Review: Mister Magic by Kiersten White

Mister MagicMister Magic by Kiersten White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Mister Magic is the sophomore-Adult release novel from beloved author, Kiersten White. With a cover that could hang in an art gallery, this one caught my eye right away.

After my experience with Hide last year though, I was slightly concerned about picking it up. I’m happy to report that this is incredibly compelling and kept me glued to the pages, wanting to know more, the entire way through.

I do feel like I cheated a little though. In my friend, Debra’s review she mentioned that she wished she had read the Author’s Note first.

I felt that exact same way about Hide and thanks to her jogging my memory, I decided to do that here. So, before I even started the first chapter, I flipped right to the back and read the entire Author’s Note.

Honestly, I do feel like doing that had a positive impact on my experience. Frankly, I’m glad I did it that way.

Just being able to keep in mind the author’s inspirations and motivations, which I wouldn’t have known had I not read that first, while reading helped to provide a bit of context for a lot of the more emotional bits of the story.

In this one, we’re following a group of adults, who once starred together on a hit-Children’s television series, Mister Magic. The show stopped airing 30-years ago, after a supposed accident on set.

Over the years, Mister Magic has become more of an urban legend than a show. You can’t watch it any where, no tapes exist and no one can seem to really remember anything specific about it, including the actors themselves.

At the start of the story, the group of actors, once known as the Circle of Friends, is reunited under the guise of filming a documentary of the show. Together they return to the actual property where the show was once recorded.

The property itself is disturbing from the beginning. It’s remote, set in a desert landscape and the house has some odd architectural choices. It got my hackles up right away.

The group of old friends are going to be staying in the main house during the course of the documentary, shooting confessional/interview-type footage in the basement.

It’s through their time at the house, their interactions and their interviews that the full picture of Mister Magic begins to fill in. The revelations are shocking to say the least.

I found this to be an incredibly interesting story. The premise was like nothing I have ever read. It was so mysterious from the start and I loved White’s creative use of mixed media to make the phenomenon of Mister Magic feel more real for the Reader.

There was just something about the idea of this program that was creepy to me. How many people could talk about it, remembered it being a part of their lives, but couldn’t list a single real fact about it.

It reminded me of like Captain Kangeroo from my own childhood. The vibes felt sort of similar. I loved that show as a kid. I remember being mesmerized by it, but I can’t recall a single tangible thing about it. It’s so weird.

It had such a dark and ominous feel, even before I had any clue where it was going, I sort of felt afraid. Particularly because of one of the main characters, Val’s, reaction to the house and the idea of the show.

I also feel like it stayed intriguing throughout. White just kept building and building on the idea the show, and its history, right up to the shocking conclusion.

Admittedly, the end slipped a bit, IMO. It got a little too heavy-handed in the messaging and seemed to go off the rails as far as delivering easily understood action. Overall though, a hugely successful comeback!

Thank you to the publisher, Del Rey, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m so glad I gave this one a shot!!

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