By: Melanie | August 25, 2014 | (34) Comments

Mini Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten WhiteIllusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, YA
Pages: 288
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads |

Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.

stickers-my-review (1)Honestly, I just don’t think Kiersten White novels work for me. Paranormalcy was a dud for me as well as Mind Games which I actually ended up DNFing because I couldn’t get into the story not matter what. Illusions of Fate, though better than Mind Games, still felt like a chore to get through.

Jessamin, the main character was someone I had little interest in. I did like her sass, but she was awfully stupid and stubborn. She is constantly falling for tricks antagonists pull in front of her face and a lot of her actions are poorly thought through. For instance, she meets a young man, then gets an invitation to go to an event and she goes. She actually did say no at first, but when she saw the dress that came with it, she changed her answer. just. like. that.

*face palms*

Furthermore, the world building was lacking. Yes, it’s a historical novel but it’s also a fantasy novel so that means there needs to be some world building and development on these ideas that the author had. Unfortunately, I was left awfully muddled throughout the novel, and I found myself skimming the pages after halfway. I was initially curious about how the author would pack an entire world in just one 288 paged novel, and by the looks of it, it didn’t work. 288 pages is not enough put a thoroughly created world into a novel–especially because it’s a stand-alone as well.

My last complaint was how long it took for the pace to actually pick up. The first third of the novel was extremely tedious for me and I was seriously contemplating on DNFing. So you if you read this, please note it takes some time until the action and plot to actually set in.

Colonialism was talked about in this book which I found to be interesting–one of the only positive aspects though I wish it was discussed even more deeply. In all, this book is unmemorable and I wouldn’t say that I’d recommend it.

~Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy!~

2 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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34 Responses to Mini Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

  1. I haven’t read any of her books yet because of all the mixed reviews. Not sure if I ever will read one either.
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…ARC Review: Zac and Mia by A.J. BettsMy Profile

  2. Melliane says:

    I was so curious about this one because well I fell in love with the cover but well I saw many mixed reviews so I think I’ll pass.
    Melliane recently posted…A Barricade In Hell by Jaime Lee MoyerMy Profile

  3. Rashika says:

    I was looking forward to this one and have to read it like next week. Paranormalcy didn’t work for me either and I haven’t even bothered finishing the series because NO.

    I am still holding out hope that I’ll like this though even if it seems more and more unlikely *sigh*

    It’s a shame because it had such a pretty cover. 🙁

    Lovely review, Mel and I am sorry you didn’t enjoy it more 🙁
    Rashika recently posted…Potato Prints #4: Flipped, CrescendoMy Profile

  4. Siiri says:

    Funny because today I read another review that said she’s smart and definitely has her wits. Um. Ok lol. O______O So she’s easily swayed by beautiful clothing? Ooohkay. I feel like the worldbuilding is always an issue when it comes to White’s novels. And it’s really kind of hurtful to hear this since she seems like such a fun, vivid and lovely person 🙁 Sorry it wasn’t for you, Mel!

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination

  5. Argh! And I was even thinking of picking up this book. Some of my bloggy friends are big fans of Kiersten White and have highly recommended her books. But I don’t know… reviews like this always discourages me.

    I have a high tolerance for slow moving plots especially if we’re dealing with Fantasy books but it seems that this one would really grate on your nerves. The insufficient world building would irk me too.

    Wow! I can’t believe the heroine. Just because her ball dress was beautiful, she immediately ate back her words? *eyeroll galore** Oh, Mel, I hope your next read will be better than this one.
    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens recently posted…Book Review: Shatter MeMy Profile

  6. Sarah C. says:

    Bummer. I was hoping this one would be better than Mind Games (which I didn’t particularly enjoy), but it sounds like this suffers from the same major problem I had with Mind Games: a lack of adequate world-building. If only a pretty book cover guaranteed a good read. *sigh* Thanks for the review!
    Sarah C. recently posted…Review: The Kiss of DeceptionMy Profile

