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The Mesmerist

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  255 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Thirteen-year-old Jessamine Grace and her mother make a living as sham spiritualists—until they discover that Jess is a mesmerist and that she really can talk to the dead. Soon she is plunged into the dark world of Victorian London’s supernatural underbelly and learns that the city is under attack by ghouls, monsters, and spirit summoners. Can Jess fight these powerful for ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 7th 2017 by Clarion Books
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Average rating 3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  255 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
This was not what I was expecting at all! It's definitely a pretty dark middle grade read, but it also had some fun moments. There were times where I felt the plot was all over the place, but it was still pretty enjoyable.
Cristina Monica
Aug 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
3.5 stars. I probably shouldn’t give this book such a *high* rating. After all, it’s exaggeratingly inspired of the Shadowhunter World. But since it’s a middle grade novel with a very different writing style, atmosphere and set of characters, I didn’t mind it all that much. Plus it’s not a copy cat – it’s more like the outline of the plot resembles Clare’s series, but not entirely.

I had so much fun with this book. It’s mysterious, elegantly-written and possesses a heroine quite mature for her a
Fafa's Book Corner

Mini review:

I received this E-ARC via Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was really looking forward to reading this book. I enjoy reading about ghosts so I was excited to see how this author would handle the subject. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this. When I started this book I was off put about it. Something about the way it read. I can't quite put my finger on it.

Still recommend.
3.5 stars. Enjoyable little story of a young girl, Jessamine, who discovers she has the ability to read a little from others' minds, and is then asked to join the League of Ravens to fight evil in England.
Fairly quick moving plot, with a determined main character and interesting supporting characters. This was a fun, little listen, and though the bad situation in this book was resolved, the author left enough open at the end that he could continue Jessamine's and the League of Ravens' exploits.
Richard Cardenas
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-mg-reads

Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith became one of my favorite books of all-time when I read it last year and I was eager to read more of Ronald’s books. I finally was able to get a hold of The Mesmerist and it was a pretty quick and fun read. I won’t say it is just as good as Hoodoo because it is not, but for a Middle-Grade supernatural thriller that takes place in the Victorian era, it was a good time. I read this with the audio book and the narrator was perfect for this story.

Of course I still
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
The Mesmerist is a decent middle grade horror/supernatural/suspense book vaguely reminiscent of Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix. I’m surprised this was a stand alone and not the start of a series. I appreciated the well researched bits in addition to the references to Welsh Mythology. Some parts of the story were a little too convenient. However, my biggest gripe was that I didn’t feel like I was in 19th century London while reading this book. All things considered I enjoyed it enough ...more
T.J. Burns
Exciting and suspenseful story!

The Mesmerist has a powerful, spooky start that grabbed me. I was enthralled with Jessamine and her abilities and I wanted to know more.

Soon into the story, however, I started to have some serious problems with the plot. It seemed to me that the events were created to meet a certain outcome, rather than the outcome resulting as an accumulation of the events.

Why, for example, did Jessamine's mother leave her once she found out that Jessamine would be facing the mos
Jessamine Grace and her mother practice spiritualism in their small English town in 1864. They aren't really spiritualist however, it is all a sham. Until the day they get an actual message from beyond. Mrs. Grace immediately whisks them off to London to see her old friend Balthazar. Turns out Mrs. Grace has been hiding a dark past from her daughter. She and Mr. Grace were once part of a group of talented people who fought against a dark group called Mephisto. Mephisto killed Mr. Grace during th ...more
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeous writing, stunning world building, and a story that’s just the right combination of spooky and fun.
Like Penny Dreadful without the moral ambiguity and most of the screaming - but definitely creepy-scary and with the same gorgeous Victorian verisimilitude. Opulence and squalor given the same lush treatment. A real page-turner!
Quite an interesting book - a mix of paranormal with fantasy elements - both ghosts and ghouls but fae and angels. Pretty spooky at times.
Heaven Ashlee
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dark and mysterious, faeries, ouji boards and Victorian England? Count me in!

This book was quite good at bringing me into the time period, with Smith's grotesque and vivid representation of the times, especially as we follow the main character, Jessamine, from a prim and proper town to the slums of the East Side of London. The plotline was pretty basic and I figured out all of the "twists" before they happened; as a seasoned fantasy reader, it was easy to spot where some of the subplots were hea
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, which I received free from the publisher at ALA Annual conference, but misuse of words really tripped me up (beyond the use of "ruffled" for "rifled through" which seems to be a word in flux at the moment). There is some of The Iron Trial, Harry Potter, Lockwood & Co, Libba Bray, Miss Peregrine's Home - all good fantasy but the mythology isn't quite solid enough here nor is the history. Where was the editor to keep "deign" from being misused, and if someone sets the p ...more
Mitzi Moshiri
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I was really excited to read this book because I loved Hoodoo. I was a little disappointed with the slow plot development, however, once you are three quarters of the way through the book, the excitement really builds. I am not sure my middle school students would be willing to commit to reading the book without more action. I could tell early on the book would need to have a sequel for this reason; which I found disappointing because I was hoping the book was a stand-alone title.

I foun
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for October reading, especially if you want something with adventure and spookiness but not horror or torture porn (so often found in popular adult fiction currently). I highly recommend this to the target market, middle grade, but also fun for adults.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is a supernatural horror, written for children, set in Victorian England, about a girl who discovers she has special powers, and is part of a family legacy devoted to fighting dark magical creatures. I enjoyed Smith's book "Hoodoo" so I was excited to read this, but - in my opinion - it is very different, and not as good. Despite it being a children's book, it's full of truly frightful, gory moments, so I'd only suggest it to kids who are really serious about their horror.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: dnf
The first chapter is all I needed to get hooked, but after that, my excitement began to slow down a bit.

