Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

by Heather Dixon
Hardcover, 361 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Greenwillow
(I purchased this book)

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks!

Summary: 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.

Review: I adore Heather and her first novel Entwined, so when I heard she was publishing a new novel I knew I had to get my hands on it. And I've always wanted to read a steampunk, and knew her novel would be my perfect "first". :)

That being said this is my first experience reading a steampunk, so I can't compare it to others, but I truly loved it! What could be better than mixing Victorian England, futuristic mechanics, a little bit of sci-fi that borders fantasy, romance and keeping it all at a level that I can appreciate instead of wanting to rip my head off from the sci-fi complexity? (I really dont' read a lot of sci fi). I can see how people who really hate sci-fi might be turned off, but hey, that's steampunk, so you know what you're getting when you pick up this book...or at least you should.

 I also loved Heather's characters. It was so easy to love them, hate them, laugh with them, sympathize with them, cry with them. Each one felt so real. I thought that was great. I think my favorite part about the book was the theme of following your inner compass. The idea that each choice we make leads us down a path, and discovering what that path would be like had we chosen differently, and how that inner feeling is our ultimate guide. Add to all of this Heather's beautiful writing prose that is both approachable, lyrical and intelligent and you have a really great read.

Heather, I loved it! And that cover!  Can't wait to read more from you in the future.