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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » Book Review: Book of Light by Tom Phoenix. Comparing actual product to ad copy. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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I'm a big fan of Jeff Stone's reviews style of comparing the actual ebook with the ad-copy. I'll mention my opinion on the effects presented but as liking an effect or preferring an effect over another is entirely subjective, I'll focus more on ad-copy integrity.

Ad copy and book available here:

Disclaimer: I'm NOT a acquaintance of Tom Phoenix and my exchange with him have been minimal. I have however received the book free of charged as he got in touch with me as he noticed my interest in another thread. Turns out the book is a bit expensive and as the author isn't really a household name, I thought only a detailed review will do this justice.

Most of the effects utilize a very interesting gimmick that you make yourself from a sharpie. I'm not up to date on my sharpie knowledge but I haven't seen this gimmick before. Since no crediting is offered I guess its an original creation. It does make the effects very practical to perform with minimal amount of setup besides having the props ( mostly envelops, cards or small objects ) & resupplying the materials you'll be giving away as souvenirs.

Souviners is yet another theme that is shared in all items in the ebook. I understand an earlier version of this ebook was sold at Kenton Knepper's Wonder Wizards website and I can clearly see why he liked it. If you read Kenton's Anti-Tada or Genuine Amazement then you can really see how this ebook was perfect to demonstrate the ideas Kenton was describing.

Only one effect uses an instant stooge and though its only optional. The methods are *physical* though the effects shine because of the mood set up by the stories and the visualizations scripted in the presentations. Having said that the methods are flexible enough to be adopted to one's own style. In other words, the presentations drive the effects but don't limit the flexibility of the methods.

Knowledge of suggestion and relaxation techniques, while not necessary, is something I recommend as they add tremendously to the effects. Full scripts are provided. Ability to give readings is also a plus.

6 effects are offered, each is supplemented with quite a bit of ideas. To me it showed the author really worked these effects in the real world.

On to the effects, my opinion will based on the ad copy, linked at the start of the review.

- In Stone of remembrance you predict or divine the spectator's birthstone ( depending on what variation you use ), as well as their zodiac sign which is oddly left from the ad copy. The spectator divining your birth month ( not full date ) ideas are very simple & practical. The force claimed original does seem novel to me. I find it incredibly interesting and I believe other readers will share the sentiment. One caviat is the birthstone revelation as explained in the basic effect happens AFTER your performance is over, in the form of a prediction within envelop given as a souvenir that they can freely open at any time. In other words, the effect ,if plainly done, depends on the relaxation & visualization the spectator goes through so the experience becomes relevant enough for them to care, as opposed to a magical moment of astonishment. This is relieved either by the spectator as mind reader phase or an alternative idea for getting *hits* on the spot. The spectator doesn't need to actually know their birthstone to enjoy the effect.

- The Angels Gift as described as really a presentation for a well known method with added spice such as divining a spec's birthday. The suggested methods for the latter are all standard and indeed the method used for Stone of Remembrance ( the previous effect ) can be used. The ideas given add quite a bit including a very good out which I quite liked. A method is also given to show an empty box that is later shown to have the flower. Again an effect where the whole is more than the sum of its parts. The ad copy is precise.

- A Time to Remember is a routine that took me some time to put together. The explanation is clear though because of the many things going on it needed repeated readings. You need to think on your feet ( its minimal for me, though I can see it varying among others ). Instant stooging one spectator for one bit is optional though they'll still be fooled by the other phases. I thought the method was rather interesting and is something I'm tempted to experiment with. Precise ad copy, but not all the revelations are as dramatic as you'd think they will be, especially if you have high expectations as a new comer to mentalism.

- The Forest is, oddly enough, not an actual trick on its own but rather can be seen as a magical moment to reveal information. Personally its my favorite bit of the book. Its very mystic though not "new age"-y which I thought is a lot of fun. Its very practical too as long as you refill your giveaway. The production of an object is extremely simple and will be trivial if done alone without any script. Additional notes discuss ideas on presenting and getting information, mentalists with experience will find them rather simple but still good. Precise ad copy.

- For the next effect, Inspire, ad copy matches the write up but I do feel I can address several points. The optional Influence the participant's dream is exactly that, nudging them to dream in a specific direction and it does depend on them following your instructions after the effect is long over. I haven't tried it though if you want to buy the book for that bit alone I wouldn't bet on it, although it is interesting and kind of makes sense. The "accurate reading" is "accurate" because its slightly warm ( I wouldn't call it "hot" ). In other words, it still depends on your skill as a reader to pull off. The effect is accurate otherwise and is practical to perform, thanks to the gimmick used.

- Path of Light is a playing card item where a crescent appears on a blank card. The handling is really straight forward and if you want to minimize the reset ( i.e just resupplying on souvenirs ) another handling that is also practical is given though a bit more technical. It is still within the range of an average card handler. You could correctly guess from the ad copy that the presentation is really what sells this.

All in all, what I like about the effects that different bits can be applied elsewhere. The modular construction of the methods makes them flexible to be used with other effects. In the book Tom suggests applying a method from a previous effect to another.

If you like the ad-copy, I highly doubt you will be disappointed with any of the effects.

The author has other card effects on the website, his style here is totally different in this ebook in case anyone wondered.

- Feras
Grippo's Wish
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I was also given a copy for review. I am extremely sorry I couldn't sit to write down the review earlier.

The above review is very good and pretty much says everything.

Tom seems very sensitive to his audience and to his own experiences, and it shows in the book. Everything is very clearly explained.

The effects are more or less tending to mentalism/bizarre/mystical, but I assume if you are reading the review you at least had an idea about that.

The first two effects use a very interesting idea for revealing predictions.

Most of the effects I am sure will trigger many ideas for how to use them, personalize them or create your own variations.

A lot of the stuff can be "taken apart" and used in other effects: the forces, gaffs, presentations, reveals, etc.

All of the "things" needed to perform the routine are explained so the book is very good if you like to easely create your own gimmicks/props. Nothing too difficult.

The stories and presentations are very interesting, but they are very personal to Tom. I assume most people (like me) would personalize them, but that's with most magic.

If you like this type of magic (I do) I am pretty sure that you will find value in this book.

Any questions please ask.
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