Review: Carnival of Illusions

I believe I mentioned before that Aubrie Dionne has sent me quite a few of her works and it is my goal to review each of them, so for your consideration I would like to present Seers Destiny and Chameleon’s Colors. You may wonder why I am writing a single review for two stories. In answer, I felt it was appropriate because these books are both from a series called Carnival of Illusions.
Both of these books take place in the same peculiar and interesting setting: The Masquerade Carnival. It’s a modern day traveling carnival, but it’s different from the ones you might remember from your home town. Instead of featuring circus performers who pretend to be magical, the illusion here is that what looks mundane is really supernatural.
In Seer’s Destiny, Vira is a fortune teller with a strange gift: she can really see the future. It would be a lot easier for her to tell lies that would make her customers happy, but she’s too honest for that. She always tells the truth. Nobody wants to hear that their daughter will never be famous no matter how much money they’ve poured into acting classes, but Vira’s particular brand of morality will not allow her to lead them on. After a bad round of fortunetelling, Vira has a vision for herself: she’ll die in an old flame’s arms on the night of the new moon. She knows it’s true because her visions don’t lie, even for her.
Seer’s Destiny is a magical tale about love, predestination, and a little ecology thrown in just for spice. Vira’s tale turns down strange and unexpected paths that not even as gifted a seer as she would have foreseen. It left me wondering to the end: will Vira’s vision really come true? This story was quite beautifully done and I enjoyed it through the tear-jerking surprise of the finale.
Chameleon’s Colors is about a teenage girl named Kaylee who changes color. Yes, I said she changes color. Her father was a distant, brilliant scientist who fell in love with a woman who seemed to have no time for Kaylee. One day dad left his laboratory open, and as a kind of revenge Kaylee drank a number of his compounds. She was imbued with the power of a chameleon. Now, she has run away to join the Masquerade Carnival, and she has never felt so alive. She performs every night and has a secret crush on a handsome townie named Zak. But sometimes, just sometimes, like when Zak shoots down the lion tamer’s daughter, Kaylee can’t help but regret what she’s turned herself into.
Enter an ancient gypsy with a devil’s bargain…she can make Kaylee normal again so Zak will love her. Will Kaylee give up this new life she loves?
Of Aubrie’s work so far, Chameleon’s Colors has been my favorite. Aubrie has a lovely way of speaking for and to young women that makes me proud of her. She’s one of a number of new fantasy writers that view women as beautiful and magical, instead of just rewards for the male protagonist or symbols for acceptance. And she does all this so subtly that she never preaches. She just tells an intriguing story with an interesting romantic element and moves along.
To see more of what Aubrie’s doing now, visit her here:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Aubrie.html#top

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6 Comments »

  1. Aubrie Said:

    Thank you for this wonderful set of reviews!

  2. Nice post! I\’ll tweet it!

    • mljohn Said:

      Thank you for sharing it! Glad you liked it!

  3. Interesting, still I\’ve came accross one completely opposite blog post the other day

    • mljohn Said:

      That is interesting. I guess disagreement makes for discussion. Would you mind posting the link so I could see what the other reviewer thought?


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