Not all illusions happen on the stage.
Wren Lockhart, apprentice to master illusionist Harry Houdini, uses life on a vaudeville stage to
escape the pain of her past. She continues her career of illusion after her mentor’s death, intent on burying her true identity.
But when a rival performer’s act goes tragically wrong, the newly formed FBI calls on Wren to speak the truth—and reveal her real name to the world. She transfers her skills for misdirection from the stage to the back halls of vaudeville, as she finds herself the unlikely partner in the FBI’s investigation. All the while Houdini’s words echo in her mind: Whatever occurs, the crowd must believe it’s what you meant to happen. She knows that if anyone digs too deep, secrets long kept hidden may find their way to the surface—and shatter her carefully controlled world.
Set during one of the richest, most vibrant eras in American history, this Jazz Age novel of illusion, suspense, and forgotten pasts is perfect for fans of The Magician’s Lie, challenging all to find the underpinnings of faith on their own life’s stage.
“Prepare to be amazed by The Illusionist's Apprentice.” —Greer Macallister, bestselling author of The Magician's Lie and Girl in Disguise
|About the Contributor(s)||Kristy Cambron
Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, was named to Library Journal’s Best Books of 2014 and nominated for RT Book Reviews’ Choice Awards Best Inspirational Novel of 2014 and for the 2015 INSPY Awards for Best Debut Novel. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal’s Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction) for February 2015 and a Top Pick for RT Book Reviews. Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three young sons. Website: www.kristycambron.com Twitter: @KCambronAuthor Facebook: Kristy-Cambron-Author.
|Publish Date||Mar 7, 2017|
- Review by Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
Interweaving scenes from Wren’s past and present life, The Illusionist’s Apprentice will captivate readers with fascinating details of the Jazz Age and vaudeville life. Ms. Cambron brings a rich vibrancy to her characters, while stepping into the arena of Christian suspense and mystery in her most recent novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Illusionist’s Apprentice! Ms. Cambron continues to show remarkable growth in her writing from novel to novel, with The Illusionist’s Apprentice placing itself firmly at the forefront of her work. The book offers a riveting depiction of American vaudeville life during the early part of the twentieth century, particularly in light of Harry Houdini and his fellow illusionists’ work capturing the public’s imagination through live performances. While Houdini makes few actual appearances in the novel, the story reflects his influence on his chosen profession as a mentor and trendsetter. Ms. Cambron’s choice to focus on Houdini’s work in debunking spiritualism and séance activity was particularly fascinating, especially when set against the public’s grief from the massive losses of World War I and the Spanish Flu. At its heart, The Illusionist’s Apprentice ultimately focuses on the balance of truth and illusion in Wren’s life, even as she remains true to her faith. The faith-based element of the story was relatively surprising and appreciated, although not necessarily overt, as Ms. Cambron’s other Christian novels have been known for their historical detail over the strength of their Christian themes. As an example of Christian suspense/mystery novels, The Illusionist’s Apprentice may be slightly spooky (there is a graveyard scene) for some readers. However, it remains true to the relatively clean and accessible nature of Christian fiction.
Special thanks to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for the advanced copy of The Illusionist’s Apprentice!
Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
PS. To see the full review, please visit http://booksandbiscuits.com/blog/2017/02/28/review-the-illusionists-apprentice-kristy-cambron/. Thanks!
(Posted on 2/28/2017)
- Review by Christian Shelf-Esteem
It's important to begin by stating the author draws a clear line between mysticism or spiritualists and the art of illusion for the purpose of entertainment. Prior to reading this story I was unaware of how Houdini worked to discredit many such frauds during his lifetime. This bit of history provides a fantastic springboard for Wren's character, a former apprentice to Houdini, who’s called upon by Agent Elliot Matthews to assist in a suspense-filled investigation of a magic act turned murderous.
As the mystery unraveled, I was irresistibly drawn to these characters and their lives. Particularly Wren, who is so delightfully complex. Over time, glimpses into Wren’s past provide insight as to why she is so guarded, contemplative, and secretive (beyond what her profession would require). The more I learned, the more I championed Elliot’s efforts to breach her defenses. The way their relationship teeters between tenuous and tender keeps readers on their toes.
In reading this story you surrender yourself to Kristy Cambron’s lavish depictions of a bygone era. With it’s clever characters and intricate plot, the The Illusionist’s Apprentice has become my second Book Club Top Pick of 2017.
With thanks to the author/publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own. (Posted on 2/27/2017)