Thursday, May 2, 2013

Levitating Las Vegas by Jennifer Echols

Levitating Las Vegas by Jennifer Echols
Release Date – May 7, 2013
Publisher Website -  Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  300 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Nothing up her sleeves...or so she’s been led to believe.

Showgirl Holly Starr is sick and tired of assisting her dad, a celebrity magician, in his Las Vegas casino magic show. As soon as he keeps his promise to her and shares the secrets to his tricks, she can break out on her own. But can she really make it? For years Holly has taken medication to stave off crazy hallucinations that she can levitate objects. Just when she thinks she’s ready to make a career and a life for herself, her medicine—and her luck—run out.

Elijah Brown suffers from a similar delusion—that he can read minds—and he’s out of medicine too. Determined to save himself and his old flame Holly, he kidnaps her and takes her straight to the source, a town high in the Rockies where their medicine is made. What they discover there leads them to suspect their powers are not imaginary after all...and neither is the intense attraction they feel for each other.

They make a pact to stick together as they return to Vegas to confront the people who kept them in the dark so long. But soon they’re pitting their powers against each other in a dangerous world where the nightlife is seductive, domination is addictive, the sex is beyond belief...and falling in love is murder.
Exciting nightlife, seductive powers, and sexy magicians. Mix them all with a Las Vegas setting and I had high hopes for Levitating Las Vegas. The potential was there, and there were some delightful moments, but sadly, it ended up just being an alright read for me.

The characters started out great. Holly Starr, the somewhat sheltered and protected magician assistant, was perky, fun and a little naive. Elijah seemed to be a swoon worthy boy whose forbidden quality made him all the more appealing. I did enjoy the romance and felt the sparks between them, especially early on in the novel. However, I quickly became disenchanted because we don't really get to know the characters. They stay just on the cusp of the reader really getting to know them. It made it hard to connect with the characters and distracted me from the story.

Elijah's rapid descent into madness was one of my favourite parts of the novel. A young man who thinks he is suffering from delusions is suddenly forced to confront the idea of not having his medication. Predictably he does not react well, and his abilities do not lend themselves to a stable mind. Seeing him suffer made the betrayal and lies all the more enraging and left me angry at the people responsible.

The setting of Las Vegas immediately intrigued me. However, I wanted more of the setting than I got. I felt Las Vegas was used to it's full potential, especially in a story with this tone. The entire ideal of magic, with a paranormal twist, set in Las Vegas is something I would love to see more of. Magicians, mixed with paranormal, regardless of setting is something that has a lot of potential and hope is explored. This book did show me that I want more of this type of story, and setting.

The main issue with the novel, for me, was that it did not quite have enough detail regarding certain things. There is a pill that is unique to this group of individuals, and we're told of the effects and what it can do. However, it's never described how it was discovered, or how they knew to use this particular medication to get the results they wanted.

The Rez, home to a powerful group of young people with varying abilities, is shown to be dangerous, and intoxicating. The brief glimpse we are enticed with was not enough. I found myself curious about the inner workings, and how this establishment even came to exist  These people can't help but use their abilities on each other, and you would think that control would be easily lost and chaos would reign. I wish it had been explored more, instead of being teased with how unsettling it is.

This novel made me want to explore the 'new adult' genre more, and see what else it might have to offer. I loved the setting, and premise behind the plot. It had a lot of great elements that could have worked well as a story. I wish it had explored some areas a little more, but otherwise it was an okay read with a few magical moments.

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