Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Motion of Puppets” as Want to Read:
The Motion of Puppets
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Motion of Puppets

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  893 Ratings  ·  241 Reviews
From the bestselling author of The Boy Who Drew Monsters and The Stolen Child comes a modern take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth—a suspenseful tale of romance and enchantment

In the Old City of Québec, Kay Harper falls in love with a puppet in the window of the Quatre Mains, a toy shop that is never open. She is spending her summer working as an acrobat with the cirque wh
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Picador
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Motion of Puppets, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Adrienne I downloaded an audio version from my library. Perhaps this option is available to you.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Amalia Gavea
"Had you not been born,you would not know what it is like to be alive, and without life,death is impossible to understand."

I admit I hadn't heard of Kevin Donohue before I came across this book.I didn't know he is an author of Horror books primarily.What appealed to me was the cover and the fact that I find puppets fascinating in a deliciously creepy way.I don't keep any at home,but I would read a story about them anytime.This is a haunting book,beautiful and sad.Terrifying,for some, but in a
...more
Heidi The Hippie Reader
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Motion of Puppets is a clever play on an ancient Roman myth.

Orpheus was a musician who was so talented he could charm the birds from the sky and make the forest spirits weep. He madly loved a woman named Eurydice.

One day, she stepped on a serpent and died. Orpheus nearly lost his mind out of grief for her. So, he made his way to the underworld to beg Lord Hades for his bride.

Orpheus plays such sweet music that Persephone weeps and Hades allows the bard to take the shade of his dead wife back
...more
Keith
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My fifth novel.
Aditi
"I could never be on stage on my own. But puppets can say things that humans can't say."

----Nina Conti


Keith Donohue, an American best-selling novelist, spins a thoroughly engrossing part-horror-part-mystery book, The Motion of Puppets where the author weaves a slightly gripping tale about a newly married couple's dilemma when the wife goes missing and surprisingly she turns into a puppet, leaving the husband on a trail through the city's darkest alleys to the trending ones, until his belief c
...more
Hannah
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, fantasy
That was unexpectedly wonderful. I don't even know why I was sceptical starting the book, but after I got used to the writing style (in the first few pages it seems like Keith Donohue never met an adjective he didn't like), I was absolutely sucked in.

Theo and Kay are newly married and are spending the summer in Quebec, where Kay works as an acrobat und Theo translates a book, when one night Kay gets turned into a puppet. After that, the story follows both Theo, who is missing his wife and despe
...more
J.K. Grice
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dark-fantasy
Another absolute winner from Keith Donohue. THE MOTION OF PUPPETS is a very engaging story involving magic and the relationships we share with others. To me, Donohue is very much like an American version of British writer Graham Joyce. Both are masters of some the best dark fantasy out there.
The Behrg
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-galley-books
"Never enter a toy shop after midnight."

Keith Donohue's "The Motion of Puppets" is a loose modern day take on the Orpheus / Eurydice myth. (Hint: VERY loose). The premise, as well as the title, of the novel I found instantly intriguing, imagining a sort of dark, enchanting, Charlie Kaufman-esque type of book. Unfortunately, at least for me, this novel failed to deliver.

I'm still trying to figure out what it is about this novel that made it so difficult to become attached to. (I've been sitting o
...more
Lata
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not sure what to say about this book. I'm glad it didn't turn into some Chucky-style story, as I'm really not a big fan of the horror genre, because I'm kind of a scaredy cat. The story had fantasy elements, though they were handled in an almost matter-of-fact way. I liked that part of the story took place in a city I've been to a couple of times when I was a kid. And the text was well-written, though I found that this was not a gripping tale. I would find myself feeling like I needed a brea ...more
Bandit
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very excited to get this book through Netgalley. I've read Donohue before, almost all of his books, and thoroughly enjoyed them, this one was no exception. It's a dreamlike novel set in a dreamlike Montreal, an Orpheus and Eurydice sort of a story or a mystery thriller, if you like, about a man whose wife disappears one night seemingly without a trace. But with puppets. And that, of course, makes all the difference. What creepier stranger way is there to disappear than in a toy shop after ...more
Brenda Ayala
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Perhaps I'm too jaded at this point but there's no way I would call this a creepy novel. If anything, this is the type of book I would've read when I was 12--creepy enough to a virginal mind, but child's play to my adult brain. As I've said previously, I read Stephen King at the tender age of 12. It was The Dark Half and it started almost immediately with a gory scene of blood spattered walls and a massive amount of tension.

The Motion of Puppets is what I'd ultimately call a romance. The emphas
...more
Sudha Kuruganti
The beginning of this book gripped me, but the ending disappointed me. Perhaps I should have expected it, with the book being based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Without going into too many spoilers, I expected a more satisfying ending, given that this was meant to be a retelling of the myth - instead, the denouement felt rushed, and fell flat after all the spooky build up.

