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Nearly a decade ago, iconic magician Violet Volk performed her greatest trick yet: vanishing mid-act. Though she hasn’t been seen since, her hold on the public hasn’t wavered. While Violet sought out the spotlight, her sister Sasha, ever the responsible one, took over their mother’s salon and built a quiet life for her daughter, Quinn. But Sasha can never seem to escape her sister’s orbit or her memories of their unresolved, tumultuous relationship. Then there’s Cameron Frank, determined to finally get his big break hosting a podcast devoted to all things Violet—though keeping his job hinges on an exclusive interview with Sasha, the last person who wants to talk to him.
As the ten-year anniversary approaches, the podcast picks up steam, and Cameron’s pursuit of Sasha becomes increasingly intrusive. He isn’t the only one wondering what secrets she might be keeping: Quinn, loyal to the aunt she always idolized, is doing her own investigating. Meanwhile, Sasha begins to experience an unsettling series of sleepwalking episodes and coincidences, which all lead back to Violet. Pushed to her emotional limits, Sasha must finally confront the most painful truths about her sister, and herself, even at the risk of losing everything.
-Review taken from Goodreads
Acts of Violet really intrigued me from the beginning. Violet missing magician who vanished 10 years ago during one of her tricks, and no one knows what happened to her, or if it was intentional, or if she may have been taken, or even if she may even still be alive or not.
The story is told through mixed media–a podcast series, emails, a few articles, past letters to Violet from her sister and her husband Gabriel, and Violet’s sister Sasha’s perspective. I liked the mixed media, I think it was done well and added to the mystery of the story. We learn more about the eccentric, provocative magician through the different pieces of her life put together by the various glimpses into her past. And with Sasha’s POV, we learn what the effect of growing up with Violet and her disappearance had on her life.
But here’s where it falls short for me. I was very excited to read this book as I really enjoyed the premise, but I found my interest started waning after about 50%. I was intrigued to know Sasha and Violet’s secrets at first, but the book was a bit slow-going and I found myself checking out at times. I was also underwhelmed and very unsatisfied with the ending, and felt it was extremely rushed. I do think I’d like to try the audiobook version of this and that maybe I would’ve enjoyed that more, as I have read that it is fantastic and I think would work well with the mixed media.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.