Thirty years after a tragic accident shut down production of the classic children’s program Mister Magic, the five surviving cast members have done their best to move on. But just as generations of cultishly devoted fans still cling to the lessons they learned from the show, the cast, known as the Circle of Friends, have spent their lives searching for the happiness they felt while they were on it. The friendship. The feeling of belonging. And the protection of Mister Magic.
But with no surviving video of the show, no evidence of who directed or produced it, and no records of who—or what—the beloved host actually was, memories are all the former Circle of Friends has.
Then a twist of fate brings the castmates back together at the remote desert filming compound that feels like it’s been waiting for them all this time. Even though they haven’t seen each other for years, they understand one another better than anyone has since.
After all, they’re the only ones who hold the secret of that circle, the mystery of the magic man in his infinitely black cape, and, maybe, the answers to what really happened on that deadly last day. But as the Circle of Friends reclaim parts of their past, they begin to wonder: Are they here by choice, or have they been lured into a trap?
Mister Magic by Kiersten White is creepy and powerful, a story that slowly unveils to show the creeping darkness and cycle of abuse as well as what it means to attempt to escape that cycle for the sake of your own children. One of the reasons it is so powerful are the highly emotional themes of abuse and cultism that the author weaves into the story, the pacing and tiny details that unveil the horror. It is paced exquisitely well and eerily reminiscent of Stephen Kings’ IT or at least the characters remind me of the novel but because of how powerful the characters are written.
The side notes about the tv show and the podcast highlight the horror and add to the details that enhance the story. Val is the emotional heart of the novel and of the friends, her anxiety and threads of fear despite her lack of memories build tension and keep the reader connected to the emotions of the story. From the beginning that hooks you immediately introducing Val to the beautiful and heartbreaking resolution, the story tackles toxic cycles and beliefs that can saturate society. It is a creepy and powerful novel.
If you like horror novels that will remind you of the best Stephen King books, this story is for you. It is a novel that will resonate with readers and the powerful characters will keep you engaged. If you love horror, this is one to check out. I love the characters, the profound themes and the dark horror with the hopeful ending.
Rating: 5 out of 5 doors