Born of Illusion  - Teri Brown

Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium who ever lived. But when a strange, serious young man moves into the flat downstairs, introducing her to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, he threatens to reveal the secrets Anna has fought so hard to keep, forcing her to face the truth about her past.

The synopsis is perfectly written and there's nothing I need to add to it (amazing that). I liked the way that the story was written, and told, even though it was very predictable. I think that [a:Teri Brown|1055343|Teri Brown|] did something I usually have trouble with, and that's keeping my interest with a period piece. It's not that I dislike them exactly, but I don't go out of my way to read them, and if they're anything like what I just read I've been missing out.

I liked Anna right away, and ended up enjoying this book more than I thought I would. I didn't expect it to be bad mind you, but I wasn't expecting to stay up past 2 in the morning to read the end either. I've been spoiled with my recent book choices because every one of them have actual strong heroines, and none of them annoyed me at all.

"My mother says I'm a show-off, but I prefer to think of myself as a performer."
""You're quite good--for a girl." "Thank you," I tell him, ignoring the girl remark. If I argued with every male magician who made a snide comment about my gender, I'd never have the time to do magic. I prefer to outperform them on stage, where it really matters."
"That's three times in the past week I've felt someone watching me, and I'm pretty sure it's not because I'm irresistible."
"The day when I show her once and for all that I'm not hers--that I don't belong to her. I love her and would do anything to protect her, but I won't allow her to play me like she does her clients. If she wants a relationship with me, it's going to have to be one of equality."


Throughout the book Anna impressed me, and coupled with Cole (*drools*), and everyone else actually, made this a really enjoyable book. Anna's mom was horrible, and told with perfect precision to make me hate her, but also want Anna to save her, and it was refreshing to read about a parent who deserved scorn (even though Anna wasn't horrible to her). I would have liked to have an epilogue though since the rest of the series seems to be planned with other characters in mind (unless I read that wrong, and feel free to correct me).

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone, and plan on reading the rest in the series as it comes available.