Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Illusionarium book review

Jonathan Gouden is an apprentice to his father, who is one of the best doctor/scientists in Fata Morgana.  Jonathan is close to his sister, Hannah, and to his mother.  He is planning on going to university to get his medical degree.  Fata Morgana is located north and above London, where they do not get too many visitors.  Until the day that the King of England shows up begging for a cure to the Venen.  Venen is a mysterious disease killing all the girls and women.  No ones knows where it came from.  It is up to Dr. Gouden to try to find the cure.  The King provides Dr. Gouden with a hallucinogenic drug called fantillium, which may hold the key to the cure.  Jonathan soon discovers that the fantillium opens gateways to parallel worlds.  The reader will find themselves in Nod’ol, which is a dark and scary world, destroyed by fantillium.  Illusionarium is set in a steam driven society filled with airships and Victorian-like gadgets.

I think this book is a good addition to a high school steam-punk collection.  The characters are pretty well developed, the dialogue is good, the setting is intriguing.  Overall, the book is an enjoyable diversion.  There is a romance that crosses worlds and a strong moral conviction that weaves its way throughout the story.  There is nothing objectionable in the content for a high school student.  The fantillium may have harsher repercussions than meth, but it is fictional.

This book would be a good choice for pleasure reading, a in person or online book club and would garner interest if put on display for students before a school break.  It is a quick read.  The cover will probably appeal more to girls, but the main character is a boy.  The secondary character, Lockwood, would also be very popular with boys.  There is fighting and action, mixed in with the mystery and romance.  Personally, I enjoyed it and will be recommending it to my students.