Illusion Town by Jayne Castle (Jayne Ann Krentz)
Review by Cynthia F. (frazerc)
Whenever a new book by Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick comes out, it immediately pops to the top of my ‘MUST READ IMMEDIATELY’ pile because I know I’m going to be entertained. Illusion Town IS entertaining but there are better books in the series. This feels like what I call a ‘bridging’ book – its primary purpose is to lay down threads for books to come. Still, it’s an entertaining read – just not an outstanding one. I am still be looking forward to more sequels!
This is a Harmony world novel, the first in the sub-arc set in Illusion Town. If you’re thinking Las Vegas transported to the Harmony world of ghost hunters and dust bunnies you’d be mostly right. At the heart of Illusion Town are some very unusual alien ruins, ruins that are marked by signs of an ancient cataclysmic event, ruins that leak oddly twisted alien psi and create markedly different sections of the town.
The hero is Elias Coppersmith, yeah, he’s a Coppersmith of Coppersmith Mining – we met them a few books back in The Lost Night and Siren’s Call, not to mention the contemporary Krentz stories of Copper Beach and Dream Eyes. [No you don’t have to have read the others before this one, JAK is very good at dropping any background information you need along the way.] The heroine is Hannah West, an unusual dreamlight talent known as Finder in certain circles as she is VERY good at finding what has gone missing. And of course there is a dust bunny, this one is named Virgil and has a thing for all things edible.
After completing a commission from Elias, Hannah allows herself to be talked into a blind date [blind because all previous communication between them has been via email]. It’s a night both of them would really like to remember since they wake up in bed together with a marriage of convenience license and the remains of a psi-burn buzz… Trying to track the missing evening they start retracing their steps which lead first to a tacky wedding chapel called ‘Enchanted Night’ and then to the ‘minister’ who operates under the name of Elvis. This leads to more steps and more information and more danger and more secrets – you get the drift.
There are several subplots running through this besides the ‘What happened and why did we think getting married was the solution?’ – there’s her priceless legacy, the Midnight Carnival, that everyone wants, there’s her dreamlight skills that someone thinks will be useful in getting in and out of Elias’ Ghost City jobsite, the slimy para-researcher and the genealogist with agendas of their own… There might have been too many plots actually as it seemed a little murky. I’m sure future books will be clearer.
H00.5 Bridal Jitters
H01 After Dark
H02 After Glow
H03 Ghost Hunter
H04 Silver Master
H05 Dark Light
H06 Obsidian Prey
H07 Midnight Crystal
Harmony World, set on Rainshadow Island
H08 R00.5 Canyons of Night
H09 R01 The Lost Night
H10 R02 Deception Cove
H12 R04 Siren’s Call
Harmony World, set in Illusion Town
H13 IT01 Illusion Town