ARC, Book Review, Books, Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon: Book Review

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Commentary: I won Illusionarium at the Epic Reads tent. They were giving out ARCs of many books. I fell in love with the cover in contrast to the other book I won. I haven’t read an arc since last year, so I was beyond excited. This is my honest opinion, for anyone interested in this book. This book did not remind me of The Night Circus at all, I felt that this story was better than that. Jonathan Gouden, the protagonist, was one of my favorite characters. Though some of his actions were quite idiotic, he won my heart. I loved his comments (there are footnotes on certain pages). He was determined to get to find the cure, no matter the cost. The beginning was a bit confusing, but as I kept reading, the story made more sense. There wasn’t much romance as I thought there was going to be. I feel the cover is a bit misleading, I felt that romance was going to be a big part of the story, which it isn’t. As beautiful as the cover is, I hope it gets a new one. This story focused more on Jonathan and the journey he had to take to make things right. I did feel some parts were rushed in the book. One moment Jonathan couldn’t illusion and next moment, he becomes almost like a master when illusioning. Captain Lockwood was an amazing character. I really shipped him and Anna (parallel version of Jonathan’s sister: Hannah). When he was first introduced, I was a bit annoyed at his attitude, but I grew to love the daring warrior. I liked the villain from the story. I liked how it was revealed that she wasn’t who you thought she would be. I don’t want to spoil much, but I loved this book.The actions scenes did move a bit too quick, but I enjoyed reading it. I loved the bromance between Jonathan and Lockwood, their friendship was the best. The ending ended on a happy note. This book was such a quick read for me, and it was refreshing. I do feel this book is geared more toward a younger audience. It felt more middlegrade to me than young adult. I do recommend this book.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Release Date: 05/19/15

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