Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Series: Illusive #1
Publish Date: July 15th, 2014
Genre: Dystopian, YA, Action, Sci-fi
The X-Men meets Ocean’s Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of “super” criminals.
When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She’s what’s known as an illusionist…She’s also a thief.
After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn’t?
The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives.
Illusive had the potential to become one of my favorite books of 2014. The premise was unique and amazing (well to me at least) and I thought that it’d be the perfect thing to read after the many contemporaries I’ve been reading lately. Illusive wasn’t bad per say, but it was a let-down.
Illusive is set in a world where people with powers exist but instead of making them superheroes, Jones chose to make them the “villains” instead. In Ciere’s world, those that are “immune” are regarded as dangerous weapons. They are brutally imprisoned if found and constantly are on the run to avoid it. It’s a really cool idea and I was hoping that it’d be just as amazing as it sounded. Unfortunately, there were two major things that brought the book down.
Firstly, the characters are flat as a board. They had so much potential and could have become some of my favorite book characters if not for the crappy characterization. I know I would have loved Ciere, Magnus, Devon, Kit, the whole lot of them if they had been more deep. They were each unique and had extremely rough character sketches. Evidence that the personalities were considered were definitely present, but the rest of it was all in the author’s head. I can take a wild, educated guess that Devon was sarcastic and that Magnus was a grudge-holder but Illusive lacked the deep characterization that would have brought the crew to life.
Secondly, Illusive had a great premise but the plot itself wasn’t. It doesn’t ever really pick up and if I could draw a line graph that showed the amount of action and suspense, it would be a straight line from the exposition to the conclusion with the exception of one teensy, tiny bump at the end that hits a record high of 0.02 excitement points. It’s a really slow read with no end in sight. When the “climax” is finally there, it falls flat.
I will give some praise to Jones for that twist in Part 3. I never saw that coming. And the action scene at the end in Part 4 was really cool. And I ship two couples in this book. For the first couple, I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just say that he and Ciere are adorbs together even if it’s a seriously bad case of insta-love. The lack of development is so terrible but I still kind of ship them regardless. In fact, I think part of the reason I ship them is because the nonexistent character development makes the nonexistent romantic development slightly better (which is kind of sad). I love Kit and Magnus’s banter. At this point, I’m not sure if they’re gay or if they’ve just had some really messed up history but I’ll be reading the second book to find out. I really wish that the characterization had been better because then I’d be shipping these characters even harder together. But alas, obviously it can’t happen.
Illusive is a solid book that didn’t illicit any particularly strong opinions. It was disappointing to say the least but I will be picking up the sequel and hoping that these issues improve.
Sorry if this review kind of sucks. I had to return it to the library and didn’t get a chance to thoroughly analyze it! ;__;