Synopsis from Simon & Schuster:
The Bone Witch meets Sherlock Holmes in this thrilling historical fantasy about a girl with the ability to raise the dead who must delve into her city’s dangerous magical underworld to stop a series of murders.
Catherine Daly has an unusual talent. By day she works for a printer. But by night, she awakens the dead for a few precious moments with loved ones seeking a final goodbye. But this magic comes with a price: for every hour that a ghost is brought back, Catherine loses an hour from her own life.
When Catherine is given the unusual task of collecting a timepiece from an old grave, she is sure that the mysterious item must contain some kind of enchantment. So she enlists Guy Nolan, the watchmaker’s son, to help her dig it up. But instead of a timepiece, they find a surprise: the body of a teenage boy. And as they watch, he comes back to life—not as the pale imitation that Catherine can conjure, but as a living, breathing boy. A boy with no memory of his past.
This magic is more powerful than any Catherine has ever encountered, and revealing it brings dangerous enemies. Catherine and Guy must race to unravel the connection between the missing timepiece and the undead boy. For this mysterious magic could mean the difference between life and death—for all of them.
About: Magic Dark and Strange is a young adult historical fiction fantasy written by Kelly Powell. It was recently published on 10/27/2020 by Margaret K. McElderry, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, paperback, 208 pages. The genres are young adult fantasy, historical fiction, and magic. This book was intended for readers ages 7 and up, grades 12 and up. Last year I read the author’s debut, Songs from the Deep and loved it. According to the publisher’s website, “Founded by legendary editor Margaret K. McElderry in 1972, Margaret K. McElderry Books is a boutique imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Division, recognized internationally as a publisher of literary author-driven fiction and nonfiction for the teen, middle grade, picture book, and poetry markets.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Magic Dark and Strange on 10/25/2020 and finished it on 10/28/2020. This book was an excellent read! Definitely in time for a Halloween read because six chapters into the book and I have been spending a lot of time with the main character at a cemetery. I liked learning bits of history in books, like how Catherine worked at the newspaper building and lived there full-time. Also interesting that there were lamplighters with their poles and ladders to light the street lamps! The odd jobs teens do back in the day was interesting. I liked the slow burning romance. It’s definitely cute when a guy attempted at love.
This story followed Catherine, 17, told in the third person point of view, as she and a co-worker were out in the cemetery digging a grave in the night. They were watched on by Geoffrey, an older brother to Mary who lay dead six feet under. He’s here to say farewell to her, where Catherine’s job provided. Catherine has some magic that can wake Mary up for an hour so she can be with her brother. Her boss Ainsworth wanted Catherine to retrieve a timepiece from the public cemetery that has the magical power to bring the dead fully back to life. She brought along the watchmaker’s son, Guy Nolan, from down the street to analyze the timepiece. But when they dig up the grave, the timepiece was missing and the person laying dead there was fully restored. Catherine now has a big problem on her hands because the guy couldn’t recalled who he was and her boss seemed to have been murdered for wanting to find the timepiece. There’s an epilogue to end the story.
Magic Dark and Strange was well written! The characters were well liked. The mystery and different magic was intriguing. I liked historical fiction for the proper way everyone spoke to each other. It was cute how Owen asked for a last name so that others could call him by it. Now people are asked if they want to donate their bodies to science after their death but it’s a surprising feature to learn of what others do back then after a person’s funeral. I liked how the mystery came together in the end. I recommend everyone to read this book!
Pro: mystery, suspense, slow burning romance, magic
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author: