Enchanted, Inc.
Shanna Swendson
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Buy *Enchanted, Inc.* online

Enchanted, Inc.

Shanna Swendson
Ballantine
Paperback
320 pages
May 2005
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Imagine a world where magic exists, as do all sorts of magic folk: wizards, ogres, fairies, and gargoyles, among others. In this world, nearly everyone has some capacity for magic in them, including people like you and me. Of course, we canít actually DO magic, but we can be influenced by it, influenced not to recognize it or any of those magic folk I mentioned earlier. But there are a select few who lack any shred of magical ability, which means that, while they canít perform magic acts, they also canít be affected by them. They are known as immunes.

Katie Chandler happens to be one. Oh, sure, she didnít know this about herself for the longest time. Whenever this Texas girl would see a person with wings or a gargoyle who would move from building to building, she just assumed that they were part of New Yorkís large, odd community, and she refused to look like a hick by asking anyone about it. But one day she sees too many of these unusual people and gets herself noticed by an elite team from MSI, Inc. - Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Incorporated, that is.

If her first year spent in New York City wasnít quite what she had hoped for, largely because of a horrible boss, a long line of bad blind dates, and a strong sense of homesickness, her second year promises to be much more interesting. She joins MSI, Inc., in a battle against an evil wizard determined to unleash evil spells into the marketplace, and falls in lust with the adult version of Harry Potter. Owen Palmer bears very Harry-like qualities, including dark hair, blue eyes, orphan status, complete ignorance of his own appeal, and very remarkable powers. All he is missing is a scar on his forehead and an owl as a familiar.

Katie goes from being a hagís flunky to an important member of the verification department. Remember that only immunes are not affected by spells, illusions, or other magic tricks. It is up to them to make sure that the company isnít getting ripped off by a dishonest supplier or a sneaky client. Her outspokenness and intelligence quickly move her up the corporate ladder and into a dangerous situation. Even if it means that she gets to work more closely with Owen, she encounters another side of the magic community she is just getting to know.

Shanna Swendson has created a very clever, very entertaining heroine who is imminently likeable and very fun. Her common sense and lack of resemblance to any character on Sex and the City, which is what the subtitle of the book was obviously based on, are quite appealing. She isnít morally vacant, she isnít desperate for a man, despite the roommate-enforced blind dates, and she does put a lot of stock in sticking to her Texas values. Of course, I think she would abandon those values for a night with Owen, but hey, who wouldnít?

With solid writing, amazing detail to plot development, and a clever cast of characters, this is a very admirable debut novel. I sincerely hope that it is the first in a long line of Hex and the City books about Katie, Owen, and the others from MSI, Inc. I have just one question: why is it entitled Enchanted, Inc. when there is no reference to that name in the entire book? I do believe that Magic, Inc. would have been a more appropriate name.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Kelley Sittner Hartshorn, 2005

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