FICTION

Illusive

416p. Little, Brown. Jul. 2014. Tr $18. ISBN 9780316254564; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780316254588.
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Gr 7–10—Fans of Divergent (HarperCollins, 2011) will devour this fast-paced dystopian novel. In 2017, a vaccine was hurriedly administered to counter the spread of a fatal plague. Only later do people realize that .003 percent of the immunized population have developed X-Men type characteristics. The U.S. identifies these "adverse effects" as illusive (the ability to create illusions), mentalist (telepathy), eidos (perfect memory), eludere (heightened senses), levitas (levitation), dauthus (body manipulation), and dominus (hypnosis) and forcibly recruit these superpowered citizens for government work. People wanting to avoid mandatory servitude become criminals. Teens Ciere (illusive) and Devon (eidos) work for a levitas, who carefully plans their jobs. Teaming with a mentalist, they must avoid the feds, a terrorist group, and a mob syndicate as they attempt to find the supposedly destroyed vaccine formula. Meanwhile, eludere Daniel has been captured by a dauthus and is helpless to resist the mind-controlling powers of a dominus who is also after the formula. Multiple plot twists and the present-tense narrative heighten Ciere, Devon, and Daniel's sense of paranoia as they struggle to survive in a world in which it is often difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys. A thrilling read.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Ciere, a teenage career criminal with the ability to create illusions, lives in a dystopian future where a vaccine gone wrong created a feared minority of people with superpowers. Her latest job pulls her and her Dickensian gang of misfit allies into a power struggle involving the future of the vaccine. Innovative world-building and a scrappy protagonist strengthen this high-stakes caper.

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