Draven Reviews: Hole 2 by Mickael Chatelair

 approvedTitle: Hole 2

Artist: Mickael Chatelair

Producers: Gimick Magic

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Retail Price: $24.95

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  20 Minutes (Approx)

Includes:

  • Instructional DVD
  • Gimmicks
  • Two Hole cards

Features:

  • English or French Language
  • Trailer
  • Chapters
  • Play All

The basic idea with Hole 2 is the spectator selects a playing card, it’s then sandwiched between two cards with large holes cut in the center of them, for visibility, and then with magic the card visually and impossibly melts through the bottom hole card and drops a short distance onto the table below.  The good news is that it looks amazing in the demo video.  The bad news is that, like the producers name suggests, this trick is heavily reliant on some seriously gimmicked cards.

For starters let’s discuss the gimmick.  It’s well made, and it should last a long time, but I’m not sold on the practicality.  Playing cards wear down.  Depending on how often you perform, and how you handle the cards, you can wear them down pretty quickly.  Hole 2 is not a gimmick that you’ll find easy to replace on your own.  Meaning you’ll probably have to buy a new Hole2 when your gimmick finally breaks down.  The gimmick is, for a playing card, really heavy.  This makes handling the cards during the routine feel more awkward than it should.  Performance wise you end dirty, requiring a switch before things can be examinable.  While this in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that Hole 2 is going to be another one of those tricks where you’ll be dedicating an entire deck of cards to a performance that only uses one of them, leaving you with dirty work of either cleaning up your gimmicks and storing them aside from your deck before you continue your routine or switching decks out all together.

Visually Hole 2 is impressive.  The magic looks impossible, and it can be reset quickly to be repeated again making this a decent selection for strolling or bar magic.  The reactions I’ve received though have been less than thrilling.  So far when I’ve performed this for friends and family it gets a lack luster reply.  I’m not sure why.  Hole 2 is mostly angle proof, anything that would give it away would be an angle you’d never perform for anyways, and it is simple enough to learn.   Hole 2 is a good one off.  It’s a nice strolling or street magic piece, and it looks great on a camera.  However I can’t just help thinking to myself that this isn’t a piece of magic that I’d personally use.  It’s not a bad trick.  The flaws aren’t fatal, it does what it says it does, and the magic is visually appealing, but somehow I just got left feeling like there’s all this work for very little pay off.  Not to mention that I’ve seen other hole style sandwich effects on the market that isn’t so gimmick reliant.  So at the end of the day I’m sort of indifferent about Hole 2.  I’m not saying don’t get it.  I will say though that it wasn’t for me.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 5

Heavy gimmick, that is not easy to replace.  Well built, but left me wanting more.

Teaching Quality: 5

Easy enough to learn.  Beginner level magic.  The gimmicks do all the hard work for you.

Video & Sound Quality: 7

Sound and video were both okay.

Overall Quality: 5

It’s not a bad trick.  It’s just not a trick that I’d use personally.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

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Draven Reviews: CLIP by Taiwan Ben

 approvedTitle: Clip

Artist: Taiwan Ben

Producers: Taiwan Ben

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Retail Price: $49.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of Video: 10 minutes

Notes: Includes link to online instructional video

Includes:

  • Two gimmicked paperclips.  One self bends, the other self un-bends.

There has been a resurgence of memory metal effects on the market lately.  First Ellusionist launched their Shift line, then came the Alchemist series from Sansminds, Then Will Tsi had his Blossom fork, we can’t forget Wire Grams that I think was another Ellusionist release, and now Taiwan Ben entering the field with yet another uninspired memory metal gimmick.  At this point in time memory metal plots are becoming as played out as “pick a card” tricks.  Here, let’s take this ordinary object that doesn’t quite look right like the object it’s suppose to be, and watch as it bends itself in your own hands!  You can rest assured that if the object is made of some silver like metal- someone will find a way to turn it into a memory metal prop and then charge a crap load of money for it because apparently creating memory metal props is expensive.

