Monday, April 29, 2013
Right Hand Magic by Nancy A. Collins
Like most Manhattanites, aspiring artist Tate can't resist a good rental deal-even if it's in the city's strangest neighborhood, Golgotham, where for centuries werewolves, centaurs, and countless other creatures have roamed the streets.
Her new landlord is a sorcerer named Hexe, who is determined to build his reputation without using dark, left-hand magic. As Tate is drawn into Hexe's fascinating world, they both find that the right hand does not always know what the left hand is doing-and avoiding darkness is no easy trick...
I was intrigued by this book because I love New York City, I would move their in a heartbeat. And as a long time lover of all things urban fantasy the idea that a neighborhood devoted to all things that go bump in the night existing in Manhattan was just too good to pass up. First a foremost I have to say that I was impressed by Collins' ability to create a really nice picture in terms of describing Golgotham. In many ways Golgotham was a full on character within the book. In a lot of books I read the city a character lives in takes a back seat to the action and people within the story, so it was refreshing to see such a vivid telling of Manhattan.
As characters go, I really did enjoy Tate. I liked her artist nature, and one again Collins does a great job at bringing her sculpture to life with words alone. Tate comes from a rather high and mighty family, and she really is breaking all the so called rules by moving into Golgotham when she is nothing but a regular old human. Following along with her first couple of days in the new neighborhood is funny, scary, and sometimes totally out there.
Hexe is the sorcerer version of Tate, he comes from a high and mighty magical family, but like Tate he goes against the grain by only practicing right hand magic. I'm sure in future books Collins will showcase Hexe and his magical abilities more than she did in this book, but there were some funny moments when Hexe was being hired to "un-do" some pretty hilarious hexes.
The wide scope of creatures that live in Golgotham is fun to experience. And like all cultures there is most definitely an underground culture here. And that underground comes into play in a big way in this book. And I expect to see it continue with future books.
I do have one bone to pick with this book though. The writing was good, the characters were good, but it took a little too long for my taste for the plot to really get into full swing. In some ways I feel like this first book in the series is just one big giant set up to whatever comes next, but I do wish there was more action earlier in the book.
Other than that I would say the book was very enjoyable. I read it rather quickly, which I think is a testament to Collins' good writing skills. I will definitely be buying the second book in her series, because like I said earlier I felt like this book was just a big set up for the series, and what happens next is going to be a fun ride that I want to know about.