Duncan Rose hustles his way through life, taking advantage of the foolish and overindulged. His weapon of choice - a deck of cards. Despite the dangers, he uses his skills with sleight-of-hand tricks to cheat at poker and tilt life in his favor. But when Duncan steps through a strange door and emerges in the Depression-ravaged world of 1934, he discovers a dark underworld of magicians and card cheats who use their skills simply to survive another day. Swindling his way through this bizarre new world, he searches for a doorway home, until a ruthless mobster takes notice - a man also looking for the strange door and not inclined to share the magic. In a race to find his way home, Duncan will need all his card skills, but more importantly, he'll need to trust those around him or risk losing everything.
Real Magic is an exciting time travel fantasy packed with real card tricks designed specifically for this story by renowned card magician, Cameron Francis.
I was wrapped into this world immediately. I can’t say magic card tricks were a fancy of mine, but it added such depth to the story in an inexplicable way. I liked it more than just a fancy or a fluff filler in the story.
I liked the gateway delivery. Although never fully explained, it held its own with its mysteriousness.
Duncan, was not the most likable main character, but he grew on you and as he became emotionally attached, he grew into himself.
The characters were wonderfully well written. But I think one of the Magic Club members just disappeared. We followed Morty and Vincent but the other guy waa never heard from again. Not even an honorary mention in the recap.
But it plummeted down following Duncan’s visit with the chair. Maybe he had superpowers, but after fists and golf clubs to the head, thigh, ribs, etc; he didn’t have any pains or problems and walked around town and had sex as if the abuse bounced off him. Yeah, he grew massive brass balls.
Bits and pieces started to unravel. Especially the dozen or so times the reader is constantly reminded of the stark contrasts from 1934 and 2013 -by direct mention. How many times do you have to bring it up? Each mention felt like I was being belittled that I didn’t know Google wasn’t invented yet.
Who knows how Walters &Co knew to find him in the diner in the middle of cow country. Especially with no true communication (as it’s drummed into the narration upteen times) and if they were given a different name. Who knows how Nelson & Co were summoned to the farmhouse. And they really wanna play footsie while someone is bleeding to death from a bullet wound?
Which brings us to the wrap up of the time loop. His life in 1934 was heartache. Suicides. Disappearances. Apparently after their first two-three(?) years, Lucy is plagued with depression; which causes Duncan immense heartbreak and heartache. But he thought it was worth sending his younger self down the same path?
This brings the final suspension of belief: How does he know WHICH door will send him back to 1934. It’s been an unknown variable which door leads to which time.
Other than occasional mannerisms; simple architectural; specks of war, depression, prohibition; or limited technology, no other world building or language/dialogue kept the readers glued to the 30s.
I was eager to listen to this audiobook to completion. Cameron Francis added unique depth to the book with his magic lessons. He added unique voices to the characters and pushed the story along. Unfortunately, the plot and characters didn’t fulfill my expectations and left a void of “that’s it?” upon the ending.
What made the experience of listening to Real Magic the most enjoyable?
Characters come to life. I prefer written books. However, when driving that's not an option. This audio book didn't make me miss actually reading.