The Magician’s Guide: Book 1 – Faces in the Stones, by Robert E. Gelinas. Archebooks Publishing. 294 pages. Trade paperback. $14.95.
Dr. William Turner, an expert in quantum physics, is also an expert in “real magic.” As a Master Magician, he is not merely an illusionist or card manipulator, but rather a person who can manipulate natural laws through an understanding of nature’s secrets and the hidden powers that lie within many of us untapped. One thread of Mr. Gelinas’ amazing book is Turner’s detailed journal, written for his daughter Sasha, a university professor. As she learns, we learn – but I don’t know if I dare practice any of the energy transfers or other operations that will allow me to become a Magi.
The author uses the structural device of alternating passages from the journal with chapters in a place-jumping narrative that follows intriguing characters in a wizards’ war for global dominance.
The time is the here and now. The players are Middle Eastern dreamer-schemers, former Soviet Union agents, Western Europeans and Americans who are mostly good guys – you know, the stuff of yesterday’s and today’s electronic and print journalism and opinion-mongering.
Buy a nuclear bomb from Pakistan, explode it in the right place at the right time, and you and yours can reshape the world (or what’s left) according to your wishes. However, your enemies – the good magicians – will make every attempt to block you.
The plotting, scheming, and exercises of superpowers take readers on a dazzling tour, each stop described with vividness and authoritative detail.
In Austin, Texas we first make the acquaintance of Sasha Turner as she learns that her father, William, had been arrested and sent to a psychiatric hospital in Geneva for evaluation. He was charged with murdering a high-ranking government official. Is he really mad? Has he been set up? We learn soon enough that William has been caught in an Inner Circle power play orchestrated the current head of the Inner Circle of the magi – Daniel DuMonde. Though confined under heavy guard, William had vanished.
The race is on, with magicians choosing up sides. You’ve heard the phrase “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown?” Well, suspicion and fear of betrayal are at large in these corridors of unusual personal power.
Further stops on this high-adventure tour include Rome, where we get to know Turner’s former wife and Sasha’s mother, Penelope; Geneva, where we find Magi, Interpol chief inspector, and Turner’s mentor Allister McKenzie; Kiev, home to Alexey Borochenko, DuMonde’s ally in the battle of the Magi titans; London, where McKenzie reappears at the Interpol Field Office; Athens, where we get a first view of DuMonde’s vessel The Libertine; Izmire, Turkey, where Borochenko plots with Stephan Burke, another villainess Magi; and then, at long last, Cairo, Damascus, Tehran, and Tel Aviv. . . .
To read the entire review, as it appears in the October 14, 2015 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the October 15 Naples, Bonita Springs, Punta Gorda / Port Charlotte, and Palm Beach Gardens / Jupiter editions, click here: Florida Weekly – Gelinas