Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “You’d think by this point in my life I could no longer be shocked or embarrassed by what comes slithering out of her mouth, but somehow my mother always manages to top herself. “
Left Hand Magic picks up about 3 weeks after Right Hand Magic ended. Trust-fund baby Tate Eresby has made herself at home in Golgotham and in the arms of a sexy royal Kymeran prince. Tate had originally come to Golgotham, New York’s premiere paranormal underworld, because she needed a larger space to create her large metal sculptures. At the end of Right Hand Magic, we find out that Tate’s sculptures are “special” and a reporter’s article about that has resulted in Golgotham becoming a human tourist attraction. Not everyone is thrilled with this though. Humans, also called numps by the residents of Golgotham, don’t understand the residents or magic of Golgotham and tensions rise as prejudice and racism permeate the air.
Hexe does what he can to protect Tate and tries to convince her to head back to New York where she will be safe but she refuses to leave Golgotham or him. When Hexe’s evil uncle Easu begins a steady campaign to rid Golgotham of all humans, Tate gets caught in the middle and finds herself fighting for her love and her life.
Nancy Collins’ Left Hand Magic continues to build strength with its elaborate world building. We, along with Tate, learn more about this richly fascinating magical city that borders New York. Traditions, cultures, and history is further explored as Tate tries to fit in to her lover’s world. We see the problems that occurs when two worlds clash and two opposing police factions-The PTU (Paranormal Tactical Unit) and the NY police department-have to deal with it and each other. The story blends better this time around with the world building and the characters. A more emotional approach is taken in here and it reflects well on the story.
While I am still ambiguous to Hexe and Tate, I did feel that the secondary characters were better developed in this installment; adding more realism and a sense of anticipation to the story lines. More depth and personality is shown both in action and dialogue. Not to say I don’t like our protagonists because I do. It’s just there isn’t any real conflict or angst between them. They get along well and any problems are solved fast and amicably. Their romance is still giving me a YA feeling. It’s apparent that Ms. Collins chooses to highlight the world and the fantasy over the romance.
I loved seeing more of Hexe’s familiar, Scratch. A hairless sarcastic cat/demon who acts as though he would be very happy if Tate left and never came back. He adds some snarky humor to the story. We get more back story on Hexe’s mother, his father, and the reasons his uncle hates humans so much. We also see more of Tate’s parents who’s ties to Golgotham were a surprise. Tate does show some growth in here. She is more aware of her human limitations and acts wiser this go around.
The plot and sub plots are well paced and plenty of action keeps you on your toes. I found that we didn’t have the dead scenes or repetitiveness in here as was a problem in the first one. We are still getting some sub stories with random character introduction that doesn’t really add or deflect from the story but makes you wonder why they were added. The villain is known early on but I enjoyed watching how Ms. Collins weaves it all together for a climatic and interesting ending. Though this could be read as a stand alone, there is a continuing arc that might be confusing if your not starting at the beginning.
I enjoyed this foray back into Ms. Collin’s world and see that with each installment, the series is continuing to improve. I look forward to the next in the series.
Overall Rating: C+