Illusionarium by Heather Dixon
Far, far north, in the cold aerial city of Fata Morgana, apprentice scientist Jonathan is preparing to leave for university. He doesn’t know about fantillium, the newly discovered chemical that allows people to share hallucinations—sometimes wondrous ones, sometimes appalling. He doesn’t know he holds the rare skill to control the hallucinations—to become an illusionist. He doesn’t know that fantillium can also open gateways to parallel worlds. Or that he will soon begin an epic journey, crossing cities and worlds, to save his family, his friends, and his very reality.
He doesn’t know any of that . . . yet. And when he does, will his compass continue to point true north? Or will it break apart?
Jonathan doesn’t think that he has the moral compass his father is always talking about. And his morality is put to the test as Jonathan is willing to do what his father wont in order to save his sister from a deadly disease.
Illusionarium is a unique story that spans dimensions and incorporates steampunk and fantasy. It’s certainly an unpredictable, wild ride. With plenty of drama, suspense, mystery, and humor – this is an intriguing story. The author skillfully blends science and magic, in an alternate reality where “illusions” are more than a form of entertainment. This dark fantasy for young adults wasn’t at all what I expected, but very enjoyable just the same.