Thank you to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Acts of VIolet by Margarita Montimore is a stunning original contemporary fiction novel with a dash magic. The story revolves around Sasha, whose sister Violet, the famous magician, disappeared almost 10 years ago while performing. Since then, rumors have abounded concerning where Violet went. Did she run away? Is she dead? Sasha is tired of hearing about her sister. When podcaster Cameron asks to interview her, what will Sasha do? Will she refuse, or will she agree to fill in the missing pieces that Violet's fans are yearning for?
Here is a captivating excerpt from an opening chapter:
"Thursday night, two thousand people packed the Witkin Theater in Willow Glen to see legendary magician Violet Volk perform her first stage show in years, with some paying over a thousand dollars per seat from resellers. People came from around the world to see Volk’s act, expecting an extraordinary night. Little did they know, they’d be witnesses to the last confirmed sighting of this mercurial performer.
Violet Volk was one of the most popular stage magicians of the 1990s, her numerous tours and television appearances, along with a residency in Las Vegas, making her a household name. In the early 2000s, she reinvented herself as a self-help author and toured the world as a motivational speaker."
Overall, Acts of VIolet is a contemporary fiction novel that speaks to the downsides of fame and society's obsession with the morbid. One highlight of this book is its interesting premise. The idea of a missing woman and magician is captivating, and I wanted to keep reading to unravel the mystery of Violet's disappearance. If I had to complain about 1 thing, I would say that after finishing the book, I felt like I missed the point. The book was excellent in parts, but did it come together as a whole? If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of contemporary fiction, I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in July!
This audiobook was incredible. I am not normally an avid audiobook user but titles like this reel me in. The full cast of characters, and the pacing of this story made it impossible to stop listening. Montimore created complex characters that were so loveable, flawed and relatable. A little bit Velvet Goldmine, a little bit of a master class in magic and magical thinking this book is going to be a perfect summer into early autumn read. The book took me in places I had expected and hoped for, and then places I never could have seen coming. What a great listen this was I adore MM!
Margarita's style has a delightful snappy style that had me hooked in from the beginning. The complicated relationships and narratives add an incredible layer of depth to the characters, and she blends a multitude of genres masterfully.
I enjoyed Margarita Montimore’s previous book ‘Oona out of Order’ so I was looking forward to reading ‘Acts of Violet’.
I found it to be a quick, enjoyable read, a great summer book, perfect for the vacation read. The concept is an interesting one and it certainly kept me reading, I liked the details and the character descriptions along with a good dose of humor in places.
Acts of Violet was a satisfying read in that all of the ‘loose ends’ were tied up by the end.
We have ordered a copy for the library and I won’t hesitate to recommend it.
Since I was also approved for the audiobook I ended up listening that way so my review will be posted through and about that but loved the book.
I loved the podcast based concept of this one and it was an interesting premise with interesting characters but ultimately it got a bit disjointed to me over time and the ending felt underwhelming.
Violet Volk was a famous magician who disappeared during her magic act never to be seen again. There has been years of speculation and conspiracy theories about her disappearance over the years. Now on the 10 year anniversary of her disappearance Strange Exits podcast episodes are about Violet and her disappearance. Violet's sister Sasha is dealing with many emotions about her relationship with Violet. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel by Margarita Montimore who previously authored Oona Out of Order. - another of my favorite novels. .
This is a tough one to review. I really enjoyed the majority of the book, but felt like Montimore didn't stick the landing for the ending.
Told in a combination of transcripts, letters, emails, and a first person narrative from Violet's sister, Sasha, I had fun diving into layer after layer of mysterious Violet. Like any person, she was more than one thing, even more so because of her public and private persona. The book is really about Sasha and her relationship to Violet, to her husband, to her daughter, and to herself and the narrative she's been sticking to for years. While my interest was primarily in Violet's magic, and learning whether or not there was anything genuinely otherworldly to it (many characters also wonder about this!) the story ended up being more about familial misunderstandings and finding happiness in the life you build for yourself outside of any judgement from others.
I think it's worth going into this book without too many spoilers, because the biggest appeal is letting the mystery unfold. But know that many questions will remain unanswered
Acts of Violet is about Violet Volk who is a very famous magician that disappears when performing a magic stunt. She is never seen again. She leaves behind her sister who is trying to find our what happened to Violet 10 years later. This book has a very unique format where it is told from Sasha, Violet's sisters point of view but it also has emails from other characters and a podcast interview style perspective. I really enjoyed the story being told that way. I am very interested to hear how this story is told on audio. I think it would be amazing. Overall I enjoyed this book and the mystery surrounding Violet.
Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for giving me an advanced reader copy.
God this was FUN!!!
I co-read this alongside the audiobook, and both are phenomenal. The storytelling in this book is beyond top-notch. All characters are fully fleshed out human beings with realistic flaws, and, even with the magical realism elements of this story, realistic problems. I SO appreciate the fact that there was minimal relationship drama, and thank god, lack of communication wasn't one of the main vehicles driving the conflict in this book. Also, THANK YOU for the Asexual character representation, which was accurate and heartbreaking. I'm obsessed with this story. Obsessed.
I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I love how Montimore merges a podcast about the disappearance ten years before of a captivating female magician whose tricked defied explanation, and the POV of the sister of the magician. Violet Volk was unlike anyone else and became a self-help guru and a feminist icon. After a hiatus from performing, she had a one-night-only show at a theater in her hometown and disappeared during a trick, but failed to ever reappear. Is she alive, is she dead, was it her idea or someone else's? And what did it do to the people left behind? Volk's superfans call themselves the Wolf Pack and think Violet's sister Sasha is cold and unfeeling because she won't air her emotions and fears and grief publicly. But they don't understand her at all. And now people are trying to say Violet's back. Are they right? This is utterly captivating.
“Oona Out Of Order” was one of my favorite books last year, so I was thrilled to get an advanced look at “Acts Of Violet.” This book is just as creative and entertaining as “Oona,” even though the structure and subject matter are different. I enjoyed this book, but I found the ending a little rushed and confusing. I’m still not entirely sure what happened. Still, I will have no trouble recommending this book to a variety of readers. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Black smoke coming out from my overcooked brain cells: can you smell it? Nope, only people I have meeting right now who stare at me when I secretly read the last chapter of the book can smell it! ( I always mix pleasure with business and reading is my one of the best pleasures)
I’m a little dizzy, dazzled, confused after this readathon ( I couldn’t stop reading and I’m out of breath and grey cells right now) But this is so obvious to suffer from those side effects after reading second book of “Oona out of order” ! She likes to push the buttons, exploring unseen, taking us sci-fi tours, forcing us to use our brain parts that we never use before!
This book is not only mystery of missing magician or is not about magic! It’s also not only about parallel universes, astral travel, liminal vortex! It’s about sisterhood, love, resentments, rivalry, regrets, family, self growth, second chances!
This is one of the best mash up of different genres. It starts as a family drama, mystery and speculative sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction ( true history of magicians) genres involve into equation.
The writing style was fascinating. Instead of Sasha’s POV, we follow up the background stories and characterization of Violet V via Cameron Frank’s podcasts, the letters of Sasha and her husband Gabriel written for Violet, the articles, the website emphasizing Violet’s a big fraud, the emails between Cameron, the studio representative who pushes him to convince Sasha for interview and Cameron’s other correspondences with a mysterious guy who gives important and top secret information about Viola’s disappearance and Quinn’s ( Violet’s niece) emails: she’s digging out to find out what her parents Sasha and Gabriel keeps from her about her eccentric aunt!
Let’s take a quick look to this brilliant and unconventional plot:
Sasha inherited her mother’s hair salon, staying in the same town, living in the same house, keeping the same phone number with the hope of reconnecting with her sister: the famous Violet Volk who vanished in mid-act at the theater ten years ago without a trace.
There are theories that she was running away from dangerous people or she’s involved in illegal activities. Some people still think she planned this all to be immortal. But her sister Sasha keeps secrets about her for years, rejecting to talk about sister even though Cameron Frank-the famous podcaster making special ten episodes for the anniversary of her sister’s disappearance pushes harder to make an interview with her.
Sasha’s daughter Quinn who is about to leave the house for college acts suspicious about her mother’s actions. She’s sure her mother doesn’t tell her everything about their family.
As we read more: we learn so many new things about eccentric Violet Volk: she’s attention seeker. She knows how to impress people. She’s diva. The people think she’s the pure magic. She’s relentless, straightforward, provocative, volatile! She is not ashamed of who she is. But that brings out the biggest question: who is the real Violet Volk? Did she recreate herself? Is she an illusion? Is she big fat liar, a fraud? Or is she a person trying too hard to find her place in the earth?
