Publisher: Greenwillow Books (May 19, 2015)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: <3 <3 <3
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.
Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins Children.
Illusionarium by Heather Dixon is one of those books that people are either going to love or hate. I personally enjoyed this read. I’ll admit that it was confusing at times but overall it was a fun and fast read. I honestly don’t understand all of the negative reviews. Yes Illusionarium had some flaws but the writing was stolid.
You had likeable characters that you couldn’t help but to root for. Even Lockwood wasn’t so bad. Although he did come off as a jerk and you wanted to punch him. On top of that there wasn’t any love triangle/story in the book. It was all focused on the main character finding a cure for his family. Doing anything necessary to find that cure. Yes he did have feelings for a girl but it never took over the story which I liked. I just hate when a story starts out one way but quickly turns into a romance novel. If I wanted to read romance I would have picked up a book.
Secondly, there is some fantastic world-building going on in this book—it was so magical and breathtaking. Love how Heather Dixon described the parallel worlds in Illusionarium. It made me want to get into steampunk more. A genre that I know nothing about but Heather Dixon made me interested. Plus Jonathan, the male hero of the book. It was nice reading from a male POV. Especially in fantasy. Something that seems to be lost in the plethora of female heroines that have taken over in YA fantasy.
My one complaint is that at times Jonathan came off as feminine. I don’t think that was the author intentions but I could have easily envision the main character as female. What I mean by that is in certain situations that the protagonist was in, his personality came off as feminine.
Another thing I wished was cleared up was the start of the disease that was taken over and killing the females. There were hints and clues but in my opinion it wasn’t really fleshed out to make you, the reader understand. Still Illusionarium is worth a read. It gets the Creatyvebooks readers recommendation.