JU­VE­NILE FIC­TION

Foreword Reviews - - Contents - by var­i­ous re­view­ers

Ross Macken­zie, Floris Books (OC­TO­BER) Soft­cover $9.95 (288pp), 978-1-78250-519-8

In Ross Macken­zie’s The Else­where Em­po­rium, the mag­i­cal Nowhere Em­po­rium is so large that you couldn’t see ev­ery­thing in it, even if you had a life­time to look.

Daniel and El­lie live in the Nowhere Em­po­rium, which Daniel in­her­ited from El­lie’s fa­ther; they run its at­trac­tions for the out­side world, man­ag­ing the magic inside. The won­ders of the Nowhere Em­po­rium are never end­ing, aris­ing purely from its owner’s imag­i­na­tion. But one day, the Em­po­rium dis­ap­pears. As fan­tas­ti­cal as the Em­po­rium can be, Daniel and El­lie know that it would be a dan­ger­ous place if its own­er­ship fell into the wrong hands.

The story line di­verges into two: one set in the present day, and one in the past. Back in 1967, Mr. Ivy, the chief of the Bureau of Mag­i­cal In­ves­ti­ga­tion; a young boy named Flin­twitch; and an un­dead wo­man called Mrs. Hen­nypeck at­tempt to stop a shadow mon­ster on the ram­page. In the present, Daniel and El­lie search for the Em­po­rium with the help of a fly­ing car­pet and nu­mer­ous mag­i­cal peo­ple, in­clud­ing Peg, the care­taker of a power is­land, and Mort Fo­lio, a book­keeper.

While this is a se­quel, this cap­ti­vat­ing ad­ven­ture es­tab­lishes it­self as its own, with enough sum­mary to keep the reader present. The dual time­lines work well to­gether, pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion along an even dis­tri­bu­tion and never push­ing ahead of each other. As a por­tion of one story line is told, the other makes more sense, and the re­sult is grat­i­fy­ing.

The book rushes along, with its char­ac­ters rarely in one place for long as they work to stop a vil­lain and re­trieve the Em­po­rium. The Nowhere Em­po­rium is an ex­cit­ing fan­tasy that op­er­ates with a dare­devil sense of ur­gency.

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