Library Journal Review
DEBUT Upon the apparent suicide of his estranged father, bartender Jason Bishop is further shocked to discover that Daniel had been a member of an ancient, secret group of magic-wielding spies called the Invisible Hand. This organization has been locked in battle for centuries with another group of magicians, the Golden Dawn, and each side believes that Jason is their key to ultimate victory. The Invisible Hand train Jason to use his inherited abilities, but when they fail to tell him the truth about his family, he doesn't know whom to trust. Abraham creates a sympathetic lead in Jason, who might level up quickly in magic but needs more time on the emotional side. The premise of espionage between dueling secret magical societies is exciting, but the added family drama gives this outing extra dimension. VERDICT From its action-packed opening sequence, this is a cinematic, fast-paced debut from a writer more known in comics, television, and film. [Library marketing.]-MM © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
A 30-year-old man discovers that his estranged father was actually a "Mage in the service of the Invisible Hand" in Abraham's uneven first novel, a fantasy thriller. Bartender Jason Bishop returns home to Cold Spring, N.Y., to bury his father, Daniel, who apparently leapt to his death from the roof of the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan. At the funeral, a reunion with a lost love adds to Jason's regrets about his relationship with his father, and things take an odd turn when he's confronted in the funeral home's restroom by a stranger who vanishes, leaving behind only a playing card. The stranger, Carter Block, reappears at Jason's upper Manhattan workplace and reveals Daniel's real name and identity-and that he was murdered. Carter also discloses the reason for the murder: Daniel (who was really Damon King) "was attempting to acquire something of great value... that could shift the balance in an age-old conflict" between supernatural beings. Abraham writes with a certain wistful charm, but genre fans may feel that they've seen all this before-and better. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Like an American millennial Harry Potter, 30-year-old Jason Bishop discovers that neither he nor his parents are quite who he thought they were and that magical gifts are real. His absent dad, who sent him to be raised by an aunt and uncle, may have been protecting rather than neglecting him. When Jason attends his father's funeral, he realizes that someone else is to be buried-a Diabolist of the Invisible Hand, an organization locked in battle with spell casters of the Golden Dawn. He becomes involved in an ancient conflict between those who are born to magic and those who learn and manipulate it through spells. Jason's initiation and training at the Citadel are much more intense and brief than a long education at Hogwarts, and he must quickly step up from recruit to soldier. Abraham's tale has more blood, tattoos, and snark than J.K. Rowling's books, but the narratives share colorful characters, levels of magical prowess, and a sense that trust should be only very carefully bestowed. Romps through the Louvre and Dan Brown-like adventures involving artwork, conspiracy, and revelations will delight readers. Characters here don't come to life with the same mastery as in Rowling's titles, but few will notice, considering all the magical motion. VERDICT Young adult readers who enjoy spy mysteries and fantasies will clamor for this inspired mash-up.-Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Gwinnett County, GA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Although most magical children are trained at a school for mages, Jason Bishop's father hid him from both good and evil magical forces. But quickly after his father's funeral, Jason is discovered by both sides of the magical world and must be protected and trained by the mages. The mages are the good guys, who come by their power naturally, while the wizards and witches are evil and steal magic. Jason is extremely gifted and makes his way through his studies at a rapid rate. While it is clear that Jason is exceptional, he is also a cog in the good-magic machine that is fighting evil. The evil forces are led by the Red Queen, and they are looking for a magical item that will allow access to the mages' home. There is some fun tongue-in-cheek humor here in the use of fantasy and science fiction tropes, such as when a fellow mage mocks Jason by claiming that there is a prophecy about a chosen one. Jason quickly thinks it might be him, but the mage laughs, saying, Prophesies are bullshit; especially Great White Savior ones. Jason fighting the forces of evil and learning about his powers is an amusing and captivating adventure.--Whitmore, Emily Copyright 2017 Booklist