The Magiker - Charles Dennis

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

Quite an enjoyable read for me, although in the end I found myself not really caring about the characters, save perhaps for Leah and Shimon. Perhaps because the story is carried through Harris's point of view, in first person, and Harris seemed to be a callous and somewhat emotionally-removed man? In a way, it is an interesting point of view to follow, and it fits the imbalance in his persona: the other characters are seen through his clearly distorted lens, and there's no mistaking that the journey he's embarking for is only going to increase said imbalance, which was there from the beginning, only hidden. On the other hand, on a purely relation-to-the-reader level, it also makes it harder to connect with most of the other people in the novel, as they appear as whiny, needy, or just not that important. I think it depends on whether a reader is in the mood to tackle such a point of view; I was in between, appreciating the questions it raised, yet being prevented from enjoying the rest of the cast.

The story itself, its descriptions, and its blend of Jewish mysticism and legends, were fascinating elements. I don't know enough about the Kabbalah and the Gematriah to tell if those were spot on, so I can't really judge on that; I guess if you're not a specialist, it won't matter anyway. At any rate, it made me want to get deeper into such knowledge, if possible, which is always a good thing in my opinion. However, I found the ending to be a little rushed, in that I would've liked to know more about what exactly the Magiker did, and how he did it.

All in all, an enjoyable, gripping story, but with some gaps that didn't make it exceptional for me.