cover image American Magic

American Magic

Zach Fehst. Atria/Bestler, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6861-1

In Fehst’s exciting debut, the Possessors, members of a society that originated in ancient Mesopotamia, have kept alive the secrets of magic for more than 5,000 years. A renegade Possessor has been putting up videos on the dark web that teach viewers how to perform extraordinary feats of magic. Former CIA agent Ben Zolstra attends a briefing in Washington, D.C., where he sees a video of 29-year-old Eila Mack levitating a car. Government officials want Ben to find Eila so they can learn her secrets. Meanwhile, others are starting to use spells for terrorism, personal gain, and assorted criminal enterprises. After Ben locates Eila, the two end up fleeing from people who want them both dead. A clever plot point—anyone can access the magic, good guys and bad guys alike—adds to the fun. Most readers will find this thriller a refreshing change from the stock agent-on-the-run formula. Fehst, who hosted the kids’ nature show The Ultimate Guide to the Awesome, is a writer to watch. (Aug.)