By: Melanie | June 11, 2014 | (20) Comments

Review: Born of Deception by Teri BrownBorn of Deception by Teri Brown
Series: Born of Illusion, #2
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, YA
Pages: 336
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Budding illusionist Anna Van Housen is on top of the world: after scoring a spot on a prestigious European vaudeville tour, she has moved to London to chase her dream and to join an underground society for people like her with psychic abilities. Along with her handsome beau, Cole Archer, Anna is prepared to take the city by storm.

But when Anna arrives in London, she finds the group in turmoil. Sensitives are disappearing and, without a suspect, the group’s members are turning on one another. Could the kidnapper be someone within the society itself—or has the nefarious Dr. Boyle followed them to London?

As Cole and Anna begin to unravel the case and secrets about the society are revealed, they find themselves at odds, their plans for romance in London having vanished. Her life in danger and her relationship fizzling, can Anna find a way to track down the killer before he makes her his next victim—or will she have to pay the ultimate price for her powers?

Set in Jazz-Age London, this alluring sequel to Born of Illusion comes alive with sparkling romance, deadly intrigue, and daring magic.

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Words could not express how excited I was when I finally got my hands on Born of Deception. Born of Illusion, the first novel was equally mesmerizing and pleasantly surprising, however, I cannot say the same for Teri Brown’s newest.

Anna Van Housen has always been one of my favourite protagonists ever since I met her in Born of Illusion. Her character growth throughout that novel was absolutely momentous and realistic, and I adored every bit of it. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I know the Anna in Born of Deception; it’s like she’s taken on a totally new personality altogether. The romance, I feel, is what is to blame. It’s surprising to discover that we once again have a love interest introduced, forming a love triangle. And in this case, I was completely disturbed and annoyed of it’s existence. Cole, also had some potential love interests, according to Anna. (Even though one of them was married and the other had powers that could manipulate Cole.) It only brought Anna’s charisma down, turning her into a constantly jealous and self-doubting girl. There isn’t a single chapter where it didn’t mention Anna’s jealously. The romantic side of the story, was an absolute let down as it was superfluous and unbelievable, and began to over-cloud the main plot line.

Only Cole would think it all right to tell his girl that he was almost late to get her because of other women.


I hate feeling so insecure about him, but he either doesn’t understand that I need occasional reassurance or he’s so sure of our relationship that he doesn’t feel the necessity.


It’s a normal reaction, but my insides knot up in a tangle of jealousy.

The plot line, also happens to be less ideal, compared to the first novel. The first novel definitely did become predictable in some areas, but here, everything felt a little too glaringly transparent. I wouldn’t say that the main character was one step behind me, but whenever something was revealed, I was rolling my eyes; in the absurdity of the twist. Furthermore, I would have loved to have more focus on the plot, than the dramatics of the romance; I felt like this story would have moved so much faster without Anna and Cole’s romantic drama. Just to elaborate on that, I honestly do not think I ship them anymore. This book just sunk the ship into Neverland.

Where Teri Brown redeems herself, is at the setting and writing. Born of Deception is set mainly in London, and Teri Brown captures the atmosphere of the time and place beautifully. I envy this author guys, I love her writing and I just want to steal it ALLL. Teri Brown also writes brilliant creepy scenes, I definitely got goosebumps every once and again.

His vacant eyes are staring at something horrifying that only he can see and his dark skin is sallow and sunken, as if his essence had been drained.

I definitely still recommend people to try Born of Illusion, which stands as one of my favourites of 2013, but I wouldn’t be recommending this unless you really enjoyed Born of Illusion as the romance, characters and plot all fell extremely flat.

~Thank you Balzer & Bray for sending me this copy!~

2.5 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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20 Responses to Review: Born of Deception by Teri Brown

  1. Amelia says:

    Aw it’s a shame that this one didn’t work out as well as you hoped, Melanie 🙁 I don’t like characters who are constantly jealous and insecure in their relationship – leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I hope your next read is better; I might try this though. Great review 🙂

  2. I heard about yet another love triangle in this sequel after I received an ARC and refused to read this as a result. I knew I would be disappointed after the first installment if the romance continued to be annoyingly drama-filled and even just one love triangle is one too many, so two would be waaaay over the top. Thanks for such an honest review, Mel — I won’t be returning to this series!
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…Mixed Bag New Adult Mini-Reviews: Contemporary, Fantasy & ClassicsMy Profile

  3. Rashika says:

    I am so sorry to hear that you were let down by the sequel, Mel. 🙁 I don’t think I’ve see many positive things about the sequel but both you and Giselle have me curious about Born of Illusion.

