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The Mesmerist Hardcover – February 7, 2017
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"Smith continues to display a deft mastery of worldbuilding and creepy, atmospheric plotting. A gripping tale enhanced by a convincingly detailed setting and drawing on classic fantasy memes."
"...Smith (author of Hoodoo, BCCB 10/15) has a knack for creating memorable bad guys, and the demonic necromancer and his minion ghouls may be creepy enough to spur readers forward."
"...for kids who relish some blood and gore, this should fill the slot. "
Praise for Hoodoo
“What a splendid novel. Reader, be prepared to have your foundations shaken: this is a world that is deeper, more wondrous, more spiritually charged than you may have ever imagined.” —Gary D. Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor medalist and author of The Wednesday Wars
"The authenticity of Hoodoo's voice and this distinctive mashup of genres make Smith one to watch." —Kirkus
About the Author
Ronald L. Smith fell in love with books at a very young age and hasn't stopped reading since. He is the author of Hoodoo and The Mesmerist, and he lives in Baltimore, Maryland. To learn more, please visit: www.strangeblackflowers.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Thirteen-year-old Jess lives with her mother. They earn their living from conducting séances, using trickery to put on a good show for their wealthy clients. However, that all changes when they receive an actual supernatural message. It turns out that Jess’ mother has been keeping secrets, and Jess learns more about her parents’ past on a trip to London.
Jess is introduced to the enigmatic Balthazar, as well as a couple of other children with similar mysterious abilities. All signs point to a Great Evil returning, and it is up to Jess and her new friends to work together and defeat the evil forces plaguing the city.
This was an interesting book that I read over the course of a snowy afternoon. Smith has a talent for creating scenes that are infused with creepy details; everything is ominous and foreboding. This book is scary, but not too scary. That said, sensitive children who are easily scared are probably going to want to pick another book. I normally read the middle grade novels I receive with my three girls (4th grade and two 2nd graders), but decided to go solo on this one because they don’t always like scary stories.
I would recommend The Mesmerist to older middle grade readers. This book reminded me of other kid-lit scary stories like Splendors and Glooms and The Night Gardener. Smith presents an interesting portrait of Victorian London. The plot is fairly predictable, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. I’m looking forward to reading more of Smith’s books in the future.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The story is fast-paced and full of action. This novel keeps your attention as it moves quickly. There are some scarey parts that might curl your toes in fear. There is also touched upon the subject of racism. The novel gives one a story that is horror with great creepy moments and atmosphere.
Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book free from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I was not obliged to write a favorable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
So he says to me, "What is a Middle School book exactly? This is a really well written book." and then, "Stop losing my place."
Then I had a child at home sick and I swear he was faking it because his temp was over 100 only one time. But he still had the book.
Hunting down this book reminded me of the trouble we had before I ordered multiple copies of the Harry Potter stories. The worst problem we had was when someone left a long wail on the Whiteboard when one of the characters died. "WHY? WHY did she kill ------?" My husband put his copy down and said, "He just wrecked the book."
Anyway. This could be that kind of book. It is exceptionally well written. It is an exceptional story.
This is a very fast enjoyable read. There are lots of strong female characters but not so exclusively as to be off putting for boys. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger so parents should be prepared for requests for the next in the series. Very well written with lots of historical context,