Review: Left Hand Magic by Nancy A. Collins

January 16, 2012 Review 2 ★★★

Review: Left Hand Magic by Nancy A. CollinsLeft Hand Magic by Nancy A. Collins
Series: Golgotham #2
Genres: Adult, Romantic, Urban Fantasy
Excerpt: Excerpt
Published by Roc Source: Publisher
Reviewed by: Julia
3 Stars

Sexual content

Attempted rape and references to sex.

Artist Tate Eresby has accepted the unusual sights and sounds of Golgotham, New York's paranormal underworld. But her relationship with witch-lord Hexe, the current heir to the Kymeran throne, is full of tension. Hexe's Uncle Esau is an anti-human activist who believes Tate is a human enemy of his race.

But Tate's time in Golgotham has left her more than human...

A sweet Roman Holiday with a paranormal bent, LEFT HAND MAGIC delivers both magic and social justice with a hefty dose of youthful enthusiasm.  Hexe and Tate, charming products of very privileged upbringings, are a bit more starry eyed than I can relate to.  Despite that, I found them both love-able (if a bit silly) as they stand up against injustice, their families, and the expectations of the world at large.

Though the world building and magic didn’t blow me away (the mechanics of a magical New York neighborhood that *hadn't* been invaded by hipsters seemed a bit shaky), I found the politics of Golgotham fascinating.  Collins paints a vivid picture of prejudice and fear spinning out of control.  The story was made all the more effective by a fun supporting cast.  The fanny-pack wearing centaur, the demonic familiar and love-lorn maenad were each irresistible.  Even Tate and Hexe were their own brands of exotic creatures: young and idealistic and privileged.  I found them equal parts frustrating and fun. The introduction of Tate’s Boston terrier Beanie just about sums up the couple: Tate gives lip service to the “life altering responsibility” of owning a pet but within seconds is in rapturous love with the surprise puppy (and occupied with accessorizing and status-updating her new arrival). This split second decision in no way negatively impacts the household, just like every other quick-on-the-draw decision Tate makes.  I did find Tate to be a little shallow (outside of her social justice crusade), and Hexe’s beta hero persona never particularly charmed me either.  He’s at best the harmless, generous boyfriend that makes Tate’s “rebellion” possible.

Don’t let my harsh characterization of Tate and Hexe’s relationship fool you, however, they in no way dragged the story down.  The politics of Golgotham clashing with “normal” New York had me at the edge of my seat all the way through.  Though this was my first taste of the Golgotham series, I had no trouble falling I to the story.  I don’t think Tate and Hexe interest me enough to go back and read book one, but I am invested enough in the fate of the city to pick up book three when it appears.

2 Responses to “Review: Left Hand Magic by Nancy A. Collins”

  1. SciFiGuy

    Haven't read Nancy Collins in years. This new series sounds like it is worth a try. Thanks for the review.

  2. Julia

    What were her early books like, SciFi? I had a hard time not peppering this review with references beyond Roman Holiday. Flavors of Harry Potter, Paris Hilton… I enjoyed this book a lot, but deconstructing why was tricky…