Review: Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Illusive - Emily Lloyd-JonesPublisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (July 15th 2014)
Hardcover: 448 pages
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The X-Men meets Ocean’s Eleven in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure about a band of “super” criminals.

When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She’s what’s known as an illusionist…She’s also a thief.

After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn’t?

The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives.


I really loved the idea of this story and for the most part it was pretty action packed and engaging. The story is correctly promoted as  X-Men meets Ocean’s Eleven. With the MK virus and therefore vaccination of it, it resulted in the “Immune”, those who gained super powers (powers may vary) as a result of the vaccination. Similar to X-men, there’s a power struggle between the immune and their freedom versus the government and their desire to control the immune. The part Ocean’s Eleven comes from the groups of Immune (who managed to avoid the government) who use their powers for “evil” or rather just criminal activities. The story follows two teenagers, Ciere and Daniel, and their crew and their lives as immunes and as criminals.

But for the moment, none of the matters.

They are young. They are criminals. They are glorious.

They are immune.

The story is told from both POVs of Ciere and Daniel and how they intertwine. It starts off as a any normal heist, steal a will from an attorney, but of course it turns out to be way bigger than it seems with the secrets to the vaccination on the line. I loved the story, it was fast pace and intense and unforgiving (talk about drama). And I really enjoyed most the characters. Kit Copperfield is the leader of the crew, and quite brilliant. There’s Mangus, who is totally freakin’ awesome ( mostly because he’s an extremely interesting criminal with a moral code).  Together they’re fascinating duo. I enjoyed Ciere’s friend Devon, who is part part-time criminal, part rich boy and part comic relief, I like to think there’s more to Devon than meets the eye.

Daniel was an interesting character, though we didn’t get to see as much of him, or know a great deal about him. I’m hoping the next book will expand and dig deeper into Daniel for us. And there’s Ciere. Oh Ciere, how I wanted to like you so badly. She started off as a pretty cool character, as illusionist, she was rare and could do pretty cool things making her talent valuable to the criminal lifestyle. But time after time she just kept doing really stupid things.

“She’s a lunatic”, says Conrad.

“Absolutely insane,” says Gunthram.

“Either completely fearless or utterly stupid,” says Conrad.

Seems like people think she’s fearless, I personally think she’s utterly stupid because most of the problems that she gets herself into that requires complete fearlessness could have easily been avoided if she didn’t do those stupid things. For example, after a botched attempt to retrieve “the prize” with the crew, why in the devil, would you think you could do it yourself, andddddd to use it to save your own ass (from something stupid you did earlier). Yeeeaah. This was the downfall of the book.

Overall, it was a really enjoyable read despite it not living up to the mind-blowing expectations I had (which couldn’t really be helped because, the idea/concept just had so much potential for awesome).  It’s still a worthwhile read, especially for fans of the sci-fi/superpower genre and the idea around the power struggle between government and the “gifted”.

PS. Oh the romance! It’s pretty subtle, if almost not-existent. Or rather, it’s kind of hard to know where the (potential) romance(s) might go. I wasn’t too impressed by the pretty stereotypical (prospective) OTP, but there’s potential for a lot of cuteness.


Find Emily Lloyd-Jones:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:
Book Depository | Barnes & Nobles | Chapters Indigo |

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Replies to “Review: Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones”

  1. I get worried when books are compared to such HUGE franchises. I mean, Xmen?!! What can live up to the awesomeness that is XMen?!! I think it was Mystic City that I read (I really didn’t like it) but the pitch was “The Hunger Games meets Blade Runner meets Xmen meets etc.” and in the end I was like, “dude, are you just listing famous things?!” Weird. *ahem* I’m getting off-track here. I STILL want to read Illusive, but I’ve got to admit I’m already skeptical. I do love a good heist though. 😉

    1. I agree! Surprising, I thought Illusive did a good job of following a similar premise to Xmen and Ocean’s. I usually find books that compare itself to huge franchises end up not really having anything similar to the franchise at all, haha.
      Yeah, I think my expectations got the best of me on this one, being skeptic might help you enjoy it more 😉

  2. The premise for this immediately caught my attention as well. I mean X-men totally lights my fire – I love that stuff. So, I’d have high expectations as well. I’m competely curious about this Magnus now from your review: “There’s Mangus, who is totally freakin’ awesome ( mostly because he’s an extremely interesting criminal with a moral code).” I love a great anit-hero! Glad you enjoyed this over-all, and great review Cyn! Happy Friday 🙂

    1. I totally love the premise of this too!
      Yeaaah, Magnus was really cool, I think he might be my favourite character in there, haha. There’s so many secrets to revealed still!
      Thanks, Kim! Happy Friday!

  3. “The story is correctly promoted as X-Men meets Ocean’s Eleven”

    Huh, this actually sounds cool! hah – despite the stupid character. 😀

    1. The premise is super awesome, and there’s a lot of cool action, but yeaaah, Ciere drove me a little nuts, haha.

  4. Excellent honest review, I love how they have superpowers and everything but it sounds like they make a few stupid decisions. At least you ended up enjoying it overall. Great review Cyn!

    1. I’m glad too, haha. Hopefully the next book, there’ll be less stupid decisions made 😉
      Thanks, Jeann!

  5. Great review, I’ve been wanting to read this one. The whole X-Men thing of course caught my eye- too bad Ciere isn’t more likable. Sounds like a good story as long as I don’t get my expectations too high. 🙂

  6. Ooo, 3.5 stars is good! I really enjoyed this book. I liked Ciere – didn’t LOVE her or totally connect with her, but I liked her. This one is in third person, so that might facilitate the disconnect. Though I like third person 😀 I can agree with you about the decision-making though 😉 I hope the second book is awesomeeeeeee!! Fabulous review, Cyn!!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  7. This book sounds really good and I like the cover. The X-man thing sounds fun to read. <3

  8. woah, totally thought the rating was going to be high than that, thanks!

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