a sham, Anna possesses a true ability to sense people’s feelings and foretell the future.

But as Anna’s powers intensify, she begins to experience frightening visions of her mother in peril, which leads her to explore the powers she’s tried so long to hide. And when a mysterious young man named Cole moves into the flat downstairs, introducing Anna to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, she is forced to confront her past and rethink everything she’s ever known. Is her mother truly in danger, or are Anna’s visions merely illusion? And could the great Houdini really be her father, or is it just another of Marguerite’s tricks?

From Teri Brown comes a world bursting with magic, with romance, and the temptations of Jazz Age New York—and the story of a girl about to become the mistress of her own destiny.

What I liked:
For the most part, Anna is a smart, resourceful, sensible girl. Her insight into and descriptions of the magic/illusions were entertaining; and I didn't mind the way her supernatural abilities were woven into the plot. The underlying conflict between mother and daughter also made for an interesting family environment and power struggle.

What I didn't like:
The love triangle was a little annoying, as were its corresponding miscommunications. The author spent a lot of time on misdirection with the main conflict/danger/antagonist, so the end felt a little out of nowhere. My biggest letdown was the lack of setting; I mean, it was there, but I didn't feel immersed in the 1920's and I really wanted to see more of that world. I wanted the same magic atmosphere I felt during the stage shows and illusions.

Despite Anna's reduced common sense regarding certain men, the story was, overall, fun and entertaining. It was an easy, light read and I'm interested in seeing where the author takes the next installment.

1 comment :

  1. Great review, though I must admit that I've never heard off or seen this book before. Your review makes me pretty curious, and now I will find this book in my library.