Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Blog Tour: Copper Magic by Julia Mary Gibson (Review, Playlist, Giveaway)

Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publication.Date  July 1st 2014 
Published By:  Skyscape
AuthorJulia Mary Gibson

Copper Magic on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher via BookNerd Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

Can an unearthed talisman found on the shores of Lake Michigan save 12-year-old Violet’s fractured family? Exploring themes of Native American culture, ecology, and conservation, this historical fiction novel comes brilliantly to life.

The year is 1906, and twelve-year-old Violet Blake unearths an ancient talisman—a copper hand—beside the stream where her mother used to harvest medicine. Violet’s touch warms the copper hand and it begins to reveal glimpses of another time. Violet is certain that the copper hand is magic—and if anyone is in need of its powers, it’s Violet. Her mother and adored baby brother are gone, perhaps never to return. Her heartbroken father can’t seem to sustain the failing farm on the outskirts of Pigeon Harbor, on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Surely the magic of the copper hand can make things right for Violet and restore her fractured family. Violet makes a wish. But her ignorant carelessness unleashes formidable powers—and her attempts to control them jeopardizes not only herself, but the entire town of Pigeon Harbor.

In Copper Magic, land and waters are alive with memories, intentions, and impulses. Magic alters Violet and brings her gifts—but not always the kind she thinks she needs. First-time author Julia Mary Gibson brings Violet and her community to life in this impressive and assured debut.


"Loneliness stabbed me. Without a mother I had nothing. I was fallen, dried-up leaf drifting between the endless blues of lake and sky."
I was well acquainted with my grandmother's ghostly lingerings, but what I'd seen wasn't like that.And the lake was often tricky, bloating my foot to make it look like a dead man's, making waves when there was no wind. Sometimes I saw and heard things- the dart of a fox when where wasn't one, someone talking in an empty room, a glowing light in the woods where nobody lived.

     Copper Magic tells the story of Violet, a 12-year-old girl who lives with her father on a small farm on the outskirts of Pigeon Harbor. Violet's mother and baby brother are missing. Her mother went away, and though she promised to come back, she never did. Violet suspects she might be dead. ("There was no way around it. Georgia Blake had surely departed the earth. She wouldn't have left the radium silk if she hadn't intended on coming back, or the wine-colored jacket, or the white shirtwaist she put on to please my father, who liked how dark it made her skin, eyes hair."). She's lonely, she feels abandoned, she wants answers. And when she finds a copper hand talisman buried in the woods - a talisman she believes holds real magical powers- she wishes for her family to be whole again. What she doesn't know is that her wish will bring about unforeseen consequences and will change her life forever. 

     Copper Magic is a wonderful book. It's really hard to believe this beautifully written, enchanting and atmospheric novel is Julia Mary Gibson's literary debut. I can't help but be amazed. For some authors it takes years of hard work to be able to write in such strong and clear voice, some never get there at all. Gibson's prose seems already established and polished to near-perfection. 

     The beautiful writing is what drew me in and kept me captivated all throughout. But at the same time, it's not just the mesmerizing style and Violet's quirky narrative voice that made me love this book, it's also the rich historical tapestry of 1906 that serves as the backdrop to this magical tale, and how skillfully the plot is woven within it. On top of that, Copper Magic is thematically very complex and diverse. Gibson explores themes such photography, ethnicity, ecology, Native American culture, family bonds, abandonment, the power of wishes and what it means to be an adult. It's really quite a meaningful and powerful story. 

    Violet is a breath of fresh air. She's far from being perfect. She's a notorious liar (and actually proud of it!), she's very opinionated and sneaky, and when she wants something, she'll find a way to get it. She's only 12, so obviously she doesn't yet have all the answers, and without a mother figure in her life to guide her, it's only to be expected that she'll make mistakes. Her mistakes will have consequences, but they'll also prove valuable life lessons.

     Copper Magic is many things. You can think of it as historical fiction. Or family drama. You can read it as fantasy novel. Or you can label it magical realism, and decide for yourself whether the magic of copper hand talisman is real, or just Violet's wishful thinking combined with her colorful imagination and a series of bizarre coincidences. All classifications and labels aside, this is a book worth reading. 


Shall We Gather at the River (hymn)
Steal Away to Jesus (spiritual) - Isaac Duvall's mother was on the Fisk Jubilee Singers' tour of Great Britain and sang for Queen Victoria
Highwater (Bob Dylan) - not of the period, but
Lonesome Road (traditional folk song)
Wade in the Water (spiritual)

About the author

For a significant chunk of my life I worked with sprocketed celluloid, as a garage animator and in various capacities in the visual effects industry. My colleagues were geniuses and magicians and sorceresses. The work was a blast (sometimes literally – catch me as Frances McDormand’s double in an awesome old-school beamsplitter shot in Sam Raimi’s DARKMAN), but a time came when my own work cried out to be fostered again.

I live in Hollywood, California, surrounded by my four-generation extended family of poets, thespians, dancers, filmworkers, and urban farmers


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Tour schedule:

July 1st Tuesday: Such a Novel Idea REVIEW & INTERVIEW 
July 2nd Wednesday: Rose Shadow GUEST POST 
July 3rd Thursday: Confessions of a Readaholic REVIEW
July 4th Friday: Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW & TENS LIST 
July 5th Saturday: CBY Book Club DREAM CAST       
July 6th Sunday: A Dream Within a Dream REVIEW & FAVORITE BOOKS
July 7th Monday: Jessabella Reads REVIEW & THIS OR THAT 
July 8th Tuesday: Bookish REVIEW & MUSIC PLAYLIST
July 9th Wednesday: TTC Books and More RANDOM THINGS
July 10th Thursday: Cover2CoverBlog REVIEW & GUEST POST

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