Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review of Born of Illusion by Teri Brown, Blog Tour & Giveaway!

I am so stoked to be part of the blog tour for Born of Illusion!! I've been wanting to read it for MONTHS and I even get to post on its release date :)

For the full tour schedule go here.

Title/Author: Born of Illusion (Born of Illusion #1) by Teri Brown
Publisher/Date published: Balzer & Bray, June 11th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: 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.

Guys, I must confess that I was obsessed with magic shows as a kid. Now with all the exposing of how tricks are done, it's kinda worn off and mostly this obsession returns when it's Hugh Jackman performing the illusions. I'm not really all that familiar with Houdini's life, but the pictures I've seen of him all look REALLY fierce, determined and he's done some really amazing things. So of course I was excited to read a book about a girl who may or may not be his daughter and seriously, the 20s is a fascinating decade no matter what kind of plot you have!

I really, really liked Anna. I love how loyal she is to her mother, though she may not exactly like her at times. But she's not afraid to stand up for herself and maybe go against her mother's wishes if it's what it takes to achieve her dream and I can respect that. She's so used to living in the shadow of her mother's beauty that she doesn't really know what to do when two attractive young men start showing interest in her. And though it easily could have been, it's not a love triangle. It's Anna getting to know both guys and trying to figure out if she likes one of them. And I really liked that she wasn't kissing both guys in the process, cause I kinda hate it when that happens.

Teri Brown really captured that sense of excitement that I used to get when watching a magic show and it was nice to see it from the other side for a change! And I loved the supernatural element and seeing Anna getting the hang of her powers and coming to terms with them. I really felt her loneliness because she thinks she's the only one and it's hard for her to make friends because of her and her mother's profession.

Anna and her mother have a VERY complicated relationship and at times I was just really confused as to whether or not Anna's mother was really trying to sabotage her daughter's success. I mean, it was just a little off and it may just have been their personalities clashing, but I had a hard time understanding it. But in the end we get an explanation, and while it made me want to scream at them to GAH! COMMUNICATE! I know not everyone can always talk about everything.

Aside from all the drama surrounding the show and Anna trying to figure out if Harry Houdini really is her father and the seances and Anna's powers, there's also a sweet little romance. There was also a major twist towards the end that I hadn't seen coming until right before it happened, which really had me turning the pages!

With Born of Illusion, Teri Brown has created a really strong historical read and I just love the time period it's set in! I'm really looking forward to reading Born of Deception, which will feature Rasputin (who I think is really creepy)!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Teri Brown is proud of her two children but coming in a close second is the fact that she parachuted out of a plane and beat the original Legend of Zelda video game.

She is a word scribbler, head banger, math hater, book reader, rule breaker, food fixer, novel writer, kitty keeper, and city slicker. Teri lives with her husband and way too many pets in Portland, Oregon.


The Giveaway:

To celebrate the launch of BORN OF ILLUSION, Teri is giving away 10 sets of BORN OF ILLUSION earth mineral eye shadow available for a limited time only from Glamour Doll Eyes. You, too, can get the glam look of the twenties!

Eye Shadow Giveaway (10 sets)

Teri will also be giving away not, one but THREE grand prizes that Cari Cucksey, (of HGTV’s Cash and Cari), picked out from her RePurpose shop especially for the BORN OF ILLUSION launch!

Grand Prize Giveaway – Vintage Spoon Bracelets

Giveaway is US/Canada adresses only.
Must be 13 or older to enter.
Giveaway winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter. Grand Prize winners will be chosen first, then the 10 standard prize winners.
Winners will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This book sounds superb! It kind of reminds me of Haunting Violet as they both share that medium theme which I love! Also really like how it's a set in the early twentieth century which is always so fun to read about. The whole mystery surrounding Harry Houdini sounds so interesting and intriguing! I'm so glad I stopped by your blog today, otherwise I wouldn't have discovered this book!

    Great review, Daisy!

  2. I'm very excited to read this book! It sounds magical (and yes, I had to say that) and wonderful and I am particularly loving the fact that it's set in the 20s. I have a copy waiting to be read, and I certainly think I should get to it!

  3. I was really enthralled with the mother/daughter relationship-very complex and sometimes frustrating but in the end, very rewarding, I thought.