Hello everyone! Recently I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the Waterstones children’s book of the month for May, The Vanishing Trick – a gothic Victorian adventure aimed at 9-12 readers by Jenni Spangler.
Leander, the hero of the story, is an orphan. Sleeping rough and stealing to survive he dreams of a better, more welcoming life of honesty and love. Then he meets Madame Pinchbeck, who promises him all he desires in retrun for his mothers locket. What Leander doesn’t know is that by trading his locket he has traded his soul, and unwittingly bound himself to Pinchbeck for ever. Or at least until she has no need for him any more…and Leander doesn’t know which is worse.
Pinchbeck’s strange magic can make Leander vanish into his locket at will. Befriending fellow captives, Charlotte and Felix, together the three of them begin to form a plan to escape Pinchbecks bonds and stop her for good. But time is running out and ghosts from the past lurk around every corner.
The Vanishing Trick pulses with energy and magic – I could hardly read fast enough to keep up with the plot! Super chilling and eerie, it was vividly described and bristling with bewitching folklore and thrilling illusions. I especially loved the links to Victorian times with the inclusion of the historic trend in seances.
Spangler created a great cast of characters, Madame Pinchbeck is the kind of villain that makes your skin prickle and your stomach flip both in fear and suspense. Leander, Charlotte and Felix are fantastic heroes, all overcoming fears to save their friends, family and each other.
I will definitely be recommending this spellbinding adventure…though only to readers with a stomach for spooks and offering word of advice about reading before bed…!
Meg Readz xx