Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins/. Feb. 2023. 464p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063239265.
Gr 9 Up–Magical families live on an island off the coast of Manhattan in Prohibition-era New York. The biggest tourist draw is the Big Tent, a raucous circus spectacle, and the Fun House, a darker form of entertainment. Both are owned by the Revelle family, who cling to their struggling businesses by their very toes. Luxe Revelle is the trapezist star who uses her family’s magic but also has a secret one. The Revelles rely on an alcohol-fueled audience to toss gems on stage, gems they use to channel their magic. Prohibition threatens their business. Their only hope is to forge an alliance with Dewey, the youngest son of their arch nemesis, the time-traveling Chronos family. Dewey agrees, with the caveat that Luxe act as his sweetheart during his mayoral campaign. A case of mistaken identity finds Luxe charming Jamison, an orphan with few clues to his past, instead, to magnificent effect. Secrets revealed bring a spectacular showdown of magic, death, and change. Smith has created compelling characters, enchanting family histories, and some very complicated magical abilities that propel the action. Dazzling descriptions of the Big Tent allow readers to truly picture the tawdry glamor of the circus. Each character has unique vulnerabilities while a theme of loyalty to friends and family runs strongly throughout. Less compelling is the Fun House, which comes across as a brothel where the girls make anyone’s fantasies feel true, no matter how disturbing. The various forms of magic and the complicated rules of time travel can be confusing yet at the same time, are overly explained. Still, there is a whole new world, not just an island, to be discovered.
VERDICT Recommended for fans of Laini Taylor and Stephanie Garber.

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