So when Annabelle from Sparkles and Lightning recommended this to me, I was a bit unsure about it. I mean, it reminded me a lot, a LOT, of DIVINERS by Libba Bray and I wasn't the biggest fan of it. But she did convince me so I requested it via Edelweiss...and WOW.
Seeing things from a "charlatan's" point of view was interesting--seeing how Anna did her tricks and how her lifestyle was like. She made for an interesting character and I found it interesting how she was pulled between wanting to lead a normal life and wanting to show off her magic tricks, wanting to do both, but knowing that was almost impossible.
The biggest part of this book, really, was the relationship between herself and her mother. It seemed to be a mix of love, hate, jealousy, and greed, but it turned out to be so much more than that. It's definitely something a lot of readers can relate to, that love/hate relationship. I enjoyed it and it definitely came to play near the end and I have a feeling that it'll be a very significant part of the sequel! (Not sure if there is one, but if there isn't, my my, that's a lot of unanswered questions!)
The romance bit definitely was a bit disappointing. It felt much like insta-love, the way the two meet and their reaction. There's literally an electrical charge between them too. Literally. When the l-word came into play, I honestly just rolled my eyes a bit, I'll say that. Otherwise it was pretty sweet! And I loved Cole.
The plot was perfectly paced and I was instantly drawn to this world of conmen and magic. The plot was thick with distrust and there were so many things that just shocked me! ESPECIALLY that ending! While I expected part of it, the other part pretty much blew my mind. There are a lot of subplots that capture your interest and they just built up the suspense until the ending scene. Which I loved!
We don't really learn much about the Society for Physical Research and I found that a tad disappointing, but the way that this story is told fully makes up for that. Born of Illusion is a tale of magic, mystery, and intrigue that will keep you on your toes until the very end! I'd recommend it for fans of Mysteries and HisFics! Especially if you're a fan of In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters!
P.S. while reading this, we were talking about the Roaring Twenties and Reconstruction. Perfect timing!