Christopher Nuttall's A Life Less Ordinary was published by Elsewhen Press as an e-book in May 2013. The paperback edition was published in September 2013.
Information about Christopher Nuttall:
Christopher Nuttall has been planning sci-fi books since he learned to read. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Chris created an alternate history website and eventually graduated to writing full-sized novels. Studying history independently allowed him to develop worlds that hung together and provided a base for storytelling. After graduating from university, Chris started writing full-time. As an indie author, he has self-published a number of novels. The Royal Sorceress was the first of his novels to be published by Elsewhen Press. Chris is currently living in Borneo with his wife, muse, and critic Aisha.
Click here to visit the author's official website.
Click here to visit the author's blog.
Information about A Life Less Ordinary:
There is magic in the world, hiding in plain sight. If you search for it, you will find it, or it will find you. Welcome to the magical world.
Having lived all her life in Edinburgh, the last thing 25-year old Dizzy expected was to see a man with a real (if tiny) dragon on his shoulder. Following him, she discovered that she had stumbled from her mundane world into a parallel magical world, an alternate reality where dragons flew through the sky and the Great Powers watched over the world. Convinced that she had nothing to lose, she became apprenticed to the man with the dragon. He turned out to be one of the most powerful magicians in all of reality.
But powerful dark forces had their eye on this young and inexperienced magician, intending to use her for the ultimate act of evil – the apocalyptic destruction of all reality. If Dizzy does not realise what is happening to her and the worlds around her, she won’t be able to stop their plan. A plan that will ravage both the magical and mundane worlds, consuming everything and everyone in fire.
A REVIEW OF CHRISTOPHER NUTTALL'S A LIFE LESS ORDINARY
Christopher Nuttall's A Life Less Ordinary is a charmingly fresh take on urban fantasy, because it isn't your normal kind of urban fantasy. In my opinion this book is much closer to classic urban fantasy than modern urban fantasy and that's a good thing (this book reminds me quite a lot of traditional fantasy books, because most of the happenings take place in the magical world).
I don't normally read much urban fantasy, because I've often been more or less disappointed with the quality of several urban fantasy books (in my opinion too many urban fantasy books recycle the same elements and plot twists), but every once in a while I come across books that are too good and entertaining to be missed. A Life Less Ordinary is one of these good books, because it differs nicely from other urban fantasy books.
Here's a bit of information about A Life Less Ordinary:
A Life Less Ordinary is a story about Dizzy and her adventures in the magical Edinburgh. Dizzy's life changes totally when she sees a man, Master Revels, on the street and follows him. Master Revels tells Dizzy that she is one of the few people who have the gift of magic. He begins to teach Dizzy. Master Revels works for the Thirteen and Dizzy and helps him. During their investigations they discover something weird and begin to investigate it...
Dizzy is the protagonist of this book. Christopher Nuttall writes entertainingly about her life and education. It was nice to read about Dizzy's education, because she had lots of things to learn. Her learning process takes time and she makes mistakes, but also learns from them. I think it's nice that the author shows that using magic in the wrong way may be dangerous and there may be consequences if one acts in a reckless way.
One of the best things about this book is that the author pays attention to Dizzy's education and life, and doesn't rush things. There's plenty of action, but it feels natural.
I enjoyed reading about how Dizzy and Master Revels investigated abductions etc and worked for the Thirteen that tried to keep up the balance in the magical world. 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.
Christopher Nuttall shows his readers a bit different kind of Edinburgh, an alternate Edinburgh where magic is real. Elves, goblins, fairies, vampires, gnomes, dragons and other strange and magical creatures inhabit the magical world, but mundane people aren't able to see them. There's an amazing amount of different races, beings and creatures in the magical world and it was fun to read about them.
The magical world is different from mundane world in many ways. There are laws and rules in the magical world that differ quite a lot from mundane laws and rules. It's possible to do things that normally wouldn't be possible, but there are certain common rules that everybody must respect, because a balance must be preserved.
The author writes interestingly about the different places and factions within the magical world. Such things and terms as the Thirteen and the Sisterhood are explained nicely. The author also writes well about religious things and politics, because avoids writing too much about them, which is nice.
I like the way Christopher Nuttall writes about magic and explains things to the reader. 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 his readers with descriptions of how Dizzy learns to use magic and what kind of mistakes she makes. He also writes well about how normal people aren't able to see magic or don't understand that they've seen magic.
The relationship between Dizzy and Master Revels is explored in an interesting way, because it's a relationship between a teacher and a student. This relationship feels fresh, because Master Revels has his own teaching methods and Dizzy isn't always as patient as she should be.
Christopher Nuttall also handled well the relationship between Dizzy and the half-elf (Cardonel), and showed his readers how much Dizzy's master despises half-elves and elves. I enjoyed reading about Dizzy and Cardonel and how their relationship matured gradually.
Christopher Nuttall'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.
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.
I think 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 (he uses this kind of material to spice up the story).
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.
The author has interesting things to say about elves and half-elves, because in this book things aren't as simple as one might think. His vision of elves is a bit darker than normally, because he describes elves as dangerous beings. 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.
It was intriguing to read about the world of the elves and how humans were treated there, because the fate of the humans who broke the rules was horrible. I especially enjoyed reading about how Dizzy felt about the world of the elves and what she had to endure there.
A Life Less Ordinary is essential reading material for everybody who has read Christopher Nuttall's other fantasy books (Bookworm and The Royal Sorceress series). If you haven't read Christopher Nuttall yet, this book is a good place to start, because it's delightfully entertaining fantasy for adults (if you like this book, please make sure that you'll read the author's other books too, because they're similar kind of entertainment).
In my honest opinion A Life Less Ordinary is a charming and entertaining fantasy book for adults that offers perfect escapism and relaxation for a few hours. I've always liked this kind of fantasy entertaiment, because it's relaxing to read entertaining books. I think this book will remind many readers of how much fun it can be to read a good and entertaining book, because it's pure entertainment from start to finish. I give this book strong four stars for its entertainment values.
Good fantasy entertainment!