I’m Cranky Because: I am taking part in a challenge where magic/witchcraft has to be the central focus of a book. This book was on a list of examples, and it sounded fun, light, easy. My library didn’t have it, but eventually let me know they had acquired a digital copy. Someone got it before I did, so after a couple of weeks, it was mine to read. (So far, this isn’t really what made me cranky.)
So apparently, this Texas girl decides to join her Texan college friends in the big city: New York City, to be exact. Post graduation, she had been working as the marketer and jill-of-all-trades at her parents’ feed/seed/ranch store. When the opportunity arose, she decided to join her buds in NY and see if she could, indeed, make it anywhere. Her parents, we are told throughout the story, weren’t very keen on this; in fact, there is a lot of to-do made of the weirdos, crazies and unsafe persons who populate this scary place. Our heroine, Katie, starts seeing these folks immediately. No one else gives them a second glance, so, in order to not look like a tourist, she plays along.
Katie works as a put-upon assistant to a horrible boss. She wants to find a new job, and lo and behold, she starts receiving soliciting emails about the job of a lifetime. Spam, certainly. But when she meets the sender in person, and he knows too much about her, it gets creepy. (Apparently not creepy enough to keep her from pursuing more information about this job, though.) One thing leads to another, and she finds out that magic is real, and all those “crazy” people she’s seen? They’re fairies, wizards…gargoyles. And they need her to help them.
The Bottom Line: I kept waiting for something, anything, to happen in this story. The set up was very long, with so many potential ways the plot could be taken. There’s the super handsome wizard who can’t speak without blushing (unless he’s talking business); Merlin is brought out of retirement; there is magic in the world; there’s a rogue former employee who is bent on creating spells that go against the rules; elves and other magical creatures really exist; there are many frogs in Central Park who need a kiss. To say absolutely nothing happened would be hyperbole; there was a narrative and action and things moved from the first page to the last. It’s just that nothing happened, meaning there was a lot of talk and explanations, and the peaks of excitement were the size of anthills.
The characters were not well developed. I found Katie to be hickish, boring and plucky. (FYI – plucky is annoying, if coupled with hickish and boring). She doesn’t have a boyfriend, apparently all men she dates see her more like a sister, and her roommates occupy themselves with trying to find someone to date her. Then there’s her grinding job. The whole build-up of information seems long-winded and completely wasted. I really figured we’d see those characters again in this book. And the most tiresome was the constant descriptions of how handsome, adorable, blushing, strong, manly, and awesome Owen was. That was a complete non-starter, and I really dislike being strung along. If that relationship had been allowed to flourish even just a tiny bit, it would have improved this book.
Let’s solve problems through a good marketing campaign! Sounds like a weird episode of Gidget.
Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson was published May 31, 2005 by Ballantine Books. Ink and Page picked this book up from the library, so no one had a choice about whether it was reviewed.
Genre: Adult/New Adult Fiction Fantasy Paranormal Romance?