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JONATHAN BARROW

 
Full Name: Jonathan Barrow
Codename: Wizard
Nationality: American
Organization: M.A.G.I.C.
Occupation Agent

Creator: Lawrence D. Berry
Time Span: 2015 - 2020

ABOUT THE SERIES

Jonathan Barrow is an agent with M.A.G.I.C.

That acronym stands for the Military Assisted Global Intelligence Command. The military part providing the assistance part comes out of the Pentagon where Barrow's main contact, Major General Thompson, works. Global obviously shows that the reach of the organization is everywhere and the Intelligence Command just shows that its official purpose is gather information.

In the case of Barrow and the people who work with him, the job starts when most of the intel gathering has already been done and either a piece or two remains missing and they are asked to finish the puzzle or, more commonly, all the facts are in and bad guys identities known and their nefarious intentions deciphered and what is needed in people to stop the bad things from happening.

M.A.G.I.C. is not a new organization. It "has been around since 1899 when Harry Houdini was a Secret Service agent working under the guise of being a great magician to uncover counterfeiting operations both in the US and in Europe. Houdini acted not only with the United States Secret Service but also with British Intelligence, as what many would call a dual agent." After Houdini's death in 1926, there have been three others as the lead field agent for M.A.G.I.C. Harry Blackstone Senior served until 1950 followed by his son, Harry Blackstone Junior until 1974 and then Doug Henning up to 2000. Barrow took the position in 2001.

What all four of the people preceding Barrow have in common with Barrow is that they are all world famous magicians. Also escape artists. And illusionists. Barrow is certainly in good company being named with the others because as we meet him, he is "the world's most well-known illusionist and magician, creating spectacles of amazement and making those that attend his shows question reality."

When he is not on stage amazing huge crowds with his incredible stunts, he "and his elite and specialized team have one primary objective, to make national and international threats simply disappear and the public never aware of the risk."

The team that helps Barrow succeed at these missions are:

- Alexander, Barrow's stage manager and friend since they met twenty years ago. Alex was a member of the Central Intelligence Agency.

- Ollie, former Navy SEAL who had saved the life of a previous President and was also an accomplished close-up magician.

- Ferguson, MI6 agent who has a dislike-hate relationship with Barrow rising from the fact that in previous missions, Barrow shot him twice (the first time an accident and the second time because 'Fergy' did not heed the "duck" instruction.

- Megan, Hollywood special effects master, winner of a couple of Emmy's and nominated for two Oscars.

- Jason, premiere Hollywood stunt director.

BOOKS

Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2015
Last Appearance:2020

MY COMMENTS

I love magic. I love being amazed. I used to spend a bit of time trying to figure out how they did this or that but then realized that if I truly figured it out, the magic would be gone. Now I largely just sit back and let the entertainer do his/her thing.

Having a magician also be a spy is a great idea I heartily endorse. In a story told via prose, the amazement factor is never there but in its place is the nifty behind-the-scene minutiae that more than makes up for the absence of the other. The same sort of thing that make Mission: Impossible, the television show, so terrific.

Stone is a terrific character and he is joined by some pretty interesting people as well, making this an enjoyable experience that I hope will continue on for a while longer.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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