Illusionarium

22840398Summary: What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, author of the acclaimed Entwined, comes a brilliantly conceived adventure that sweeps us from the inner workings of our souls to the far reaches of our imaginations.

Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then—as every good adventure begins—the king swoops into port, and Jonathan and his father are enlisted to find the cure to a deadly plague. Jonathan discovers that he’s a prodigy at working with a new chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations—or illusions. And just like that, Jonathan is knocked off his path. Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that calls to mind The Night Circus and Pixar movies, but is wholly its own.

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Review: 4 stars

I picked this book up at a used book sale. Everything about it intrigued me, the title, description and the cover. Can we talk about that gorgeous cover? It had me completely sold! It was just so beautiful with an air of mystery. All of these factors had me starting out with high expectations. But I had never heard of it and that made me weary. Then I thought about all the hype that And I Darken received and I decided to plunge on, because that book didn’t deserve all the press it got. I have loved many books that are not popular and dislike many that are.

I was immediately drawn in to Illusionarium because not only is Heather Dixon’s writing fresh and brimming with the personality of Jonathan, who the story’s point of view is told from, but also because it brings science fiction into fantasy in a way that isn’t dull. By the end of the first two chapters I found myself completely captivated. I have been reading novels that were much slower paced and boring, so in comparison Illusionarium moved incredibly fast for me. I couldn’t set it down for a minute, and before I even took a break to look up from the book I was more than halfway through.

Jonathan is sarcastic and funny. The way the book is written from his point of view makes me feel as if I know him. It also feels authentic in a way that some books fail to master. Capturing the way a mind thinks while events play out. Sometimes a thought is disrupted by an action and that is captured here.

I have never read a book about parallel universes before because they seem extremely heavy on the science side of science fiction. Awhile do enjoy sci-fi books, I find that too much science can bog down the story. This is a novel that has a great story and has just enough science in it to explain what is going on, but not too much that it overwhelms the plot.

Some of the descriptions of the illusions were so cool. There were many times while reading that I thought how cool it would be if they could make this into a movie. Heather Dixon created a great plot with really fun to read characters. I am putting Entwined on my to be read list. 

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