Title: The Last Magician
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster imprint)
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.
The Last Magician is a story steeped in magic and mystery, set in a dangerous time surrounded by dangerous people.
Esta is quick with her hands, a girl taught to creep and steal. Using her ability to manipulate time, to travel through it, she's gotten good at thievery. She's quick, crafty, and staunchly loyal to those she considers family back in the 21st century. But this next job in 1902, hopefully her final job, will test her. Away from those who are familiar to her, in a different time, surrounded by those who would use her, Esta will have to be smart and cautious if she's going to succeed. And she's not the only one with a plan, with a hope to save all Mageus from the Brink.
There's a lot happening here, a lot of players working secretly in order to make sure their plans are the ones that come to fruition. It gives me the same feel as Libba Bray's The Diviners, the history and charm of early 1900's New York, the intrigue and the mystery, the sly attitudes and the power of the gangs. The rich and the poor, the hope for freedom and safety. The magical and those who would want it for themselves. But with so much going on the story dragged for me. In some ways it was interesting to see all the pieces, all the players as they plotted and planned, but in others it felt like too much. Too many moves and motives to keep track of, which is all on me. I hadn't expected it to be so dense, for it to be so involved. It was too long for my liking, but the mystery and the magic were intriguing. If you enjoyed The Diviners, you might also enjoy this.
(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Simon & Schuster Canada.)