  7. I am with you, I haven’t been overly impressed by this author yet and it sounds like this one is a miss. I will skip it
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Guest Post, Review and Giveaway: Long, Hot Texas Summer by Carolyn BrownMy Profile

  8. Zoe N. says:

    Huh. I got sent an ARC of this, and like you, I was a bit hesitant because I wasn’t really a huge fan of Mind Games. I’m glad to hear that this is at least better than MG, but it’s a shame that it’s not necessarily a really decent read either. The pacing sounds iffy and the lack of world-building would probably irritate me too. 🙁 Thanks for sharing Mel, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe N. recently posted…The Body in the WoodsMy Profile

  9. I liked this more than you did, but I do agree about Jessa. She started out as such a strong, independent character and then some pretty dresses and party invitations got thrown her way and she seemed to turn into a different person… 🙁
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics
    Jen @ YA Romantics recently posted…Just Finished Reading …. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. MaasMy Profile

  10. I haven’t had any luck with Kirsten White either. 🙁 Although to be fair I’ve only read one book, but I hoped HUGE things for Mind Games and it just totally flopped imo. Although it was really tiny and short too. Hmm…maybe she’s just a quick and to-the-point writer? Which I wouldn’t normally mind, but DETAILS. And world building. They’re important.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…The Nasty Side Effects of Reading A Good BookMy Profile

  11. My comment was eaten 🙁

    What I said was; I think it’s important to have the right expectations. I always know I’m in for something easy, funny and nothing too special when it comes to her books. I find them enjoyable and okay, but not memorable or spectacular. So I thought it was a good book, but it definitely lacked!
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Bout of books Updates.My Profile

  12. Michelle says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous review, Mel! I totally agree with you. I have no luck with this woman’s books! I read the first two in the Paranormalcy series and hated them. There was nothing good about them and I saw no light! Mind Games is still on my shelf, sitting there, because I fear to pick it up, but I really want to read this one for the premise. It sounds so beautiful, although the world building basically sucked. And that’s what I look forward to in these kinds of books! Historical is not usually my type, but I think I’ll either way give this a try. I’m sorry that you didn’t like this one too much, but good luck with your next read! <3
    Michelle recently posted…Rain by Amanda Sun Review: Kami Gods descend on TokyoMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks Michelle 🙂 The world building certainly did suck, I wouldn’t recommend picking up Mind Games if you weren’t a fan of Paranormalcy, then!

  13. Aww, I was looking forward to reading this one. I’ve heard fairly good things so far but I imagine I’ll feel more like you did since her previous works didn’t really work that well for me. Great review Melanie!
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Mini-Review of Vampires of Manhattan by Melissa De La CruzMy Profile

  14. Okay, I totally pre ordered this book, but now I’m getting scared. I’m not a huge Kiersten White fan either, but Illusions of Fate was calling my name. Now I’m worried I should have gotten it for Kindle or borrowed it. Hmm.

    I hope I end up loving it – fingers crossed. Thanks for your thoughts, Melanie!

  15. Okay, so I read a few positive reviews of this book yesterday so I was wondering if I should pick it up even though, like you, I was only middling on PARANORMALCY and I put down MIND GAMES after a couple of chapters. Knowing that you reacted to her other two books the same way I did and seeing your two stars means that I’m safe in skipping this, though. Thanks, Mel. You saved me!
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Heir of Fire: ReviewMy Profile

  16. Bah, this sounds so disappointing! 🙁 I’ve heard of White’s rather… uhh… less-than-stellar reputation for writing recent misses, but I was really hoping that this time it would be different. Seriously, a TSTL, not-thinking, annoyingly-impulsive-and-reckless heroine? /facepalm I THOUGHT WE ARE DONE WITH THOSE SERIOUSLY :((
    Faye D’Social Potato recently posted…Potato Strip #1: Blog NameMy Profile

  17. Too bad it wasnt for you Mel, I haven’t read Mind Game yet but her books have been quite hit and miss for me as well. A shame Illusions of fate was all over the place, I’ll go on with that warning when I pick it up.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins Review: Devouring BrillianceMy Profile

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