In 1997 J.K. Rowling introduced readers to the world of Harry Potter and got people everywhere thinking, if even just a small thought in the back of their head, what if I was secretly a wizard? For most that never came to be (probably all, but I haven’t met EVERYBODY) and they grew up and went on with their lives. Well, a new novel by Brad Abraham, Magicians Impossible, brings that idea back into existence for adults. It’s also a lot of fun to read.
For Potter fans this will all sound pretty familiar. A young man finds out that his father was a Mage (person with magical powers) and has passed away after being killed by a rival magic organization. As such, he was born with magical powers as well. He is sent to the Citadel, a school to learn and hone your magical powers, with the ultimate goal of going out and saving the world from those that use magic for evil purposes. Except in this story the young man is a 30 year old bartender from New York. SEE? It could still happen to you one day. Hogwarts is for children, but the Citadel is a much more adult facility where powers are grown with the sole intent of fighting battles and using them in the art of deception. So, it’s a little darker with a higher body count, but some on wizards have to grow up too.
This book actually is a lot of fun to read. It’s got an extremely fast pace, getting our lead character, Jason, from unknowing average citizen to a Mage in fighting condition in just about 400 pages. From the opening scene of Jason’s father (a character that really could use his own prequel because he’s pretty cool on his own) to training at the Citadel to hopping the globe for battles the book just breezes through everything. Sometimes it’s at detriment to character development but I don’t think it could have been any other way. Delving too much into the characters and their stories and motivations would probably slow the story down quite a bit. The book also creates a lot of great twists using the magical organizations. We are led to believe that one organization is evil and the other good and they forever fight each other. Then we are led to believe it’s the other way around. All the while, Jason is stuck in the middle and must figure out for himself what he needs to do. The characters all have their own unique voice and stay true to that voice. That’s one of my favorite things about it; if you were to take a quote from the book you could probably guess which character would have said it rather than just having a bunch of generic characters.
Overall, the book is a lot of fun to read. You can probably get through it over the course of a weekend if you have enough free time. The imagery is vivid (it really would lend itself to a move very nicely) and hopefully, like our friend Harry Potter, this is just the beginning of the series. You will spend the whole time trying to figure out who is good, who is bad, and who just doesn’t know what they are and when you’re done you’ll go back to contemplating that question you first asked 20 years ago (yes, it was 20 years ago!) of what would you do if you suddenly found out you have magical powers. I definitely recommend.
Magicians Impossible is available from Thomas Dunne Books on September 12th, 2017.