Author: Sarah Gailey
Released: June 4th, 2019
I received a copy of Magic for Liars through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Magic for Liars is the latest standalone novel from Sarah Gailey. Honestly, after having finished this novel, I found myself wishing that it wasn’t a standalone novel. But more on that later. Magic for Liars has so much to offer, with a rich blend of ideas and genres.
Ivy Gamble is a twin, but she and her sister are as different as you could ever imagine. Ivy grew up to be a private investigator. Tabitha grew up to be a professor at a magic high school. Yes, you did in fact read that right. Their worlds collide thanks to a grisly crime that Ivy has been called in to solve.
This novel was absolutely fascinating and so much fun to read. It was well written, but I also loved the fun twists on a certain famous magical school series (cough cough Harry Potter cough). Magic for Liars made me chuckle, but it also enchanted me and kept me anxiously turning the pages.
Magic for Liars ended up being so much more than I expected – and I had decently high hopes for this novel. I knew upon reading the description that it was going to be a blast to read, and I wasn’t wrong.
The core concept of Magic for Liars was very clever – magic meets private investigator. With some family drama, emotional trauma, and a heavy dose of self doubt thrown into the mix. And that’s not taking into consideration all of the tongue in cheek moments in this novel.
There were a lot of clearly intentional jokes about Hogwarts snuck in here and there. Some were more obvious than others. But all of them made me chuckle. I had to appreciate the irony in some cases. For example, this novel is basically from the perspective of the non-magical sister (remind you of Petunia and Lily?). And let’s not forget the new perspective on prophecies and chosen ones. That was a nice touch!
Ivy was an interesting main character. I’m not going to pretend that I liked her right away. Because I didn’t. But she did grow on me. In fact, by the end I found myself rooting for her against all odds. I couldn’t help but feel the heartbreak and every other emotion she was forced to deal with.
Speaking of Ivy, I found the PI side of things to be a shockingly good touch. It was fun seeing a ‘normal’ try and solve a mystery in a magical setting. You’d think that Ivy would be completely overwhelmed by the prospect – I know I would. But nope, she soldiers on. Because of her limited abilities (magically speaking, that is) and knowledge, Ivy had to work with what she had. And it was fascinating to see her work her way through the process.
This novel was a unique blend of genres and tones. It was magical and mystery, comical and intense, dramatic and light. Because of that, it was a fantastic read. I hadn’t realized how much I would enjoy this mixture…but now I’m desperately craving more of it!
This is one of those novels that I hated seeing the end of. Not because I didn’t like the ending (though in this case, I would have killed for just a bit more), but because I just wasn’t ready to finish reading it. Admittedly I haven’t read any of Sarah Gailey’s other novels, so clearly I’m going to have to dig through those and see what I can come up with! And I’m looking forward to it.