Be careful what you wish for…
You just might get it.
Nick Gautier is tired of his destiny. He doesn’t want to be the son of a demon who’s fated to end the world. Nor does he want to see another demon or other preternatural creature who wants to kill or enslave him. He just wants to be normal and have normal problems like everyone else.
But normality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When he gets sucked into an alternate reality where his mother has married his mentor and his Atlantean god best friend has become a human geek, he begins to understand that no life is free of pain, and that every person has a specific place in the universe… Even the son of a hated demon.
Most of all, he sees that his powers aren’t the curse he thought they were, and that the world needs a champion, especially one its enemies can’t imagine rising up to defend the ones he should destroy.
Old enemies and new friends square off for a major battle that will either restore Nick to his real world, or end him forever.
Illusion is the fifth installment in the Chronicles of Nick, and it picks up just after the ending of Inferno. And Nick is so confused when he finds himself at a party, with many of his friends present, but they all seem slightly different from usual. And he’s very different, he’s shorter, has blond hair and it seems Bubba is his dad. Talk about waking up in an alternate universe! What is most confusing to him, however, is the fact that he can’t feel his powers at all.
I enjoyed myself all through the story of Illusion; Nick, even in a smaller and weaker body and with no powers to speak of, is a strong character, and he will fight until the very end to do his best to save his mother – and the world. In this parallel world he finds himself in, people who are normally his friends and allies might not be, and it takes him a little while to figure out who is friend and who is foe. Like Nick, I was quite surprised in several instances, especially when it came to how to fight demons when everything that normally works isn’t working properly.
Illusion is very well written, and the world building is the same, but still a little different, as the one in the other books both in the Chronicles of Nick series, and the Dark Hunter series. There are some places Nick is used to going for help that don’t even exist in this universe, and he goes from surprise to surprise, both while being awake and when he’s asleep. Fast paced, with several twists and turns I never expected, I was really happy with this story. And I wasn’t so sure I’d enjoy it when I arrived at the end of Inferno. However, things really made sense, and Nick’s biggest challenge is to try to get back to his own universe and into his own body, while at the same time getting the Nick who is there back to his universe as well.
The character development in Illusion is really well done, Nick is finally letting go of some of his anger at the world, especially because he realizes that having it easy, growing up with both of his parents and having enough money doesn’t really change who he is. So he definitely grows a lot, and stays true to his strong ethic and moral code, and tries to do the right thing when every bad thing in all the universes seem to come raining down on him.
Now, I am just sad I have to wait for a whole year until Defiant is released – and I also wonder if Illusion is going to change how Ambrose acts in the Dark Hunter series. I also have to give a huge kudos to Ms. Kenyon, because she has really managed to keep the whole Dark Hunter universe intact, even if the Chronicles of Nick series is YA and the Dark Hunter series is definitely hot and adult.
You know, this has possibilities. It might not be bad to be normal for a while. Weird and poor hadn’t worked out that well for him. Rich and well dressed might be another story.
“I’m not from here, okay? I went to sleep in my world or dimension or whatever it’s called, and I woke up here in this one. And no offense, this one is…” He bit back the word weird, because it wasn’t weird, it was normal. But for him, normal was the strangest kind of weird imaginable. “I don’t belong here and I want to go home. Please helm me return to my world.”
Maybe I am crazy. Maybe this was his real life and the other a delusion.
What is reality anyway? Really? Was it what he knew or what he thought he knew? Man, a guy could seriously lose his mind attempting to make sense of it all. Closing his eyes, he tried one more time to tap any of the powers the Grim Reaper had taught him. Nada. Not even a burp or a hiccup.
He nodded. “My father was human. My mother a… I know you’ll laugh, but she was a goddess.” He paused to study Nick’s non-reaction. “You believe me?” Nick let out a bitter laugh. “After everything I’ve seen today, I’m willing to expand my definition of believable.”
Humans, alone, pretended to be your friend while plotting ways to stab you in the back and cut your throat. Many times for nothing more than their own petty amusement. That, he definitely didn’t miss.