I received this book as a gift for my birthday but the fact it’s a hardback and so long put me off a bit, because I read most when I’m travelling. A week or so ago though it was part of a kindle deal for £1 so I finally decided to read it!
The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. It is the same every year. Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open! The Emporium opens with the first frost of winter. It is the same every year. Across the city, when children wake to see ferns of white stretched across their windows, or walk to school to hear ice crackling underfoot, the whispers begin: the Emporium is open!
I want to start by saying how wonderfully imaginative this book is, every detail is so magical and I really felt immersed in the world and story, the narrator quite literally invites you to explore the Emporium and reading it made me want to step into the pages and live there. The writing style, although slow at times, is beautiful, everything described comes across so vivid and reading about all of the toys really hit me with nostalgia of playing games with my family as a child. This is the perfect read at this time of year, for the majority of it is set in winter, making this book a fantastic Christmas gift.
It’s a very character driven story, and there’s plenty of characters to read about, the sibling rivalry in this is one of the best I’ve ever read but I felt as though the whole dynamic between all of the characters slowed down in the middle of the story but came back wonderfully at the end. Papa Jack really reminded me of Hagrid from HP, because for all he is gruff and a huge man, he has a kind heart and hearing his backstory was incredibly sad.
My main issue with this book was the length of it, for all I adored the vivid descriptions it did seem to drag in places and I often found myself skim reading parts of the page and wishing the book was just a tad shorter, especially after the first 200 pages.
Overall this is one of the finest magical-realism stories I have ever read and to anyone young-at-heart or longing for some childhood nostalgia I beg you to read this. Although there are things I would change about it I cannot ignore the creativity and clear passion Dinsdale has for this world and it’s characters.