The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

August 7, 2017     erinthebooknut     Book review

The Last Magician by Lisa MaxwellThe Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
on January 1st 1970
Pages: 512

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.

3.5 Nuts

Hello friends. If you’re looking for a book with a bit of magic and a dash of time travel set in historical New York then I’ve found your story. Lisa’s Maxwell’s THE LAST MAGICIAN is a large book, and it is not a quick read, but it is a good read and I enjoyed myself.

THE LAST MAGICIAN is set in Manhattan, but an alternate one. One where Magicians and others of magical ability are trapped by a barrier set around it. If any were to try to pass into the rest of the world the barrier will rip away their magic, often leading to their death. So those with magic are lured inside and trapped there, risking death if they try to escape. It’s a fascinating premise and the biggest reason I wanted to pick up this book in the first place.

Unfortunately this book starts out very slow. I spent the first part trying to figure out what the author was going for with the story. Was it heavy fantasy, or alternate universe time travel? It’s just a difficult story to put your finger on and I couldn’t decide how I felt about it for the longest time.

The characters, too, are kind of fluid. That is to say they are quick to change and hard to get a read on. I can’t say the main character, Esta, is particularly likable for a significant part of the story. She’s brash, and takes stupid risks for selfish reasons so it ends up casing more problems than it fixes. There are several points in this story that she just grates of my nerves so even though I was enjoying the plot, the character was irritating me.

My favorite character is her mentor, Professor Lachlan. He’s clever, well trained, and has a lot going on behind the scenes. I almost wish that he or one of the other characters was the MC. I can think of two or three that I prefer to Esta. Sorry, girl, you’re a bit annoying.

The strength in this book are the parts in the past when Esta has traveled back. The scenes set in modern New York drag a little and slow down those parts of the book. With such a large book having that drag really discouraged me from picking it up after I had to stop for one reason or another.

I enjoyed this book, but I did think it could have used some tighter editing in places. The first part may be weak but the books gets much better later on and I really had a good time reading it as I went on. Despite the flaws I would definitely be willing to pick up a sequel and continue on with more in this world.

I recommend this book for fans of historical paranormals, Doctor Who, and urban fantasy.

What did you think of THE LAST MAGICIAN by Lisa Maxwell? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

From my shelf to yours,


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