Title: The Last Magician
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Historical
Imprint: Simon Pulse
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date published: July 18, 2017
Page Count: 499
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.
In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.
Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.
But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.
– MY REVIEW –
For those of you who were keeping track of my reading progress for this book on Goodreads, I would first like to comment that the reason why it took me so long to read this book did not have anything to do with any lack of quality or anything negative like that. I was actually in a reading slump, and while this book had a slow start for me (whether because of the slump or not), once things picked up, I was reading The Last Magician whenever I could! Another factor was that I was very busy with adulting-related things, and therefore had very little time that I could devote to reading.
Now that that’s out of the way, I shall discuss the book! As I mentioned above, this book started off a little bit slow for me, or I simply could not connect with any of the characters or places. The reason for this could have been my reading slump, the fact that I had far too many other things on my mind, or a combination of the two. It could also have been the simple fact that this book (despite diving right into the action), really was slow in regard to the overarching plot. Therefore, what I will say for those of you coming across the same issue is that I recommend that you push through, because this is an adventure you don’t want to miss!
Once the plot picks up, it turns into something that’s right up my alley. I really enjoy reading books with multiple character, multiple plot threads, and especially if those plot threads are a tangled (almost mess) such as the interwoven plots of Game of Thrones (for example). If you add in time travel and the complexity that comes hand-in-hand with that, you will have my full attention! In addition, most of this book takes place in a historical setting, an alternate (magical) version of NYC in 1901. This time period, as well as the century before, and some of the decades after, are some of my favourites to read about, and this was therefore a very nice treat in that regard as well.
Character-wise, I found that it took me a little time to get a feel for Esta, the main female character. I don’t know whether I missed some wording which described her, or if for some reason it was just difficult for me to grasp her character (personality-wise, as well as physical appearance-wise). But in either case, this did change later on. As I continued reading, I found that I felt a lot closer to, and cared a lot more for, Harte and some of the other characters than Esta. Which is fine. And I will say that I did enjoy her story, and in particular the romance-aspect of her story!
The writing in this book was really good, and it is evident that Maxwell put a lot of time and effort into researching NYC in and around 1901. And I always respect when authors do that. For those of you who have read my review for The Diviners by Libba Bray, you will know that I am a sucker for detailed historical novels, and The Last Magician was no exception. While I would have preferred more phrasing/wording to go with that time period, I think that there was enough of that to keep me satisfied, and all of the other descriptions kept me happy.
Overall this was a very good book which I highly recommend! And the ending will definitely leave you wanting more, and wishing it was 2018 already so we could already have the second book in our hands!
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THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!