It’s Not You, It’s Me: The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Posted July 22, 2017 by Nick/ 17 Comments

It’s Not You, It’s Me: The Last Magician by Lisa MaxwellThe Last Magician
by Lisa Maxwell
Release Date: July 18th 2017
Published by Simon Pulse
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Time Travel, YA
Format: eARC
Pages: 512
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two-stars
Source: ARC received for review purposes

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.

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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The Last Magician was a book I was more than excited to read. It has a heist, magic and a historical setting, all elements that made it seem like a book I would love. Unfortunately, the book let me down. However, I don’t think that should stop anyone from picking this one up, because I really think a lot of my lack of enjoyment of the book had to do with my personal preferences when it comes to book lengths.

You see, The Last Magician is close to 500+ pages long, and while normally that would have taken me 2-3 days to read, I struggled through this one for about 6 days. I was reading about 2-3 hours daily, and every time I checked my progressed, I would get annoyed that I had only made it through 20%. Additionally, I just didn’t feel like the book warranted that many pages, because there’s a huge chunk in the middle when the story in The Last Magician remained stagnant. I feel like 200 pages or so could have been cut down from this book, and it would have made for a more intense, action-packed story. Instead, it just dragged and dragged with no end in sight. Boredom and distracted not what I expect to feel when I’m reading a book about a heist!

The characters themselves were decent. They weren’t in any way memorable for me, mostly because there’s quite the cast here, and I tend to struggle with big casts. The main character, Esta, I liked. She was very brash, confident and sassy, which made for great characteristics in a heroine. Her potential love interest, Harte Darrigan, I was very skeptical about. He was a little too mysterious for my tastes, and I’m still not quite sure what his agenda was in the The Last Magician.

Overall, I wasn’t bowled over by this book I was expecting to be. The world building was good and had great potential, I just didn’t feel like the execution worked for me. But like I said,  give it a shot if you’re interested in reading it because I don’t think other readers will have the same issues with The Last Magician as I did. Be warned though, this is apparently not a standalone.

What are some books that disappointed you this year?
Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Sorry to hear you struggled through this. The premise sounds great but I guess not. And Letters To The Lost and The Names They Gave Us really disappointed me, very sadly! But thanks for your honesty and for sharing.

    xx Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

    • Thanks, Anisha!

  • It’s always such a letdown when a book you were really looking forward to fails to “wow” you. I get the same way with checking my progress and getting annoyed sometimes. I read fairly quickly but sometimes when I’m losing interest in the book it really seems to drag. Sorry this one didn’t work for you. Hope your next read is better!

    • Yeah, that’s exactly what happened with me here. Thanks!

  • Thank GOD you told me it was a series!!! I would of hated to put all that effort in and then… yeah, I would have tossed my reader/iPad and that is just dumb. I really liked the beginning but I will definitely go into this heeding your advice about the middle “fluff” of the book. I’m gonna try but we’ll see… thanks for your fair and awesome review!!! 🙂

    • The beginning was awesome, then I just started to get annoyed because it was going NOWHERE then turns out it was a series and of course I was just annoyed 100% more by then!

  • As someone who primarily reads fantasy, I don’t have a problem with books that have 500+ pages…so long as it makes sense for the story to be that long. My number one pet peeve with YA fantasy right now is that all these authors seem to think a GoT style cast (i.e. a dozen MCs) is required to tell a good story, and half of them can’t pull it off. So frustrating! I don’t think this book is for me, honestly.

    • Yeah! See, I’ve read books that have been long but that didn’t feel long because every word mattered. But here I didn’t feel like the story was going anywhere. I agree! I’m fine with a cast of 3-4 characters.

  • Sorry to hear you didn’t like this one more, it’s one I was interested in reading. As soon as you mentioned the length I knew I wouldn’t be reading, I am easily daunted by long books. Like so much. I’ve just started Leviathan Wakes and I’m upset it’s 500+ pages. I didn’t used to be this way and I am determined to power through but long books are hard to read. I love having a large cast of characters but I also struggle to keep track of them. I might like it but I might now. I may grab this from the library (if my library gets a copy in) but I won’t got out of my way to get a copy.

    • Same! It upsets me that it takes me forever to read a book, especially if I’m not enjoying it. Some books I’ve read have been 500+ pages, but they don’t feel that way because they are enjoyable. This wasn’t one of those for me. I definitely thinking waiting for a library copy is smart.

      • It’s getting through those first few chapters and getting sucked into the book which are my issue. The more I stare at a big book the more I’m daunted by it. I’ll try my library and see how it goes. Fantasy books like this one can go either way for me.

  • I’m sorry this one didn’t work out for you – I Just finished this one last week but it was a definite 4 star read for me. 500 pages is a big book, but I enjoyed where this one took me and didn’t feel it dragging at all.

    Again, I’m sad it didn’t work out for you and I hope your next reads are better!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Very cool cover too bad the inside was not as good 😉

    • I know! The cover is so cool though I don’t know how it relates to the inside!

  • Ahhhh, yeah. Okay. If you struggled, I will struggle. I had a feeling. I’ve been putting it off for months, making up excuses to myself every time I shift around my blog calendar. Heck, I was supposed to post a review of it today (and obviously that didn’t happen). The length, lack of romance, and the fact that it isn’t a standalone… I have lost interest. And with the much faster pace of life I have going on, I can’t do such a long book. >.< I guess I'll wait for holidays, or maybe next year when book two pops up!

    Wonderful review, Nick! Have a great week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Yeah, I say still give it a shot when you have the time, but there’s no need to rush!