Epigram Books Fiction Prize 2016 Longlist
The first book in an exciting new YA mystery trilogy about a teenage savant on the trail of her family's killer, from the multi-talented Ning Cai, international magic celebrity and author.
When parkour champion Maxine Schooling wakes from a three-year coma, she has no memory of how her parents and little brother were killed the night she was attacked. Using her new-found photographic memory, she covertly helps her hacker BFF with the police investigation of a savage serial killer on the loose. In her race to track down the Singapore Spectre, Max finds herself embroiled in a conspiracy involving stage illusions, a secret exposé, and a controversial megachurch headed by a powerful man.
For over a decade, Ning Cai was known as a multi-award-winning stage illusionist and escape artist. After a brief period of retirement, she returned in 2017 as the mentalist Ning: Mind Magic Mistress. Her memoir, Who is Magic Babe Ning?, was shortlisted for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize.
"Ning Cai is a wonder."
- Neil Gaiman, internationally celebrated author of The Sandman and The Ocean at the End of the Lane
"A fast-paced YA thriller, packed with mystery, magic and a touch of romance."
- Lang Leav, bestselling author of Sad Girls and Sea of Strangers
"Ning Cai conjures a potent blend of heart and humor alongside danger and darkness."
- Gwenda Bond, author of the Lois Lane and Cirque American series
"Good mystery stories and magic tricks both rely on deft hands, artful distraction, charming onstage characters, and a flashy finish that leaves you wondering how the author pulled it all off-and Ning Cai puts on a great show!"
- E.C. Myers, award-winning author of Fair Coin and The Silence of Six
About the Author
Ning Cai is the author of the Singapore Literature Prize-shortlisted memoir, Who is Magic Babe Ning?. She is also the co-author of three additional books: a travel account (Adventures of 2 Girls, with Pamela Ho), a middle-grade novel (Magicienne, with Don Bosco), and a creativity self-help guide (Game of Thoughts, with John Teo).
For over a decade, she was known as "Magic Babe" Ning, a multi-award-winning stage illusionist and escape artist known as "the sexiest woman in magic." Lauded for her death-defying acts and record-setting feats, Ning performed for Middle Eastern royalty and showcased her brand of deadly sexy magic to an international audience on stage and on TV. After a brief period of retirement, she returned in 2017 as the mentalist Ning: Mind Magic Mistress.
Besides being engaged as magic consultant for various projects, she has starred in popular Mediacorp TV shows such as Meat and Greed 2, Eat Already?, Love in a Time of Change, and Record Breakers. A TEDx speaker and committee member of SCWO's Women's Register, Ning is also the creative director of Mighty Magic Lab, a kid's edutainment company, which focuses on empowering children with creativity and confidence through magic.