Review - The Vanishing Trick

The Vanishing Trick by Jenni Spangler








Madame Augustina Pinchbeck, travels the country conjuring the spirits of dearly departed loved ones... for a price. Whilst her ability to contact ghosts is a game of smoke and mirrors, there is real magic behind her tricks too - if you know where to look.
 
Through a magical trade, she persuades children to part with precious objects, promising to use her powers to help them. But Pinchbeck is a deceiver, instead turning their items into enchanted Cabinets that bind the children to her and into which she can vanish and summon them at will.
 
When Pinchbeck captures orphan Leander, events are set into motion that see him and his new friends Charlotte and Felix, in a race against time to break Pinchbeck’s spell, before one of them vanishes forever…





This is one of the darkest, creepiest middle grade books I've read!

Madame Pinchbeck is a truly horrifying villain, and I loved her mixture of showmanship, manipulation and control. It was done so cleverly that it would be quite believable (and almost as horrible) even without the magic. One element I particularly liked was her relationship with Felix, one of the trapped children who had been with her the longest. The expression of Stockholm Syndrome was really believable and powerful and made his character particularly interesting in its complexity. Similarly, the relationship between Leander and Charlotte was complex and fascinating, with their different upbringings reflected in their attitudes to stealing, for one thing.

The fairytale elements were woven in really skillfully, with the background slowly being revealed in a way that kept me enthralled, as the novel built up to a dramatic and exciting climax.

I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anybody interested in dark fairytale stories.

Exciting, scary, fantastic.


I'm giving The Vanishing Trick five moons

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The Vanishing Trick by Jenni Spangler is published today, 30th April 2020, by Simon and Schuster. I was given an eProof in return for an honest review on Netgalley.



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