“perfect escapism” – Review of A Life Less Ordinary on Risingshadow

Cover image dragons by Alison Buck. Edinburgh photograph: Shaiith/shutterstock.com
Cover image dragons by Alison Buck. Edinburgh photograph: Shaiith/shutterstock.com

In a review of A Life Less Ordinary, Seregil of Rhiminee says this book by Christopher Nuttall is a “is a charmingly fresh take on urban fantasy” set in a “different kind of Edinburgh, an alternate Edinburgh where magic is real” that will remind readers of “how much fun it can be to read a good and entertaining book, because it’s pure entertainment from start to finish”.

Commenting that one of the best things about the book is that the “relationship between Dizzy and Master Revels is explored in an interesting way” and the author “doesn’t rush things. There’s plenty of action, but it feels natural”, Seregil “enjoyed reading about how Dizzy and Master Revels investigated abductions etc and worked for the Thirteen … All this was part of Dizzy’s education, because her master was teaching her to take his place. The author writes interestingly about how Dizzy finds out new things about the world and how she feels about what’s happening to her and around her. She’s a brave a young woman, but she’s a bit impatient and doesn’t always make the right choices.”

Seregil says Christopher’s writing style is “interesting, because he uses elements that are usually found in young adults book and blends them with elements that can be found in adult books. There are authors who have tried this kind of writing style and have failed, but Christopher Nuttall succeeds in it” and goes on “There’s a nice amount of humour in this book. In my opinion Christopher Nuttall has a talent for writing light-hearted and humorous scenes.” Adding “He has an ability to write surprisingly richly and fluently about magic and all things related to magic. He clearly seems to love writing about magic and wants to entertain”, illustrated by the vision of elves in A Life Less Ordinary, “In this book elves are magical creatures who have little regard towards humans and use humans for their own entertainment and experiments. This is wonderfully refreshing.”

Reinforcing the idea that this is urban fantasy for adults, Seregil thinks “it’s nice that the author has had courage to write about sex, sexual situations and nudity. He writes amazingly boldly about these things and doesn’t shy away from difficult material” adding “I also find it interesting that the author has managed to add a few macabre elements (horrifying experiments on human bodies) to the storyline. These elements are common in dark fantasy and horror books (and also in certain epic and new weirdish fantasy books), but they are seldom found in urban fantasy books.”

In summary, Seregil describes A Life Less Ordinary as “delightfully entertaining fantasy for adults”.

You can read the full review on Risingshadow here.