Hello gentle reader,
Jazz Age January is a reading challenge hosted by Leah at Books Speak Volumes. The idea is to read books related to the Roaring Twenties during the month of January. If you want to join in the fun, read about it here.
This week, I’m reviewing BORN OF ILLUSION by Teri Brown.
Title: Born Of Illusion
Author: Teri Brown
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Publication: 11th June 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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 thought:
I didn’t like this book as much as I wanted to. The blurb really grabbed me (the Roaring 20s! Magic! Secrets!) but unfortunately the story itself failed to deliver the promised excitement. The main problem was that everything was told rather than shown: we’re told Anna is a gifted magician, yet we barely get to see her do any magic. We’re told the story takes place in 1920’s New York, yet we don’t get to see much of it (halfway through the book I actually had to check where the story took place, because the setting was so vague I couldn’t remember this piece of information). The last straw was during the final showdown, when the main character faints (!) and therefore we don’t get to see any of the ending firsthand. Definitely not the best 1920s book I’ve read.
What have you been reading this week? Make sure to leave me a comment below!