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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TBR Day: Enchanted, Inc by Shanna Swendson

Today is the first day of the 2009 TBR Day Challenge, hosted by avidbookreader. This year she's changed the focus a little to be more geared towards romance, which is fine, but I was not able to meet this month's challenge which was Category Romances. (If you're not a big romance reader, this means the Harlequins and other little paperback romances that are new every month.) Short of going out to my garage and raiding the incredibly old TBR out there, I didn't have even ONE category book on my shelves. I decided to go with a chick lit style book assuming there would be some romance in it.

Enchanted, Inc by Shanna Swendson is a cute little book. It seems like a cross between real urban fantasy (Briggs, Hamilton, Butcher) and fun chick lit like Kinsella and Meg Cabot. The basic plot is that Katie is a normal girl from Texas who moves to New York and discovers that magic is real. Unlike most people, Katie is immune to magic, which means she doesn't see illusions and she does see things like fairies and gargoyles. Katie assumed that the weird things she was seeing was just weird New Yorkers and that since she was the "hick" that she would eventually become accustomed to seeing them. As it turned out, most people don't see what she does. This makes her valuable to the magic side because she can run interference for them and see when someone is trying to pull something over on them.

There's a little bit of a romance in the book, but I certainly wouldn't classify it as a romance. Throughout the entire book there are different potential suitors- her roommate fixes her up every weekend, her boss is hot, her other boss is charming (but it's an illusion!), she kisses a frog who becomes (what else?) a prince. There isn't a sequential falling in love storyline in this one, but when I went to Amazon for the link just now I noticed that it's a series of 4 books, so I assume it'll be a running thread through the entire series.

As with all fantasy, there is a point where you have to suspend disbelief and just go with the magical elements. For the most part, I thought the author did a good job of explaining it to be believable, but then she'd throw in a little detail that was an exception to the rule. The exception would be there solely to move the plot along, sometimes with details that could have just been left out entirely. She occasionally talked around the explanation in a way that seemed purposely hard to follow and I got the feeling that we were just supposed to take it at face value and not try to parse out the explanation. This doesn't bother me too much, as it IS a light weight fantasy. It's not trying to be Harry Potter or Kim Harrison's excellent world. It's a slim book, 308 pages, there's just not a lot of time to full flesh out the details. I would assume she does so in the later books.

Overall a good book, but not a great one. If you enjoy both Kim Harrison and Meg Cabot, I think you'd enjoy it. If you like a little more meat to your fantasy, skip it.


  1. I don't like Harlequins but I do enjoy Kinsella's work. This one does look like fun.

  2. Looks cute for those days that you want something fun but not too deep.

  3. This sounds like a cute one, Lisa. I read books like this sometimes. Kim Harrison is an author I would like to try soon, but I admit I haven't given much thought to reading anything by Meg Cabot as that hasn't really appealed to me.

  4. I think this sounds like a fun read. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the review :)

  5. It had been YEARS since I read a Harlequin, so I decided to give one a try last month. I've been reading several genres that I previously dismissed, so I thought that maybe Harlequins weren't as bad as I remembered. Ugh, was I wrong! I still don't enjoy them.

    As for "Enchanted Inc.", I've always been attracted to books and movies that have a magical element so I may give this a try.


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