Monday 11 April 2016

#Review Monday with KM. Lockwood : The Nowhere Emporium written by Ross Mackenzie & illustrated by Manuel Šumberac

From Chapter 6
“I am offering you the chance of a lifetime, my boy – the chance of a hundred lifetimes. Come with me. Learn about the Emporium. Prove that I was right to interfere. See the world in a way nobody else can. What do you say?”
Daniel said nothing. He stared out of the Emporium’s windows. Glasgow was hidden beneath a veil of thick swirling fog.
“You need persuasion,” said Mr Silver. “Seeing is believing, or so they say.”

Published by Floris in their Kelpies range March 2015
280 pages with pictures

Summary from publisher’s website
When the mysterious Nowhere Emporium arrives in Glasgow, orphan Daniel Holmes stumbles upon it quite by accident. Before long, the 'shop from nowhere' -- and its owner, Mr Silver -- draw Daniel into a breath-taking world of magic and enchantment. 
Recruited as Mr Silver's apprentice, Daniel learns the secrets of the Emporium's vast labyrinth of passageways and rooms -- rooms that contain wonders beyond anything Daniel has ever imagined. 
But when Mr Silver disappears, and a shadow from the past threatens everything, the Emporium and all its wonders begin to crumble. 
Can Daniel save his home, and his new friends, before the Nowhere Emporium is destroyed forever?
I read this as an e-book - so I’ve taken the unusual step of including the back cover as well as the front. This is to give a flavour of the inside – the design work brings you deeper into the world of the story really well. Many pages have artwork and the cover truly gives you a sense of the story – sparkling but with darker threats just waiting...

Ross Mackenzie shows a delightful breadth of imagination. There’s something of Willy Wonka in here, with more than a touch of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – fantastic stuff! 

Two main timelines run through the book to tell the whole story: Victorian and contemporary. Helpfully, there’s a narrator to help the reader move from one place or time to another. It’s intriguing to see how all the scenes fit together – eventually. 

I found Daniel’s relationship with the mysterious and troubled Ellie engaging, and the humour gave a welcome lightness to the whole story. I would love to read other adventures with these two characters.

The Nowhere Emporium is ideal for those who love colourful, imaginary worlds full of magical events. It might well suit a young but confident reader – there is plenty of peril and adventure, with some sadness – yet overall more enchantment than misery. Happy to recommend it to readers of Cornelia Funke and Django Wexler.
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2016 and the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2016. Winner of the 2015 NEBA (North East Book Award).

K. M. Lockwood lives by the sea in Sussex - see the pics on Instagram. She fills jars with sea-glass, writes on a very old desk and reads way past her bedtime. Her tiny bed and breakfast is stuffed full of books - and even the breakfasts are named after writers. You'd be welcome to chat stories with @lockwoodwriter on Twitter.

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