Author: Teri Brown
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 373 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: June 11th 2013
Find it on Goodreads: Born of Illusion
ANNA VAN HOUSEN HAS A SECRET.
A gifted illusionist, Anna assists her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage shows and seances, easily navigating the underground world of magicians and mentalists in 1920s New York. For Anna, the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini - or so Marguerite claims - handcuffs and sleight-of-hand illusions have never been much of a challenge. The real trick is keeping her own gifts secret from her mother: because while Marguerite's power 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 experiences frightening visions of her mother in peril, which lead her to explore the abilities she's tried so long to hide. And when a mysterious young man named Cole moves into the flat downstairs, introducing Anna to a society that studies people with gifts like hers, she begins to wonder if there's more to life than keeping secrets.
As her visions become darker and her powers spin out of her control, Anna is forced to rethink all she's ever known. Is her mother truly in danger, or are Anna's visions merely illusions? 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, with the temptations of Jazz Age New York --- and the story of a girl about to become the mistress of her own destiny.
Born of Illusion was one of the books of 2013 that I had been most anticipating. It promised to be filled with intrigue and magic, as well as secrets and romance and drama, all set in the time of the flappers. It promised to be an incredible book and it kept that promise. I was so impressed by how Brown executed this novel... She created a story filled with plot twists that took me by surprise, characters that fascinated me and a vibe that had me craving for a time machine. Oh how I want to live in Anna Van Housen's world.
No, Born of Illusion is not the perfect book. I did have a few issues with it, but they were just that... few. I found some of the characters to be a bit stereotypical and dry, as well as underdeveloped, but that didn't bother me all too much due to the other characters that were filled with detail. I also had some problems with a bit of the pacing, finding some of it a little too slow for my liking, although the book eventually began to speed up and I was impressed after that.
Anna was a witty and electric main character with a mysterious air to her that made me absolutely adore her. She had an intelligence about her and a charm as well that made her so intriguing and I adored being in her head. She was so passionate about her magic and as someone who has always been fascinated with illusions and magicians, this book was incredibly interesting for me. I thought the romance in the book was a bit off, but at the same time, I liked it. There was a small love triangle, but at the same time, it wasn't super prominent. What I liked about this book was that the romance was not the main aspect of the book... It was the magic and the mystery and the suspense!
Born of Illusion was thankfully, not a disappointment as a highly anticipated book of 2013 for me. Yes, some of it was quite predictable, but some of it absolutely took me by surprise. I was overall very impressed and cannot wait for the sequel to see what happens with Anna and Cole, as well as hopefully learn more about Houdini!