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Reviewed by Caitlin Lyle Farley for Readers' Favorite
Edward Berman is sent to investigate the scene of a horrific murder in Central Park. He discovers a beautiful cane among the homeless victim’s possessions and then the man’s decapitated head whispers to Eddie that he’s been summoned. That is how Eddie is drawn into a world of ancient magic and powerful wizards who must rally their strength to fight against a great evil that has returned to the world. This entity is responsible for the murders in the park, which forces Eddie to walk a fine line as he investigates the murders as a mundane cop and trains beneath his wizard mentor in preparation to fight the evil being.
The Wizards of Central Park West by Arjay Lewis presents an interesting alternate history that touches on a variety of myths and legends spanning multiple cultures. The most unique element is the origins of the various magical staffs used by the wizards. The narrative sparkles with ironic humour that delighted me, turning what could’ve been a heavy book into something fun and enjoyable instead. I thought the police aspect of the story was a little too much like the stereotypical characters and conflicts portrayed in crime series. Although The Wizards of Central Park West is a long book, the pacing is good and the story so engaging that the pages fly. I never felt like I was reading a big book. There were several occasions where I was certain I’d figured out the antagonist’s identity, but the denouement proved all my theories wrong. The climax of The Wizards of Central Park West is thrilling.