About the Book
Title: The Magician’s Doll | Author: M.L. Roble | Publication Date: February 2, 2013
Publisher: Independent | Pages: 320 | Recommended Ages: 10+
“They are stronger. They are coming. They will arrive!”
Life would be so much better for twelve-year-old Natalie if she and her mother weren’t different; other kids wouldn’t pick on her; she wouldn’t have to get into fights. She would have friends. But Natalie has abilities that set her apart, and despite her very best efforts to have a normal life, her developing “gift” has a way of upending them all. Then one day a big top circus rolls into town bringing with it Beausoleil the Magician, his daughter Louisa, and his mysterious doll. Strange things are afoot with Beausoleil’s arrival, and in his wake, an eerie storm is approaching. Soon Natalie discovers there is more to her world and the people around her than she knew, and that being different is just the tip of the iceberg… The Magician’s Doll sparks readers’ imaginations with a tale of magical discoveries, profound friendships, a fight against evil, and the growth that comes with facing your fears and accepting who you are.
My Thoughts: The Magician’s Doll is a riveting, suspenseful thriller centred around a teenaged girl, Natalie, who like others in her town, has special “gifts”. Natalie’s life is turned upside-down when the circus rolls into town and the great magician, Beausoleil, dazzles the crowd with a stunning magic trick: bringing a doll to life. A dark storm threatens the town as Natalie’s visions get stronger and she learns that her family, and that of her friend Phillip, are in grave danger. The key to their survival is with the living doll, Louisa, who holds their fate in her hands.
The Magician’s Doll is story-telling at its best. The Preface will grab you right away as you witness a confrontation between two powerful men – a father and son – after we learn that a young woman has escaped from their grasp. The Preface leaves the reader asking many questions, but these begin to be answered as the plot slowly and deliciously moves forward providing clues as to the real identity of these two men and the woman who escaped. The building of the intrigue in the story is absolutely top-notch. This is a real page-turner!
Natalie is the charming main character of the story. When she is introduced, we learn that she is the target of the school’s bullies because of her and her mother Serena’s unusual “gifts” as psychics. Aside from Natalie, there is a large cast of unique and interesting secondary characters including her friend and love interest Phillip, Phillip’s mother Janet who is also “gifted”, the great magician Beausoleil, his daughter Louise, and the vertically-challenged but tough and loyal circus worker, Hercules. Weaved throughout the intricate plot is the danger lurking behind the dark storm – the mysterious duo of Martin and Sebastian, who harbor a deep secret.
Aside from the interesting mix of main and secondary characters, what is so great about this book is the mood that is set right from the start. The book is filled with intrigue, mystery, and there is a darkness (but not too dark for tweens or teens) that is always there just under the surface. There are certain scenes, such as when the doll is first magically animated that are so well written, that I had chills running down my spine. No need to think “Chucky” here, but it was a little creepy, I must admit. The author takes her time in revealing the meaning of the dark storm and why Natalie, her Mother, and other townsfolk are in danger. Readers who love the supernatural and magic will be enthralled by this story. Further, in the last few chapters, the author leaves the reader with a BIG cliffhanger regarding the true identity of Sebastian. I can’t wait to read more!!
My Bottom Line: The Magician’s Doll is a gripping thriller featuring a young heroine who possesses great magical power, a fabulous and quirky collection of secondary characters, a mystery that slowly draws in the reader, and a deliciously dark mood that will keep young readers and adults alike turning the pages. I highly recommend this book to older children who enjoy feeling a bit “spooked” and who love stories filled with magic, suspense, and a great mystery. Ages 10+
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Read an Excerpt
“The story of exceptional and gifted beings secretly living among us is timeless; this exhilarating book is an impressive treatment of that classic storyline. The writing is fast and clear, with a well-developed plot and perfect buildup of action and suspense.” ~ 5 Star Review, G. Wagner, Amazon
“This is perfect for kids of the middle grade age. It forces them to look at the way they treat each other and their differences. It makes them look at what true friendship is and what they would do in certain circumstances. I am sure this book was written to be a wonderful story, yet I find it is a great example of teaching kids something without them realizing they are learning I will definitely continue to recommend this book to parents and students.” ~ 5 Star Review, Sandra S., Amazon
“I am a eighth grader, and was told to read this book by a friend. I am a huge fan of fantasy and magic, and thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it well thought through with colorful characters from a variety of backgrounds. The concepts and ideas are fresh and interesting, I especially enjoyed the idea of travel through maps, like Phillipe. I would DEFINITELY recommend this book to all my friends, and will do so as soon as possible.” ~ 5 Star Review, Eugenia, Amazon
About the Author: M.L. Roble
M. L. Roble’s desire to write a children’s novel stems from the nostalgia of her own middle grade reading years where she first experienced books like “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Shattered Stone”. There have been different books and genres since, but those years fueled an enchantment for story that continues to this day.
* Book Blast Giveaway *
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