Arc provided by Greenwillow Books through Edelweiss
Release Date: May 19 th
For once a synopsis that doesn't lie: this is in fact, a richly developed fantasy novel featuring parallel worlds, with non stop adventure, humour and a dash of romance.
And yes, it did remind me of the Night Circus with his fantastical images _ or in this case the illusions the characters make happen, not with the help of magic but something completely different _ but while NC mainly lives on the account of the beautiful images it creates, Illusionarium ends up being more complete.
It does however have some issues.
The Reason ( yes, capital R) why the adventure starts: a mysterious disease that only affects the female population.
No idea. Its as if with so many other knots to tie the author forgot about that. Yes, I know where it comes from, but why only women are targeted?
And the strange thing, is that the author really tied every other subject perfectly, there my four star rating despite that "flaw".
And Jonathan is a scientist ( well a future one) so wouldn't he want to know that?
The writing made sure I was really watching the action in both "our world" as in the parallel that Jonathan ends up finding in his quest for an antidote for Venen. So yes, I loved the writing _ even with its occasional "strange" phrasing.
The side-notes were funny as hell!
Normally I hate this type of thing: it breaks the narrative pace and so on, but not in this book. Mostly they drew a laugh out of me.
Now, lets talk about the main character:
Jonathan despite having a very glaring Gary Stu characteristic _ he's immediately a prodigy at illusions _ ends up making a lot of glaring mistakes which ends helping getting him away from that dreadful role.
So yay, for him mostly being a sixteen year old idiot! :)
(really guys I am being sincere here. No sarcasm on sight...)
Then we are given front role seats to how guys become friends _ some of them, lol _ and yes, and involves fists and fighting.
They're actually cute :) in their bonding.
I also have to mention that I liked how family ends up having a very important role in the story without it being preachy.
Jonathan has a sister who he loves. A very intelligent sister _ he uses the expression "absolute" type of person to describe her _ that he's not threatened by. This is how he sees himself:
"Unlike me, of course. I could only be described as sort of. "
The boy is still trying to find who he is, and what he's capable of, so when the adventure begins he couldn't be farther away from the typical hero type... which by the way ends up being great.
I already mentioned that he's prone to idiotic behaviour, right?
He means well, but most of the time the boy makes the worst decisions ever. *head desk*
(of course that's the only way for the action to start happening -_- so, I'll let it pass ;)
Well, luckily for me it doesn't have too much of it, you know? lol
Too much of: "I haven't the slightest idea of what you're talking about!"
In this story I was actually able of seeing what was going on, and what they were doing, unlike what ends up happening with most steampunk novels with their gibberish talks.
So, maybe the story drags a little at times, however I have to give credit to all the imagination that is behind it and the way the author was able to tie some really troublesome knots.
Bottom line and despite that "thing" that I already mentioned, this ends up being a really clever book.
p.s- Oh, and the cover is gorgeous :D