The Wild Ways: An Enchantment Emporium Novel (Enchantment Emporium 2) by Tanya Huff
|The Wild Ways: An Enchantment Emporium Novel (Enchantment Emporium 2) by Tanya Huff|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: The Gale family is back in another urban fantasy. It may be less romantic than their last outing but just as action (and mystically) packed proving that different can be just as great.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: April 2014|
|Publisher: Titan Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Charlie Gale, the lass who has magic in her music (literally!), leaves the rest of the family behind to play at a Celtic festival on the Canadian coast. You can never leave the Gale family behind though even when the problem is an oil company drilling offshore in a seal sanctuary area. This may not be a popular occupation but the oil company has the clout to use a little leverage. Charlie pits herself against them with the help of a Selkie family but in the process (family link incoming) also pits herself against the formidable Aunt Catherine. Back home Allie is having trouble with Jack, the young sorcerer dragon they rescued from the underworld last time. Indeed, in the Gale households there's no such thing as peace and quiet anymore!
American fantasy writer Tanya Huff is back with a sequel to the Gale family's debut: The Enchantment Emporium. Remember last time I suggested that the plethora of aunts and cousins are multiple plot opportunities in the making? I guessed correctly, and believe me, that's not a complaint when the plots are like this.
Allie, the star of the first novel (and recently married to the hunky Graham) is still there in the background but this is Charlie's story. Charlotte Marie (as the aunts insist on calling her) is also someone we remember from before. (By the way, it makes sense to read the books in order so you don't miss out.) You know – she who makes odd things happen when she plays her guitars and fancies Allie for more than her home baking? (Yes, euphemism alert!) This time we get to know Charlie better, giving this novel a different feel but different doesn't mean bad.
Charlie isn't as prone to romance as Allie was, concentrating instead on her band and her repertoire. (No, that wasn't a euphemism!) However the power of big business distracts her from the music festival, giving us a reality moment as she faces the dark side of capitalism head on. Ok, this isn’t a documentary so perhaps, even with the help of Selkies, one girl taking on an oil company doesn't ring true but it's pointless looking for deep meanings or lessons here. This is well-crafted escapism and highly entertaining-belief-suspension stuff. (I should mention that the Selkies aren't another band but a fascinating mythical race that don't need music to get their way.)
Jack the sorcerer/dragon-half-Gale who ate his… in the last book (not going to spoil his debut for those who haven't read Book 1) is also back again whether Charlie wants him there or not. Jack's 14 and has teen struggles in the same way as everyone else; the effects are just that much more dramatic.
Along with the return of a particularly acrid baddie and that mirror with the cheeky sense of fun, the humorous banter is also back, as is Tanya's excellent world building. We see more of the near-xenophobia with which the aunts treat any non-Gales, even if they too have powers for good. We also learn more about the Gales' mystical circles of seniority. Allie may now have made it into the second circle through marriage, but there are fleeting tensions between the rellies and 'only' third circle Charlie.
Even the tiny details aren't forgotten. For instance it stands to reason that it's pointless assigning phone ring tones to someone who's perfectly capable of changing them remotely. It also makes trying to avoid them that bit harder!
Charlie may be the 'wild' one (the Gale with less honed, less predictable powers) but she does very nicely thank you. We're certainly left anticipating Book 3, When Future Falls in which the family have to join forces to really save the world. The only unfortunate thing is that we have to wait till November; that should test our patience!
Thank you Titan Books for providing us with a copy for review.
Further Reading: Goes without saying I'm going to recommend the first book if you haven't caught up with it yet. If you're already a fan, why not try some more superlative urban fantasy from across the pond, in the form of Dirty Magic: Prospero's War: Book One by Jaye Wells.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Wild Ways: An Enchantment Emporium Novel (Enchantment Emporium 2) by Tanya Huff at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Wild Ways: An Enchantment Emporium Novel (Enchantment Emporium 2) by Tanya Huff at Amazon.com.
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