I'm a sci-fi writer and reader, although, let's be honest - I'll read just about anything that moves me, regardless of the genre.
This book was odd. I picked it up, and two pages in was hooked. Apparently, if you write a story that starts on a train with a character that has received a mysterious package, I'm all in.
That being said, this book was difficult for me to finish. Told from three different view points, the story revolves around two feuding magicians (Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier) in the late 1800s in England. The narrative is told from the two magicians' points of views and the the point of view of a modern man, Andrew Borden, who is one of their descendants.
Overall all, I mostly just didn't understand why I cared. The feud seemed to have a stupid beginning (as no doubt do most feuds) and then nothing Priest wrote endeared me to either of the Borden's making my interest in their fates very low. I also didn't really get why Andrew Borden's story was necessary. The entire story is mostly told from the journal of Rupert Angier, and a book that Alfred Borden published. Andrew's story just seemed like wasted words.
As I mentioned, I found Alfred Borden's story dull, and I had to keep pushing myself to keep reading. Once I got to Angier's story, the book got much more interesting, although by that point I was a couple of hundred pages in, and just wanted to finish the book. I was, as they say, over it, at that point.
I think if the story had just mostly been from Angier's point of view, I would have found it much more engaging. He is clearly the most fleshed out character, and he is the only reason to read the book.
I am interested in seeing the movie because based on the reviews I've read, it's much better than the book. I can't really think of a reason to recommend this book, unless you're really into magic or maybe you've seen the movie and want to compare it to the book.