I loved polar opposites sisters love-hate relationship!! I loved the gripping, mysterious, engaging story telling! Even though my head hurts, the book absolutely earned five fantastic sci-fi, magical disappearance stars from me!
So many thanks to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for sharing this amazing digital reviewer in exchange my honest opinions.
Truly fantastic piece of fiction. I couldn’t put it down and loved the multimedia aspect. This author is very talented and I loved this. It is very different from her debut, but in a very good way. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fiction.
I was super hooked to this book for the entire first half. I loved the concept of a magician who potentially orchestrated her own disappearance in a most dramatic fashion. I loved the epistolary style with the podcast interviews and also the news articles, dotted with her sister's point of view. I had hopes for this book, but then as we got into the second half, I wasn't so sure. The book is about Violet's relationship with her sister Sasha and while that was a great element to it all, I'm still trying to process how I really feel about the read. The ending had me thinking. So, it's good, but I was hoping for more.
Oona Out of Order is an all time favorite for me so I was so excited to see another release from this author! The audio version of this book was fantastic- I love a narration with a full cast and this story, primarily told through different perspectives on a podcast. was truly a perfect combo.
This story was unique and entertaining though I did mind myself losing a bit of steam during the last quarter of the novel...I think part of this may have been that the whole book had so much anticipation to the question, "What happened to Violet?" so I really hyped up all the "what ifs" as it built up to the ending.
I really enjoyed the complicated family dynamics, mysterious disappearance, and the unique character of a female magician! I did wish I could have heard Violet's perspective as well, but I understand why it was told this way because of the creative format.
The magical realism in this book worked for me and that some things were left up to interpretation, which also means this would make for a great summer book club discussion!
This was definitely a great choice for an audiobook and I am excited to see what creative story author Margarita Montimore dreams up next!
Acts of Violet - 3.5⭐️s
It is the 10 year anniversary of iconic magician Violet Volk’s disappearance. This year her sister Sasha keeps seeing signs of her everywhere. Is she really back or is this all an illusion too?
This is a fun read. It’s a bit magical realism/bordering on science fiction. I think what this book does well is explore the tumultuous relationship between the sisters. I do wish the magical realism part was explored a bit more fully as the ending felt a bit rushed for me. Overall great character development and I could a be a great audiobook as much of the book is done in interview format.
Thanks NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my review!
I wanted to love this one so much but it just fell flat for me. I was totally hooked from the beginning and found myself staying awake to read just one more chapter. I love how it acts as both a traditional novel and as a podcast/email/epistolary form. However, there was so much build-up for such a disappointing ending. It felt very underwhelming and like the author didn't know where she would take the book or how it should finish. It almost would have been better to be a mystery (hard not to spoil the ending here). I'd recommend if you needed just a light and quick read, but definitely not top of my list.
3.5 stars rounded up to 4. I really enjoyed this book for the most part. The plot was great, the shattered relationship between the sisters was well-written, but it couldn't quite rise to the level of fantastic for me. I found the relationship between Quinn and her dad to be very forced and awkwardly written, to the point where in their first scene I thought they were brother and sister.
My main complaint is with the podcast chapters. They never once feel conversational or like anything that would work as spoken dialogue/monologues (maybe the audiobook would change my opinion of this, but I don't think so). There are times around the midpoint of the book where it feels like the chapter was written as prose and then crammed into a podcast format, just ascribing all the descriptive sections to the podcast host.
All that aside, I did really enjoy Violet and Sasha as characters, and it was worth forging through the podcast contrivance to learn what was going on with them.
Well well well Margarita Montimore. You did it.
Another IN-CRE-DI-BLE book.
I looooved Oona so of course I was flipping out when I found out she had another book coming out.
And OMG what a ride.
In a little less than 400 pages, we have everything that I love in a book: mystery, magic, sci-fi elements, and multiverse.
The whole story is told in a multimedia format. Podcasts, letters, articles.
Violet Volk is an amazing celeb magician. She can do things that are literally considered impossible. Loved by many and hated by some, her life is a huge sh*t show.
Ten years ago she went missing during one of her acts. Was it planned? Did something happen to her? Where is she?
It’s the tenth year of her disappearance and people still don't know what happened. A vigil is taking place at her town, where she disappeared. A podcaster is digging more and more into Violet’s past. And Violet’s sister Sasha is going through some…changes.
Let me tell you, if you are able to guess the end of this book, I’ll applaud you. I had SO MANY theories and none of them were right. And this is exactly what I want from a book.
Highly recommend it!