By Emily Lloyd-Jones
Available now from Little, Brown BFYR (Hachette)
Ciere is a great thief, and not just because of her ability to create illusions. (She's not that good at it really.) But her last heist of $40,000 put her in trouble with the mob, and her next heist is being eyed by the Feds. It'll take quick thinking and good friends to get her out of this trouble.
I love books about superheroes, so ILLUSIVE had one point in its favor when I started. I'm not big on dystopias, especially ones based on plague, so that was a point against it. In the world of ILLUSIVE, a small percentage of people developed powers after being given the vaccine for the plague. For some reason, the vaccine was outlawed and the formula destroyed instead of everyone trying their hardest to get superpowers. (I mean, c'mon? Good health and a chance of superpowers? Go for it.) Those that are superpowered are mostly snatched up by the government. The ones that aren't are mostly criminals who hide their abilities. In a way, it is a similar setup to Holly Black's WHITE CAT.
ILLUSIVE switches between two points of view: Ciere and her fellow crew member Daniel, who has been captured by a very dangerous man. They're good friends, but circumstances are pitting them against each other. I really liked and sympathized with both characters. Honestly, you'd think the plot would be the highlight of a book centered around a superpowered heist, but I adored the character actions.
However, that meant I was let down by the ending. I think two characters in particular were badly served by their comrades for no reason. Ciere leaps into danger to save someone she's known for days, while dismissing two friends from her life. One gets a rather cutting farewell and the other is left to be a virtual slave. Characters I'd gotten to know and care about were shoved aside in favor of the new guy.
That being said, I'll be there with bells on for a sequel. ILLUSIVE was fun, fast paced, and offered some genuinely thrilling twists. Plus, superheroes.