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August 2023 Indie Next List
“This is my favorite book I’ve read this year. I love how the book plays with the idea of collective nostalgia, and how insidious things can be passed off as wholesome. A haunting, creepy, and propulsive read!”
— Ann Branson, Beach Books, Seaside, OR
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Who is Mister Magic? Former child stars reunite to uncover the tragedy that ended their show—and discover the secret of its enigmatic host—in this “skin-crawling story of pop culture fandom and ‘90s nostalgia” (Melissa Albert, author of The Hazel Woods) from the author of Hide. “[A] propulsive, exciting, often genuinely scary, endlessly compelling mystery.”—Terry Miles, author of Rabbits A POPSUGAR AND CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
Thirty years after a tragic accident shut down production of the classic children’s program Mister Magic, the five surviving cast members have done their best to move on. But just as generations of cultishly devoted fans still cling to the lessons they learned from the show, the cast, known as the Circle of Friends, have spent their lives searching for the happiness they felt while they were on it. The friendship. The feeling of belonging. And the protection of Mister Magic.
But with no surviving video of the show, no evidence of who directed or produced it, and no records of who—or what—the beloved host actually was, memories are all the former Circle of Friends has.
Then a twist of fate brings the castmates back together at the remote desert filming compound that feels like it’s been waiting for them all this time. Even though they haven’t seen each other for years, they understand one another better than anyone has since.
After all, they’re the only ones who hold the secret of that circle, the mystery of the magic man in his infinitely black cape, and, maybe, the answers to what really happened on that deadly last day. But as the Circle of Friends reclaim parts of their past, they begin to wonder: Are they here by choice, or have they been lured into a trap?
Because magic never forgets the taste of your friendship. . . .
About the Author
Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award–winning, and critically acclaimed author of many books, including The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, the And I Darken trilogy, the Slayer series, the Camelot Rising trilogy, and her adult debut, Hide. White lives with her family in San Diego, where they obsessively care for their deeply ambivalent tortoise, Kimberly.
“Mister Magic is a propulsive, exciting, often genuinely scary, endlessly compelling mystery. Imagine a trip through Twin Peaks by way of Stranger Things and Stephen King’s It.”—Terry Miles, author of Rabbits
“In this skin-crawling story of pop culture fandom and ’90s nostalgia, Kiersten White fully delivers on her gripping premise: the troubled reunion, thirty years later, of the cast of a magical kids’ show that exists only in its viewers’ memories. Mister Magic walks the twilit line between wonder and terror where all the best childhood games are played.”—Melissa Albert, New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel Wood
“It meets The Stepford Wives in this wildly compelling story that explores whether it’s possible to recapture the magic of childhood friendship and what happens when you discover the darkness hiding underneath your memories. White’s writing is guaranteed to hook you. Be careful cracking this open; Mister Magic will pull you in like a riptide.”—Mallory O’Meara, Los Angeles Times bestselling author of The Lady from the Black Lagoon
“I found myself thoroughly drawn in by Mister Magic, a unique thriller with a compelling cast of characters whose past hides long-buried secrets.”—Karen Cleveland, New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know
“Few books I’ve read capture the wonder and terror of childhood as brilliantly as Mister Magic. Both creepy and profoundly nostalgic, it’s guaranteed to unsettle anyone who grew up with Barney & Friends, Sesame Street, or other children’s shows—or anyone who’s ever been a child. This book gave me nightmares in the best possible way.”—Ana Reyes, New York Times bestselling author of The House in the Pines
“Kiersten White gave me a serious case of the heebie-jeebies that I couldn’t shake, even long after I’d put this book down! The sense of dread starts off as a whisper and builds into a full-blown scream as pieces of the mystery surrounding Mister Magic fall into place in this terrifying novel.”—Amanda Jayatissa, author of You’re Invited
“The allure and untrustworthiness of memory and childhood experiences are deftly explored in this compelling and eerie slow burn. . . . This deeply personal and mesmerizing work from White is sure to please, especially readers with ’90s nostalgia.”—Library Journal
“In this frightening, nostalgic, and original plot, White explores themes of racism, homophobia, and sexism. Savvy readers will devour the subtext and ponder philosophical questions about reality.”—Booklist, starred review
“Both eerie and surprisingly heartwarming, White’s examination of the perils of nostalgia is sure to win fans.”—Publishers Weekly