October 9, 2018

5 Reasons to Read | The Last Magician + The Devil's Thief

I just completed my reread of The Last Magician (which is still just as immersive and compelling as it was the first time I read it, and it was actually less slow-paced than I remember) and dove right into the sequel, The Devil’s Thief (which is out today!). I’m only partway through it, but I’m invested hook, line and sinker in finding out how everything will play out since the game board has changed dramatically from where it was at the start of the series. You’ll be seeing my thoughts on this sequel at a later date, but for today, I wanted to give you five reasons to read this series.

ONE | setting
Majority of the books are set in 1902 New York City, a time when gangs ran rampant on the streets and immigrants were coming to the city in the hopes of building a new life for themselves, when those with money and power were running the show. I haven’t read a ton of stories set in this time, but I felt like Lisa Maxwell did a really great job making this one so immersive. I was right there with Esta, Harte and the rest of the gang as they navigated the streets, and experienced the ups and downs (and in betweens) of life at that time. From what I’ve read so far of the sequel, it has that same strong setting in it and the bonus of expanding the setting just a little bit more.

TWO | characters
This story actually follows a number of POVs, and you never really know who it’ll be until you get to a chapter. The two main ones are Esta, a girl who has the power to manipulate time and who is on a mission to help her own kind, and Harte, a Mageus who has made a career as a magician to better his life. Both of them are such richly written, complex characters! Their motivations and emotions pop off the page when you’re reading the book - and I love that a lot. The same can be said for a ton of the secondary characters, who manage to be distinctive and memorable all throughout the story. There's also a great mix of genders, races and romantic inclinations among these personalities, which is always a wonderful thing to see. 

THREE | relationships
One of the best (and most interesting) parts of this series is the relationships the characters have. With all the secrets and plotting, all the disguises and necessary lies, it’s hard to imagine anyone actually getting along or trusting each other. Yet Maxwell manages to portray how relationships shift with shared experiences. There are friendships of all sorts, family you’re born into and family you choose and even the slight hint of budding romances. I really think that part of the reason this series is such a success to me personally is because I find the way the characters relate to one another so fascinating and well done, and that continues to be true in the sequel.

FOUR | plot
There’s a little bit of everything in this story - history, science, magic, heists and romance. I’m really impressed by how Lisa Maxwell takes a simple enough set-up (a girl sent back in time to steal a book to save all magic in the future) and spins it into an intricate web with other underlying stories. There wasn’t a point where I didn’t find the different narratives intriguing, and that, to me, is the mark of strong storytelling. Plus, seeing it all come together is so darn fascinating!

FIVE | themes
I love a YA novel that can make me think about things. In the case of this series, it’s questions of power and who has the right to it, morality and if there really is such a thing as good or bad, and even questions about immigration and discrimination and abuse. It’s a lot of food for thought (on top of all the entertaining bits)!

If you can’t already tell, I think The Last Magician (and what I’ve read of The Devil’s Thief so far) is really very impressive in both scale and execution. Lisa Maxwell has truly woven together a story that’s entertaining and clever, and that happens to be filled with characters that are all too easy to like. I’d certainly recommend checking out this series (and I can’t wait to finish The Devil’s Thief!)

The Devil's Thief by Lisa Maxwell
Series: The Last Magician #1 | Previous Book in Series: The Last Magician
Publication Date: October 9, 2018 (today!) | Publisher: Simon Pulse

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  1. I can't wait to read both of these books!

  2. Eee, so glad you are loving this series :D And ahh, loving a book more on a re-read is the very best feeling. <3 And yay for loving the second one so far too :D Lovely post Alexa. <3 I have not read any of them, ack, but curious :D


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