I admit it is my first Nix title, and I've been meaning to get around the Angel Mage for quite some time now (and I now will get around to it, very soon!). More importantly, this is a title that fits my research profile in a developing line of thinking around how magic and landscape mutually infuse and inform within a certain strand or tradition in fantasy writing. This obviously goes along with Faerie in general, and with Tolkien's work standing at an origin point. Think Lothlorien and the Elves, and how time moves in that part of Middle Earth (if you are familiar with it), and you will start to get the gist of the tradition to which I allude, and to which I argue Nix is a part.
I've not been to Lake Windermere, and did not know its old name until I read this book, nor did I know that a spirit sleeps beneath Old Man of Coniston, though it should have been obvious from its name. This book is a geographical treasure trove exploring ideas around various interrelated kinds of magic held not only in books themselves, but in the names of things, as communicated down through time from the old days. I did not find any of this corny, and I think this is because the young adult reader today is an extremely discerning one. Furthermore, it could lead one to things like maps, if one were so inclined (and I am). The magic, from what I can tell, is innovative, and avoids cliches associated with the genre. Why do knife, blood, and salt in combination result in a 'holding spell'? They don't on their own: they also require application of the combo by a person 'with powers'. And precisely how all of these characters came to have theirs is a mystery not really even worth digging into because it would spoil the fun.
The fun comes from immersing yourself into a carefully crafted world with consistent rules and frequent application of them. What you get then, is an excellent curation of effects, alongside some psychedelic characters emanating out of a possible 1983: think paisley, mini-Coopers, London black cabs, and whole lot more firearms than we are used to stumbling across in the UK. Think tons of fun and real page turner, and then you might really want to pick up this book, regardless of your age. It's well worth the price of admission.