Elusion by author Zoe Parker is the story of Iza, who is imprisoned for the murder of her ‘fake parents’ in a realm parallel to Earth’s. She is unsure of her true identity, of what she really is. All she knows in life is suffering. At the hands of her fake parents, and now, those of the prison guards. She was taken from general population and put into a cell by herself where her only intermission to loneliness and starvation is visits from the guards and the creature that inhabits the cell across from her. The creature has the ability to cloak himself in shadow except for his large, glowing eyes. Iza feels a sense of camaraderie with him and they begin to form a bond, so much so that she sacrifices herself to set him free. Without giving away too much detail, they both are able to escape to the Earth realm where Iza discovers everything she was taught to believe as a child about prophecy is true and that her lineage is more than she could have hoped for.
This is the first novel I have read by Zoe Parker and overall, I was intrigued. The story starts off a bit slow and includes some tough content in regards to abuse. However, the abuse was handled really well in my opinion. Parker was able to be descriptive while also managing to be respectful of survivors. The world building got a bit jumbled but Parker was able to deliver where it mattered. I really felt like I was in that cell with Iza. I could feel the darkness and the overwhelming sense of impending doom. The end of the book was where I truly started to enjoy the story. It seemed as though the author was able to find her footing and really deliver. Most of the urban fantasy novels that I have read in the past all originate on Earth and then introduce the characters to some sort of ‘faerie realm’, so the switch was refreshing. I loved Iza discovering the pleasures of Earth. My two favorites have to be the gas station scene where Iza discovers Slurpees and the park scene where Iza thought it would be okay to eat the fish in the pond in front of the morning joggers.
There were some characteristics of the novel that I did not enjoy as much. The whole Magiks theme did get confusing. At times it acted as a sentient creature with a mind of its own and others it was like nature and it ebbed and flowed. I also was not crazy about the Schoth Clan. Their motives were not really clearly explained and just seemed to focus as a convenient enemy. The relationships between characters needs some work as well. I understand that Iza spent the majority of her life in prison but those characteristics don’t stay consistent. One moment Iza declares herself a lone wolf that does not like to be touched and in the next she is allowing 3 children to travel with her and gives them tons of affection.
As a start to a series, Elusion is not a bad one. Maybe some of the kinks that are evident in this first novel begin to resolve themselves in the second. If you are a fan of urban fantasy books, and don’t mind some difficult content, I recommend picking up this novel.