The Enchantment Emporium (Enchantment Emporium 1) by Tanya Huff
|The Enchantment Emporium (Enchantment Emporium 1) by Tanya Huff|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: Excellent urban fantasy meets superior chick-lit with original ideas, fun, excitement and just the right amount of hunky luuurve. More Huff Emporium urb-chick-asy is coming soon and I can't wait!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: January 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
All the Gale family have powers and there are many in the clan, mostly women. This is one of the reasons that 24-year-old Allie (or Alysha Catherine Gale to the aunties) jumps at the chance of moving to the other side of Canada when her gran leaves her a junk shop. Ok, it may not be an ordinary junk shop and it could mean that Gran is dead but the fact that the love of her life has left her for a man makes her mind up. With the help of Joe O'Hallan, a tall leprechaun with a gift for selling yo-yos, Allie sorts out the Enchantment Emporium but once there she hasn't escaped all supervision. Indeed, someone is watching her closely; very closely indeed.
Tanya Huff is a Canadian fantasy author I've never heard of before this. (I know – shame on me!) However I plan to make up for that because the lady knows a thing or two about building and populating urban fantasy worlds.
More of that later, first a plea: don't be put off by the beginning. In order for us to fully realise the matriarchal dominance and hub-bub within the Gale family we're thrown into a gaggle of aunts and cousins head first. While working hard to try to absorb the parade of names and personalities, we may even think that the novel's taking a long time to communicate said dominant hub-bub. My advice is to relax – the novel gets so much better and we remember who we're meant to without any effort at all.
As the story develops we realise that each aunt/cousin has their own characteristics and skill set which, like a boy band soloist, will come to the fore when needed. See them not as a gaggle but pegs on which to hang future plot lines and then their multi-presence becomes something to embrace and anticipate. (In short future plotlines = future books = potentially more good stuff.)
Allie is a feisty lass who, despite being a Gale girl with all that implied team spirit, likes to go her own way. This is why she teams up with a leprechaun (her family don't generally go near full-blood fey), refuses to report a local sorcerer (sorcerers are notifiable events in the family code) and doesn't mention the dragons to anyone but she-cousin Charlie. (Who would want the full Gale gaggle on their doorstep?)
The powers of the Gales may be stuff we've seen before but how the family operates and multiplies is fresh and adds to the excitement as much as the well-envisaged ensemble cast.
As well as the lovely Joe, Michael the gay ex (I almost believe Allie didn't see that coming!) and the magically musical Charlie, we meet a particularly evil baddie named Stanley, Graham the hunky journalist, a particularly wayward mirror and, if hunk is your thing, watch out for criminologist cousin Dr David Gale as I'm sure we'll see a lot more of him.
One gets the feeling that Tanya has a blast writing these books, not just because of the humour rippling through, but because we can almost see the twinkle in her eye as she writes Charlie. It's all very tastefully and discretely done, but you may not want to lend this to youngsters to whom you don't want to explain certain moments.
The great thing is that we haven't been shown everything yet (in a pure sense… not like that). Between the excitement, giggles and nicely balanced unslushy romance, there are hints of character development and possible plot lines to leave us salivating and, trust me, salivating I am. In fact the only thing to worry about is that next time you think you hear wet sheets blowing in the wind; are you really, really sure?
We'd so like to thank Titan for providing us with a copy for review.
Further Reading: If you've enjoyed this then you will most definitely enjoy Stray Souls by Kate Griffin.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Enchantment Emporium (Enchantment Emporium 1) by Tanya Huff at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Enchantment Emporium (Enchantment Emporium 1) by Tanya Huff at Amazon.com.
The Enchantment Emporium (Enchantment Emporium 1) by Tanya Huff is in the Top Ten Fantasy Novels of 2014.
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