So my name is Rashika and I am weird. I read a lot (duh) and I watch a lot of TV. I also like to review. Check out my blog (where I co-blog with awesome people).
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato
Illusions of Fate is a book that would have completely won me over pre-blogging, but now, not so much. I still had a lot of fun reading it but the problem is that I am somewhat of a critique; I now notice things that might have completely escaped my attention before I became a blogger and that’s why I didn’t love this book.
For starters, the characters were all great from a glance but if you dig deeper… there weren't much. Jessamin herself sometimes annoyed me and made me want to shake her but her sense of humor won me over. She wasn’t what I’d call an admirable character, but she worked for the purposes of the story. Finn, the love interest, was similar. He was sweet in spite of the initial misunderstandings, but there wasn’t much else to him. He was pretty flat aside from that. Eleanor was a nice addition to the story and probably the only secondary character that wasn’t almost completely forgotten about afterwards. My favorite character was Sir Bird though. He was a strong, brave bird that defied authority and did what he thought was right and you couldn’t help but want to cuddle with him.
The romance was kind of the similar to the characters. It was pleasant but not much else aside from that. I didn’t think of it as insta-love or slow burn or anything. It was just there and it was nice to read about. The two were all right as a couple, however, I did wish Jessamin have paid more attention to Finn and realized his intentions so that they wouldn't have had to dance around each other for so long.
The plot was pretty meh to be honest. Things were happening and I understood that and it was paced well enough, but there weren't enough to satisfy me. The resolution came out of nowhere, and the twist surprised me and not in a good way. Twists are great when they surprise you and then you can go back and connect the dots, but when you literally cannot even understand how that happened, that’s not a good thing.
This probably has something to do with the lack of world building. There just weren't enough. I mean, it was good enough to keep the book going but not nearly enough to satisfy me as a reader. What it did was make me have more questions than not and the lack of world building also made it harder for me as a reader to connect the dots as the story progressed. In fact, there were a LOT of things just forgotten about after being introduced. Not just secondary characters but other secrets brushed over but never fully explored.
With that said, the little world building we DID get was fascinating. The idea that the nobility possessed magical powers was an interesting one and the whole shadow jumping thing (which kind of reminds me of the whole mating thing in pnr featuring shapeshifters) was intriguing as well. There was definitely a LOT of potential in this world, but the fact that it was a standalone made it harder for it to be explored.
It makes me wonder what this would have been like it weren’t a standalone; if it had been part of a series instead. That said, I am glad that it is one. We DO need more of them because as much as I love a series, I could use a bunch of standalones in my life.
The one thing this book has done though is encourage me to pick up other books by the author. I wasn’t a fan of Paranormalcy(AT ALL) and I had been wary of giving the author another shot, but I think I am ready to read some of the other books by her that I had wanted to read at some point.
I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun read. If you’re not as concerned about details as I was, and just want a nice story to fall into, this would be perfect.