I'm a sucker for stories that take place within NYC and in the Roaring Twenties was such an interesting time after coming out of World War I, the Spanish Flu, and the sinking of the Titanic. Brown lends credence to the validity of the story by apparently understanding what she was writing about with her research which I absolutely appreciate.
Born of Illusion is filled with magic, including Harry Houdini's appearance, a mysterious society that seems to collect special people, and of course, romance, and a little danger thrown in as well for good measure. I enjoyed 16 year old Anna Van Housen the main protagonist and storyteller. I loved that she's apparently the real thing, unlike her mother Marguerite Van Housen who I really had disliked.
"I was thirteen the first time I broke my mother out of jail. After that it got easier, though I have to admit, even I had trouble getting the door unlocked whole hanging off the back of a paddy wagon. Is not an experience I wish to repeat."
Anna's exploits were fun to read about and follow and I found myself immersed in her struggles to find a way out from under her mothers harsh rules and requirements while trying to understand her own supposed connection to Houdini as well as her growing magical abilities. After years of doing things that weren't exactly legal, it's nice to see that she's apparently heading in the right direction while her mother is heading in yet another.
I'm a true hater in everything that smells like a 3-way love triangle which is why this isn't rated higher. It becomes absolutely mind boggling after reading so many over the course of a year. For Anna, it's interesting that her friend told her to string both Owen and Cole until something better comes along or her heart makes the correct choice. In all honesty, I never did feel that Owen and Anna had any sort of connection which was the correct assumption. Cole is an odd duck as well, but, as soon as they met, you could tell that they had a strong connection despite all the secrecy that came attached to Cole and his presence in NYC.
The story, at times, was frustrating to me. I won't lie about that. Anna's supposed abilities let her down in a major way that could have had severe consequences for both her and her mother. This was why I was jumping up and down like a rabbit trying to get inside the story so I could shake Anna into waking up before it was too late. I loved Anna's neighbor Mr. Darby and his wacky inventions. I also like Jacques who just happened to be the Van Housen's manager. In the end, it was Jacques who gave Anna determination to come up with her own magical ways and get out from under her mother.
Obviously, this is the first book in a new series thus not all story-lines have been wrapped up. I'm definitely looking forward to the next story in this series.
*Recvd via Edelweiss on 02/01/2013* Expected publication: June 11th 2013 by Balzer & Bray
Author - Teri Brown
Title - Born of Illusion (Born of Illusion # 1)
Publisher - Balzer&Bray
Released June 11, 2013
Genre - Historical
Received from Publisher via Edelweiss