Mel's Reviews > Magic Mansion

Magic Mansion by Jordan Castillo Price
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's review
Oct 05, 12

Read from May 04 to October 03, 2012

Magic Mansion was initially published in the author's newsletter. The story about magicians entering a reality tv show appeared in each issue. In true reality tv-style, readers could vote for the characters they wanted eliminated. All this led to one of JCP's more elaborate works.
With Magic Mansion being as big a project as it is, I had very high expectations. To my surprise, the book wasn't as engrossing and captivating as JCP's usual stories.

Judging by the raving reviews, I'm the odd one out. I'm surprised myself because I have loved pretty much everything that JCP has published. Her stories, however short, always have great plots, a nice twist and superb characters. Unfortunately, this time around, I wasn't blown away.

The love story between the two characters was an almost generic insta-love story. I really liked how the concept of 'falling in love with your hero to realize he's just a regular guy' was handled. But other than that, the conflict was minimal and the "I love you"s came way too fast. Plus all that 'showering each other in kisses' definitely upped the saccharine factor.

Also: JCP's characters are usually multilayered and intriguing. Sadly, this time around I found both Ricardo and the Professor to be two dimensional, even though the latter showed some definite potential in the beginning of the book.

My main problem though, was that the story lacked bite. I don't want to say it's sappy, but Magic Mansion has a distinct mellowness to it that all the other JCP books (thankfully) lack. The only edge was in the reality tv setting, which I found to be both very original and entertaining. The reality contestants themselves sadly couldn't be used to their full potential. For instance: a character like Charity (the crazy ventriloquist with the scary dummy) could have provided some major snark, but was voted out by readers very early in the book. In stead, the ever crying, cheer leader girl, Sue, stayed on till the ending. What a waste.

All in all, an okay story with decent writing, but lacking the usual JCP superbness. 3 stars.
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