Sunday, October 22, 2006

Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson

Shanna Swendson
ISBN: 0-345-48125-9
Book #06-146

Katie Chandler is a Texas belle living in New York City. Her small-town sensibilities are baffled by New Yorkers' blase response to things that seem totally bizarre to her, like why everyone is ogling the ugliest guy in the bar as if he were Johnny Depp, or cute young women wearing fairy wings on the subway. It doesn't help that her boss is straight out of The Devil Wears Prada, nice one minute, and demon spawn from hell the next. Just when Katie has begun to think about going back to her family's seed and feed business in Texas, she gets a job offer online. With nothing to lose, she takes a meeting and ends up becoming the new go-to girl at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc.

Much to Katie's surprise, all the weird things she thought she was seeing are real. Her very ordinary view of life is a valuable asset to her new boss, because she sees through spells and illusions to the way things actually are. Suddenly, Katie is a key player in the battle against an evil merchandiser bent on putting black magic in stores everywhere. Her shy, cute co-worker is one of the most powerful magic-wielders, and together, they must come up with a plan to save the world.

Swendson's secondary characters are just as interesting as Katie, Owen, and the magical Mr. Mervyn. Anyone who's ever suffered through a bad fit on a blind date will appreciate Katie's married friend's attempts to find the perfect men for her former roommates. Swendson keeps the whimsy front and center, with a boss who really is an ogre, subway trains that arrive on request, and mundane reactions to magical events.

Sex and the City meets Ella Enchanted in this sweetly hilarious book from author Shanna Swendson. The good news is, the sequel is already in stores, and a third volume is due out next year. Paranormal lovers who need a break from the sturm und drang of the more intense stories currently available will almost certainly enjoy Swendson's amusing take on the magic of modern Manhattan.

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