With your average memory metal prop costing you in the neighborhood of $150 to $200 dollars it’s a huge sigh of relief to know that Clip only costs around a quarter of that.  Weighing in at just pocket change shy of $50 bucks you get not one but two self bending memory metal props.  Well you get a self bending and a self unbending prop, but now we’re splitting hairs.

If you’ve never played with memory metal before then I highly suggest you watch the online video tutorial for this PRIOR to handling your props.  You can seriously damage or break your CLIP paperclip if you don’t know what you are doing when you try to set it up.

The tutorial video is about ten minutes long so it’s pretty to the point.  Ben provides you an explanation of what memory metal is, how to set it up, and what the average temperatures are needed to activate the metal’s unique properties.  He also gives you a couple different routine ideas to start you off with.  If you’ve worked with memory metal before then you probably won’t find the video useful.  As for the product itself, it comes beautifully packaged in this really nice looking square box, which is way too large for what little packing space it actually utilizes.  As for the paperclips themselves, they look pretty fake.  When you think of a paperclip you think of these shiny nickel colored things and what you get with clip are these dull gun metal/ graphite colored clips.  The wire also feels considerably more flimsy compared to a standard paperclip.  This might not be noticed in the heat of the moment by your spectator, but these are things that I notice when I handle props like this, and an unrealistic color/ weight compared to the actual prop these memory metal gimmicks are imitating has been a long outstanding, and often frequent, complaint from those who work with the stuff.  But hey… if you’re broke but you still want to do a memory metal bit $50 bucks is pretty hard to thumb your nose at.

EDITORS NOTE: I realized that after I had written this review that paperclips now days do come in a variety of colors and sizes.  So while CLIP doesn’t resemble a traditional paperclip in design and weight, it is possible to find enough similar colored paperclips or a completely random assortment of paperclips to help hide and mask the nature of your prop.

Performing with Clip is as strait forward as it can get.  You take out a paperclip, you cause it to bend with your mind, you then secretly switch it for the other clip, put it in the spectators hands, and then it unbends in their own hands!  Let me tell you something.  As much crap as I’ve given Clip so far in this review the reactions I’ve gotten with this thing could have started religions.  The hardest sleight?  A shuttle pass.  Making performing with Clip virtually ideal for any close up, strolling, or walk around setting.  Stage, just due to the size of the props, probably isn’t advisable.  This can be done strolling or close up but it’s not an instant reset kind of trick.  You need to take some time to reset this prop away from the prying eyes of the public.  While I’ve not had any notable issues with my gimmick in specific, you also have to be aware of the ambient temperature of the area you are performing in because if it’s too warm outside, or your own body heat gets to the prop while it’s still in your pocket, it can trigger the effect prematurely.  If you want to get around this, then Ben does have a recommendation for storing CLIP in your pocket when it’s not being used but I find his method impractical for walk around/ strolling/ or street magic.  Ben recommends keeping a small Tupperware container stocked with ice in your pocket and storing CLIP in that prior to use.  It’s almost better, in my opinion, to set this up sight unseen minutes before you’re ready to perform it than go through the measures he recommends for storage and carry.  I just don’t like having to fuss around with the mess melted ice can leave behind.  Also given the cold storage, and the set up method involved, you’d think that the spectator would notice that the paperclip feels abnormally cold to the touch.  Strangely enough, and I’ve done this effect several times, I’ve never once been called out on that.  This is just some food for thought.

Overall Clip has been a cost effecting mental miracle in a box for me.  I’ve been impressed with the results despite the notable- I’ll just call them “character flaws” I found with the prop.  If you’re working on a budget, then Clip is something you’re probably going to want to look into.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 6

Doesn’t really look or feel like a paperclip, but for the price you’re paying this isn’t a bad memory metal prop.

Teaching Quality: 8

The video is short, sweet, and to the point.  You’ll be doing this in minutes.

