Set in the roaring 20's, Born of Deception moves the series setting from the USA to different parts across Europe. Our protagonist, 17 year old Anna Van Housen, has chosen to take a job as a magician for a prestigious European vaudeville tour, while also searching out the Society for Psychical Research in order to learn more about her abilities that she spent most of her life hiding from, but became more aware of thanks to Cole Archer.
I loved that the author takes the series to England and other places like Budapest, Warsaw, and Paris where history is right in front of your faces, and you can't help but want to read more about it. The early 20th century was probably the most interesting time for the world that just came out of a devastating World War. In the USA, Women's fashions during the 20's have always peeked my interest since women slowly started getting got away from their Victorian long dresses and corsets, and started dressing as they wanted to. They wore stylish bobbed hair and short skirts, and finally got the RIGHT to vote after a bloody struggle against a male dominated society that still thumbs their nose at the so called fairer sex.
Back to the story. Anna once again finds herself having to make some interesting choices. She gets more than she bargains for when her psychic abilities grow exponentially more powerful and a new villain wants more from Anna than she's willing to give. Anna's star as a magician has also grown in prestige, and stature that rivals her supposed father, and its only a matter of time before she has to decide whether she should return to the US where her best friend Cynthia Gaylord lives, or stay in England and leave her dreams behind. With her relationship with Cole put to the test because of jealously, perhaps a bit of outside interference, perhaps a bit of petulance on both parties part and the appearance of Billy into Anna's life, things aren't exactly copacetic.
As a reader, I like to look behind the scenes to discover who the actual villains are and why they are so interested in our protagonist, as well as how long before they are finally revealed by the author in all their evil glory. The main villain in Born of Deception was a character I pretty much guessed by taking copious notes, looking for certain quirks, and mysterious situations that this character puts Anna into. I was definitely eager for Anna to reunite with Cynthia since she is perhaps Anna's only true friend and has her back no matter what.
Anna has become a vocal point for a bunch of hinky characters all interested in her abilities that put her above pretty much anyone else's. Her own determination, strengths, and independent thoughts, sometimes put her into situations where you want to slap her silly. There are some secondary characters that Anna meets as part of her introduction to the Society that are worth nothing like Harrison and Leandra. It will be interesting to see whether or not these particular characters will play a part in the sequel.
After being run to the ground by Dr. Boyle in Born of Illusion, he's not far from Anna's mind and once again makes an appearance in this story but he's not the focus. His intentions have always been seedy, and I just don't see how we can get away from a final confrontation between Anna and Boyle before this series is wrapped up and put to bed. I'll be eager to see where Ms Brown takes this series from here, and what decisions Anna ultimately makes to ensure that she gets her HEA.
Title - Born of Deception (Born of Illusion # 2)
Author - Teri Brown
Published by Balzer & Bray
Released: June 10, 2014
Genre: YA, Historical, Paranormal
Format: Ebook 336 pages