Illusionarium

Author: Heather Dixon
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

Jonathan thinks that his life is hard enough as the apprentice to his father, who is working on trying to find a cure for the deadly disease, Venen, which is ravaging the women in their country.  But he’s about to find out that dealing with the cold temperatures in the aerial city of Fata Morgana (basically London, considering Dixon even mentions the Tower of London once or twice) and trying to fnd out how to talk to the girl he’s crushing on while trying to develop a cure are about to be the least of his problems.

First of all, this novel sounds like it could be a mad steampunk novel.  Even the cover, with its border of gear sets, seems to apply as much.  It’s not.  I wouldn’t even classify it as steampunk at all, which is part of my disappointment with the novel.

The entire premise of this novel has one gaping fundamental plot hole that I just can’t seem to get over.  If the fantillium only causes shared hallusions between people breathing it in, controlled by the Illusiontist, then how did we get to gateways to parallel universes from there?  If they cut off the source of the fantillium, wouldn’t that make the person show right back up?  And how come he was able to test the effects of a possible cure for Venen without worry because he knew it would not do any permanent damage under the influence of the drug daze, but then he completely freaks out later, thinking someone actually died while getting shot while under the influence?  I think Dixon could have taken a little more care with her plot development.  And the schisming body parts?  What the heck is that all about?

As for the writing style itself, can I just say: footnotes?  Really?  Come on.  I realize its her tool for comic relief, but it just seems highly out of place for this type of novel.  Also, the prose feels repetitive a lot.  That, or this kid is just constantly sweating, and it’s always dripping down some part of him.  But even if so, TMI.

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