Date started: July 17, 2016
Date ended: August 7, 2016
Okay, I hate to say this, but I think it holds true, at least with most of the books I have read this year, but depending on how long it takes me to read said book is how good the book is. If a book is good, then I will lose as much sleep over it as I can humanly possible. My boss’s at work get so angry with me. “So Dana, how’s your book going?” They never have to worry if I’m hungover (well, not that much), but they immediately assume that if I’m lagging, it’s because I stayed up way to damn late reading my book.
With Born of Deception, I think everything was off. Like, the book was okay, but it definitely was not as good as the first. Which is funny, because this second installment dealt with someone using the occult to curse their peers with magical abilities! I thought I would eat this book up because I love that type of atmosphere in a novel. It could be a friend or foe, but you won’t know until the end when all is revealed.
In Born of Deception, everything was flat from the start. Anna van Housen is arriving in London to be with her love, Cole Archer, and she’s got the starring role as a magician traveling around Europe. Things are looking up for Anna since the end of Born of Illusion. But she was transformed from the first novel to the second to be some wimpy, jealous girl who is more worried about what her boyfriend is doing and why they keep fighting instead of looking at all the positive in her life. Then, the shit hits the fan, someone in their secret society is found dead, and Anna wants to help with the investigation. Perfect! This is where it should get good and juicy. Cole and her will solve the mystery like they did in the first and there will be a plot twist which the reader never saw coming and BAM! A four/five-star book ladies and gents!
But, no, that’s not at all what happened. Yes, someone died. Yes, Anna did help with the investigation, but the entire time Cole and Anna are having petty arguments, Anna starts having googly eyes at her cowboy co-worker and can’t understand why Cole is upset, they’re just friends! Then starts doing the same thing right back at him when he befriends, Calypso, a fellow member of the Society. Honestly, it just read like a really bad high school teenager love affair with an air of magic and mystery inserted. Near the end, I got into the plot of the story because we were in the thick of it. The last half of the book exceeded the first half by far.I had high hopes for Born of Deception because I truly enjoyed Born of Illusion. I mean, how could one not? It’s the flapper era with magic, mystery, and romance! WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? Well, in this case, London.
I wish Teri Brown had spent more time on the plot of the supernatural and the occult because immediately when an author brings up the occult there’s a spine-tingling eeriness that enters a reader’s mind. For me, I grew up in a Christian family, so whenever I heard/read/see that word, my senses are on high alert. There’s some unknown presence and it’s about to create a whole hell of a lot of chaos. Pun intended. So, like I said, high hopes, and they just seemed to fall by the wayside.
The main character, Anna, was dull. Where in the first book she was a precocious teenager running around New York City, stirring up trouble, dabbling in magic, and holding secret seances with her mother. Then, she moves to England and she becomes this mopey, pining, boring girl. There was nothing I liked about her. I mean, I guess when I was a teenager I definitely could’ve related to her. But since I have a few relationships and years under my belt, I couldn’t relate. There were a few times I huffed in frustration and wanted to shake her by the shoulders and say, “Get over yourself! Let the man breathe!” It was very infuriating.
I also wish Teri Brown had elaborated on the Society. It was so hyped up in Born of Illusion that I was thrilled that Anna was going to London to meet with these people and we’d learn more. But no, it was a place not to be trusted. Well, duh. I just wish that had been more involved in the story. Also, Dr. Boyle! A blast from the past! What the heck is he doing in London? Hmmm, mysterious?
No, this is another dud.
AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WE STILL DON’T KNOW IF ANNA’S DAD IS HOUDINI!
I was praying for this to be answered, but no, it’s not. There is some speculation in the book, but nothing is confirmed. GAH!
In the end, it wasn’t my favorite book of the year. I did enjoy the last half of the book and tore through it. I had a hunch about who I thought was causing all the death and destruction and I WAS RIGHT! It was a really good plot twist, though I must place another complaint on how lame the confrontation was. At the end of a novel, there’s normally a huge and involved battle sequence between the hero and the villain but in Born of Deception it was two paragraphs and done. It was a letdown.
If you liked Born of Illusion, I would almost tell you to stop there. Born of Deception, I think is just not worth it. I was excited to read it because the first was well done and I needed answers to certain questions. Some were answered but the BIG questions were still left in the air. Born of Deception left me wanting more, but not in a good way.