Anna and her mother are stars of the stage in 1920s New York. Anna is a skilled magician and her mother is a medium, seemingly able to conjure spirits in front of a live audience. But while Anna’s mother is the main attraction, and her act is mere illusion, Anna is the one with genuine supernatural talents. She can read other people’s emotions and truly talk to dead people.
Even though Anna keeps her paranormal talents hidden (especially from her mother, whom she doesn’t really trust) outsiders are noticing what makes her special, and some of them may intend to do her harm. In fact, someone is following Anna making her fearful of going out and causing her to play a guessing game of “who’s after me?” Anna is also trying to figure out who her father is. According to her mother, it’s Harry Houdini.
Oh yeah, and while Anna is busy being stalked, she is also falling in love with two young men at the same time. (It’s like Katniss and Peeta and Gayle all over again except in Born of Illusion the young men aren’t as whiny as their Hunger Games counterparts.) Who will she choose? The fun, sophisticated but questionable Owen, or the brooding but caring Cole?
Overall, I thought Born of Illusion was very good. The plotting was well paced and the characters were colorful enough to be fun and yet real enough to sustain my interest. Also, the reader is kept guessing at many things like who is stalking Anna? 1920s New York provides an exciting and unpredictable setting especially with Houdini lurking in town, popping up every now and then just to make Anna quiver with wonder and fear of her maybe father.