REVIEW #140: Born of Illusion (Born of Illusion #1) by Teri Brown

Title: Born of Illusion
Series: Born of Illusion #1
Author: Teri Brown
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Pages: 373, Hardcover
Source: Final Copy obtained at BEA

Summary from Goodreads:

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?

I really enjoyed Born of Illusion, and here’s why:
  1. It was set in the 1920’s which is quickly becoming one of my favorite time periods for historical fiction. Something about that time period just holds so much potential! It's lively and rich and Born of Illusion captures that. Perhaps not as well as the likes of Libba Bray but you can definitely still feel it.
  2. The storyline involves magic , mentalists and séances which is not yet overdone and fun fun fun! Anna and her mother's work was a bit spooky, a bit show and a whole lot of exciting! I loved loved loved their performances. Anna's confidence in her magic. The sudden and terrifying visions. The danger. The suspense. Everything!
  3. Anna herself was a strong lead. She was very level-headed, capable, and a even bit rebellious! Her raw untapped talent kept things interesting and her choices never frustrated me. She had a bit of standing up for herself to do too and I enjoyed watching her finally do so. And she did it with a bang! This girl was feirce.
  4. The pacing was smooth and the story progressed nicely. I never got bored or anxious but rather kept a steady interest. Which was easy enough to do with a plenty of magic shows and seance's, a healthy does of skeptical characters, the growing threat of danger and an attack on Anna that goes awry, the mystery of Anna's visions, and the puzzle over her father.
So, there is a lot to like about Born of Illusion. Truth be told though, the ending was a little predictable, and I didn't care for the love interest. It could have been better developed but instead it was just there. But niether of these things really affected my overall enjoyment. I would still recommend this read.

And can I just say...THAT COVER IS GORGOUS (like seriously one of my favorites EVER)



  1. Yup! I loved this as much as you did but I was also disappointed by the ending. Great minds and all that! Great review!

    1. Thanks! I am definitely curious what comes next!

  2. I'm so captivated by this cover! But seriously, the fact that it's set in the 1920's and involves magic and Harry Houdini make it all that more appealing to me. I must get to this book! Thanks for the great review!

    1. ISN'T IT STUNNING! AND YES! Seriously, what's not to love about a magical book set in the 1920s. ! I hope you read it and enjoy it!

  3. Personally, I love stories set in the 1920s. Who doesn't love the opulence and glamour of the Roaring Twenties? Your review definitely sparked my interest because, apart from my interest in the Jazz Age, I haven't read something that involved seances. It sounds interesting.

    1. Agreed! And magic and seance's are definitely fun topics to be set in the 1920s! If you do read it, I hope you like it!

  4. I truly enjoyed Born of Illusion. I don't read a lot of historical fiction because it just doesn't always appeal to me, but the 20's are a time period that is definitely an exception. I love the 20's! And I loved the storyline, the pacing, the characters, the action.... I loved it all. And I cannot wait to read the second book!


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