Review of Illusionary by LeAnn Mason

Generations ago, a new breed of human emerged. The government, fearing these new “Enhanced,” isolated these families into communities boasting prison-like perimeters to live in exile, safeguarding the rest of the world from the anomalies.
As one of the few Enhanced humans whose gifts encompass the mental and physical spectrums, Nathalee lives a life separate from others. Even amongst those who the world segregates as potential weapons, Nat is shunned for her telepathic abilities, until she finds her opportunity to make a difference in their tiny world as an enforcer.
Part of a new experimental team, Nathalee must wade through muddied mental waters if the team hopes to stop the assailant who enjoys pitting citizens against one another. Those confrontations are coming to violent, life-ruining ends for anyone involved. The suspect pool is large and powerful, but the repercussions of failure put everyone she knows and loves at risk. 
With so many possibilities of both suspects and victims, Nat will test the limits of her ability -and her sanity- in order to track the illusionist and stop the tyranny

Illusionary was a great read, it managed to combine a ton of information and action, but in an easy going and light read way. it’s sad that Nathalee and the other enhanced are segregated from society, but when you start to learn more about the abilities some have gained it can be understood why there may be prejudices.  However it’s kind of devastating that nothing has been done to address them other than shutting the enhanced off from the rest of society. Little moments, such as the enhanced only being provided with ancient vehicles that the non enhanced have no use for really bring home that whilst super human they are very much second class.  Divides are internal as well, between the Primals (strength) and Sages (intelligence) so the concepts of division and unity are strong themes within the story and are dealt with really well.

I realise that goes against my opening gambit of easy going and light, but really other than that it is!  Nathalee is great character and certainly one that readers with sensory issues will be sure to connect with. She is bright, forthright and daring, she is also a great friend showing good leadership qualities.  I also love how issues of disability aren’t dwelt on, they just seamlessly fit into the story, it’s beautifully inclusive.

The whole concept behind the Minefield Enforcers series looks to be incredibly fun for both this and future books. Whilst this one rightly focused on getting the team together, it left slightly less time for the big bad element of the story so the ending felt a little rushed, but the Illusionist is a great villain (slight hints of the Jessica Jones series) and I wonder if he’ll return in future books in a The Joker kind of way.  The team feel very much like Xaviers academy meet the Dauntless faction, with funny, awkward, and at times tense banter; but the scope for these characters to grow and bond and fall out is huge and they are a great set up for the rest of the series.

Illusionary is very much a YA read and I think that’s all the better for it, it’s a story which embraces being just that. Whilst there is a little romantic element it’s not central and it doesn’t pull away from the justice that these super humans are trying to achieve.

4*

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