Review by Emily Battaglia, 16
The Left-Handed Booksellers of London By Garth Nix
Eighteen-year-old Susan’s search for her father divulges a secret world within London and a family of booksellers that fight to regulate it. She is thrust into a confrontation with the mythical creatures of the Old World as the mystery of her parentage unravels a dangerous truth.
The Left-Handed Booksellers of London wastes no time immersing the reader into an intricate, diverse world of modern fantasy and mythic lore. Assassins and guns fuse with ancient magic and ethereal creatures. A contemporary setting coalesces with age-old supernatural elements to construct a story of magnificent world-building that grows through the acceleration of the characters’ journey. While Left-Handed Booksellers of London may be considered part of the urban fantasy genre, the book veers heavily into action fiction with its focus on violent fighting and daring rescues without a moment’s rest for the characters. The fast-paced adventure prevents any boredom, however, the continuous action comes at the expense of significant character development. High-stake events catalyze in quick succession, and many important conversations are had in the back of a speeding magical taxi or during a life and death fight against the next wicked beast. There is no downtime in Left-Handed Booksellers of London, and other than the eccentric appearances depicted in each character’s introduction, their personalities are underdeveloped and generally forgettable. That being said, there still exists ample opportunity in Left-Handed Booksellers of London for a reader to get invested. The bizarre alternate reality of London as the primary setting is a unique and refreshing take on a magical metropolis and the secrets that lie beneath our mortal plane.
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