Illusionary was one of those dangerous books that basically caused me to forego real life as much as possible so I could just keep reading. I lost sleep, I skimped on chores - you get the idea. The story follows Kamryn, a modern girl who's feeling a little lost in the transition between childhood and adulthood. Following an argument with her older sister-turned-guardian, she finds a mysterious necklace in her room, then falls down the stairs in one of those clumsy moments so many of us can relate to. She wakes up in an unfamiliar forest with an arrow whizzing past.
After clearing up the arrow mishap, Kam discovers she's entered the land of Ur and is taken in by the mysterious storyteller, Reese, his archer, Torin, and the group of endearing lost boys they care for. Kam's necklace, along with a set of randomly-appearing notes, indicate that she needs to find the Oracle if she wants to go home. Reese agrees to help her, but becomes increasingly reluctant when it appears the necklace is exerting its power to bring him closer to Kam. By the time they reach the Oracle, it's clear something isn't right in Ur. The Oracle asks Kam to do her best to save Ur before he sends her home. She agrees, but soon begins to question what to believe in this strange land, and whether Ur is what really needs saving.
Kamryn was such a fun character. She brimmed with humor and heart, and I could relate to her on so many levels. Reese (*sigh*) was the best type of brooding male hero. It was clear early on that he had reason to be bitter and hardened, but as Kam brought out his sense of wonder and vulnerability he totally melted my heart. The chemistry between them - at times sweet, other times teasing - jumped them right up to my list of favorite book couples. And I just adored the way Reese felt drawn to Kam in spite of himself. All the way through I was rooting for him to find a way to heal and be brave enough to let himself fall for her.
But enough about the romance, there were other amazing aspects of this story as well! The sense of mystery surrounding the necklace, the notes, Reese's powers, and just Ur in general kept me turning pages throughout (see above). Speaking of Ur, it was such a fun land to explore! I loved that it had nods to stories like Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, but it was unique enough to be fascinating in its own right. The secondary characters were quirky and memorable, most notably Torin, who made me laugh so many times and had such an entertaining, but also fiercely loyal, friendship with Reese. And beyond all the humor and fun fantasy elements, Williams revealed a deeper meaning as the story unfolded that I found beautiful and thought-provoking.
In summary, Illusionary was a winning combination of swoonworthy (but clean) romance, humor, heart, and light fantasy that I would highly recommend. Just make sure to clear your calendar first, in case you get as sucked in as I did!
Now, onto the fun blog tour add-ons! Here's the back-cover blurb of Illusionary:
Dorothy got sucked into a tornado.
Alice fell down a hole.
Wendy flew to Neverland.
Kamryn? She tripped down the stairs.
Now, Kamryn Kensington finds herself in a strange new world. Within minutes of her arrival, she dodges an archer’s arrow and avoids getting sliced up by a cosplay reject holding a dagger to her throat. And that’s before the storyteller’s breath brings stories to life.
Home is the mission—to return to her family and pursue her life’s dream of art and travel. Yet the longer she’s in the Land of Ur, the harder it is not to feel for the people she meets. Even her artistic side can’t help but breathe in the beautiful wonder and magic of this new world. So when the Oracle hands her a different quest, she takes it on the condition he sends her home afterward.
No one thought to warn her of a jealous queen and her dragon minions. Or that, by helping her, the cute storyteller would go crazy. Or that her heart would rip in two when she left. Those would’ve been great facts to know ahead of time.
Considering that nothing in Ur is what it seems, the mission proves to be more than she ever imagined. But more than her own future will be in jeopardy if Kamryn doesn’t succeed.
You can purchase Illusionary on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or iBooks. And here's a little bit about the author:
Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.
You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.com, or find her on her Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Goodreads.
Check out HOPE through the Pages for the full Illusionary blog tour schedule. And fill out the form below to enter the amazing giveaway Desiree has going in honor of her blog tour!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have you read Illusionary yet? If so, what did you think? What are some of your favorite portal fantasies? If you were to end up in a fantasy world, how do you think you would get there?
Thanks for reading!