The heart of the myth is Orpheus's journey to and through the underworld - the equivalent here is very rushed, and i
...more
Sarah
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thank you Netgalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

College professor Theo and his new wife Kay, an acrobatic performer, have temporarily relocated to Quebec so she can perform in the cirque. While there, she becomes enchanted by a quaint little toy shop - especially the ancient puppet on display in the front window. Much to her dismay though, the shop is always closed. On her way home from the cirque one evening, Kay feels like she is being followed.
...more
Maggie
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! I don't have time to read many novels, so when I pick one up I need it to grab me immediately. This one did, and I couldn't put it down!

A more honest star rating would be 4.5 because of a couple snippets here and there that seemed too coincidental or "on the nose" as another reviewer put it. But I really did enjoy it!

I'm disappointed that the novel didn't end the way I was hoping, but I'm not disappointed IN the novel. Not every story can progress how we'd like it to! :)
Teresa
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
I picked this book up because the premise of it sounded like it would be right up my literary alley...but that was not the case. It could have been great, a modern retelling of the Orpheus/Eurydice myth set in modern day Canada, but I just couldn't get into the story. I kept waiting for something to grab my attention and hold it, but it never did. It maybe just me but I couldn't give this book more than 2 stars.
Thanks to MPS for the ARC.
Peaches
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: entertainment
Expectations are thwarted by the smallest accidents...Like thinking this book would be groundbreaking!
So, it's a great idea, but I'm really disappointed in this one. A lot of reviews I see that give this book more stars are toting that it has a "creepy" mood that keeps you on edge, but I didn't feel it. Granted, I don't find dolls/puppets creepy anyway, so maybe I'm not the target audience, but the puppets didn't seem any different than many human characters. Plus, Kay has moments where she real
...more
Lynn Williams
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
https://lynns-books.com/2016/10/30/th...
The Motion of Puppets is a darkly enchanting tale based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. I really enjoyed this. To be frank, I was completely intrigued. The author spins a tale that is compellingly horrifying and I just couldn’t put it down.

The story starts off with a newlywed couple. To an extent they come across as an unlikely couple, Kay is a performer, currently holding a position in the Cirque as an acrobat and her husband Theo is an academic, a l
...more
Joyce
"Never enter a toy shop after midnight" is a warning that appears early in this lovely horror story. Unfortunately, it comes too late for acrobat Kay, working for the summer in Quebec City and fascinated by the weird little shop filled with puppets. Returning home to her husband late one night after a performance, she fears she is being followed; as she passes the toy shop, she finds it unlocked and enters. By the next morning, she can be measured in inches, not feet, and is one of the eerie col ...more
Jane
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, library
Fascinating updating of the Orpheus/Eurydice myth to present-day Quebec, New York and Vermont. A young couple, Kay and Theo are spending their summer in Quebec--Kay in a circus and Theo, a professor, translating a book on a pioneer photographer from French to English. Kay disappears; she is transformed into a puppet. The story recounts Theo's frantic efforts to reunite with her. I was up until the wee hours last night to see how the author resolved the story; I already knew the myth. A fantasy w ...more
Michelle
On the surface, The Motion of Puppets has everything that would make it a great story – puppets that come alive at night, a mysterious disappearance, two lovers torn apart and their desperate search for each other. Yet, something is missing. It is a story where the only driving force of the narrative is Theo’s ongoing search, and there is nothing surprising about the fact that he will eventually find her. There is no urgency. There is no fear. There is no mystery.

Then there is the novel Theo is
...more
Rani
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Kay Harper is out late one night when she feels herself being followed, takes refuge in a puppet shop and disappears. Her husband Theo, distraught to find that she’s missing, begins a search to find out what happened to her.

I was really excited to read this when I first heard about it because the idea of a fantasy book exploring puppets just seemed so cool. But I didn’t wind up loving it.

The book is essentially divided into two POVs. The first is Theo trying to find out what happened to his wi
...more
M.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
In what seems like a mysterious and thrilling book, The Motion of Puppets is supposedly a modern-day take on the Orpheus/Eurydice myth with puppets involved. Kay Harper, an acrobat in a traveling circus has been transformed into a puppet while taking shelter from being chased by a man. Her husband, Theo, knows that she isn’t dead but merely missing until her finds out that his beloved Kay has been turned into a puppet.

