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Book Review: The Mesmerist

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

Another day, another time travel romance. Yes, it’s my kryptonite. If it features time travel, I’m a sucker for it.

The Mesmerist follows the story of Gina and Drake as they transverse time to fall in love and hopefully save Drake from dying an early death. Gina is a modern woman. A dog trainer. Just about to be married when she discovers her groom having sex with her maid of honor. She storms off and finds herself in a hotel with a ghost in her bed. In life, Drake was a mesmerist – a man who used hypnosis to help people with their mental problems – in death… he’s just bored. When he discovers Gina can see him, he enlists her help into discovering just why he’s a ghost and also why she can see him.

One of the things that makes time travel super interesting is all the different ways someone can travel through time. From DeLoreans, to time turners, to astral projections, to even death. The choices are limitless.

In this story, it’s a bunch of objects keyed to a specific person held in an old hope chest. So there’s an element of soulmates as well… and have I mentioned soulmates is another kind of kryptonite?

As in all of the best soulmate stories, there’s an element of choice. Yeah, there may be a connection, but the hero and heroine still have the ability to chose their fate. And that was in full play here.

The characters were pretty flat. They weren’t bad, per se. But I didn’t really connect with them. Part of that was that the first third of this book was slow… super duper slow. Mostly due to infodump.

It’s both dry and formulaic. In a weird way, I would have started in a different spot and had the backstory be revealed organically as the characters got to know each other. But that’s the editor in me. Things improve once the heroine is in the past and all the infodump is out of the way. When that point hit in the story, it was as if a light went on. The plot and the characters moved from there into a bit of a whodunnit. With Gina battling historical conventions, stubborn heroes, and the clock to prevent Drake from being killed and herself from being shoved in an insane asylum.

Ultimately I enjoyed this. Even if it did take me a year to get past the first third.

Four Stars.

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