Review: Walking the Labyrinth



  • Author: Lisa Goldstein
  • ISBN: 9781497673618
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Genre: Fantasy/Mystery

I was invited by the publisher through Netgalley to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Several months ago, I read Lisa Goldstein’s The Red Magician.  I enjoyed it enough to accept the publisher’s invitation to read this book, and I’m glad I did.  It had none of the faults that I had found with The Red Magician, and it was also a very different book.  Though both stories involve magic, that’s where the commonality ends, and if I hadn’t already known that they are by the same author, I would’ve never guessed it.

I also wouldn’t have guessed what the story would ultimately be about by the title, and I find it funny how my mind interpreted the synopsis to mean that this book fit very well into the Fantasy genre.  As I said, there is the element of magic.  There is also a labyrinth, and the two are connected in an interesting way, but that’s it for the Fantasy part of the story.  It’s more of a Mystery novel than anything else.  It’s also about a young woman trying to find where she belongs in the world.

Four things that I loved about this book are the interesting chapter titles, the 90’s setting (especially seeing the main character, Molly, and the private investigator, John Stow, doing research in a library instead of on the internet), Molly isn’t a Mary Sue, and the fact that, unlike so many other genre books involving a male and female duo, Molly and John don’t fall in love over their shared interest in solving the mystery.  I also enjoyed that, even though I had my suspicions about how the mystery would be solved, there were enough “suspects” and possibilities to make me unsure all the way up to the end.

I will definitely be checking out more of Lisa Goldstein’s books, and even though it’s too early to tell, I might be adding her to my favorite authors list.  There are too many “types” of readers I think would love Walking the Labyrinth as much as I did.  So, I’m not going to name them.  Just read the book.  It has been in print since 1996, so I’m sure you can find it at a library if you think you might not be one of those readers.

Review: The Red Magician


  • Author: Lisa Goldstein
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Published: Oct. 21st, 2014
  • ISBN: 9781497673595
  • Genre: Fantasy

This is the story of Kicsi, an Eastern European Jew, and Vörös, a magician trying to save her village from the Nazis.  I’ve had a heavy interest in Holocaust stories ever since I read The Diary of Anne Frank in middle school.  I accidentally bought two copies of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak because the blurb on the back made me want to start reading immediately.  So, when I read the synopsis for The Red Magician by Lisa Goldstein, on Netgalley, I requested it right away.

Unfortunately, I can only give this book four stars.  Everything about it is great, but it didn’t grab me emotionally.  I never shed a tear for any of the characters.  I even questioned if perhaps I’d become desensitized to these types of stories, though I know I haven’t.  I still don’t know what is missing from this book to explain why I didn’t ugly cry the way I did over The Book Thief, as well as so many other stories that take place during WWII.

I still recommend reading this book, though.  As I’ve already said, it’s a great book.  The plot, pacing, and quality of writing are all excellent.  It would be a good choice to couple with The Diary of Anne Frank in middle school English classes.