YA Review: Born of Illusion by Teri Brown


Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Age Range: 12 and up

Series: Born of Illusion #1

Genre: Historical fiction

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (June 11, 2013)

Source: Bought

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

About the Book:

For fans of Libba Bray and Anna Godbersen,
this thrilling historical suspense novel is the story of a budding
magician who has spent her life playing sidekick to her faux-medium
mother—and trying to hide the fact that she possesses magnificent

As the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini—or so her
mother claims—gifted illusionist Anna Van Housen easily navigates the
underground world of magicians and mediums in 1920s New York, though the
real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic
mother. But as Anna’s powers intensify, she experiences frightening
visions that lead her to explore the powers she’s tried so long to hide.

Lovers of historical fiction and stories filled with romance and intrigue will fall for Born of Illusion and its whip-smart, savvy protagonist.

About the Author:

Well behaved women rarely make
history. Teri Brown lived that quote way before she ever even heard it.
The two things she is most proud of, (besides her children), is that
she jumped out of an airplane once and she beat the original Legend of
Zelda video game. She is a novel writer, head banger, pet keeper, math
hater, cocktail drinker, booty shaker, book reader, city slicker, food
fixer, French kisser, rule breaker, wine sipper and word scribbler. She
loves her husband, kitties and chocolate.

My Thoughts:

What a fun book! Born of Illusion has many familiar themes in it from
mainstream YA, but the characters and the time period make the story
interesting. Anna’s mother pretends to be a medium, but Anna really is
one. I loved the mother-daughter dynamic in the book. The relationship
between Anna and her mother is a complicated one, full of love,
mistrust, frustration, admiration, and deception. Anna is a wonderful
character. She has her flaws, but who wouldn’t—especially considering her
upbringing? I loved the way she develops friendships with people and how
she takes the initiative to seek out answers to her many questions.

I loved the inclusion of Harry Houdini as a character in this book.
While he didn’t play a huge role, he added a rich, authentic feel to
the story. I liked the way Anna approached most of her relationships
with caution. It took her a long time to learn to trust anyone.

There is a light element of romance to the book, but it’s very clean.
There is nothing questionable by way of romance in the book. It makes me
so happy to see clean young adult books. Especially when they are so
well written. If you like magic, mystery, or are looking for something
new, give this book a try. The second book, Born of Deception came out
recently and I can’t wait to get started on it!

Content: This is a very clean book, but it does contain the following: a
few mild curse words, some potentially scary scenes where Anna
communicates with spirits, and a small amount of violence.


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