Video & Sound Quality: 8

Sound and video were both good for a streamed video.

Overall Quality: 7

Good memory metal effect on a budget.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

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Draven Reviews: Fishing by G Alexander

approved Title: Fishing

Artist: G Alexander

Producers: Undermagic

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Retail Price: $49.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of Video:  6 minutes

Notes: Downloadable Instructional Video

Includes:

  • Iphone Headset
  • Gimmick

This is the classic card tied onto a string taken to a new modern level.  This is Fishing by G Alexander.  You have a card selected by a spectator.  The cards are tossed into a paper bag.  You remove your headphones from around your neck, dangle the end into the bag and magically it ties itself around the spectators selected card!  Vanish your finger ring, and reproduce it from a bag tied to the end of your headphones, or anything else you can think of.  Note: Some alternative presentations are less practical for a live audience than others without significant setup prior.

What you get is a gimmick, and the IPhone headset.  A fair warning in case you’re interested to know, no they will not function if you try to use them for listening to music.   The gimmick and the headphones are very well made.  The deception is real.  In fact even the packaging is innocuous.  I almost thought I was sent the wrong product at first glance because the packaging looks like it came from Apple, and not typical to how magic tricks are usually packaged.

The standard presentation uses a deck of cards and the card cannot be signed.  This presentation is great for close up or parlor shows, but strolling magicians may find it a bit cumbersome to try to carry around the paper sack, a deck, the gimmick, and the headphones.  There’s a lot of power in this effect for the casual street performer but the more impressive and apparently impromptu handlings would require a lot of set up, and dirt work making them more ideal for a TV or Youtube audience than the people you’re performing for live.  Mark my words though, in the right hands this could be reel material if done right.

The magic feels very organic and natural, and I think that has a lot to do with the props being used.  I got a friend to help me out one time last week when I knew we were getting together with a large group of people to go to dinner and a movie.  My friend let me set up her purse with the gimmick in advance (as well as being a good sport with some other necessary minor monkey work), and during dinner I borrowed her ring, and her purse, and vanished the ring only to reproduce it from her purse tied to the end of the headphones.  Granted she was in on it, but to everyone else you’d think I was a god based on their reactions.

Your angles are solid when working with this gimmick, provided the spectators don’t examine the paper bag.  The bag is dirty.  It’s not hard to hide, or deflect attention.  The heat won’t be on the bag at all.  But it can’t be examined before or after the effect.  So if you’re digging for a drawback that’s the only one.

Overall I really liked this trick!  It’s organic, and it’s fun to play with.  My preferred presentations require stooges but you’re by no means required to use them to present this.  On the streets this is a great one off trick.  I’m not sure if I’d open or close with it on a stage set but it would be a great filler or segue piece.  Check out Fishing by G Alexander, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 8

The price is a bit out there.  50$ is a bit steep for basically a modified set of headphones, but the magic is worth it.

Teaching Quality: 8

The video is short, sweet, and very well made.

Video & Sound Quality: 8

Good sound and video!

Overall Quality: 8

The price is a hit, but the magic is versatile, visual, and powerful.  I’ve received some great reactions doing this trick, so I think it’s been well worth the purchase.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

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Draven Reviews: MSP: Mentalist Symbol Pack by Anton James

approved Title: MSP: Mentalist Symbol Pack

Artist: Anton James

Producers: The Magic Estate

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Retail Price: $29.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  The instructional videos are all online.  Secret link included in purchase.

Includes:

  • 26 Original Symbol Cards
  • 26 Custom Cards for Additional Effects and Creativity.