    Honestly though, I probably wouldn’t go near this one.. love triangles are my sworn enemies 😛 and the one in this one sounds like a nightmare.

    Lovely review as always, Mel!! 🙂
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula StokesMy Profile

  4. Ouch, where has this need for love triangles come from? Is there any need, what happened to good old fashioned romance? Or no romance, even better. I’m sorry you didn’t love this book more, it’s a shame because I know you really did enjoy the first in the series. Reckon you’ll continue with it, see how it ends? 🙂
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Film Review – Pitch Perfect (2012)My Profile

  5. Aw, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this installment. The first book sounds amazing and I just hate it when the MC changes her personality because of the love interest(s). I totally see where you’re coming from, I absolutely hate unwarranted love triangles as well – I hope you enjoy other books written by this author since this one was such a let down. Great review, Mel 🙂
    Maddy @ Symphony of Words recently posted…The Panel: The beginning, the middle, or the end?My Profile

  6. I actually just saw this while cruising through my library’s ebook loan today, lol.

    Sorry it wasn’t to your liking! 🙁 Hope your next read (week? O_o) is better! 🙂

    I do like the title though…
    Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts recently posted…Blog Tour: Caught in the Crossfire – Excerpt + GiveawayMy Profile

  7. It is so frustrating we you get to the second book and the romance has to go through those stumbling blocks. It seems like that is the norm for YA books. I didn’t get this one even though I liked the first one, and I am glad I didn’t. Thanks for the helpful review.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer MathieuMy Profile

  8. Sorry the sequel fell flat for you; I haven’t read any of this series but it’s always hard to hear that a “series” or a “sequel” isn’t staying on par with the first one.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…I Had Brain Surgery, What’s Your Excuse? by Suzy BeckerMy Profile

  9. Rachel says:

    I’m sorry to hear the MC was so different from the first book, Melanie. That would be disappointing. Great honest review! 🙂
    Rachel recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #26: Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly HarperMy Profile

  10. Melliane says:

    I saw that many persons were a little disappointed by this one. I haven’t tried the series but I’m curious about book 1!
    Melliane recently posted…Sidekick by Auralee WallaceMy Profile

  11. Pili says:

    I’m awaiting my copy of Born of Illusion to arrive from BookOutlet cause I have heard such great reviews for it, so I’m very sorry to see that the sequel doesn’t seem to live up to the expectations of the first book!
    Love triangle??? Why??? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!?! I definitely don’t understand why authors feel the need to introduce a love triangle in second books and sequels! UGH!
    Thanks for the very honest review and the warning!
    Pili recently posted…Xpresso Book Tour Blog Tour for Threats of Sky & Sea by Jennifer Ellision!!My Profile

  12. Alise says:

    Well I’m glad to know you liked the first book because I have been dragging my heels on reading that one. Too bad about the sequel though.. I hate it when the plot is traded in for romance. That happens way too often with second books 🙁
    Alise recently posted…Marooned: Hidden by Marianne CurleyMy Profile

  13. Man, that’s definitely a let-down, that the romance has overcome the book. Even I would feel it’s being suffocating – there’s just so much “jealous feelings and monologues” that I can take before it gets old. I wasn’t planning to get this one after being disappointed by the first book, and it seems I made the right choice by avoiding it. Awesome review, Mel! Sorry it was a disappointment >_<
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    • Melanie says:



  14. I just LOVE the sound of this atmospheric novel, it reminds me of the movie the Illusionists. That’s really sad that this one didn’t live up to the first book though, how annoying how romance does that to some mc’s. Great review though!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #33: Lifeline Bookfest Sale dayMy Profile

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