Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: Born of Deception by Teri Brown

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Review: Born of Deception by Teri Brown
Born of Deception
Teri Brown
Series: Born of Illusion #2
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, YA
Publication date: June 10th 2014
by Balzer & Bray

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Budding illusionist Anna Van Housen is on top of the world: after scoring a spot on a prestigious European vaudeville tour, she has moved to London to chase her dream and to join an underground society for people like her with psychic abilities. Along with her handsome beau, Cole Archer, Anna is prepared to take the city by storm.

But when Anna arrives in London, she finds the group in turmoil. Sensitives are disappearing and, without a suspect, the group’s members are turning on one another. Could the kidnapper be someone within the society itself—or has the nefarious Dr. Boyle followed them to London?

As Cole and Anna begin to unravel the case and secrets about the society are revealed, they find themselves at odds, their plans for romance in London having vanished. Her life in danger and her relationship fizzling, can Anna find a way to track down the killer before he makes her his next victim—or will she have to pay the ultimate price for her powers?

Set in Jazz-Age London, this alluring sequel to Born of Illusion comes alive with sparkling romance, deadly intrigue, and daring magic.
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review-

*Spoiler free for the series*

Having really enjoyed the wonderfully atmospheric and captivating Born of Illusion last year, I was excited to get back into Anna’s world full of magic and mystery.

Born of Deception is just as mesmerizing in its storytelling, and even more-so with its historical London setting. Brown is gifted in bringing these settings to life; making us walk the busy streets alongside our protagonist, feel the vibrancy of the city and the excitement of the crowds. As far as the writing goes, I loved it all. I did find disappointment in the plot itself, however. While Born of Illusion was full of mystique and wonder, this second installment has a big focus on a new love triangle in addition to – and somewhat the cause of – frustrating developments between the romance we all grew to love from book 1. Yes, book 1 also had a love-traingle-ish romance, but that one was crafted in a way that felt so realistic, plus it was clear where Anna’s feelings lay, the triangle only brought into existence by her mother’s manipulations. In this case, however, it bordered on cliché and offered nothing other than added dramatics to the story. This was made worse by how the coupling I enjoyed from book one took a turn for the worst. The relationship now consisted of pity fights and arguments caused by none other than lack of communication. So lets just say this part of the story leaves much to be desired.

The plot itself is a lot of fun and paced to perfection. It has the constant air of mystery that I enjoyed from its predecessor, with a bit higher stakes this time where murder and black magic is involved. We also learn more about the society and the magic surrounding this whole world. New characters are involved, most with lively personalities and distinct voices, and old favourites are back with just as much charm. What I found, though, was that it ended up being incredibly easy to predict most of the outcome of this story. I had my suspicions within the first 10% which ended up being correct. This was a bit of a bummer, strangely, though, it felt as if the author had planned it that way. The reveal is not done with much theatrics, but rather feels like a confirmation of what we should have already known. I’m not sure what to make of this, but it did make the whole book feel a tad underwhelming if you ask me. Especially when its predecessor was under such a constant cloud of secrets that it had me suspecting everyone and going back and forth in my theories – which equals to an incredibly addictive read, I did not feel the same spark of excitement and eventual satisfaction throughout this one, unfortunately. It did have me interested, but I was not wildly turning its pages to abate my curiosity.

Still, the writing is just as wonderful, the characters are just as charismatic, and I will read anything this woman writes. But…I do think that Born of Illusion stands best on its own.

3 Stars
3 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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14 Responses to “Review: Born of Deception by Teri Brown”

  1. Rashika

    I haven’t actually read Born of Illusion but I am curious now. I actually hadn’t even heard of the book until I saw the e-galley for Born of Deception on EW. Although I think that if I do pick up BoI, I am definitely passing on Born of Deception. I hate communication issues and all the annoying drama that arises as a result of that. :/

    I am sorry you didn’t enjoy the sequel more 🙁

    Lovely review, Giselle! 🙂

  2. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    Giselle, I was really excited when I started reading your review, but I have to say that I’m really disappointed. A new love triangle? Communication issues? Gosh. I wish we had more YA couples who actually communicate with each other instead of constantly arguing. I can’t say that I’m happy about the predictable plot either. At least the writing was still decent.
    Lovely review, Giselle. I know what to expect now.

  3. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    That sucks that you were able to predict the outcome within the first 10%; that sure kills the story’s momentum real quick. Such a shame because otherwise, it sounds like this is a fab read.

  4. Faye D'Social Potato (@kawaiileena)

    I wasn’t really that hot on Born of Illusion and remember giving it quite a lower rating, but I’m glad to see the sequel is somehow better than its predecessor, at least when it comes to atmosphere and setting. But I already felt underwhelmed already in the first book, so I never bothered with the sequel, and I’m saddened to see this was the case here as well 🙁 I know that sucky feeling all too well! ><

    • Giselle

      Nah I liked book 1 best actually. This one had too much of a focus on a new love triangle that gave nothing but pointless drama in the romance aspect. If you didn’t like book 1 though I don’t think you should read this one >.< I loved book 1 yo!!

  5. Sam @ Realm of Fiction

    I want to read Born of Illusion and just leave it at that for now. I really don’t like the sound of the love triangle here! I read another review that mentioned the same thing, and to see it echoed here, it just really makes me reluctant to bother with the sequel. Still, I’m glad that the storytelling and plot overall wasn’t bad.

  6. Caitlin

    I haven’t read Born of Illusion yet, but it’s now on my to read list! Thanks for the review, I hate immature love triangles, but you still peaked my interest for this book. It’s always fun to learn about new series!

  7. Melliane

    Oh it’s always a little sad when the second book isn’t as good as the first one but well it sounds nice. I confess that I’m really curious about the settings and the world. I remember reviews of the first one and I think I’ll have to try it one day. thanks for the review.

  8. Pili

    Thanks for your very honest review, Giselle! I feel like I really must grab the first book and then decide if I want to read this one or not… love triangles really are not something I like or tolerate well at best of times, and if this one seemed unnecessary and forced… ugh!