Review: Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I received this book for free from BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Illusive by Emily Lloyd-JonesIllusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
on July 15, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
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four-stars

The X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of "super" criminals.

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.

The whole x-Men meets Ocean’s Eleven thing totally caught my attention. Such comparison marketing is often a lie, though, and the cover didn’t especially make me fall in love. Then Dahlia (The Daily Dahlia) told me that Illusive is a Christina book and that the marketing was not lying. At that point, my desire for Illusive went from curiosity to MUST HAS. Once again, Dahlia was totally right. The comparison marketing did not lie: superpowers plus clever criminal shenanigans are what you’re going to get from Emily Lloyd-Jones’ debut.

I make no secret of my immense love of books about people with powers. I just love the idea of humanity evolving or getting irradiated or something and then having awesome powers. In Illusive, the powers are “adverse effects” from a cure to a plague that was potentially going to decimate the planet. The cure worked, but hadn’t gotten full testing because there was a bit of a rush on the saving humanity order. Turns out, a small percentage of people would develop a power after being given the cure. The powers, in this world, are: dauthos (super strength), eidos (perfect memory), levitas (ability to float), eludere (basically, elusive and good at escaping situations, as well as enhanced intuition), mentalist (reads minds),  illusionist (that’s pretty much in the name), and dominus (I won’t tell you, since it’s a minor spoiler, but you might be able to guess from the name).

The world building in Illusive isn’t exhaustive, but it was solid enough to meet my needs. The powers seem a bit random to me, but that’s really not a big deal. The best thing, I think, is the way people make use of the powers. Levitas, for example, sounds like a pretty useless power, since it’s not ACTUAL flight, but Lloyd-Jones is clever and comes up with some great use cases. Similarly, I thought the dauthos, while having a very common superpower, had some neat elements that made it feel original. There is much power usage and you’ll definitely be happy if you are as into superpower stuff as I am.

Lloyd-Jones also really considers the social ramifications of these powers, which is awesome. These abilities have the ability to cause total chaos. The government and the criminal element both want the immune with powers for the strength they provide. For example, a lot of mentalists were claimed by the government to work for TSA. Those with these adverse effects are basically required to work for the government. Those that don’t want to end up criminals, like Ciere Giba and Daniel Burkhart, the two third person limited main characters of Illusive.

In case you’re side-eyeing the name Ciere, like I was, it’s an alias. Ciere’s a criminal. In fact, she takes pride in her work and feels no regret about her thefts. Illusive is the kind of book where you totally find yourself rooting for the criminal element over the so-called good guys. I like that Ciere’s crew (Kit, most especially) isn’t entirely criminals with hearts of gold. When Illusive opens, Ciere has robbed a bank for fun, just to give you an idea.

The characters are fantastic and varied. There’s not a whole lot of romance, but the banter’s so excellent, as is the plot, that I really didn’t mind the lack. Plus, Lloyd-Jones is setting the scene for some awesome ships later on. I’ve already got a couple that I’m really into View Spoiler ». I especially love the dynamics between Ciere, Kit and Devon. Ciere and Devon have a boy/girl friendship absolutely without sexual tension, which I love wholeheartedly. And the way that Kit picks on Devon amuses me no end.

Illusive is fabulous, action-packed and hilarious. Even though I’m annoyed to find out it’s part of a series only when I reached the end and there were plot threads dangling (though this book has a resolution of its own), I am also excited to get more of these characters and this world.

Favorite Quote:

“Why did I wake up naked?”

Devon rolls his shoulders and sits up. He tilts like a man who has stepped aboard a boat for the first time and is unsure how to keep his feet. “You were blathering on about how your clothes were a metaphor for how restrictive society is, and you needed to be free.” He looks down at his naked chest, and adds, “I tried to do the same, for solidarity’s sake, but I passed out before I could get to my trousers.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif damn good stuff

3 responses to “Review: Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones”

  1. Soma Rostam says:

    Wow!
    This is the first time I hear about this book
    But it sounds so good. I love the blurb and the whole X-men meets Ocean’s Twelve. I definitely liked them both. So I might like this too.
    overall, AWESOME review!
    Your reader,
    Soma
    Soma Rostam recently posted…ARC Review: Madly, Deeply by Erica CrouchMy Profile

  2. Gabriela says:

    I’ve never head about this book. Probably because I noticed recently been released. I love sci-fi, so I must read it! 😀

  3. I am so onto this. YES. YES.

    I love that the author thinks about the ramifications, because if people in this world got superpowers then I’m pretty sure everyone would go stark raving mad. Like they did in Blackout, I guess.

    I’m tres excited.
    Amber @ Books of Amber recently posted…Monthly Wrap Up and Giveaway: July 2014My Profile

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