Happy Tuesday and Cinco de Mayo friends of B+S! Today is a magical day because it’s the day we will all take the time to appreciate the magic of everything. How can you find the magic in everything when we’re in such an unsure time right now, you ask? With a little help from Charlie Watson and Mike Russell and me of course! Here’s the B+S Book Review of the magical tale about… well… Magic.
This book was sent to me as a review copy by Mr. Russell, and I cannot express in enough words just how happy I am that he reached out to me to review this fantastic work. First of all, let me just say, Magic is an Indie book. This makes me so excited! So much hard work goes into self-publishing and enough cannot be said about those who are able to venture into those waters. We commend you.
Magic is a quirky, fun, and honest book… one that makes you sit back and just think about things a little differently. One that leaves you feeling like you understand the way things work just a little bit more than you did before. This book is a transcendental ride disguised as a child-like, lighthearted read.
Usually, with my book reviews, I would follow a certain outline of topics to talk about. However, with this one, I plan to do it a little differently. I’m going to chat about what the book was about in general and how it made me feel. The reason being is that I don’t want to spoil too much of what the book is about by breaking the individual elements down as I would’ve with other books. Mike Russell wrote this book in such a way that the true “aha” moment happens as the story is developing. I don’t want to spoil the trick, now do I?
I can’t wait to dive into why this book was so moving for me, but first let me say that even though this book was sent to me to be read for review, I plan to give 100000% honest feedback. As with all of B+S Book Reviews, there is definitely no BS to be found here.
Don’t believe me? Check out my other review copy book reviews here..
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Author: Mike Russell
Publisher/ Publication Date: StrangeBooks, March 2020
Genre(s): Contemporary, Fantasy
First, the Goodreads Synopsis:
Does magic exist? Charlie Watson thinks it does and he wants to tell you all about it. Before he was famous, Charlie Watson decided to write a book to share with the world everything he knew about magic. This is that book. You will discover why Charlie always wears a top hat, why his house is full of rabbits, how magic wands are made, how the universe began, and much, much more. Plus, for the first time, Charlie tells of the strange events that led him from England to the Arctic, to perform the extraordinary feat that made him famous, and he finally reveals whether that extraordinary feat was magic or whether it was just a trick. Magic is a magic novel by Mike Russell.
Bri’s Thoughts on the Book:
Magic was a different experience for me because it was the first book in a while (if not ever) that I went into it thinking one way, and left the book with an entirely different impression. Magic started very childishly… and I mean that in the best sense…
The book started off as something, I originally assumed, that you would read to your child as a bedtime story. Your narrator and protagonist, Charlie Watson, viewed the world through the lens of a child, and his whimsical views of the world and the way the world works is one that is very naive and full of wonder. Yet, as you progress through the storyline, you find that it isn’t Charlie at all who is naive, but everyone else… including myself.
The use of magic, magicians, and magic shows to help the readers connect with their inner 7-year-old self was a brilliant strategy that Mike Russell utilized skillfully. I don’t know about you guys, but one of my first passions was to be a magician. I would beg my grandmother to buy me whatever hokey “box of magic tricks” that was the cheapest (which means she would be more willing to buy…) so I could practice. I was fascinated with the thought of making people go “ooooo” and “ahhhhh”, but hindsight I think that is just the Leo in me because I still have that fascination lol.
Because everything was centered around magic and the illusion of magic, it was easy for me to delve into my kiddish side of reading and not think too much about the seriousness of the big idea when I first began to read Magic. I was thinking, “Awww, this is cute. Of course the things Charlie believes aren’t true, but it’s cute to think that way…”
But then, the darkness that the story was trying to tell began to seep in the further I went into the book. The reality of our world and the humans that occupy it reared its ugly head. I slowly began to feel like the child who gets yelled at for not letting go of childish things. Like the child who can see all the amazement of it all still, but surrounded by tainted, miserable adults too bullheaded to realize that this wonderment still exists.
I didn’t like the feeling. I was ashamed of it even…
How do I look to all the children who still see the magic in everything? Am I bitter? Have I lost my touch? These were the questions I asked myself when I finished reading the book. These and many more…
So… what did I love about Magic?
I loved that this book fooled me into believing it was silly and too lighthearted to be taken seriously, only to later force me to do some of the deepest soul-searching that I’ve done in a while. I loved that I left the book wanting to see and think as Charlie Watson does, and I loved that I wanted to try to make everyone else around me see and think like him too.
As you can tell with my blog’s name: Books and Shadows, I have a witchy side to me as well as a literary one, and I loved that this book played to both of my interests at the same time. Witches tend to have a strong connection to all and realize that every single person, animal, or thing in all of creation is one. We all share the same vibrations. Magic reminded me to get back to that way of thinking. To go back to the days when I did realize the magic that we all shared, and to speak and behave with nothing but pure love and harmony to all creatures and non-creatures alike…
Because we all deserve the same respect.
Because we are all Magic.
If I had to find one thing..
Overall, this book is a winner- winner for me, but there was something that got under my skin. There were situations that happened in the book that were moments of conflict that I felt could have been avoided to save some of the characters some hard times. I found myself saying things like, “Just blah blah blah, and then you won’t have this problem, Blah!” Angry that the characters didn’t make smarter choices.
Maybe this was Mike’s plan all along to show the reader how life simply happens sometimes regardless if you know what’s good for you or not. Sometimes, shit happens. To good people. And, yes, it could have been avoided, but sometimes the dice just roll that way. Which is very true… but man, did it make me so frustrated at times. This could also be an emotion Mr. Russell was trying to incite in us as well… hmmmm.
Revelation after revelation…
The Final Verdict:
I give Magic a 4.7. This book and the self-realizations it made me come to is a perfect 5, but because I found myself frustrated often because I wanted the characters to do things more realistic of what I would have done, I had to shave a little off the top.
Now, I know many of you may read this and say “That’s not a good reason to not give it a perfect score, ” and I’m sure to some you would be right. But this is an honest book review about how the book made me feel and my loves and gripes for the book, so I stand by my assessment.
Honestly though, Magic was a magical book for me and I feel like I came back from it a much better person. I plan to reread this book during times when I’m feeling down the most, or more stressed and easy to upset. I know it will help me find the balance I’m missing.
About the Author:
“StrangeBooks are Mike Russell (author and designer) & Jay Snelling (the StrangeBooks secretary). For us, independent publishing means artistic integrity, allowing us to bring books to the reader that are beyond the mainstream. Please read the many excellent reviews that Mike Russell’s books are receiving.
We wish our readers the highest possible outcome from their reading experience. “
Follow Mike and Strangebooks:
Jay Snelling’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaysnellingart
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