Gemma's Reviews > Illusions

Illusions by Aprilynne Pike
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Nov 06, 11

Read in August, 2011

And here I thought this series was actually improving.

Wings was a weak opener for the series, with too many resemblances to Twilight to be original or mind blowing and too many character holes to be entertaining or enjoyable. I felt that Laurel was a weak, complaining and arrogant heroine, and the components of the love triangle—David and Tamani—were too perfect to be considered real (I think I read somewhere that the author based them both off of her ideal vision of a guy, complete with the flawlessness). So overall, I wasn’t impressed.

But with Spells… I really thought things were getting better. There was some world building going on, deepening the Avalon/faerie setting and elaborating on the different types of magic out there… And Laurel stopped constantly reminding us about how pretty she was. I was starting to actually enjoy things here.

Yeah. But that all changed with the first page of Illusions. It begins with an eye-roll make out scene. Sort of gag inducing. David and Laurel’s relationship has hit that cutesy phase (which, you could argue, it’s been in since the beginning. I might have forgotten or overlooked it before, but it’s on full blast now). They’re all ‘she leaned in for a kiss’ or ‘he pulled her closer for a kiss’ or ‘They snuck off to kiss’, etc. An excessive usage of the word. And when they’re not making out, it’s like ‘you’re [insert character flaw]’ ‘but you love me’ ‘yeah, I do’. Their constant meaningless banter is so stupid, and I still don’t see this as true love, no matter what Laurel wants to tell us for the first half of the book.

And then there’s Tamani. Laurel’s like ‘I really don’t want to lead you on and/or string you along, but… I really have no choice’. Really? Like that’s supposed to make the whole deal better. If anything, it makes it worse; she’s not oblivious; she’s fully aware of what’s happening, but she keeps doing it anyway. Either sever all non-work related form of relationship, or find a way to be with him that does not involve constantly stepping on his heart. “But… but it’s so hard!” Laurel would whine. Yeah, well. That’s life. Sometimes you need some self control. Because constantly getting this close to kissing and then pushing him away with ‘I have a boyfriend’ is not a healthy way to be for Laurel, Tamani or David. It’s just not right.

Not that I have a huge amount of sympathy for Tamani. The boy doesn’t take no for an answer. Laurel keeps sort of trying (but not hard enough to count for anything in my book) to end anything romantic between them, and he’s just like “pleeeeeeeaaaase?” (puppy dog eyes) “pwetty, pwetty pwease?”

And then Laurel, because she is weak and spineless is like “well… okay, maybe.”

So then Tamani can go off and feel all excited and filled with false hope while David and Laurel go and engage in some inane and brief conversation followed by an extended make out session.

Gah. This is what pretty much the entire 2/3rds of the book consist of (the other third consists of (view spoiler)). There is virtually no plot, just the—wait for it—Illusion of one (at least I can figure out the title). There is the introduction of one new character, Yuki, who is some sort of fae, although they can’t figure out what kind, exactly and maybe she’s bad, what if she’s posing a threat to our dearly beloved Laurel, oh no, whatever shall we do?

But mostly, it’s just boring relationship stuff.

If I want that, I can check half of my friends’ status updates on Facebook. Unless this is some freaking amazing romance worthy of filling every single page (I’m trying to think of an example, but nothing comes to mind), I don’t want to spend an entire book listening to people whine and make flirty eyes at each other. What’s it called: angst? Yeah, I’m not into that. I don’t mind romance as a subplot. See: Pirates of the Caribbean (the first one). It works, because it’s not all consuming, and while the plot is initially driven by the romance, Will and Elizabeth aren’t constantly on screen, and don’t spend every on-screen second together kissing. And I liked them as a couple, because I didn’t have to listen to incessant whining.

Or better yet, Inception, where, if there’s any romance in there at all, you have to draw your own conclusions about it. That’s my type of relationship: the fill in your own blanks kind. Subtle.

I bet Aprilynne Pike doesn’t even know what subtlety means. Nothing here has an ounce of subtlety; everything is immediately laid on the table. We know everything, and because of that, nothing is a surprise.

I don’t know if that’s because she is painfully obvious, or just because there is nothing in here that could possibly, in any way, sneak up you. Because it’s probably really hard for nothing to jump out of the blue and surprise you.

Literally, this book is nothing. It is 375 pages of filler. I cannot point out any climax at all. Like, in the end, they go to a dance, and then there’s like ‘this is an impending threat’ to set up the premise of a plot for the next one and then the book ends.

Perhaps I could admire her, for not even making an effort at a plot here, except there is nothing remotely admirable about that, especially in a writer. I like my books plotted, thank you, however flimsily. At least junk like the Body Finder has this ‘serial killer attack!!’ scene at the end that served as an action sequence. There is nothing even remotely close to action here.

So Illusions will go down as my seventh one star rating. I was actually going to give it two, but as I’m recapping it in my mind, there is nothing good about this mess at all. Not even anything two star worthy; Beauty Queens was better than this.

And so, my reading of the Wings series will end right here. Unless, of course, the fourth one has an especially alluring cover, in which case—I may weaken.

Geez, I’m as bad as Laurel here, aren’t I?

Don’t answer that.

UPDATE 11/6: Oooh, the Destined cover... It is beautiful. Gorgeous. Probably my favorite of all of the Wings covers. It makes me want to eat flowers...

It's just one more book, right? Can't be more than 400 large-print easy-to-read pages. That's like two hours of reading. And this is (theoretically) the last book. So I'll be able to say I finished it...

I think I'm gonna read it. Somebody stop me...

Sooo pretty...
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Clarissa You hit on almost all the things that annoy me about this book. I really, really hated the non-ending though. I was hoping for some kind of pay-off for actually sticking with the book all the way to the, oh wait, you mean there is no end? I literally threw my library copy of the book when I turned the last page.


Gemma I know! You'd expect some pay off at the end, something that makes up for the nearly four hundred pages of nothing and then... it's not even a real book, just an extended prologue for book four.


message 3: by Sue (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sue You had me laughing as I read this because it was so spot on! 100% in agreement with you! Nothing likeable about Laurel...at all.


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