Behind Every Illusion by Christina Harner

Title: Behind Every Illusion
Author: Christina Harner
Publisher: Two Trees Publishing (May 6, 2009)
Softcover: 500 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5

About the book:
“All creatures born of human parents must be human and therefore must be ordinary.”
Even the soft-spoken eighteen-year-old Tatiana Lewis wholeheartedly accepts this logic. So when she begins to experience unusual changes, she has no clue where to turn and instead keeps her new abilities a secret. But her best friend and brother, Isaac, sees past her illusions and together they explore the significance of her differences and search out the meaning behind them.
Amidst tragedy, unimaginable transformations and an unexpected friendship, Tatiana has to learn to reveal the girl hidden behind her illusions and what it means to face the world in order to preserve not only the forest but her very existence.
Behind Every Illusion is the first book in an exciting series about the extraordinary ways the earth has evolved in a desperate attempt to save itself from the destruction caused by humankind.

My Review:

Preface:
This story is not a fairy tale. A fairy tale begins with “once upon a time” or with a little old lady visiting a barren woman and blessing her with a miraculous baby. On the contrary, this story is about a girl who was born to ordinary parents in a land and time where people no longer believed in magic, myths, or – least of all – fairies. Perhaps there had been times when some people had actually witnessed the extraordinary taking place on earth, but that was many centuries ago.

Behind Every Illusion is the first book in the GreenEarth series. This book has fantasy and it has magical creatures but nowhere does it divert from its main goal. The story revolves around making the earth a better place and stop all the destruction man is causing.

This book has the most apt title and book cover. I found myself looking at the girl with the wings many times when I was reading.

After her eighteenth birthday, Tatiana notices some changes in her, physical and otherwise. She is confused, overwhelmed and in denial. Tatiana has a very close knit family which consists of her younger brother Isaac, her elder sister Bethany and her aunt Ruth. Her parents died in a car accident when she was 11 years old.

Isaac, her younger brother who is interested in Mythology and is also very active on mythology forums, knows that there is something different about her. He helps Tatiana understand and accept her powers and changes. I really don’t think I should tell you more otherwise it would spoil the book for you.

Behind Every Illusion is not a very plot driven book. In fact, considering its fantasy, it hardly has any action in it. It focuses more on Tatiana and her growth as a person and the new creature that she is changing into. It’s the most understated fantasy book I have read. Its the kind of book that starts slowly, in fact is pretty slow in pace throughout, but that worked for me as it let me sink into the story. And in spite of it, I found it very difficult to put down.

Moreover this book has a message. Considering it’s a GreenEarth series, it’s obvious what the message is. But the point that the book makes here is whether the Earth will evolve to combat the environmentally hard conditions that man has created.

I did have a couple of problems with the book though. I felt it was too descriptive at times. You get to read every thought that comes into Tatiana’s mind. There is nothing left for the reader to assume. But its something that I got used to. I would also have liked a little action at the end. But then considering how Tatiana is, that would have been a little unbelievable. But still. (This review was based on an ARC, the author has informed me that the final book is cut down by 20,000 words and it might be possible that my complaints are no longer valid 🙂 )

Behind Every Illusion has a very fresh take on mythology and fantasy. We should have more books like that. I’m definitely looking forward to the Sequel.

Please do have a look at the site. Its one of the prettiest sites I have EVER seen.

About the author:
Christina Harner spent years studying the complexities of culture for her B.A. A lover of all things fantasy and creating imaginary beings and stories in her head, she is thrilled to finally blend her passions for anthropology, nature and the unknown realm of fairies together in her debut book. She wrote the book while living in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and two children. [close] Christina Harner spent years studying the complexities of culture for her B.A. A lover of all things fantasy and creating imaginary beings and stories in her head, she is thrilled to finally blend her passions for anthropology, nature and the unknown realm of fairies together in her debut book. She wrote the book while living in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and two children.

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12 thoughts on “Behind Every Illusion by Christina Harner

  1. Thanks for the review of this book! I’ve been looking for a new YA fantasy book, and this one seems to hit on something different– somewhat focusing on the environment and all. I was wondering, however, if you thought the novel was preachy on the subject or if it was more of a hidden message. : )

    -She

    • It wasn’t hidden for sure, but I didn’t find it preachy. May at a couple of places but it was integrated in the story, so no I wouldn’t call it preachy 🙂

      • Thanks, I will have to be on the look out for it. Thank you for the comment on my blog by the way! Treasure Island is definitely worth reading when you have the chance; I am loving it so far! 😀

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