THE LAST MAGICIANAuthor: Lisa Maxwell
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Rating: 4/5 stars
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.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.
I had every intention of reading this before the release date but I could sidetracked by life. But I am glad I waited to read it because I don't think I was ready to read this tome of a book at that point because I would have rushed to get through it because of my other time commitments whereas now I had the time to relax and enjoy it. However, I do think it was a tad too long and could have been shortened just a bit to make it the perfect fantasy novel.
I liked that this was a standalone but it does have a bit of an open ending for a sequel or companion novel. I have a lot of unanswered questions and some of those could be answered with a companion novel to this one. I think, however, I would also be okay if it ended where it is. But I did think it was a bit too long - it almost would have been better broken into a duology. It started to lag a bit in the first quarter of the book which was a little frustrating. It wasn't enough to really put me off or make me stop reading but if you aren't as into fantasy novels as I am, it might make you consider doing either or both of those things.
I did really like the characters. I thought they were all well thought out and had good, complex characteristics to them. I was rooting for all of them to win even though I knew in theory that couldn't be the case. However, some of that characterization lost its traction in the last 10% because so much was shoved into the ending and not given the time to be fleshed out that it truly needed. If 10% of the beginning had been appropriated to the ending, there would have been a much stronger ending.
This has SHADES OF MAGIC meets SIX OF CROWS vibes to it, so if you like those books and series, you will like THE LAST MAGICIAN. I quite enjoyed reading it and think that Maxwell does a good job winding together a complex magic system, historical fiction, and characters you can easily fall in love with. Definitely comes with a recommendation if you are a fan of fantasy novels.