I immensely enjoyed Krisy Cambron’s book The Ringmaster’s Wife, so it was with great pleasure that I received a copy of The Illusionist’s Apprentice from Netgalley to review. (My first ever Netgalley!)
This book is a story of trust, healing, and renewal. We meet Wren Lockhart, former apprentice to the great Harry Houdini and illusionist extraordinaire in her own right–her best trick, however, happens to be the concealment of her feelings. We meet Agent Elliot Matthews, a jaded FBI man with a talent for finding out the truth–but can he find love? When their paths cross, get ready for sparks to ignite–and not all of them friendly.
Again, Cambron blew me away with the characters she created. Wren, Elliot, & Co. were all developed with extraordinary complexity. There was so much to each character, and so much depth in each of their interactions, that I couldn’t help but love this book. I also enjoyed seeing more of how Cambron developed the male characters in this book, as I didn’t get a good feel for that in the last.
The plot was much stronger in this one as well. The mystery was so intriguing, I couldn’t wait to see what happened next! It was a dangerous tightrope that these characters walked. Suspense around every corner, and secrets lying in wait in the shadows. When the dirty past of the characters is unearthed–along with a dead/not-dead/dead-again man, prepare for your heart to stop. These poor people have been through a lot, and it’s not over yet!
The story was set in 1920s America, full of Prohibition-era crimes, hired guns, and death-defying acts from the world of vaudeville. It was the perfect setting for all that happened. I loved reading about the culture at that time, and especially the historical figures nestled in the book like easter eggs. (Bonus points for the references to Sherlock Holmes and his author!)
Also, the flow of this book was much smoother than the last. I didn’t notice any of the awkward POV switches or misplaced dialogue tags that had bugged me in The Ringmaster’s Wife, but perhaps that is because I have become acclimated to Cambron’s writing style.
My one quibble is a spoiler, so read at your own risk. (view spoiler)
Wrap-up: I loved The Illusionist’s Apprentice. While I had hoped to see more of Harry Houdini and his shows, I quickly fell in love with Wren and Elliot and the mystery they chased. This book is chock-full of great characters, and will entice fans of suspense with its shrouded mystery.
Rating: 5 stars
Recommended: Yes. 14 and up. (Some scary situations, and references to abuse)
Sexual Content: 1/10 (light kisses)
Violence: 7/10 (characters are attacked, abused–eventually leading to death, and they get into scrapes–semi-detailed)
Other notes: one character has a drinking problem, and abuses his family,
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