- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Clarion Books (Feb. 7 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544445287
- ISBN-13: 978-0544445284
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.7 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 386 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,933,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Mesmerist Hardcover – Feb 7 2017
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This tale, though not for the faint at heart, is certain to please young horror fans." - Publishers Weekly
"Smith continues to display a deft mastery of worldbuilding and creepy, atmospheric plotting. A gripping tale enhanced by a convincingly detailed setting and drawing on classic fantasy memes." - Kirkus
" Smith (author of Hoodoo, BCCB 10/15) has a knack for creating memorable bad guys, and the demonic necromancer and his minion ghouls may be creepy enough to spur readers forward." - Bulletin
" for kids who relish some blood and gore, this should fill the slot. " - Booklist
Praise for Hoodoo
"What a splendid novel. Reader, be prepared to have your foundations shaken: this is a world that is deeper, more wondrous, more spiritually charged than you may have ever imagined." -Gary D. Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor medalist and author of The Wednesday Wars
"The authenticity of Hoodoo's voice and this distinctive mashup of genres make Smith one to watch." -Kirkus
About the Author
Ronald L. Smith is the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning author of Hoodoo, The Mesmerist, and Black Panther: The Young Prince. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Visit him online at strangeblackflowers.com and on Twitter @RonSmithbooks.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Thirteen-year-old Jess lives with her mother. They earn their living from conducting séances, using trickery to put on a good show for their wealthy clients. However, that all changes when they receive an actual supernatural message. It turns out that Jess’ mother has been keeping secrets, and Jess learns more about her parents’ past on a trip to London.
Jess is introduced to the enigmatic Balthazar, as well as a couple of other children with similar mysterious abilities. All signs point to a Great Evil returning, and it is up to Jess and her new friends to work together and defeat the evil forces plaguing the city.
This was an interesting book that I read over the course of a snowy afternoon. Smith has a talent for creating scenes that are infused with creepy details; everything is ominous and foreboding. This book is scary, but not too scary. That said, sensitive children who are easily scared are probably going to want to pick another book. I normally read the middle grade novels I receive with my three girls (4th grade and two 2nd graders), but decided to go solo on this one because they don’t always like scary stories.
I would recommend The Mesmerist to older middle grade readers. This book reminded me of other kid-lit scary stories like Splendors and Glooms and The Night Gardener. Smith presents an interesting portrait of Victorian London. The plot is fairly predictable, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. I’m looking forward to reading more of Smith’s books in the future.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
In order to support themselves thirteen year old Jessamine Grace – Jess – and her mother engage in the practice of spiritualism. An unexpected response during one of their sessions with a client causes them to flee London and seek refuge with the mysterious Balthazar, a faerie. There Jess and two others, Emily and Gabriel, learn of the League of Ravens and its battle against the evil Mephisto and his minions. The story progresses with a few unexpected twists, but the novel’s outcome is familiar and satisfying.
Young readers who enjoy fantasy and are not yet ready for the lengthy “Harry Potter” books will enjoy “The Mesmerist”. The supernatural elements add some interesting elements to the story. The period picture of London is not as detailed as Catherine Jinks’ employs in “The Bogle” books and leaves the reader with questions about the social structure and atmosphere of the times. Characters are interesting, but not especially compelling. While I liked “The Mesmerist” and thought Ronald L. Smith’s writing was very good, I think there are more interesting fantasy novels for young readers available.
The author has a marvelous talent for describing people and surroundings.
If your child is into dark fantasy, he or she is going to love The Mesmerist.
The Mesmerist is the story of Jessamine, a 13 year old girl, and her mother. The two of them team up to hold false seances. This is how they make their living in their small town in England. Then Jessamine suddenly gets a real message "from the other side" which shakes them both. At this point the story really begins, with their journey to London, their meeting with the odd yet kindly Balthazar, and some tests which Balthazar starts to use to see if Jessamine actually has some real talent. Will they learn that she is a genuine mesmerist, as was her beloved, late father? Why is she needed at this time?
Jess meets other children around her age whom Balthazar has taken under his wing. All of them possess interesting abilities.
It seems as if it is time to rid London once again of a massive evil which has begun to take over the city. Will these children, who have been chosen by the mysterious Balthazar, be brave enough and powerful enough to take on the mission which they have pledged to fight?
The Mesmerist is fully fleshed out, with wonderful descriptive passages and some terrific twists.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. I tried to think back to when I was ten. I decided that although there are some frightening scenes and some sections where Jess has to undergo loss, it is absolutely worth it. Recommended if you think your child would love this sort of well written and fast moving adventure.