Monday, June 10, 2013
So, basically I teamed up with Eileen @ Singing & Reading in the Rain to do a mega fun Review Swap. We chose Born of Illusion [OUT TOMORROW!]. So if you're here looking for my normal blurbings, you're gonna have to head over HERE to find them! I've got Leeny's thoughts here! YAAAY! 

Born of Illusion
by Teri Brown
Publishing: 6.11.13
Pages: 352

Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium who ever lived. But when a strange, serious young man moves into the flat downstairs, introducing her to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, he threatens to reveal the secrets Anna has fought so hard to keep, forcing her to face the truth about her past. Could the stories her mother has told her really be true? Could she really be the illegitimate daughter of the greatest magician of all?
And now....LEEN MACHINE!

Eileen's Blurbings:
Hello everybody! It's Eileen (from Singing and Reading in the Rain) and Hinky (my name for Inky!) and I are doing a review swap! Of course, I'd much rather recommend Hinky's review, since mine are always kind of boring. BUT. I did try to spruce it up a bit. Not that it worked very well. 

That's you guys right now. Anna's voice is perhaps one of the best I've ever read. You really get into her head and figure out what she's thinking. Additionally, I love her wit. She's so funny and quick that you can't help but laugh at her responses to certain questions. Her passion for magic was also so admirable, because she had done it for such a long time and it made her unbelievably happy. I have a certain soft spot for the books that contain these smidgens of bright spots in our main character's lives. Although Anna does grow a significant amount in terms of her relationship with her mom, she's always known that she wants to entertain people with her magic act, which made me think, "There's a girl who has her head screwed on straight."
Born of Illusion is essentially a historical fiction with a significant element of magic. It's magic, but not glamours of fey or the spells of wizards. It's classic Harry Houdini-style magic. Speaking of which, Houdini even lived when this book took place, so he made a few appearances, which I relished because although I don't know much about Houdini, Teri's take on him was a sweet spot. Furthermore, we have a bunch of tricks that got incorporated into the story, like unlocking yourself from a bunch of chains or undoing a tight knot that binds your hands together. That element along gave all of the story an extra "Oomph!" which, in turn, made me ecstatic beyond belief at the originality.
Ambitiously plotted, Teri Brown weaved several things to make the story fly by with the endless amount of hububaloo. I couldn't get enough of the way this plot was mapped out, making it effortless to follow along and read through Anna's point of view. However, with all of the hububaloo came the inevitable confusion. (Don't forget I confuse so easily that it isn't exactly surprising I was this flabbergasted.) I will be the first to say that there was too much going on. There's quite a large cast and most of them have a very significant factor in the story, so we have to spend a lot of time building them up, which leaves a little bit of space left to deliver the plot in a coherent manner. Born of Illusion, in the end, was slightly more anticlimactic than I had anticipated because of how much happened in such a small period.
Original, captivating, and riddled with magic, Born of Illusion will have you spoiling to go to a seance or a magic show in the very near future. This one is a definite hit for historical fiction fans and even people who don't mind historical fiction but would rather stay away from it!
4 Stars from Eileen!

Eileen is the Twitter Queen, spazz ball of awesome behind the blog Singing & Reading in the Rain. As you may have guessed she loves to read ALL the books and sing ALL the songs. (Find her awesome covers on YouTube!) She'll talk to everyone and has her own style that makes her the coolest Spazzy Alligator around! Go check out her blog

Dudes. Eileen seriously rocked this. We are so doing this again. What did you think of Leeny's beauteous brain splurgings? Do you agree? Are you EXCITED for this book? What do you think of the review swap?  Let us know! And don't forget to check out mine! Link above! XOXO, 


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