M.J. Lau's Reviews > The Box of Tricks

The Box of Tricks by Alistair Potter
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it was amazing

Tom Mathers opens a letter left behind by his recently deceased uncle, containing a few instructions and a strange little card. Remembering his uncle as a bit of jokester, he expected some amusing little trick. What unfolds is certainly amusing, but no mean trick at all.

The Box of Tricks is such a joyride I’d hate to spoil anything for the soon-to-be-delighted reader. I was hooked by the second page, and Alistair Potter’s deft storytelling never flags. He has gift for describing characters and places vividly in the briefest terms possible. While this story has a science fiction backbone, the heart of it all are the thoughtful reflections on space, time, and the fate of our struggling planet. There’s no shortage of clever futuristic technology to liven up the action sequences, again described with impressive economy. The cast of characters – brought to life with terrific dialogue – keeps the plot moving and the reader’s heart engaged. The strokes of humor lighten the tone, but never undermine the seriousness of the overall message: our planet is getting frailer every day, and time is running out.

Every time I read an Alistair Potter novel, I am immediately convinced by his writing. His prose is deceptively easy to read – so fluid, lively, and fresh that he makes this level of writing look as natural as breathing. It is not. His skill at bringing fantastical elements to life, combined with his rollicking wit, reminds me of Terry Pratchett. However successful or widely read Mr. Potter is, I’m sure he deserves more.

If you like unique premises, vibrant characters, and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of sci fi wizardry, open up The Box of Tricks… you won’t regret it!
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Reading Progress

August 17, 2017 – Started Reading
August 17, 2017 – Shelved
August 18, 2017 –
page 2
0.69% "Just two pages in and I'm hooked -- riveting!"
August 19, 2017 –
7.0%
August 22, 2017 –
12.0%
August 25, 2017 –
23.0%
August 25, 2017 –
89.0% "Go read this book right now so we can talk about it!"
August 25, 2017 – Finished Reading

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