The Shoemaker’s Magician

OrangeSky Audio. (Chicago Saga, Bk. 2). Mar. 2023. 10:01 hrs. ISBN 9781669661900. $19.99. HORROR
Bram Stoker Award–winning Pelayo welcomes listeners back to her fantastical, frightening vision of Chicago with this second installment in the “Chicago Saga” series (following Children of Chicago). Paloma is a fan of silent films and horror movies. Her job as a horror influencer allows her to stay home and care for her son. She’s also scored an interview with reclusive horror host Grand Vespertilio, who is never seen without his makeup. Meanwhile, a killer with a penchant for silent movies is leaving mutilated bodies in Chicago’s historic theaters. A lost silent film links these three people, but which one will find the film first and unleash its power? Pelayo builds on the mythology she began in Children of Chicago, incorporating silent films, horror, and the channeling of magical forces. This tale has many points of view, including Paloma’s homicide-detective husband, and Sophia Willingham’s voice truly embodies Paloma, a woman who has lived through so much but would still do anything to protect her family.
VERDICT Though Paloma’s narrative is captivating, this tale is a must-purchase for Pelayo’s gorgeously written love letter to horror movies and Chicago, a city brimming with eclectic tales, urban horrors, and palpable magic.
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