I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Eighteen-year-old Moira Mitchell grew up in the shadows of Vegas’s stage lights while her father’s career as a magician soared. More than anything, Moira wants to be a magician too, but her father is dead set against her pursuing magic.When an invitation to join the Cirque American mistakenly falls into Moira’s possession, she takes action. Moira takes off to join the Cirque. If she can perform alongside its world-famous acts, she knows she’ll be able to convince her dad that magic is her future. But when Moira arrives, things take on an intensity she can’t control as her stage magic suddenly feels like…real magic. As tensions mount and Moira’s abilities come into question, she must decide what’s real and what’s an illusion. If she doesn’t sort it out in time, she may forever remain a girl in the shadows.
I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. I didn't realize it was a sequel until I received the ARC (that happens sometimes with NetGalley), but then I realized this one could be read as a stand alone so I decided to give it a chance. I am so glad I did.
Moira is the daughter of a famous magician. She longs to follow in her father's footsteps, but her father is adamant that she not have anything to do with magic. When she finds an invitation to Cirque American, she defies her father's wishes and joins the exclusive circus so she can perform. During her audition, Moira is stunned to realize that she has real magic. This book is full of illusions and surprises and I loved the magic of all the performances. Moira is very headstrong and determined and she takes a lot of risks with her magic. There were many times when Moira was performing a trick and I swear that I had to grit my teeth because it was so suspenseful. And Moira was apparently a pioneer because famous woman magicians were unheard of. Loved the girl power! There was also a secret society and a mysterious (but very powerful) villain and some mysterious coin that everyone wanted because it made the owner very lucky. The main issue I had was that the romance part happened a little quickly for my taste. I can see why she fell for Dez and his knife throwing was impressive. Note: if you want to win over a girl, just throw knives at her head. It'll get her every time. He was charming, but I don't feel like Moira knew enough about him to love him. I would have liked more development in that part of the story.
Other than the romance (and a little dragging towards the end), this really was a worthwhile story to read. Very magical.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: This one is worth buying.