Saturday, February 13, 2016

Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones // superpowers! spies! slight disappointment!

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17182499When 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.

I was super excited for this book - it has such a fun premise - I was so ready for spies and superheroes and thrilling chase scenes. In a way, it gave me that, but it didn't GRIP me as much as I had hoped. 

So let's break it down into a list because that's the best way to review three star books, no?
(Lists are the best way to do anything, actually.)

What I didn't like as much:
  •  The "sides" had me confused. Whose side were people on? There were the immune renegades, there was the government, and there were a bunch of other organizations who went by initials that I forgot what they meant. I couldn't keep track of which spy/agent belonged to which association.
  • The characters didn't seem fully fleshed out to me. They had their "thing" that they're good at (their immunity), but other than the main character Ciere, they were kinda one dimensional. I SO wanted to like Kat, but I never really felt like I could relate to him in any way at all. And the characters sometimes did kinda out-of-character things just to move the plot along.
  •  Talking about Ciere, she's supposed to be this really good thief and spy. Kat's raised her to be good at that sort of stuff. She spouts out sneaking thieving wisdom. And she's pulled off major heists, and we see her perform jobs impressively. She obviously knows what she's doing. But then, every so often, she lets down her guard 100% and does something so incredibly transparent, which is illogical, considering her spy knowledge. Like, I know you're just a teen. Yes, you're doing exactly what I would do in the situation. But you're not supposed to be ANY teen. You're this special spy thief superhero teen who should KNOW BETTER.
  • Also, apparently, after this kind of life, she's never seen anyone die before? C'mon. 
  • The writing seemed a little distant and didn't pull me in as much as I want a thriller novel to. I never was in GRAND SUSPENSE GASP.

But it was not all annoying! I enjoyed quite a bit, actually. Here's what I liked:
  • SPIES. INTRIGUE. HEISTS. Therefore, SO MUCH FUN! We have weird governmental plotting, young heroes doing badass things... 
  • Also, combine that with SUPERPOWERS. So not only are they spies and thieves, they are superhero spies and thieves.    
  • The plot moved along steadily and with lots of twists! I definitely never thought that there were any slow bits. 
  • Ciere is always doling out advice on how to be a proper criminal/spy/thief. THIS IS USEFUL INFORMATION. It's... nice... to know things like this. (DONT DENY IT YOU WANT TO LEARN HOW TO BE A SPY)

I also don't remember any of the main good guys being middle aged. They're all also rather good looking. Not necessarily a bad thing, just weird. 

I personally won't be reading the sequel, but I say if you are even kinda interested by the plot, give it a try! 

Have you read Illusive? Did you like it? Please recommend me some good YA spy and heist and maybe even superpower books! 

(Also PS I HAVE A BLOG BUTTON! It's over on the sidebar and it even has an official looking grabby code so go grab it for your blog because I'M SUPER PROUD OF IT if you haven't realized)


  1. Spies and Heists, we need more books with these things.

  2. so I probably need to read this because of course I need info on how to be a spy. If the writer/author thing doesn't work out, it's the criminal underworld next *nods sagely* BUT I AM SAD THIS WASN'T GREAT. (I'm giggling over your goodreads status updates. xD) I never really trust criminals who aren't criminally enough? Like I was always befuddled in Throne of Glass how Chaol had never killed anyone. HE'S CAPTAIN OF THE FREAKING GUARD. Wut even dude. So I think I'd have that reaction to this too? Buuuuut I do love spies and superheroes. SO I'M TORN.

    Have I recommended you How to Lead A Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller yet? CRIMINAL UNDERWORLD GALORE.

    1. This book is DEFINITELY USEFUL as a guide on How To Criminal. So read it if only for that.

      Ooohhhh thank you for the recommendation! I will snatch it up immediately!

  3. I've never heard of this book before. But on books with superpowers, I'm strongly glancing at "The Ables" by Jeremy Scott, the narrator of the YouTube Channel "CinemaSins". I love that channel, so I believe, it has to be good. The description says it's about kids with superpowers at a superheroe school -but some of them are disabled. For instance, the main character is blind. And I'm super-super curious about that book, because it really sounds good. If it's executed good... it's exciting. Not that this is a useful comment about your review :'D

    I like the new look of your blog. Clean and tidy. I guess, I'll have to make a blogroll page to add it to my blog now :D some day...

    1. Oooh I love CinemaSins too! I'll definitely check that book out!

      And thanks, I'm super happy with my new design :-) And I'd be super honored if you added me to your blogroll!

  4. This one sounds really interesting! I love all things that have to do with superheroes, though I've never read a book with superheroes...

    Guess I'll have to pick this one up!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. Definitely check it out then! I think you will enjoy it. :-)


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