Illusive (Illusive Series #1)by Emily Lloyd-Jones
The X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of "super" criminals.
When the deadly 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, and Americans suffering from/b>/i>
The X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of "super" criminals.
When the deadly 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, and Americans suffering from these so-called adverse effects were given an ultimatum: Serve the country or be declared a traitor.
Some people chose a third option: live a life of crime.
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 crossing a gang of mobsters, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super powered criminals on a job that most would have considered impossible: a hunt for the formula that gave them their abilities. It was supposedly destroyed years agobut what if it wasn't?
Government agents are hot on their trail, and 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 that could cost them their lives.
Superpowered teens screw up repeatedly in this crime-caper debut. The Praevenir vaccine helped protect humanity against the MK plague, but it also left some people "immune"—endowed with one of seven superpowers. When the vaccine and its creator disappeared, those affected became pawns to cops or criminals, potential weapons in an international arms race. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba is an illusionist, able to blend in with her surroundings and hide from the human eye; even her name is a disguise, adopted after years spent hiding from the federal government and fleeing from memories of her mother's tragic death. Ciere's a low-level criminal, pulling heists for her Fagin-esque father figure, Kit Copperfield, and partying with her rich best friend, Devon Lyre. After two jobs go south, Ciere is on the run again, blackmailed by the Gyr Syndicate, associated with a terrorist organization, hunted by the government and in possession of the vaccine creator's final secret. Besides bouncing between flashbacks and the present, Ciere shares the narrative with her missing confederate, Daniel Burkhart. Lloyd-Jones relishes the details of criminal undertakings and con jobs but also builds a believable world of haves and have-nots, unaffected and immune. Ciere is likable if not entirely trustworthy, and the outcomes of her slapdash schemes are both entertaining and unpredictable. Readers may also want to check out the Wild Card series edited by George R. R. Martin for a similar take on superpowers. An action-packed adventure with a charming criminal crew. (Science fiction. 12 & up)
*"Boasting a complex plot, heart-stopping bursts of action, and questions regarding human nature, Lloyd-Jones' thought-provoking, multifaceted narrative neatly sidesteps categorization as just another superhero or dystopian novelthough fans of both will be drawn to the material and be pleasantly surprised. An impressive debut guaranteed to disappear from the shelves before your very eyes."Booklist (starred review)"
Superpowered teens screw up repeatedly in this crime-caper debut... Lloyd-Jones relishes the details of criminal undertakings and con jobs but also builds a believable world of haves and have-nots, unaffected and immune... [Entertaining] and unpredictable. Readers may also want to check out the Wild Card series edited by George R.R. Martin for a similar take on superpowers. An action-packed adventure with a charming criminal crew."Kirkus Reviews"
Multiple plot twists and the present-tense narrative heighten Ciere, Devon, and Daniel's sense of paranoia as they struggle to survive in a world in which it is often difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys. A thrilling read."School Library Journal"
Ciere is an everyman heroine. Strong enough to survive on her own, yet still shy and vulnerable around the new boy, she is an appealing and approachable character...A fun and engaging read that instantly hooks. A sequel to this debut novel would be very appreciated."VOYA"
Ciere...is a deeply sympathetic protagonist. Offer this to fans of Moore's V Is for Villain (BCCB 5/14); they'll enjoy a new look at superpowers the hands of teens too smart to trust the grownups who clearly have no clue how to manage a changed society."The Bulletin"
False starts, ill-advised decisions, and slow-to-unfold secrets embellish brilliantly plotted twists and turns...Emily Lloyd-Jones's thriller is fresh, thought-provoking, and addictively readable."School Library Journal"
[A] fast-paced sci-fi adventure!"Library Media Connection"
Illusive starts off at a sprint, and the pace never falters. With razor-sharp prose, and richly drawn characters, I was captivated beginning to end."Jennifer Rush, author of the Altered series"
Illusive delivers high-stakes suspense, thought-provoking sci-fi scenarios, supremely satisfying plot reveals, and a big handful of sophisticated wit. But what really impressed me was how much I came to care about the characters as they make their way through life as vaccine-damaged super-criminals. I'm looking forward to finding out what's next for Ciere, Alan, and Devon."Christie Olson Day, owner of Gallery Bookshop"
