Friday, February 17, 2017

"The Illusionist's Apprentice" by Kristy Cambron---history, suspense, and illusion

The Illusionist's Apprentice
It isn't magic, it's misdirection. People don't rise from the grave twenty years later, and they don't fall dead seconds afterward. But that's how it appears. FBI Agent Elliot Matthews knows it isn't magic, but he needs an illusionist to help him solve the case, and Houdini's former apprentice, Wren Lockheart, is the best--not only does she know Houdini's secrets, but she helped the famous illusionist debunk spiritualists like the fraud who claims to have brought this corpse back to life. But teaming up with the FBI brings more trouble than Wren bargained for, and her carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her . . .

Layers of illusion dominate the story. Only after you peel back what Wren presents to the world and what she believes herself to be will you see the truth of what she actually is--a beautiful soul, wounded, but still strong. Everything else is the distraction to hide the truth of her vulnerability. Then, of course, there are the illusions that others present to the world, and you never know what secrets they're hiding . . .

I loved the combination of Vaudeville and old-fashioned crime drama. I wasn't expecting the heavy element of suspense, but it fit perfectly into the theme of illusion. Though the storylines are completely different, it reminded me of the film The Prestige--the deceptions, the darkness, the impossible made possible--or rather, the appearance of the impossible becoming possible. The focus isn't so much on what's on stage, but the truth behind what the illusionists present to the world. I should mention, though, in the end, this story is a lot more uplifting than The Prestige.

I loved the transformation of Wren through the story--or is it just the revelation of what she truly is behind her eccentric facade? In any case, it's a fascinating tale. I highly recommend it!

I received a free e-book via the publisher through NetGalley. No review, positive or otherwise, was required; all opinions are my own.

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