RIGHT HAND MAGIC: A NOVEL OF GOLGOTHAM By Nancy A Collins [Review]

Right Hand Magic

When Tate, an avant-garde artist, needs a new apartment, she stumbles across a number for a place in Golgotham, the supernatural ghetto of New York City in Nancy A. Collins’ Urban Fantasy RIGHT HAND MAGIC: A NOVEL OF GOLGOTHAM. Escaping a nasty break-up, and high on the acceptance to a “kick ass” gallery show, she might have taken a living situation leap that in other circumstances she might have refused. I mean, you have to wonder when not one single cab driver will even take you close to the area, let alone the house itself. Luckily for her, she finally gets close enough to walk and sets the events of Right Hand Magic in motion.

Golgotham is the gathering place of the supernatural, and her new landlord Hexe (with an e) is no exception. A warlock with a sarcastic familiar who collects his rents, Tate finds herself immediately drawn to him, and to his strange house where you nevergo upstairs by yourself. You might never come back. Oh, you don’t die, you just get lost… forever. As Tate settles into her new world, the reader is drawn into the world as well. The relationships in the book feel natural, not forced, and the place itself have the solid feeling of reality.

In fact, the reality of the place is what really shines in this book. Golgotham is a fascinating place, and Collins has done a wonderful job in creating a backdrop for her characters and a world where readers will want to return and experience it time and time again. The various creatures she introduces are familiar, but each has their own twist. This is typical in the genre, most urban fantasy authors offer their own ideas on the creatures that exist just out of sight. Collins, however, not only offers a fresh twist on some that have appeared many times throughout the genre, but has a few less common ones that give the book a sparkle all of its own.

That said, there were a couple of problems. The first was the first chapter. It was a little rough. It reads almost like the first chapter from a new author. Chapter Two really picks up, though, so stick with it! Secondly, the dialog is extremely uneven. It goes back and forth between lovely, bright and polished (no matter what the topic) and hard to get through, choppy and rough. The passages that are in “dialect” can be the worst, and once or twice I had to go back and read them twice, just to catch the rhythm of the story again. I guess that was the problem, they broke my reading rhythm and like an off-note in a symphony it can throw me out of temper for a while when that happens.

All in all, I enjoyed Right Hand Magic: A Novel of Golgotham, and am happy to say there are more books in the series already planned. I’ll be waiting to read them. I’m sure the issues that I had with this book will be ironed out by then. I’m looking forward to them. If you enjoy Urban Fantasy, try Right Hand Magic, I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Roc | Pages: 304 | Source: Publisher | Buy on Amazon

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  • Lunas Gathering

    This is the first I’ve heard of this series and this author. The story sounds fascinating. Thanks for an honest review. I’ll definitely read it. This way I’m prepared for the small issues and will still enjoy the story. :-)