January 24, 2014

[Review] Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Title: Born of Illusion
Author: Teri Brown
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Source: YABE
Purchase: Amazon | TBD | Kobo | B&N

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?
What did I think of Born of Illusion? Well, for starters, it was hard for me to get into at first. It took me over 100 pages before I started to really like it and not want to put it down. It seemed to just drag on and on at first. It was also predictable. Once you started to get into it, you start to realize who is true and a friend and who is the "bad guy". You also find out about things pretty late in the book.

But even with that being said, I really did enjoy it. I thought it was quite interesting to read about an illegitimate daughter of the famed Houdini. It's not very often you read about him in anything. I actually really don't know much about him except that he was a really great magician. This book made me want to find out more about him (I think I might look him up on Wiki).

The story was pretty good as well, once it finally started to pick up pace and keep me interested. I enjoyed Anna's abilities or feeling others emotions and the visions she would get. I have always been fascinated by the aspect of psychic abilities. I used to be envious of people that had them (I know, pretty lame haha).

I did enjoy Anna's character, flaws and all. She was tired of being her mother's lackey, tired of her mother being jealous of her and wanting to get out. I don't blame her. Anna was a strong willed individual and very stubborn. I enjoy stubbornness to a point, and Brown did not push her over the edge with that.

Cole was quite the mysterious guy. I love mysteriousness. It keeps you guessing and wanting more. I think every good book needs someone mysterious.

I do recommend this book to anyone who likes magic and psychic abilities. I'm eagerly anticipating the next book, Born of Deception. I can't wait to see what the future holds for Anna and Cole.

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