Review of Born of Illusion

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.
I love magic and have been searching for that book to fill my magic void since Harry Potter finished. I really enjoyed Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, so I decided to keep going down the magic route and read Born of Illusion. The sequel is coming out soon and I love being “fresh” when I read books in a series.

  • I loved the dynamic between Anna and her mother, Marguerite. Anna’s mother is a fake medium with a massive stage presence. Anna is her assistant who does a magic show at the beginning on the show. Anna is really good at magic and kinda steals the show. Marguerite is stuck somewhere between being jealous of her daughter and loving her like a mother should.
  • I love the time period, especially with the NY setting. It was so fun to read about Houdini and “news” that happened during that time period.
  • Cole and Mr. Darcy were too of my favorite characters. I am really interested to see what transpires next in the series.
  • Anna’s powers, past and future are all so mystifying. It was interesting to see where the storyline and plot too us. The book was well-paced.
  • Cole, as much I enjoyed his character, sometimes drove me nuts. I always hate when people say “I can’t tell you that” after telling you half of it. Argh. Just say something or nothing. There was so much push and pull with him, drove me batty!


  1. Why must everything be a series?! I like the idea of a combination of historical & magical though, sounds very interesting, but I'm stubborn and will wait for the other books!

  2. At least this will only be a duology. I do like duologies, and I'm hoping BORN OF DECEPTION is going to be as good as BORN OF ILLUSION. :)

  3. I love the sound of this novel, it reminds me of the movie, The Illusionist which I really enjoyed. I will be getting this one. Thank you for your review, Missie.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  4. I didn't realize this book was about magic! How fun! I love to read about Magic too. Movies about magic and going to magic shows is something I also enjoy. Magic just fascinates me! I even watch the Kris Angel show when it's on TV.

  5. This has been on my shelf for awhile and I already wanted to read it, but now I really do! Hopefully, Cole won't be as annoying since I'm expecting it. :)

  6. I have that same pet peeve. I hate it when characters will only tell part of the story because it just feels like a plot device to me. Still, this book sounds really good. I definitely want to check this one out!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  7. This is one of those books that I've seen around but never bothered to look into, and I definitely am more keen for it now. Since reading The Diviners I've been keen for more books set in the 20s, so I love that this fits the bill!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  8. You're right it's rare to have a book full of magic but I love it's the case here. I heard great things about it but I know I need to try it! Plus, the period is really interesting.

  9. This sounds really interesting! And there's a character named Mr. Darcy?? :D I love the premise of this, I hope to check it out soon!

    Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

  10. I got this not to long ago on a Kindle daily deal. So maybe I should get to it sooner rather than later. Sounds like something I would like too. :)
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  11. This one is waiting for me on my Kindle so I'm excited that you liked it! I hope I like it too.

  12. I love it when a book is well paced. This has been sitting on my shelf since last year this time. I totally need to get to it!

  13. lol, amazing review sweetie :D It's been so long since I read this. Well, it feels like forever, lol. Haven't been a year yet :p But anyway. I'm glad you liked it a lot :D I really loved it. <3 It was just awesome. Sigh. I hope you will love the sequel :) Thank you for sharing. <3
    Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books


I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.