Illusive is the debut novel of author Emily lloyd jones and is definitely worth a read if you can get your hands on it. The book is rich with great characters and world-building that is enough to get readers begging for a movie. Illusive feels like a movie in your hands. Every page is a scene that's crisp with action and witty humor. The book has not received enough attention to warrant a film adaptation but that could change if more readers get their hands on this book.
Here's the plot synopsis for the first novel:
When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She's what's known as an illusionist...She's also a thief.
After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn't?
The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives.
Illusive has already been dubbed as X-men Meets Ocean's eleven and it definitely lives up to that description. We have our superpowered criminals who steal to get by in life, we have a secret government organization responsible for dealing with powered individuals, and we have our shadowy antagonist. Illusive definitely does a great job of taking you into this world where powered people seem more real than fictitious since you have criminals who use their powers for their own benefit, but they're also compelling. The government is portrayed as evil since it wants to take advantage of Immunes and forcibly recruit them into service. The lines between good and evil are blurred within the novel since it isn't clear-cut about who is right and who is wrong since both sides seem to have plausible reasons for their actions.
The main character in the novel is Ciere Giba and she kind of starts out as this scared, paranoid, reckless,impulsive individual who is always trying to run or hide. From the get-go you realize that she sometimes tries to mask some of her insecurities by acting tough or by teasing Devon who is basically her best friend. The running and hiding aspect is key since she does this internally and externally. There are multiple times in the novel were she tries to run or hide in dangerous situations but there are other times were she will do something reckless or act on impulse. When Ciere was young she used her power in a public market and exposed herself as an immune which resulted in her mother being killed while trying to protect her. Her mother also told her to never let anyone see what she can do which explains why she is hesitant to use her power of illusion since she prefers to keep it hidden. She also has this father-daughter relationship with Kit, who pulled her off the streets, gave her food, clothes, and place to call home, he basically took her under his wing and taught her how to become a thief. Near the end of the first novel Ciere becomes a bit like Mystique and begins to embrace her powers as well as explore the extent of her abilities. Overall, Ciere would make a great film protagonist since she is vulnerable, but capable in her own way.
There are other interesting characters in illusive but it would take a while to discuss all of them and time is limited. Illusive definitely brings something new to the "people with powers" story since the world depicted in the novel seems like it could be real even though it is fictitious. If this film did get made it would no doubt be compared to Heroes and X-men which have explored similar conflicts between people with powers and people without powers, and vice versa. Illusive also puts emphasis on human nature and explains that just because a person gains abilities doesn't mean that they will use them to help or do good. Illusive could become a refreshing entry in the superpowers film genre since it takes the idea and molds it into something that seems like it could be our reality. Hopefully this becomes one the next YA novels to be adapted for the big screen.