Book Review: Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Born of Illusion
Born of Illusion #1
Author: Teri Brown
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Historical/Magic
Released: June 11th 2013
Review Source: Harper Teen
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) ANNA VAN HOUSEN HAS A SECRET.

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?

From Teri Brown comes a world bursting with magic, with romance, with the temptations of Jazz Age New York --- and the story of a girl about to become the mistress of her own destiny.

Born of Illusion is a beautiful compelling story that will send you back in time to the roaring twenties, while getting swept away by the mystery, magic and drama of that time.

After struggling and moving from place to place Anna Van Housen thinks she can finally live a somewhat normal life. When she and her mother get to New York they have a roof over their heads, a set stage show all while performing seances too. Anna would prefer not to do it though because her heart is set on doing magic and illusions. Anna has her own gifts that she must keep hidden, especially from her mother who is more interested in furthering her career than caring about her. Anna starts having visions that are telling her that she and her mother are in danger. Only thing is that she's never had visions about her own life. Alarmed she must do everything in her power to protect her mother.

Brown has a way with words. She captivates you with the wonderful world building and brings that beautiful era to life. Even though the story line was pretty predictable I still enjoyed it. The only real downside I found with this story was the relationship between Anna and her mother. The frustration I felt when reading them differently took away from the story. How can a mother be so jealous of a child when all that child wants to do is love them?

Born of Illusion is a great coming of age story that will captivate many with it's rich details of that time period while also mesmerizing you with it's fascinating story of love, deception, magic and mystery.


  1. It sounds really great, I'd love to read about all that magic, mistery and atmosphere :-)

  2. I actually loved the relationship between Anna and her mother-I thought it was difficult and challenging but also different from a lot of other YA and ultimately worth reading about.


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