by Lisa Maxwell
Published on July 18, 2017 by Simon Pulse
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
Book Depository Amazon Barnes & Noble
I knew I was going to love this book.
Maxwell has taken us for a trip in the past where New York is still New York, just a tad more magical. I’ve never been to keen on time travel books but I’m not sure I would classify this one as such (sure, it has time travel in it but I wouldn’t say that’s the main purpose of the story). But I’ll get to that in a sec.
This book is longer than many of the young adult novels I’ve read recently, and you really need all that space. The story builds up from the beginning, starting with the first part of alternating points of view throughout history. A lot of this felt more like backstory, filling in the details for the bulk of the story to come later on (the part that I was eagerly awaiting for after reading the synopsis). Once everyone’s in the same time, the PoVs still alternate but I found it easier to follow and much more interesting, especially when the action picked up.
In terms of all the time traveling, it wasn’t done in a way where the protagonist spent lots of page time moving through history and I found that the scenes moved fairly seamlessly between time periods so if time travel isn’t your thing, don’t let that push you away from The Last Magician.
Esta was a fun thief to follow. Though she’s not the only character, I enjoyed her scenes the most (except one personality trait that seemed to run rampant in most of the cast). I found her both intriguing and refreshing. She has a hidden courage and isn’t above doing work to get things done.
But I did get tired of the distrust between all the characters. A lot of the tension from this book seemed to come from the fact that no one trusted anyone else. In some cases it worked, in others it seemed illogical after a while because nothing was happening. This was especially true with the romance (though I did quite enjoy it); it was a bit odd that they continued to distrust the other even after growing closer.
Also, okay, so maybe I’m just trying to see things that aren’t really there but the gang leader Dolph TOTALLY reminded me of Kaz from Six of Crows. Like. A lot. First thing I thought of when I read his scenes. Which totally isn’t a bad thing and, in fact, if you liked that book you’d probably like The Last Magician too so there you go.
This book is the perfect combination of history and fantasy wrapped up in box full of surprises. I loved how everything came together and each twist and turn only added to the adventure. I would absolutely recommend The Last Magician to, well, anyone really, but especially readers of young adult, fantasy, and historical fiction.
It’s time to join the Devil’s Own, y’all!