Add a dash of fantasy to a healthy dose of history and you have Steven Savileís HOUDINIíS LAST ILLUSION, an amazing novella which chronicles the last days of Harry Houdini. The story begins in Detroit, MI, where Houdini has some appearances scheduled Ė one at the Detroit Police Department where he will attempt to escape from a jail cell within fifteen minutes; another at the Garrick Theatre where he will attempt to escape the Chinese Water Torture Chamber. On the eve of his performances he decides to visit a sťance. It is during his visit when the medium shares an ominous message with the magician, something he would normally shrug off as falsehoodÖ..if not for the dead magicians heís been seeing lately. As the time for his show at the Garrick Theatre draws near, and as shadows are closing in from all sides, Houdini plots his greatest and final illusion.

Savile effectively mixes in an interesting backstory on Houdini, including tactics he uses to complete his illusions. The characterization is also spot-on, bringing his cast of characters to life. Itís quite obvious that Savile has done his homework on Houdini, writing about actual events from the illusionistís life while mixing in his own reflections to make a cohesive narrative.

It doesnít get much better than this, folks. Itís easily the best book Iíve read so far this year, and earns a 10 out of 10. Savile is a fantastic writer, and is underappreciated in this reviewerís humble opinion. Do yourself a favor and snatch up anything heís written. I promise you wonít be disappointed.

HOUDINIíS LAST ILLUSION will be reprinted in Savile's forthcoming The Incompleat Steven Savile, coming soon from Dark Regions Press.

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