Book Review: The Nowhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie

This book though. Steph picked me an amazing list to read in September, and this was probably my favourite of them all.


“The shop from nowhere arrived with the dawn on a crisp November morning.”

I loved it from this opening line, and it only got better.

The Nowhere Emporium appears at random. Anyone can visit and explore what it has to offer; all they need to bring is their imagination. Everyone who visits forgets everything they’ve seen there, and even that the Emporium exists once they have left. Everyone, that is, until Daniel Holmes.

Daniel takes shelter in the Emporium from a gang of bullies. Then returns a few days later, remembering everything he saw. The owner of the Emporium, Lucien Silver, is astounded. He offers Daniel a job working for him, and thus begins Daniel’s great adventure.

I loved everything about this book. Everything.

The Nowhere Emporium is a brilliant celebration of the power of the imagination. Anything that Daniel writes into the special book becomes part of the Emporium. Oh how I would love a book like that.

Daniel befriends Lucien’s daughter Ellie. Their relationship is strained at first because she is envious of the way her father treats Daniel, and the way that Lucien keeps her at arms-length, not allowing her to leave the Emporium, but not allowing her to fully be a part of it either.

The story is told from two perspectives: the present day with Lucien silver, and the past with Vindictus Sharpe. The chapters alternate between the two, so the link between them is slowly and teasingly revealed to the reader. Soon after we realise what links the two, Lucien disappears leaving behind a half-burned note. It is up to Daniel and Ellie to rescue him and save the Emporium from falling apart without its master.

The Nowhere Emporium has everything I want from a middle grade read: characters I adored and rooted for, a fantastic setting and a gripping, page-turner of an adventure. I could not put this book down once I started it and I cannot wait to read more from this world.



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