By V.E. Schwab
New York, New York: Tor, 2015. 400 pp. Science Fiction
Kell is a magician, able to travel across parallel worlds, all of which have a city called London. A native of Red London, part of a world that is in balance with the forces of magic, he functions as a royal ambassador, sent on regular missions to realms he calls White London (a cold and colorless world struggling to retain an iron grip on magic) and Grey London (a world without magic with a mad King George III in the final years of his reign). In addition to his official duties, Kell indulges his passion for smuggling and exchanging curiosities to and from his Red London home. After agreeing a mysterious woman's request to carry a package back home, Kell quickly realizes that he has brought more than he bargained for. Travelling across Londons, he runs into and quickly partners with Lila Bard, a roguish young pickpocket with ambition. While not categorized as a YA novel, it reads as such. The story takes off quickly and is a page turner from start to finish. The milieu is clever and while somewhat lacking in detail, is well placed for further development as the series continues.