'Evernight' by Ross Mackenzie is a wonderful potion for the imagination; unpredictable, lively and full of superb fantasy descriptions. With a cast of eclectic characters and many narrative threads, this is a challenging though ultimately rewarding read.
Larabelle Fox lives in the sewers, treasure-hunting and avoiding unruly gangs. She's an orphan and accepts her dangerous life in a magical city. But when she finds a mysterious box her world is turned upside down. Everything she knew about herself will change. And as evil forces summon the Evernight, Lara must face terrible dangers, including a man who casts no shadow. Most of all, Lara must learn who she truly is.
When I started 'Evernight' I must admit that it took me a while to get into it. The narrative point of view switched a few times and I struggled to initially warm to Lara. But then everything seemed to weave together, like strands of magic, and the story couldn't help but propel me on. While Lara grew on me and her backstory became clear, I also really enjoyed Double Eight and Joe's story arcs, even Shadow Jack (I hope he returns somehow!). As with Mackenzie's majestic 'Nowhere Emporium', he deftly and brilliantly handles many plot threads and joins them together like a magician weaving a trick. By the end I was totally absorbed by this fairy tale world and I hope there will be sequels. This feels like a huge prologue to something truly fantastic, and so it's worth the investment to delve in deep.
If you love intricately described worlds and complex plotting then this is for you! It's another great book from Ross Mackenzie and one that sets-up a promising new series.