We deserve to indulge ourselves and read Illusive, to step into its highly entertaining future world shaped by the unexpected side effects of a pandemic stopping drug. Governmental intrigue, compromised personal identities, superpowers, likeable, fallible characters, and a riveting coming-of-age drama, which is light on angst, are at our fingertips. What's not to love?"Kenny Brechner, Devaney Doak & Garrett (Summer/Fall Indie New Voices, 2014)
Gr 7–10—Fans of Divergent (HarperCollins, 2011) will devour this fast-paced dystopian novel. In 2017, a vaccine was hurriedly administered to counter the spread of a fatal plague. Only later do people realize that .003 percent of the immunized population have developed X-Men type characteristics. The U.S. identifies these "adverse effects" as illusive (the ability to create illusions), mentalist (telepathy), eidos (perfect memory), eludere (heightened senses), levitas (levitation), dauthus (body manipulation), and dominus (hypnosis) and forcibly recruit these superpowered citizens for government work. People wanting to avoid mandatory servitude become criminals. Teens Ciere (illusive) and Devon (eidos) work for a levitas, who carefully plans their jobs. Teaming with a mentalist, they must avoid the feds, a terrorist group, and a mob syndicate as they attempt to find the supposedly destroyed vaccine formula. Meanwhile, eludere Daniel has been captured by a dauthus and is helpless to resist the mind-controlling powers of a dominus who is also after the formula. Multiple plot twists and the present-tense narrative heighten Ciere, Devon, and Daniel's sense of paranoia as they struggle to survive in a world in which it is often difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys. A thrilling read.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Meet the Author
Emily Lloyd-Jones grew up on a vineyard in rural Oregon, where she played in evergreen forests and learned to fear sheep. After graduating from Western Oregon University with an English degree, she enrolled in the publishing program at Rosemont College. She currently resides in Northern California, working in a bookstore by day and writing by night. Illusive is her debut novel. Visit her online at emilylloydjones.com.
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When the MK virus took over the world, a vaccine was created by Fiacre Pharmaceuticals called Praevenir. Everybody thought that with the new vaccine, things would return to normal, but they didn't. Some unexpected side affects came along with the drug, side affects that nobody saw coming. Not everyone was affected, but .03 percent of the world's population began to experience immunities, superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba is part of the .03 percent. She has the ability to change her appearance at will, which makes it all too easy for her to be a thief. When a routine robbery goes wrong, Ciere gets involved with a mob who tells her she either has to pay, or face the consequences. ILLUSIVE takes the concrete lines between good and bad and makes them blurry. Suddenly, nothing is as it seems. When I first picked ILLUSIVE up, I was very wary. The book is being described as the X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven, and that just sounded way too hokey for anything that I would ever enjoy. Despite going into the book expecting not to like it, after the first chapter I was hooked. The fact that the good guys are self-professed criminals gave things a very interesting vibe. It was hard at times to know who was good and who was bad. I like that Emily Lloyd-Jones kept me guessing. This assured that I was never bored and kept me fully engaged the entire time. The humor was awesome! So many funny jokes are contained within the pages, which made this such a fun read. The way that things are connected and intertwined is amazing. References were made throughout the book that mentioned events from the beginning in both big and small ways. All of the characters were very enjoyable, even the ones that you are supposed to dislike. They were crafted so well, and the ways they interacted with each other were very believeable. I am incredibly glad that I picked this book up and gave it a chance. It has definitely turned into one of my favorite reads, and I am so excited for the sequel, Deceptive! You will definitely want to get your hands on this one, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
The foreshadowing was amazing, if you pay attention to small details it really pays off! Overall I love this book and it's slight resemblence to the glorious The Darkest Minds!
I really enjoyed how this story focused on the character's powers and the struggle with the government rather than on a romance.
I enjoyed this book so much I literally want to throw it in people's faces. And yes, I know what "literally" means. I don't think I've ever seen comparative titles done justice like ILLUSIVE does to "X-Men meets Ocean's 11." It's suspenseful, thrilling, witty as all hell, full of fantastic characters and great dialogue, and really well paced. It's probably the longest YA I've read this year, and I wasn't nearly ready for it to be over when it was. As it is, I'd punch a lion for the sequel in my face right now. Basically, if you like fun things, read it. Like, if you like fun AT ALL, you should be reading this book as soon as you can get your hands on it. Plus, if you're tired of every YA being consumed by romance, THIS ONE IS NOT. Though I'd happily romance pretty much anyone in it, to be honest.
