Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Series: Illusive #1
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
They are criminals.
They are immune.
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, and Americans suffering from these so-called adverse effects were given an ultimatum: Serve the country or be declared a traitor.
Some people chose a third option: live a life of crime.
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 crossing a gang of mobsters, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on a job that most would consider too impossible: a hunt for the formula that gave them their abilities. It was supposedly destroyed years ago – but what if it wasn’t?
Government agents are hot on their trail, and 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 dangerous race that could cost them their lives.
First Sentence: Ciere Giba wakes up to pounding on her hotel door.
I haven’t heard of Illusive until BEA, when my friend Cee from The Novel Hermit (hi Cee! -waves-) asked me if there were any ARCs of Illusive available there. (Just in case you’re wondering: There wasn’t any ARCs of Illusive at BEA. I think.) When I got home, I looked Illusive up right away and although I wasn’t impressed by the cover, the synopsis of the book did catch my interest. Hint: Just add teenagers with superpowers in your book and I’ll most likely want to read it. Just like any other superhero/superpower books I’ve read, I really enjoyed reading Illusive.
“We’re not here to pee,” Ciere says.
“Speak for yousrelf,” Devon replies, poking at the door. It swings open, and he makes a face. A horrible stench wafts out, and he takes a step back. “On second thought, you’re right. (205-206)
There wasn’t a single boring moment in Illusive. Right from the very first page, Emily Lloyd-Jones wasn’t afraid to pull any punches. Ciere, the heroine of Illusive, was in danger right from the very first sentence and that was the moment that Illusive completely caught and kept my attention. Illusive was full of non-stop action and there wasn’t a single boring moment in the book. The pacing was great and I was fully invested in each of the characters, their missions, and their hopes and dreams in the cruel world they live in. Sure, sometimes the characters were very frustrating – I’m talking about you Ciere – but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book at all.
There was some info-dump in Illusive, but I didn’t mind it at all. I wanted to understand how people got their superpowers and how the world became the way it currently was as quickly as possible. In fact, I barely even noticed that there was some info-dumping going on; I only noticed it when I reread some of my favorite parts again, looking for quotes to use in this review.
Fiacre Pharmaceuticals simply did not take the time it needed to thoroughly test the vaccine.
If the truth had been known, the commercials would have sounded something like this:
Side effects may include itching at the site of injection, dizziness, weakness, fever, and rash. Approximately 0.003% of those vaccinated may experience on of the following adverse effects… (15)
I’ve mentioned this before in my other reviews and I’ll mention this again: I personally feel that the world-building is the most important part in dystopians. Without any good world-building, the book won’t really be considered as a dystopian since readers won’t have any idea on why the world is considered a dystopian the first place. (I hope I’m making sense here.) I felt like the world-building in Illusive was quite simple, but the good thing is that I don’t have any unanswered questions about it. Emily Lloyd-Jones covered enough of the world to keep me interested, know what was going on, and know who really has all the power in a world like this one.
Overall, if you’re a fan of superhero/superpower books, I’ll definitely recommend you to try reading Illusive. I guarantee you’ll have a lot of fun reading it.