The Magician’s Lie – Greer Macallister

The-Magicians-Lie-book-cover

“But this is life, and when bad things come to us, there isn’t much choice. You survive them or you don’t.” – Greer Macallister, The Magician’s Lie

Greer Macallister’s The Magician’s Lie will tempt and hypnotize you by the way of its charming characters. These characters cheat, lie and deceive, but ultimately grab our attention and keep it locked down until the last page is turned.

In The Magician’s Lie we first meet The Amazing Arden, a promising young illusionist who is working in the small town of Janesville. After her show, her husband is found, dead in the box used for her coveted ‘Halved Man’ illusion. Arden is nowhere to be found. That is, until Officer Virgil Holt stumbles across her in a small restaurant, taking her back to the station for questioning. Arden launches into the story of her past, a devastating, spine-chilling tale of love, loss and woe. Officer Holt soon realizes he’s gotten himself into something a lot more complicated than a crime of passion.

The Magician’s Lie takes place over one night, somewhere in the 1900s I believe, which I found to be very effective. Chapters would start in the office, with a bit of tension and dialogue between Officer Holt and Arden, and then she would continue her story. The story aspect was most intriguing to me, the suspense really worked and the recurring character that is supposed to be a bit frightening really was. I found that once I sat down and began reading, I couldn’t stop for a while, but I must tell you what this story is. It’s a love story. I should have known that when I saw its comparisons to Water for Elephants, but, I found out the hard way. Now, that, of course, isn’t such a terrible thing if, unlike me, you usually enjoy love stories or the romance genre. But what I was hoping for was some shocking twist, a lie perhaps or a great deceit. Don’t get me wrong, the book was enjoyable, in the sense that it was a well-written tale with a good strong conflict, and all the loose ends were tied together in the final chapters. I just wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who disliked stories such as Water for Elephants or The Night Circus, as there are many similarities between these three stories.

Aside from my initial disappointment with the novel’s ulterior motives, I noticed myself reflecting on some of the themes. The novel deals with heavy subjects, such as sexual and physical abuse, poverty, and manipulation. I’d like to thank Miss Macallister on that respect, for creating a headstrong female character who does not submit to the abuse like I’ve seen so many times before. Please enjoy this book for what it is; a love story, but a refreshing one, with an ambitious, strapping young woman at its helm. Thank you for stopping to check out this review!

Happy reading! xoxo

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2 thoughts on “The Magician’s Lie – Greer Macallister

  1. Ron Hervey says:

    I love historical novels. The key to pulling off a great historical story is research, research and more research. For that element, The Magician’s Lie does not disappoint. It is obvious that MacAllister put in the research time to make this story ring true of the early 1900’s.

    The plot and the story were interesting. The main issue I have with the presentation is long sections of narrative, which seems to slow the pace down at times. I would have liked to see all that narrative broken up with scenes of action or even dialog.

    The hints of real magic, with Ada having the capacity to heal, felt somewhat out of place to me. There was no explanation of why she had this gift, and the story never really explored her ability. Ada’s healing had nothing to do with advancing the story, which was good enough without trying to inject real magic into it.

    Ray’s character was a little thin. What in Ray’s history caused him to be so mean? Why did he think that he had the ability to heal? Why was he so obsessed with Ada?

    I felt that MacAllister did a good job in keeping us interested and keeping us reading. However, the ending fell a little short. It seemed as if MacAllister was rushing to end the story. What was the final fate of Ada? How did her legal problems play out? What happened with Virgil and his problem? Was he able to continue his career, or was he forced out of his sheriff position? What happened to Clyde? For me it was too many questions for a satisfying ending.

    Overall, it’s not a bad book, but not what I was expecting.

    • Mackenzie Blackwood says:

      I loved reading your opinions on this novel! I too enjoy a good historical fiction story, but like you said, The Magician’s Lie left a lot to be desired. I fell in love with the idea of this story, though the ending left me with just as many questions as you. I’m glad I got to explore this novel but I wish it had more of a grip on what it was. A fantasy novel? A mystery novel? Don’t get me wrong, a story can certainly belong to more than one genre or perhaps none at all, but I found myself wanting this story to have more direction and substance. I’m glad to find somebody who had similar thoughts as me. Thank you for sharing your perspective!

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