The mental magic genre just got its own custom deck of gaff cards with Anton James’s MSP: Mentalist Symbol Pack.  This is a deck of 52 custom printed cards deigned to be used for mentalism and other mental magic effects.  Instead of the traditional deck of cards you get a base deck of 26 beautifully printed cards with striking images on them, with an additional deck of 26 cards consisting of gaff effects like blurred images, mental forces, double backers, blank cards, etc.  The cards are printed on a special kind of thin plastic stock which makes them feel similar to Kem brand playing cards.  They’re water proof and thus will last a hell of a long time with proper care.  One point to note here is that if you’ve ever handled a set of plastic playing cards you know how flimsy they are.  This usually means they handle for crap.  MSP has a smooth finish on them so I find that, while they are still very thin, they fan beautifully.  These handle far better than any other plastic deck I’ve ever seen.  I could perform double, triple lifts, shape shifter (revolver change), Erdnase change, among other sleights with this deck that would be difficult to impossible with other plastic cards.  So props to Anton for a quality product on that regard.

Performing with the standard deck of 26 images leaves you open to do a lot of different mentalism style effects from mind reading, cold reading, card divination (ala Tarot deck), drawing reproductions, to multiple selections and predictions/ reveals.  At the core of the deck is a simple stack, but don’t trip out!  It’s not difficult.  Meaning even a novice could pick up the stack and start using it with minimal effort spent to learn it.  The instructional videos that accompany the cards are useful for getting your feet wet with working with them, but I think the real power in the deck lays with the individuals own ability to design their own custom presentations using the cards.  There’s no right or wrong way to use them!

As nice of a deck of cards as this is I was shocked that a product designed for mentalists use didn’t contain any traditional ESP symbols in it!  I expected there to be a Rhine test and was shocked that there was none.  Maybe Rhine symbols are too main stream?  I don’t know, but I feel this was kind of a major oversight.  Also I think the handling won’t appeal to a lot of mentalists because it will feel too much like doing traditional card tricks but instead of using an Ace of Spades, for example, you’re using a picture of a clock. So I expect there to be some purists who will turn their noses up to this deck.  Their loss.  It’s really a nice deck.

Pocket space is minimal.  Though the cards come in a nice tuck box for easy storage I tend to agree with a point made on the video about putting the cards into an envelope for performance purpose.  I even took it a step further, I wrapped in a small scrap of dark red velvet and it kind of added an extra level of theatrics to them.   The cards reset quickly so this is ideal for strolling.  You could use them on stage as well.  The website that you get the video links from also has a link to download and print the stock 26 images on 8.5×11 paper.  So there is some versatility to this.  I’ve gotten some pretty good reactions from working with these cards, and yes you can perform them in the round if wanted.

Overall I really liked MSP.  I think it’s a pretty cool utility prop that has strong potential to be used in a variety of ways limited to the imagination of the presenter.  Given the price isn’t that expensive and the cards will last a lifetime with proper care this really was a no brainer.  If you like doing bizarre or mental magic you’re going to love this deck.  If you’re a mentalist you will still find great potential for application.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 9

The price is good, and the cards are beautifully printed.  They will last a long time!

Teaching Quality: 7

I really didn’t like having all the videos broken up into individual download links, but it does make it easier to isolate a specific section for quick review.

Video & Sound Quality: 7

The sound and video, for a streamed video, are both pretty good.

Overall Quality: 8

A solid score!  I really liked MSP and I look forward to future editions of this set.  Perhaps I’ll get my Rhine symbols after all?

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

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Draven Reviews: Passing Thru by Kevin Parker

approved Title: Passing Thru: Coin In Bottle

Artist: Kevin Parker

Producers: KP Studio

Retail Price: $11.95 USD

Link: http://kpmagic.wix.com/kpstudio#!online-store/c1zmd/!/Passing-Thru-Coin-Through-Bottle/p/52729399/category=0

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of Video: 6 minutes

Features:

  • Online Video Tutorial

Magicians love penetration effects.  Find a small object and guaranteed a magician somewhere will figure out how to force it through another solid object.  Enter coin in bottle plot.  It’s a familiar plot where a magician takes a sealed bottle, and a borrowed coin, and then somehow manages to magically make the coin pass through the bottle and become sealed inside.  The methods to do this illusion are many, and now Kevin Parker has stepped up to the plate to add his own unique spin to this timeless illusion.