Unfortunately, I felt that this book was a bit of a bore. I didn’t really fee
...more
Shorty
This novel by Donohue is brilliantly done. I was immediately spellbound, and loved every single bit of this novel. It was fascinating! Being this is only my second Donohue novel, I am compelled to read all of them now. The audiobook was again narrated by Bronson Pinchot, who was exquisite at his craft.
The ending of this novel was powerful, for me. I’m going to need to go and think about this novel for a while, and everything that happened in it. Especially the ending. Meanwhile, please go here a
...more
Allen Murphey
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Newlyweds Theo and Kay are summering in Quebec. Fascinated by puppets left in an abandoned toy store, Kay slips inside late one night and vanishes. No clues, no trace. Police suspect Theo, Theo suspects everyone, and no one. This story of Theo’s search and of Kay’s survival and quest to escape is classic Donohue – tight, unique, electric, creepy. A wonderful read.

>>Support independent bookstores by buying real books from real stores where you can talk with real booksellers.<<
Jen
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
** I received an advance reader copy of this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway. **

This is an extremely dark and distressing story. Despite this, I quite enjoyed it and felt a need to finish it and even found myself enjoying the end, the dark and unsure and disturbing end. The characters are enthralling, both the read and the unreal ones. I'm still not sure what I think of the story but I am very glad that I read it.
Lissa Adamson
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal, horror
This book was kinda like unfolding a paper crane, frustrating at points, continuously changing and unpredictable, and in the end a complete metamorphosis. I really enjoyed this story, it was original, unexpected, and the ending oh my does it surprise!
Jill
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was not what I was expecting it would be.

On one hand, the psychology was so interesting, I found it hard to put down. On the other, the truly freaky characterization was mesmerizing. I loved the Old City Quebec/Rural Vermont set up. Even at the end, there were parts that were mysterious...
Dave Peticolas
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice and creepy story about puppets, thanks Amy!
Dover Free
Apr 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Tamara read this book and wrote this review: (Check out this book at the Dover Free Library) That was a nice little read for adults or perhaps older teens. A satisfyingly creepy story about a woman who has been remade (slightly gruesomely) into a puppet (trapped, but retains her memories and consciousness)and must reside with a collection of strange and creepy marionettes and hand puppets owned by a couple of puppeteers who travel from Quebec to Vermont to perform shows. The woman's husband sear ...more
Grace
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Couldn't put it down. Of all the endings i imagined, it was different. Googled Maybridge, interesting.
Colleen
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, wizards
My mother loved this book (it is puppet related) and is raving about this author's other book as "even better!" so your mileage may very.

This is a weird book which usually is a plus and I would have liked it so much more if we didn't have the two main characters as the focus. Basically: don't walk into a certain toy store after midnight--because if you do, the spooky old Inuit puppet in a glass jar will turn you into a puppet. You would think that this doesn't happen that often (except for curi
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
242 followers
Keith Donohue is an American novelist. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he earned his B.A. and M.A. from Duquesne University and his Ph.D. in English from The Catholic University of America.

Currently he is Director of Communications for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the grant-making arm of the U. S. National Archives in Washington, DC. Until 1998 he worke
...more

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fortune's Rising (Outer Bounds #1)
    $5.99 $2.49
  • Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • The Beginning of the End (Apocalypse Z, #1)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Going Wild (Going Wild #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Renegade: The Lost Books, Book 3
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Making History
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Books: Includes four complete novels�Chosen, Infidel, Renegade, and Chaos
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Enchantress (Evermen Saga, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Let the Right One In: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Come Out Tonight
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fawkes
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Sticks & Stones (Upside-Down Magic #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Relic (Evermen Saga, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Soul of the Fire (Sword of Truth #5)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Last Namsara (Iskari #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Followed by Frost
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl From Everywhere, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Temple of the Winds (Sword of Truth Book 4)
    $9.99 $2.49
  • The Witch's Daughter (The Witch's Daughter, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Winter King: A Novel of Arthur (Warlord Chronicles)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Midnight Riot (Peter Grant, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Venom in the Veins (Elemental Assassin, #17)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • I, Robot
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)
    $8.99 $2.49
  • Running with the Demon (Word & Void #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Infomocracy (The Centenal Cycle, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Atopia Chronicles (Atopia, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stone of Tears (Sword of Truth Book 2)
    $9.99 $2.49
  • The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant
    $5.99 $2.49
  • Broken Pride (Bravelands, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2)
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Witch's Reign (Desert Cursed, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Into the Fire  (The Thin Veil #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Path of the Storm (Evermen Saga, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Rite of Passage
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Flowertown
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Jilo (Witching Savannah #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Line (Witching Savannah, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Master Magician (The Paper Magician, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Compound (The Compound, #1)
    $7.09 $2.99
  • The Void (Witching Savannah, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
“Love is the madness which allows us to believe in magic.” 4 likes
“Had you not been born, you would not know that it is like to be alive, and without life, death is impossible to understand.” 2 likes
More quotes…