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3.35  ·  Rating details ·  2,599 ratings  ·  583 reviews
What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, author of the acclaimed Entwined, comes a brilliantly conceived adventure that sweeps us from the inner workings of our souls to the far reaches of our imaginations.

Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then—as every good adventure begi
Hardcover, 361 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Greenwillow
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Cami Ha ha! I think he is taken, but you could try to determine for sure!
demicaractere Probably because Heather Dixon's previous book "Entwined" was a retelling. This is not a retelling.…moreProbably because Heather Dixon's previous book "Entwined" was a retelling. This is not a retelling.(less)

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Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Illusionists are rare, which means illusionariums are even rarer.”

This was an interesting fantasy story, but I did lose interest a bit towards the end.

Jonathan was a character who tried his best to find a cure for the strange fever that was killing all the women in the country, but he was easily led at times! Thinking that a competitor might help you, is maybe a little
Faye, la Patata
Ah, Illusionarium, that new book coming to town with such a bad-ass name that simply screams wonder and magic and romance. With a cover like that, I had imagined myself fantastically flying through parallel dimensions while eyeing the handsome rose tucked behind my ear that a gentleman in a dashing tuxedo has given me.

...but alas, no... upon finishing this book, my fancy image shattered to tiny pieces, leaving only bitter disappointment behind. This makes me horribly sad, because I really do wan
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-releases

I have been waiting for this book for nearly two years. And I'll have to wait more than half of another. Just keep swimming...

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, a
In this alternative nineteenth-century timeline, the Arthurisian (British) Empire has mastered so much technology that cities can float in the air, their residents travelling by airships. Seventeen-year-old Jonathan Gouden lives in one of these floating cities with his scientist father, mother, and feisty sister Hannah. Jonathan looks forward to attending a university and carrying on his father’s legacy of scientific discoveries, but he has very little going on in his life at the moment.

Until hi
Jodi Meadows
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was so much fun. I loved the inventive worldbuilding -- an alternate London and a different alternate London! -- as well as the sense of humor throughout the whole thing. I read this on a plane . . . to London. It definitely passed the time quickly!
merina rey
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Considering I found this book at THE DOLLAR TREE.... I was so pleasantly surprised to thoroughly enjoy it! I had never before read a "steam punk" type of book and I will admit steam punk is definitely not my favorite genre...but wow this book was so good!
This book is heavily plot driven, it starts off with a bang and is fast paced thru the entirety of the book! There are not any slow moments in the's just a "go,go,go!" type of read!
However, it was FILLED with information and it was ex
Deborah O'Carroll
*****Updated very long rambly fangirling babbles "review" can be found on my blog:*****

(I almost rated it less due to the creepiness of a couple elements, but I just COULDN'T rate it less than 5.)

My first steampunk! Gasp. (With some alternate worlds and timey-wimey ish and other weirdness thrown in.) I guess I must read more steampunk...


Jul 16, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: harpercollins
Aerial cities? LOVE.

I adored Entwined and I'm SO excited to see that Illusionarium is up on GR and that it's set for 2014! Fingers crossed the publication date stays within 2014 because I'd love to read more from Heather Dixon!

No idea whatsoever on how I am going to review this...

Arc provided by Greenwillow Books through Edelweiss

Release Date: May 19 th

For once a synopsis that doesn't lie: this is in fact, a richly developed fantasy novel featuring parallel worlds, with non stop adventure, humour and a dash of romance.

And yes, it did remind me of the Night Circus with his fantastical images _ or in this case the illusions the characters make happen, not with the help of magic but something completely different
m a r y l i z
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Have I fully expressed how much I love this book? GOOD GRIEF, I LOVE IT SO MUCH. <3333 If at all possible, it was even better upon rereading it. SERIOUSLY. I think I love it even more than I did before.

First of all, the writing style. Oh my stars, Heather Dixon's writing blows. me. away. She has such a unique, quirky writing voice that sticks out to me every time I read her books. Just the way she describes things is really intriguing, and I looooove the footnotes at the bottom that add to the d
I picked this book up at a used book sale. Everything about it intrigued me, the title, description and the cover. Can we talk about that gorgeous cover? It had me completely sold! It was just so beautiful with an air of mystery. All of these factors had me starting out with high expectations. But I had never heard of it and that made me weary. Then I thought about all the hype that And I Darken received and I decided to plunge on, because that book didn't deserve all the press it got. I have lo ...more
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library 


I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In an alt
Dark Faerie Tales
Apr 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed-by-zed
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A decent YA sci-fi read set in an aerial city, but not nearly as good as I had expected.

Opening Sentence: When storms like this hit Fata Morgana, the snow blew horizontal, glaciers formed over the buildings and walkways, ad nothing – not airships, not light signals – could get through.

The Review:

I had very high hopes for this book, mainly because some of my fellow bloggers included Illusionarium as one of their most anticipated reads for 2015 s
One Pushy Fox
Jan 25, 2014 marked it as to-read
I have been waiting for YEARS for another book from Ms. Dixon!!!!! I can't SQUEE loud enough on this one!!!! I love the premise too, but mostly I just want to read more of her beautiful, poetic prose again. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!! ...more
R.F. Gammon
Aug 13, 2018 marked it as dnf
I promise I'm gonna come back to this one at some point, y'all. I PROMISE.

But at the moment my interest level isn't up and I really want to reread some old comfort books. So I'm probably going to return most of my library books unread and work through some more Mitford and Goldstone Wood.

