Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

BornOfIllusionThis book is set the 1920’s U.S. and features a young illusionist (magician) named Anna. Since she was young Anna has performed in circus acts with her mother, who pretends to be a medium who can talk to the dead. While her mother is a gifted performer, it is Anna who really has the power of the clairvoyant. They seem to be moving up as they hit the big time in New York, performing regularly on stage and offering private seances to the wealthy elite. But as Anna’s powers develop, she attracts unwanted attention from people who wish to harm her and her family. At the same time her mother remains controlling as ever, and Anna is confused by romantic emotions she feels towards two very different young men. To complicate matters, the question of who her father is continues to plague her – is she Harry Houdini’s daughter?

I enjoyed this story a lot but wish it had been better written. I wanted more complexity and depth to emerge but instead the story remained surface level, with every thing tying up nice and neat at the end.

Review by Ms. Rosenkrantz

Betrayals by Lili St. Crow

betrayals

Betrayals by Lili St. Crow

#2 in the Strange Angles series: Teenager Dru has spent her life first with her Gran, learning warding spells after her mother was murdered by vampires. Then she was reunited with her Dad full time tracking down and killing evil creatures. Now Lilie is traveling to a safe Schola run by Order group that destroys evil creatures in the Real World. She and her friend Graves, whom she met at school in the last town where she and Dad lived, are on the run after Dad was turned into a zombie and she and Graves were attacked by werwulfs and other dangerous creatures. As if that’s not enough intrigue, while Dru tries to fit in as the only girl at her Schola, attacks make them believe there’s a traitor in the Order.

I loved this sequel and will keep reading to find out what happens to all the characters. Lili St. Crow’s world building, of secret creatures and conflicts, keeps getting better.

Review by Ms. Provence

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

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The Well of Lost Plots  by Jasper Fforde

This title is the third book in the Thursday Next series, focused on a woman who tracks down criminals in the literary world in an alternate universe. Spec Ops Literary Detective Thursday Next has entered the Well of Lost Plots, where unpublished books wait for publication. In an alternate universe of the United Kingdom, Thursday has vanquished master criminal Acheron Hades and fought the all powerful but vicious Goliath Corporation. Having become an agent of Jurisfiction in the Book World, Thursday learns there are schemes and villains in Book World, just as in the Real World. Apprenticed to Miss Havisham of Great Expectations, Thursday uncovers a plan to pervert Book World, limiting the number of times a book may be read, among other nefarious plans. How she works with both fictional and real characters to thwart the plot provides an exciting adventure, laced with much humor.

Those who know me are aware that I have become a huge fan of Jasper Fforde, whose zany plots remind me of Terry Pratchett, another favorite author. How they invent these worlds and populate them with such imaginative characters, both good and bad guys, amazes me. I can recommend these books to all readers looking for unusual reading.

Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson