Title: The Illusionist’s Apprentice
Author: Kristy Cambron
Major Themes: 1920s, Entertainment Industry, Mystery
Synopsis: Wren Lockhart’s carefully crafted world threatens to crumble when the FBI ask her help to expose a fellow illusionist—will her own secrets stay safe, even while she works to expose someone else’s?
There’s been a long-standing tradition in our home to not read romance books. However, in recent years, that “tradition” or standard has somewhat warped, and Mom and I have discovered several different romance authors that (gulp!) we actually enjoy. Hence, although I still try to give a fairly wide berth to those books, every so often one will catch my eye, and I’ll take time to read a romance book. The Illusionist’s Apprentice was one such story. I happened to read a review on Goodreads one day where a friend was recommending the story, so when I found a copy on BookLook bloggers, I decided to try it out. I assumed I probably wouldn’t enjoy it, but in the end, I actually did—and am hoping I can take time to re-read it one day!
With her father being an illusionist, Wren Lockhart learned very early that that was one of the only methods she had to earn herself a living. When she was still fairly young, she had to learn to support herself and this is the career she naturally chose. Fast forward to 1920s Boston, where many people are still quite interested in magic shows. However, there’s a problem: Stapleton claims the ability to raise people from the dead, but when a man dies right after he is supposedly brought back to life, the FBI are determined to find out the truth. They’re sure Stapleton was faking something. Was the man killed? Where did the dirty business come in? In order to figure out the truth, they must pry into Wren’s secrets—she knows, or has access to, the key that will unravel the truth. But what if she’s hiding her own secrets, ones that she dares not tell a soul? Will their searching uncover more truth than she can bear exposing?
This is a great mystery—and for that reason, I’m hoping I can re-read The Illusionist’s Apprentice at some stage! I had trouble really getting into the story; I think I was about 30% of the way in before I finally got hooked, so I’m sure I missed a few key points during the first little stints of reading. However, it became a page-turning book once I got part-way through, and I had a hard time putting it down in the end! The romance, too, was sweet, and I don’t remember any very outstanding kissing scenes or the like.
One of the best parts of the book was the main character, her sister, and her backstory. I loved how even though it was quite a sad backstory, it was told very tastefully and only revealed as needed. I also loved the thread of forgiveness thrown in. In all, even though this wasn’t the best book I’ve read this year, historically and partially plot-wise, I really enjoyed this story!
I received this book for free from BookLook Bloggers, in exchange for my honest review.
WARNING: Chapters 1, 4, and 6 each have veiled references to lustful thoughts or someone “spending time with the dancers”. Chapter 7 has a character who visited a séance room, where a medium claimed to summon spirits from “the other side”. It also mentions, near the end of the chapter, that an agent had likely taken off to a quiet corner with a woman. In chapter 8, someone is shooting at some characters, and one person gets hurt. A man carries a woman into a house, there’s blood around. The end of chapter 9 has a man and woman alone together one night in a room, he watching out for her safety and tending her wounds. Chapter 10 has a woman prepared to defend herself. The end of chapter 11 mentions a woman who supposedly killed a man. Chapter 16 has a kiss, and 19 has several more kisses and some touching. Chapter 19 also mentions murder, and a woman being badly hurt. Chapter 20 has the word “d—n”, which I don’t appreciate. Chapter 21 has a woman waking up after being badly beaten; “d—n” again. Chapter 22 briefly mentions a case of infidelity. Chapter 24 has someone fighting someone else; 25 has a woman threatening to shoot someone else, and a building on fire. In Chapter 27 a man is killed, there is blood on a girl’s hands, and a woman is killed. In Chapter 29, there is another kiss.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults