Balzer & Bray, Out June 11th, 2013
Anna, a gifted illusionist, helps her mother, Marguerite Van Housen with her mentalist performances and séances in 1920s New York. Because Anna is supposedly the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini, magic tricks have never been much of a problem for her. However, the biggest challenge is keeping her real powers a secret from her opportunistic mother who would harness them for her own gain in her shows and séances. Anna can actually see the future and feel peoples feelings. When Anna meets Cole, someone who has powers like her, Anna must decide if she wants to keep her secrets or let someone into her life who could help her. As more secrets besides Anna’s come to light, she is forced to make tough decisions about herself and what is important to her.
Review: Born of Illusion was a fun read! It read quickly and is a read alike to Libba Bray’s The Diviners. However, it is not nearly as dark. Born of Illusion has a darker side but for the most part the tension within the book deals with Anna’s complicated relationship with her mother. Marguerite mixes jealousy of Anna’s talent with love. Neither of them can completely trust the other. This dynamic creates interesting characters that come alive off of the page. The great characterization in Born of Illusion makes up for the lack of action at the beginning. While this book is the first in a series and the author needs to set up the world for the next novel, the interesting part of the novel was not the action but the interactions between the characters (which is fine with me, I loved getting to know Anna, she’s a kickass character). The only character that I wish was flushed out more was Cole, but hopefully we will get to know him in the next book.
**I read an advanced readers copy of this book.