Monday, June 1, 2015

Review: Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

by Heather Dixon
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.69
Published by: Greenwillow
Published on: May 19, 2015
Pages: 368

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: This book was very original. At least, I haven't read a lot of books like this one. First off, it was told from a male's POV in first person. That's rare in and of itself. 

I thought the book was incredibly fast-paced. Not a second was slow. The characterization was fantastic and the novel was intriguing. 

I'd definitely recommend this to readers looking for a fun, adventurous read. 

The Characters: I thought the characters were excellently crafted. They were multifaceted and kept my interest. 

I particularly liked the character of Anna. She was a great heroine. Johnathon was also great to read about. 

Major Strengths: Originality and a fast plot. 

Major Weaknesses: It was a little confusing at times. 

So why 3.5 stars? It was definitely original and stood out, but it was confusing at times. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This is a young adult book that's actually young adult. No swearing, mention of sex, or drugs. A little violent. Recommended for any age. 

The Wrap-up: An intriguing look into a parallel world. This one comes recommended. 


Danica Page


  1. So far the overwhelming consensus for this one has been that it is one hell of an original read. I've also heard that it can be confusing at times so I'll be keeping that in mind for when I dig into this one myself. I really like the way that you described the characters and plot - I like a good fast-moving plot! I'm glad that you enjoyed this one despite having a few issues with it :) Lovely review!

    1. I definitely agree with you. It is original but it is also confusing.

      Thanks for commenting. I hope you enjoy it.

  2. I'm always intrigued by books like this -- that many people just don't seem to connect with but a few say it's original and interesting. Parallel universe books often confuse me, but I may just give this a try!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen at YA Romantics

    1. It does sound really interesting. The parallel world part is confusing, but I did enjoy it. I'd say a good synopsis would be confusing but original and intriguing.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I liked that this one didn't have a lot of junk, but the violence in it was a downside for me. It was original, but a little weird for my liking, which is too bad, since I enjoyed her first story!

    1. It was weird and there definitely was violence, but I still enjoyed it. Definitely was weird.

  4. This sounds really good! I loved her book Entwined, and kept hoping she'd write another! Can't wait to read it!

    My WoW

    Lizzie @ Lizzie the Sarcastic Blonde

    1. Hope you get your hands on it soon. And yeah Entwined was great. This one was completely different than Entwined though.


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