Kevin’s take on the classic coin in bottle focuses use on a preferred glass bottle approach.  The advantage to Kevin’s handling is the added audible quality of the coin clinking against the glass which is somewhat diminished by other handlings that involve plastic bottles.  The setup is fairly quick, and will require the use of some sleight of hand skills.  If you can palm a card, though, I think you’ll be fine.  Yes there is a gimmick that you’ll need to construct but it’s very easy to make and everyone should have access to the material you’ll need to make it out of.  Five minutes, and some fidgeting to get the sizing right for you personally, and you’re going to be good to go.  Also the gimmick, once built, should last you many performances before you’ll  need to replace it- if you ever need to replace it.

The video I watched for the review was only six minutes long, give or take, so Kevin doesn’t really waste a lot of time on fluff or filler.  It’s pretty much down to business which is appreciated.  The sound and video quality is reminiscent of something homemade and could have benefited from a higher quality camera and a better mic, but the magic is solid gold.  Street magicians are going to love this.  The angles are pretty fool proof, and while the video relies on a switch I’m pretty sure with some minor tweaking you could probably do a signed coin version of this illusion with minimal creative effort.

Is this effect practical?  I’d say it stands up well against other coin in bottle routines.  It doesn’t take up a lot of pocket space, and it’s pretty easy to get into and out of.  It’s visual, which is nice, and given the spin you put on it could play for the street, as well as the stage.  It’s certainly a good enough effect as a one off.  It can stand by itself, or it would be a good opener too, especially if you do other coin work.  If you like coin in bottle routines, then you should take a look at Kevin’s Passing Thru.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 8

A cleaver handling, and easy to build gimmick.

Teaching Quality: 7

Fast pace tutorial teaches you the effect and wastes no time on fluff or filler.  You’ll be performing this within minutes.

Video & Sound Quality: 5

I’ve seen better sound and video.  This has a “made out of someone’s garage” feel to it.

Overall Quality: 7

A cleaver handling to a classic plot.  Well worth looking into!

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

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Draven Reviews: Reel Magic Magazine

 approvedTitle: Reel Magic Magazine (ON DEMAND)

Link: http://www.reelmagicmagazine.com/

Retail Price: $5.00 USD Per Month

Learning Difficulty: Ranges in Difficulty Depending on Lecture

Notes: Online Content Video Streaming

Features:

  • Reel Magic DVD
  • Reel Magic On Demand
  • Max ($8 USD / Month USA $10 USD / Month International)

Reel Magic Magazine ON DEMAND is a virtual gold mine of magical knowledge.  Originally Reel Magic started off as a quarterly DVD subscription that quickly progressed to a monthly subscription.  You can still get the DVD subscription mailed to your house for around $60 USD a year, which is around the same price as you’d pay for one good DVD set on average, or you can spend $5 bucks a month and get access to all this wonderful information plus special online only items like live lectures, mini conventions, live events, instructional courses, master classes, and more.  If you really want it all, both the online access and the physical DVD then that comes out to a whopping $8 dollars a month.  Less money than you’d spend on a fast food meal.  Honestly… with magicians willing to drop upwards of ten bucks on a single deck of playing cards there’s no excuse for why you wouldn’t own a subscription to Reel Magic Magazine.  The content is just superior to any other single DVD, book, or trick that you can purchase out there on the market today!

Now there’s a lot of content to digest on the online website so I’m going to save a lot of that for future reviews.  If I can sit here and mine an unending amount of material to do reviews from off this website, just think for two seconds what you’ll be able to do for your magic with the same access. You’ve got access to content from some of the most brilliant minds in magic today.  Minds like that of: Doc Eason, Asi Wind, Chris Capehart, Jim Steinmeyer, Apollo Robbins, Dan Sperry, Boris Wild, and I’m only just getting started.

