Ten-year-old Daniel lives a lonely and miserable life at the orphanage where he spends most of his time trying to avoid Spud Harper and his gang of bullies. Everything changes when Daniel stumbles into the Nowhere Emporium, an impossible shop that appears from nowhere and amazes those that enter with its wonders within. Recruited by Lucien Silver - the shop’s mysterious owner - as an apprentice, Daniel's eyes are soon opened to a magical world of wonder and infinite possibilities.
But when Lucien disappears and a vengeful stranger from the past reappears, the shop and all of its wonders face terrible danger. Will Daniel be able to save the shop and his new friends before everything disappears forever…
Magic-filled, fantastical and brilliant, The Nowhere Emporium will enchant and delight, all the author asks is that you ‘Bring Your Imagination.’ Ross MacKenzie’s tale of an orphaned boy, an impossible shop where those who enter remember nothing of their visit, and a mysterious illusionist, dazzles and amazes as much as the wonders that lie within the magical rooms of the shop itself. The world-building is exquisite, the storytelling is exciting and the setting is utterly enchanting. I was completely spell-bound and you will be too!
Once you enter MacKenzie’s world - that is accessed through a sumptuous front cover and a cutaway that reveals some of the magic just waiting inside - events unfold thick and fast and as the clever plot unveils secrets from the past and the present, there is plenty to keep you reading and wondering what will happen next. Magic, fantasy, awe and wonderment sparkle from every page and with a cold and calculating villain lurking in the shadows, a twist, a turn or a surprise is never too far away.
The shop, fuelled by peoples’ imaginations, is a glorious world to get lost in and it is easy to slip into the adventure alongside Daniel and new friend Ellie. The Nowhere Emporium is childhood imagination and wonder at its finest; eye-opening sights of fire-breathers, jugglers and snake-charmers roam the corridors; wondrous smells of chocolate, pipe smoke and cinnamon fill the air; and those with the ‘gift’ use the ‘Book of Wonders’ to create rooms filled with things that can only be dreamt up in the wildest of imaginations; you never know what will be lying behind any of the numerous doors in the shop - could be marvellous, could be magical, could be malevolent.
Brilliantly imaginative and imaginatively brilliant! Suspense, magic, mystery and thrills are all in store in this fast-paced and sometimes dark fantasy narrative that can all be enjoyed for just a small price of your imagination. The Nowhere Emporium guarantees an experience like no other, just don’t hold on to any hope of being able to remember any of it.
Recommended for 9+.