Monday, March 13, 2017

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

This historical novel deals with the issue of perception. Do we believe what we see?

The story takes places in four different time periods. The narrative is mostly in 1927 when Wren is a successful illusionist and one time aid to Houdini. We do jump back from time to time to three earlier periods in Wren's life. While the dates are clearly identified at the chapter beginning, I felt the narrative was disjointed and would have preferred one long prologue about the earlier times. Also, a chapter would begin with a previous scene then jump to a later time in mid-chapter.

Wren helps the FBI try to uncover the truth about a magician's stunt gone deadly wrong. The plot was very complex and just did not work well for me. The motives behind the nefarious actions were all tied to events decades ago that did not become clear until near the end of the novel. That mean readers who like to try to solve the mystery were precluded from doing so until the final revelations. The suspenseful end I felt was pretty much the result of the weak action of an FBI agent and was not satisfying.

All that being said, I did enjoy the historical nature of the novel. Cambron did a good job of combining historical fact with fiction, as identified by an Author's Note at the end of the novel. I would recommend this novel to those who like an historical novel with a complex mystery and a little romance.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Kristy Cambron holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University and has fifteen years of training and communications experience for a Fortune 100 corporation. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews' list of Best Books of 2014 and 2015 and have received nominations for RT Reviewers' Choice Awards Best Inspirational Book of 2014 and 2015. She lives in Indiana with her husband and their three sons. You can find out more at

Thomas Nelson, 368 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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