So at the end of the day what do you have with a subscription to Reel Magic Magazine?  One of the most inexpensive passes to a vault of magic, lectures, interviews, theory, and tricks you could ever hope for.  This is more than a solid 10 product, this is an essential tool that everyone should have.  So get your account set up today!

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 10

The price is perfect and frankly for the amount of material you can access for it; the price is dirt cheap.

Teaching Quality: 10

Essays, Tutorials, Lectures, and more!

Video & Sound Quality: 10

Good video and sound.  Especially for streaming.

Overall Quality: 10

A must have.   Seriously.  Forgo buying one magic DVD in favor of getting this subscription and you’ll be thanking me for years to come.  It practically pays for itself with the wealth of information you’re given access to.  Like a deck of cards, this subscription belongs in every magicians tool set.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

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Draven Reviews: The Jekyll & Hyde Test by Scott Olgard & Luke Jonas

not approved Title: The Jekyll & Hyde Test

Author: Scott Olgard & Luke Jonas

Publicist: Olnas Magic

Retail Price: $110.00 USD

Effect Difficulty: Medium to Difficult

Number of Pages: 46 pages (Instructional) 130 (Book Test)

Notes:  Both the instruction book and the book test are paper back

Notes: Limited Edition.  Only 500 Copies have been released to the public.

Features:

  • Paper Back Instructional Book
  • Paper Back Book Test Book

The spectator is asked to flip through a book with over 26,000 words in it and settle on a page unknown to the performer.  Without fishing the performer is at first able to recite an entire line from that page.  Then the spectator writes down three or four different page numbers, unseen by the performer.  The performer is able to give small details from one of those pages before reciting the entire first paragraph.  Lastly, turning to another page, the spectator selects a random word that the performer can reveal through any method they like such as drawing duplication.

This is the Jekyll & Hyde book test.  It’s a very nice, very versatile prop that can allow you to truly capture some impossible moments with your audiences, and undoubtedly it’s over priced for what it is.  The book does look and feel like a real book.  Your spectator can flip through it, and read from it without worry of exposing the method.  However the book is a very short book.  The marketing angle they give you is that it has over twenty-six thousand words, but really there’s only a hundred and thirty pages.  Since one of the presented premise for performance is that you’re able to memorize the entire book, at a 130 pages this doesn’t seem really all that much of a challenge.

The advertisement says that there’s no need for complicated memory work, and that I feel is a bold faced lie.  You can’t sell a product saying “No complicated memory work” and then turn right around and put this in the instructions under the Memory Techniques heading: “As authors and performers, we realize that the idea of remembering all the information required within this effect does, at first, seem like a gargantuan task.”  It doesn’t just seem like folks… it is. Also what the hell is up with the cover of the book anyways?  The cover art is strait up RIPPED off of the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter movie poster.  They didn’t even do anything to clean it up or hide the fact that they have the creative originality of a dead sloth that’s been baking in the sun for a week.  They just cropped off the left side of the photo and called it good.  I heard of magicians stealing intellectual property from other magicians but apparently we’re now stealing shit from sources outside of magic too!

And that’s where I put down this book test as a product and promptly went back to using my other tests that I already know and love.  There may be some versatility with this test but I’m not going to use something that steals cover art from another source and then is so bold to not even credit it.  There’s a lot of memory work that goes into this test too and I’m just not going to devote my time to learning it.  If you’re going to run classic horror as a subject for a book test then you’re setting yourself up for failure for someone in the audience to call out the cover art for what it is, and while I can explain it away why should I?  That’s more work than necessary.  Also I feel like only printing 500 copies was just an excuse to jack the price up over a Benjamin.  Overall I think I’ve already found better, and more creatively moral options on the market than wasting my time with this crap.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Readability and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 1

This is the one time I can judge a book by its cover, and because of that this product fails.

Teaching Quality: 3

Complicated memory system.  Not easy.

Readability: 5

It is readable.

Over All Quality: 2

This doesn’t really add anything to the field of book tests which can’t be achieved with other products.

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