Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Series: Illusive #1
Genre: Sci-Fi/Superpowers
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When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She's what's known as an illusionist...She's also a thief.

After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn't?

The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives.

Those with powers would fight crime and put things right. However there was one flaw with that reasoning.. Human physiology was altered. Human nature wasn't.

This book should have been perfect for me. It has everything I wanted: criminals and super-powered individuals. It even has a shadowy government organization that uses the 'immunes' for its own benefit. And there is the whole thing that everyone has to be registered.

But I was still left feeling 'meh' about it.

The world building is nearly faultless and the reactions to people with abilities rings true. However…

One thing that bothers me is the abilities themselves are barely explained. With everything else painstakingly laid out, it's never even touched upon why some people would get one ability from the drug, another a different ability and most, none at all. And this isn't a case of each ability being different. From what I remember, there's only about seven abilities that are possible.

But, really, I think the reason I could never get truly attached to this book is because of the main character.

She wants him out of sight, if only so she can pretend this isn't happening. As long as she doesn't have to see [him] it means he doesn't exist.

Ciere Giba.

She stars off as nothing special one way or the other, but with definite potential. However, I gradually grew to hate her over the course of this story. I mean, I understand why she's the way she is - but I pretty uniformly hate characters like her. She seems like she's always got something to prove, some harsh reaction to 'prove' she's tough.

And the other young adults in this young adult book aren't much better. The other point-of-view character is Daniel and he's … pretty much absolutely nothing in my mind. Then there's Devon, Ciere Giba's best friend who is mostly the 'funny sidekick.' And Alan who is like a cross between Daniel and Ciere.

I had been going to say at least there's no romance, but long about page 269 it crops up, with a healthy side of both insta-love and a love triangle. Honestly, it reminds me a bit of The Conspiracy of Us in the romance department and The Heist Society, Leverage and The X-Men. With a dash of Alias and a slightly dystopian setting.

There was one thing I liked in this story - or, rather, three things: Kit, Magnus and Aristeus.

Kit and Magnus have this past that I am dreadfully curious about and definitely want to know more about their relationship. And I am fascinated by Aristeus - pretty much adore him, too - and want to know how he fits into their past.

Oddly enough, they are the 'older' generation but are without a doubt, the only thing that would ever possibly convince me to read the next in the series.