At some point, when I have the time and interest, I will pick this one back up. But not right now. :P
Lila Kims
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

How could I have moved so drastically from burning with disappointment (hating the book, essentially) to super impressed and full of feels? Well, I'm not sure, but that's exactly what happened with Illusionarium.

It started out less than mediocre. The characters were bland and silly, the dialogue (especially in the argument between Jonathan and his dad) was laughable, and the pacing was waaaaaay too fast - it was like watching a movie in fast-forward mode.

I spent almost half the book cri
Lauren ✨ (TheBookishTwins)
I received a free copy via Edelweiss.

DNF at 15%

The writing style really irked me, and I could not, for the life of me, get into it. Everything seemed super fast paced, and didn't really develop all that much. The dialogue felt stilted and unnatural, too.

I'm disappointed I couldn't get into it, but hopefully I might be able to try again some time.
 Lorien Rhys ~ Live for tomorrow
Oh goodness! This book was absolutely amazing! The humor and the characters were hilarious and the plot was amazing! Definitely not a waste of time to read at all!
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I know Dixon's books have flaws, but dang it, they just make me so HAPPY. 💙 ...more
2.5 stars

Illusionarium was probably one of my most highly anticipated novels of 2015. Steampunk has been trying for a couple of years now to be the new "it" genre in YA, and while there's been a couple of great offerings in the genre, it's had its fair share of bad entries and it has yet to make the impact the publishers are trying to push. I honestly thought Illusionarium would be, at the very least, one of the really good ones, considering the creativity and originality behind the premise, the
Review originally posted on my blog, Dee's Reads

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

This was just the book I needed to get me out of my reading funk! I'll be honest, I wasn't just in a reading funk but a bit of a life funk and this book as the ultimate distraction.
I was excited by it when I saw it and received the ARC. However, I started hearing (or rather, not really hearing too much) about it and heard a lot of mixed reviews. Although I try not t
Mel (Daily Prophecy)

I wanted to love this. I really did. Heather Dixon is the author from Entwined and that turned out to be one of my favorite retellings from that particular fairytale (The twelve dancing princesses). I was so stoked when I saw the announcement of her new book, but it wasn't what I expected. At all. The whole concept of illusions, aerial cities and parallel words sounded amazing, but it was confusing to me. I still don't get how the illusions work and there
Jul 10, 2018 added it
Shelves: skimmed
I just didn't find this book very interesting :((. I will go back and reread one day, and see if my opinion changes, but as of now, I found it boring. :( ...more
Where do I even start with this book?

I've been looking forward to this for absolute ages- ever since I finished Entwined (which is fabulous, y'all!) and found out that Heather Dixon was writing a second book (even if it wasn't in the same series). Once the release date started getting closer, I started getting scared. All the negative reviews and people saying Illusionarium was just "meh" . . . what if they were right? What if the book disappointed me?

Spoiler alert: It didn't. Illusionarium
This and other reviews are on my site, My Friends Are Fiction
Did you read that intriguing (and vague) summary? Sounds like perfection-so I knew I’d need to read this book as soon as possible. I’ve read Dixon’s Entwined and enjoyed it so I was even more excited. Pus, look at that cover. Really, what isn’t appealing about this?

Sadly, I think my expectations might have been too high. I enjoyed the beginning of this book but it felt on the younger side of YA and I’d hoped for a more mature storylin
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it
As soon as I saw that cover, I was pretty much sold on the book. Thankfully, the story delivered.

I really enjoyed Jonathan's inner monologue. He's really sarcastic and the story was riddled with footnotes of extra snarky commentary on his own story. It was perfect. Lockwood may have been my favorite character and I loved his interactions with Jonathan.

The main plot point is definitely intriguing and the descriptions of what was happening were perfect. However, I couldn't help but feel that the
1.5 stars

Having heard amazing things about Dixon's debut, Entwined, that I have had on my shelf for years but shamefully not read yet, when the option to review Illusionarium came up, I jumped on that instantly. I'm generally a sucker for all things labeled steampunk anyway. But. Well, I think I may have learned my lesson not to jump the gun like that again.

From the very start, Illusionarium and I didn't get along - to the point where I honestly should have just stopped reading. But my sense of
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it

"The universe is...quite a bit like chess", she said. She smiled at my expression. "Let us say, in my first move, I choose to move my knight here. Then what happens? The game progresses in a very different manner than it would have if I, perhaps, moved it here." Lady Florel moved the knight two squares to the side. "It could be completely different in fact.""Perhaps" I admitted. "But probably not entirely different."

Illusionarium is one of those well told, fascinating stories that
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
I gave up reading this book 112 pages in. Since it’s handy for me to write out why a book didn’t work for me, I’m writing out a DNF review.

This has been on my TBR for a while. I remember being so excited for this book to come out! I featured it on Waiting on Wednesday! But when the book came out with iffy reviews, I put it on the back burner because it still sounded really interesting.

And that’s the thing, this book does have a really interesting premise! You have a fascinating steampunk world,
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Heather Dixon Wallwork has been a story artist for Disney, a writer for HarperCollins, and currently works as an animation director in Salt Lake City. She is the author of the books "Entwined" and "Illusionarium". You can find more of her stories and comics at ...more

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“You didn't crush flowers, you didn't squeeze birds, and you didn't break your mum.” 1 likes
“Well, Lockwood was an absolute sort of person, wasn't he? He wouldn't fall in love like tripping over a brick. He was the sort to rear back, run, catapult over the side of an airship's railing, and fall, fall, fall into love before smacking into the Ocean of Delirious Wanderings.*
*Which would sever his limbs from his body on impact, causing Death by Unmitigated Joy.”
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