Series: Illusive Duology, #1
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Pages: 406 Pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Reading Level: 7th Grade +
Genre: Young Adult-Science Fiction
POV: 3rd-Person, Multiple Characters
I guess you could say it’s been a while. Behold Ciere Giba. Bonus points to the house of your choice if you can spot the kitty in this picture.
Illusive certainly starts off with a bang! Unfortunately the momentum dies down, but not enough for me to put it down. Illusive is jam-packed with action and a believable dystopian future (as believable as super powers can be). It may have a little bit of science fiction, but not enough to turn off the average young adult reader. So here’s the deal: a plague threatens to wipe out humanity, and the vaccine used to prevent it causes extreme side effects in .003% of the population. Side effects such as super strength, mind reading, levitation, etc. These “immunes” are either imprisoned, forced to work for the federal government, or they live their life on the lam as criminals.
Illusive centers on two characters in the last camp: Ciere Giba, an illusionist (exactly what it sounds like), and Daniel Burkhart, an eludere (super senses/can escape anything). While I absolutely love Daniel’s voice, Ciere’s voice is a bit bland and judgemental. As is common in young adult fiction, we also have a bit of a love triangle going on. The main plot focuses on the characters’ efforts to find the formula of the vaccine used to create Immunes, either for personal profit or to destroy it to prevent more Immunes from being further weaponized by the governments.
This is Emily Lloyd-Brown’s debut as an author, and she is one strong writer. The imagery is vivid and the jokes are clever (even if they are mostly all aimed towards Devon). However, it is a bit of a problem if some of the secondary characters (Kit Copperfield and Magnus Fugare come to mind) are more interesting than the main character. Ciere herself continually makes dumb decisions that put the people she cares about in great danger, and while she is quick to blame others for their mistakes, she fails to take accountability for her own errors. Even so, the writing and story itself is engaging and well worth the read. There was character growth and I expect the sequel will further cement that growth.
Verdict: I would absolutely recommend this book to young adult novel enthusiasts, especially those that love super powers.
Why did Ciere’s mom never instruct her daughter not to use her powers in public? And with the precautions her mom took in the first place, I’m surprised she even bothered returning home instead of immediately fleeing to another location. Furthermore, never once is Ciere’s dad mentioned.
Why is the Gyr syndicate the only one using the Feds against their enemies? You’d think all the mobs would be doing the same thing.
I find it hard to believe that Aristeus wouldn’t force Daniel to give up Ciere- who’s to say Alan Fiacre didn’t give her a copy of the formula before Aristeus “shot” him? However, I definitely find Aristeus to be one of the most interesting characters in the novel, and I can’t wait to learn more about Kit, Magnus, and Aristeus’ relationship and history.