My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Born of Illusion by Teri Brown was an intriguing read about the world of magicians in 1920s New York.
Anna Van Housen is a talented illusionist who assists her mother, a medium, with her stage show and séances. Her life is far from normal, partly due to her mother’s claim that Anna is Harry Houdini’s illegitimate daughter.
But there’s another reason Anna could never be normal – while her mother is a con artist, Anna possesses true psychical powers. Ever since she was little, she could sense people’s emotions and foretell the future. When a mysterious boy comes to town, Anna begins experiencing visions like none she’s experienced before. She and her mother are in danger, and Anna wants to know why.
I really loved the setting of this novel. Anna totally belongs in Jazz Age New York, and Brown completely brought this world to life. Also, I’ve always been intrigued by magic and illusionists, and so I appreciated how Brown entwined Anna’s story with Houdini’s.
Much of the conflict came from Anna’s relationship with her mother, which was complicated. I appreciated this realistic mother-daughter relationship and thought it was well developed. The other characters were unique and interesting.
At times the book was a bit predictable, but overall, I really enjoyed this novel. The mystery, magic, and romance left me wanting more, and so I’ll definitely read the sequel.