I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Simon Pulse on July 18, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction
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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.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of this book when I attended YALLWest earlier this year. Thanks Simon Pulse! The synopsis sounded like an amazing combination of fantasy, historical fiction, and time travel – AND IT WAS. I always go into ARCs wearily because more often than not I DON’T actually enjoy ARCs, but this one totally blew me away. I couldn’t put it down, even while I was on vacation! I started it on my flight to NYC on a Saturday and I finished it on the plane ride back just the next Monday.
I LOVED the world and setting in this book. While parts of the book takes place in present day NYC, the vast majority of the book takes place in a historical NYC in the early 1900’s (magical time travel!). I loved the historical setting and it was obvious the author had done a lot of research. It was also so fun to actually be exploring NYC IRL while reading this book! I loved the magic system and Esta’s powers in particular – how cool to be able to manipulate time! It was so interesting to see the variety in types of magical power all the characters possessed. This world was an amazing combination fantasy and historical fiction – I loved it so much!
Esta is one bad ass main character! She is smart and capable so SO SASSY, but also imperfect. She was definitely my favorite character – but the supporting cast was also amazing. Each character had a unique backstory, and all of their actions fit in with what we knew about them. The romance is a VERY slow burn and I loved it from the very beginning. It was also a hate-to-love romance, if that’s something you enjoy! 😛
The story starts with a bang and I swear the pace never slowed down. I found this book to be fast paced and full of twists and turns. Not only is this a fantasy with magical time travel – it’s also a HEIST story! I swear, it’s a combination of all my favorite elements. My only complaint about this book would be I felt the ending was a bit rushed. There were a lot of big reveals near the end of the book, and I feel they could have been fleshed out a little more. The rushed ending is the only reason I’m giving the book 4.5 stars – because I LOVED everything else about this book, it was NEARLY perfect for me.
Overall, this book was an amazing mix of urban fantasy, historical fiction, time travel and heist story all in one. The plot was fast paced with lots of surprises, the world and characters were complex, and the romance was swoony. If you can’t tell, I really loved it! I recommend this book to people who enjoy heist stories (like Six of Crows) and magic in a historical fiction setting (like the Infernal Devices). If you thought the synoposis sounded interesting, I really hope you check it out!