Something about the writing style didn't really do it from,making me procrastinate finishing the book.

P.S: I didn't finish it ,but I have read about half of it.

However, I do believe that children who liked some of the super popular Fantasy MG and YA books, would enjoy this. It is a good mix of the best stories out there. So if you don't mind that fact, or you are new to reading, and haven't re
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review, netgalley
Received from NetGalley for review.

We are the League of Ravens, and we are seeking evil where it sleeps.

The Mesmerist can pretty much be summed up with that quote. It’s a little cheesy, a little cliché, a little bit fun, but a little bit like everything you’ve read before. I was initially drawn in by the setting of Victorian London and the idea of a young girl being able to communicate with the dead (something both awesome and spooky) despite being something that’s been done A LOT in li
This book was fun and atmospheric and a book I would recommend for pre-teens to read. There are some scary scenes re: gore, but I think for those who like darker and more atmospheric books, this would be a good one to pick up.

I had pre-ordered this after reading and loving Ronald L. Smith's previous middle grade book Hoodoo a couple years back. From both books, it's clear that Smith can write and that he has done research on the time periods that he covers. I really appreciate that he has taken
TammyJo Eckhart
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
YA literature set in Victorian or Edwardian England has been popping up more and more in the past few years. When it is well done, there is a sense of horror that reflects a historical reality for many children and teens in those time periods. When it is done poorly, the story could be set in any time. This novel falls somewhere in between.

Some of the historical details are great in this book -- Jess's worries, her life, her limited choices, her sensibilities feel real. The age of spiritualism w
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 17

The Mesmerist was pitched to me by a publicist at ALA, and I have trouble rejecting those. I thought I'd give it a go but this is not a middle grade I'm going to greatly enjoy. Ghosts aren't my favorite paranormal and the voice isn't doing anything for me.
Ms. Yingling
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Jessamine lives with her mother in London after her father's death, eking out an existence doing sham seances, which was a popular thing in Victorian times. When she and her mother get a mysterious message during one of their readings, they seek out the help of Balthazar, who is a fairy and tells them that Jessamine really does have powers to communicate with the dead. They get sucked into the perilous underworld of London, dealing with dark powers. When he
Michelle Leonard
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
In THE MESMERIST, Ronald L. Smith weaves the history of the London underground into an creepy, atmospheric plot filled with wonderful twists. Even with the meticulous world-building, which is just as masterful as in HOODOO, THE MESMERIST is a fast-past read, sure to appeal to readers who love spooky fiction. For more details, check out my complete review and interview with Ron Smith.

Scott Fillner
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Mesmerist is a must read if you enjoyed Ronald's other novel Hoodoo, or enjoyed Janet Fox's The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle.

Ronald has such a gift for creating amazing characters and creating a setting which makes you feel as though you are there. He is also a master at blending historical aspects into his stories seamlessly without detracting in anyway, only enhancing the story.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Klaudia Janek
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: libres
What a great middle grade book! The author has more recently written a Black Panther graphic novel so you might not even realize you already have his work in your library. The Mesmerist is set in Victorian England. It contains secret societies, faerie magic, a sinister evil creature and the power of family and friendships. Jessamine and her mother run a business for themselves communicating with the dead. It is mostly a ruse, until Jessamine discovers that she really does have some supernatural ...more
Emily Wrayburn
Review originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind February 17, 2017:

This is a book that I may very well have loved as a 10 or 12-year-old, so I’m willing to accept that the low rating I ultimately gave it as a 27-year-old is a case of “It’s not you, it’s me”. While the premise of this book sounded cute, it ended up falling flat for me.

Jessamine Grace and her mother make a living as sham spiritualists in Victorian England, until one day Jess discovers that she actually can talk to ghosts. S
Jessamine Grace and her mother make their living as mediums. They have a slick trade but it's all a ruse. Jessamine is tiring of bilking people out of their money and is more and more scared about how much time her mother is spending at the bottom of an absinthe bottle.
One day, the trick goes wrong. The slate that is supposed to have a message to their client from "his daughter" instead contains a mysterious message that makes Jessamine's mother pack her up and move them both to London. There,
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
'The Mesmerist' by Ronald L. Smith is a good 'tween-aged' book for readers interested in the supernatural.
Set in Victoria England, Jessamine and her mother have recently discovered that Jessamine has special powers above and beyond a normal thirteen year old. As a result Jessamine's mother brings her to meet, and live with, an old family friend who is caring for other children with special powers. The gifted trio eventually take on the evil workings of the Mephisto group and try to save London.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Jessamine Grace and her mother make money off playacting at spiritualism, but never off truly communicating with the dead--until one day, when a mysterious message appears on a slate Jessamine is holding. This leads Jessamine to a group of children like her, who may be the only hope to save their city from supernatural foes.

This was a really fun read!
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I grew up on Air Force bases and have lived in Japan, Maine, Alabama, Michigan, South Carolina, Delaware, Washington, DC, Illinois and a bunch of other places I don’t remember. After reading Ray Bradbury’s R is for Rocket and Eleanor Cameron’s Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet I fell in love with books.

I haven’t stopped reading since.

HOODOO is my debut middle-grade novel. My second novel, TH

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