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Born of Deception (Born of Illusion) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 10, 2014
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Anna Van Housen, the heroine from Born of Illusion (HarperCollins, 2013) returns in this sequel. The book opens with Anna's arrival in England where she will rehearse her solo magic act before her upcoming European vaudeville tour. She is met by the enigmatic Cole, her former neighbor, fellow Sensitive, and boyfriend. While in London, the teen hopes to learn more about herself and other Sensitives—those gifted with paranormal abilities—by joining the Society for Psychical Research. Upon her arrival, Anna's hopes are dashed. Cole seems distant, and the Society seems more interested in controlling its members rather than helping them control their powers. When one of the organization's Sensitives is ritualistically murdered and the protagonist is targeted with a curse, the race is on to find the killer before it is too late. Anna and Cole's romance is plagued by the pair's reticence and new complications. His family resides in England and they don't approve of her background or career. Met with her beau's increasingly reserved and inattentive manner, Anna turns to handsome fellow vaudevillian, Bronco Billy, for friendship. Although she has temporarily relocated to London, is surrounded by a host of new characters, and embroiled in a new life, the lead's tale in this volume feels the same as in the first. Readers will be able to check off the boxes of romance, magic, mystery, and intrigue in this competent work, but it will most likely be popular with fans of the previous installment.—Cindy Wall, Southington Library & Museum, CT
Jazz Age London is the setting for this sequel to Born of Illusion (2013), as Anna Van Housen leaves her mother behind in New York to join both vaudeville and the Society for Psychical Research. The former is to perform as a magician, and the latter on account of her talents as a Sensitive, who is able to see and feel what others can’t. Soon she must put those psychic powers to the test to solve the mystery of an acquaintance supposedly killed for his blood. As in Illusion, there’s more predictability than suspense, and both the romance and the language is a bit dull (“my pulse speeds up. He’s just that beautiful”). But those who became intrigued by Anna and her predicaments, powers, and feelings for Cole in the first book—and those who wonder if Harry Houdini is really her father—will want to see what Brown has in store for this next trick. Grades 8-12. --Andrew Medlar
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Just as in the first book, the world of Jazz Age London is brought to life so vividly and delightfully that it's just fun seeing where Anna goes all day, who she meets, what she wears. But we're also treated to an even more developed world of the supernatural in Anna's day. In heading to London, Anna meets everyone else in the Society, a cast of Sensitives that ranges vastly in talents and personalities. In addition to the other Sensitives, there's a variety of characters in the tour with Anna, most intriguingly a very handsome American cowboy and a world-famous singer. These characters only serve to enrich and diversify the story.
Of course, there's a new mystery in coming to London. Someone is attacking--and even killing--Sensitives, and it looks like they're after Anna. And while I found the mystery rather predictable (I called who the bad guy was very soon), that didn't change that it was fun following Cole and Anna as they tried to decipher the clues and stop the killing. While there's thread of connection to the first book's, the baddie in this is quite different, and much scarier.
The only thing I found frustrating was that the love triangle addition here was unnecessary. I mean, I understood the appeal of the guy, but it would have been simple to make him a friend, wholly and completely. Anna and Cole flip flop from love to jealousy constantly, and all I wanted was for them to be happy, just for a little while, and just to talk to one another. They're so cute and perfect, why couldn't I just be given a little time to love them?
Born of Deception is a sequel that I found to be just as much fun as the first. While the romantic storyline was frustrating, it could never overshadow the fabulous writing, interesting and varied characters, fascinating subject, and seriously fun time period. Born of Illusion and Born of Deception are definitely among my favorite reads of the year.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This book seemed to be a bit of a departure from Born of Illusion, the first book in the trilogy. I wasn’t entirely sure what I expected from it, but it wasn’t really this. While this was an enjoyable read, it wasn’t as fabulous as the first one. I remember reading Born of Illusion and being absolutely enamored with the story, setting and characters. This time around I felt as though everything was a bit worn down and dull.
I think these feelings mostly surround the issues I had with the book in that for a vast majority of the time there wasn’t much action going on. In a way it seemed to be a little junked up with a lot of other things. Anna is traveling but there isn’t a whole lot going on there. We’ve got this weird love triangle of sorts with this new Southern Cowboy persona that just feels a bit too forced. I was really hoping for more mystery and intrigue and this book seemed to be lacking in both.
I still think the premise of the book is wonderful and overall was still very much immersed in the book from beginning to end. I will still probably continue on with the series to see how things play out.
Anna moves to London to join a European tour so she can perform her magic. She meets new people, makes new friends, and acquires new enemies. Cole is in London as well, but Anna's relationship with him quickly becomes strained. I didn't like the direction their relationship took in this book, because it felt too typical of a second book, but I liked almost everything else. These books are very clean even though there are a lot of potentially frightening scenes.
If you are looking for a well written, clean YA novel with black magic and suspense, give this series a try. The only caveat is that you need to read the novella, Born of Corruption in between books 1 and 2 since Born of Deception refers to it quite a bit and you might be confused if you don't read it.
Content: Some violence/scary scenes, but I consider it clean.
Source: I received a digital galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.