The Zigzag Effect by Lili Wilkinson

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The Zigzag Effect by Lili Wilkinson

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: While it has slight pacing issues, this combines a fun romance with a creepy mystery well.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 360 Date: October 2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1743313039

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When she's told her family can't afford to pay for the photography course she was planning on attending, Sage is thrilled to get a holiday job at a theatre, working with a magician, his beautiful assistant, and his handsome stagehand. But The Great Armand's magic show is, while initially thrilling, potentially full of danger - and when a wand gets snapped on stage, a sure sign of bad luck, things go from bad to worse. Who can Sage trust when someone vanishes? Is it a magic trick, a ghost, or something even more sinister?

This is a fun read, although it has some issues, particularly with pacing. I was impressed by the sense of dread that built up towards the end of the book - there are some seriously chilling goings-on, leaving me to wonder whether or not there actually were ghosts involved. I did think it took a little too long to get to that point, though. For much of the early part it seemed to be settling down to be a cute romance between Herb and Sage, until the thriller aspects got going.

That said, the romance is quite strong, as well. I found Herb and Sage to be very realistic characters and liked their developing relationship - both have good points and flaws (Herb is arrogant, amongst other things, while Sage is quick to jump to conclusions at several points.) The other characters are all fairly good, and the ending - which is very strong, pulling things together cleverly in an excellent climax - was one which I'd considered but there were enough red herrings to stop me guessing it too easily.

Lili Wilkinson's descriptions of the magic tricks and the history that Herb explains at various points are really interesting, and it's an enjoyable, fairly quick read overall. Well worth checking out.

Another book which mixes romances and creepiness well is Vengeance by Megan Miranda, although you should read Fracture, which is also very good, first!

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Buy The Zigzag Effect by Lili Wilkinson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Zigzag Effect by Lili Wilkinson at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Zigzag Effect by Lili Wilkinson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Zigzag Effect by Lili Wilkinson at


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