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones Book One of the Illusive series Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication Date: July 15, 2014 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC borrowed from a friend (thank you, Jess!) Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: What a novel! I had been excited to read this one for a very long time, so I was really happy and slightly nervous to start reading it. Big thanks to Jessica @ Step Into Fiction for offering to lend me her prized ARC! Otherwise I'd never have had an opportunity to read this book, pre-publication. Ciere is a thief, working with Kit Copperfield, an art fence who gives her jobs and takes care of her. When Ciere and her friend Devon rob a bank in mobster territory, Ciere finds herself in huge trouble. Pay Brandt back the forty grand, or else. But there are other problems - Kit wants Ciere to finish a job that Daniel, a boy that Ciere and Kit have worked with for years, hasn't completed. Daniel was taken by Aristeus and Co, an organization that apparently works to help the immune. Meanwhile, the FBI, UAI, and Ciere/Kit/Devon/Marcus are all searching for an old lady's will, that might contain the formula for the vaccination that caused the immune to exist - those with the "superpowers". I know. This book is complicated. I loved the complexity of everything. There is the mobster plot - in which Ciere has to figure out how to pay back Brandt. There is the overall plot, in which everyone is searching for the will - and in essence, the formula (which was thought to be destroyed). There is Ciere's plot, in which Ciere learns to grow into her illusionist powers (something she's struggled with since her mother died, years ago). There is Daniel's plot, in which Daniel is taken by Aristeus, and used to find out what Kit and company are doing and looking for. There is a touch of romance, not much at all. In fact, the romance is kind of nonexistent. I might be building the romance a little. What a fascinating world this author has created. A vaccine that was created to prevent MK from spreading had serious side effects ("adverse effects"), causing those injected to develop an immunity, or a supernatural power. There are mentalists, with the ability to see into people's minds. There are illusionists, like Ciere, who are able to allow people to see what she wants them to see, by creating illusions. There are others, like a dominus, eidos, dathos (I think dathos is one of them? The ones that can fight really well because they can bend their muscles and reshape themselves like craziness). It's SO COOL, all of the different powers, and how the immune affect the world. The government wants the formula to create more immune, to create a human army with superpowers. UAI (Aristeus's organization) and the FBI also want to round up the currently living immune, like Devon and Ciere. So I liked the story, the plot, the world building. This book is really solid, especially in those areas. The characters are solid as well. I liked Ciere - her strength, her indecision, her impulsiveness, all of her traits made her a likable character. I didn't just see her as a thief, I saw her as a teenager with a difficult life, with no way out. Devon, ehhh, I liked him. He was hilarious, always making me life. I don't think he belongs in the crime world, but I really liked in his presence in this book. I loved Kit and Marcus - they're like the "parents" of the story, except neither of them act like parents. Yes, they look after the teenagers, but for jobs, not necessarily for anything else. Although, that's not fair, Kit takes care of Ciere. Kit and Marcus were friends and colleagues before, and Aristeus was a protegee. Oops? Aristeus is kind of a bad guy (though not really), if you haven't picked up on that yet. Alan is an excellent addition to the cast of characters. I REALLY liked him, and hope to see more of him in future books. The romance is so so so subtle in this book, if it exists at all. Throughout the book, I thought Devon and Ciere were a thing. Ciere definitely treats Devon in a platonic way, as a friend. But I'm pretty sure Devon has feelings for Ciere. Which is whatever. But I like Ciere and someone else. I'm hoping that the next book has a smidgen more of actual romance, because romance and kickbutt thriller action is an okay combination by me! Yes, this book is totally kickbutt. There is so much action and thieving and scheming and plotting, I love it. I haven't read a crime-based book in a while - maybe since Natalie Whipple's Transparent? Except this book is more crime-based, more action-riddled, more kickbutt. I never wanted it to end! There is a science fiction aspect to this book - the whole thing about the vaccination and the inhuman abilities. It's scientifically explained as side effects from the vaccination hastily created to combat the MK virus. Makes sense! I didn't think too much of it. You'll notice that I've tagged this book as "Post-Apocalypse" as well - the MK virus, and the vaccinations, can be considered as an apocalypse, right? And this book takes place after those two tragic phenomena. The writing style is really interesting. This book is written in third-person, present tense. I'm not used to books written in present tense, so I was a little caught off-guard at first, but I found that I really liked the use of present tense! I love third person narrations, so I had no problem with that. Third person, present tense combinations are rare in Young Adult literature (I think? I personally haven't read too many books with both), so it was awesome to read a book with such unique writing (and a really original story)! All in all, I can't wait to read the next book in this series. I didn't think there would be a sequel, because Goodreads doesn't have a sequel listed, but I chatted with the author, and she said that there will be a sequel next year! YAY FOR THAT! What I Did Not Like: I can't think of anything for this section. I know, I know, I'm giving the book four stars, but I can't think of anything that I didn't like. This is another "feel" novel, in which I'm giving this one four stars because that's how I feel about the book! Would I Recommend It: YES! You don't need to be a science fiction fan to enjoy this book. This book feels like primarily a thriller, so I feel like any type of audience will love this book. And there is basically no romance, which I think some people will really like! I think this book is an excellent package. Rating: 4 stars. This book was EPIC! I don't think I've read such an action-packed novel in a while. The writing and the story was refreshing and thrilling. Basically, you need to go read this one as soon as (legally) possible. I'm glad there will be a sequel - I will be all over that!