July 30, 2014

Review: Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Title: Born of Illusion (Born of Illusion #1)
Author: Teri Brown
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: June 11th 2013

Rating: 4/5

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Anna Van Housen has a secret.

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.

I'm not a big fan of historical fiction books, because it takes me to long to read them, I usually check online the historical facts mentioned in book; but this time I rarely check the historical facts, because to my surprise the plot is very absorbing and interesting, because it takes place in 1920's in New York, amid the alcohol  prohibition, magicians, mentalists and spiritualists.

Anna has not had an easy life, because since childhood she has lived with her mother in showbiz, always living in the uncertainty of having enough to eat, a place to sleep, enough money and her mother being arrested more than once for charlatanism, but now her luck seems to be changing since her mother got a big contract, to interpret her mentalist act and seances for private events, while Anna is her assistant on the show and she´s allowed to perform acts of magic/illusions, but she longs for a normal life without dangers and especially stability. But normal isn´t something that is easy for Anna because she has "gifts" that she has kept secret all her life, since she can tell what people are feeling just by touching them, besides having visions of the future .. .. but when she has a vision where she and her mother are in danger, Anna will do everything in her power to stop that event of ever happen. And amid all that she meets Cole, a young Englishman that might know more about what´s going on with her ​​than she expected.

I really liked this book, is very interesting and I liked that Anna is a magician/escapist and is very good at it, also something I liked is how she wants a normal and stable life, but she feels a great attraction to the world of entertainment and she can not stay away from it. The romance is very subtle and is not the central part of the plot. There are certain parts that are predictable but it is a very good book. I highly recommended!


  1. I have this one on my TBR list and I'm quite excited about getting to read it soon!
    I'm really glad to hear the romance is on the subtle side of it, very romance focused books don't exactly always work for me!
    Great review!

  2. Good review! A book about a magician sounds very interesting. <3

  3. I usually do like historical so this one seems right up my alley! The magic part sounds great too. I don't really like predictable, but who knows? Thanks for the review!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

  4. I definitely do not like historical fictions too
    But I am interest in 1920s New York. Anything about NEw York really
    SO I am definitely excited to read this book. Adding to my TBR
    GREAT review
    Your reader

  5. Wasn't it awesome! I loved this book so much, and I am very much looking forward to reading Born of Deception. I know you have a copy, and I really look forward to seeing your review for it. I really hope that it lives up to the great story that Born of Illusion is! Thanks for a great review of a great book!

  6. I love historical fiction and the 1920s so this is a must for me.

  7. I really enjoyed this one too - it wasn't slow going like some historicals can be. I warmed up to Anna right away and really enjoyed discovering more about her abilities and her life! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one too!! I just recently read the novella so I'm all set to finally dive into the sequel :D We'll have to compare notes on that one too! Awesome review ^^

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

  8. I am so happy that you liked this series. I have been wondering what it would be good, and now I know I will enjoy reading it!

  9. This book sounds so interesting! It mixes magic with reality and definitely sounds like something I will pick up. Great review!

  10. I'm very interested in reading this because most 'spiritualist' fiction I read is set in the late 1800's so reading one in the 1920's during prohibition would be a nice change! :)

  11. I am glad you enjoyed this. I am picky about my historical fiction so I hope I enjoy this too (whenever I get the chance to read it).