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Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson (2005)
Enchanted, Inc. (2005)
by Shanna Swendson (blog.)
Paperback Edition
Publication Date: May 31st, 2005
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Buy a copy via Amazon.
Synopsis from Goodreads.

Katie Chandler had always heard that New York is a weird and wonderful place, but this small-town Texas gal had no idea how weird until she moved there. Everywhere she goes, she sees something worth gawking at and Katie is afraid she’s a little too normal to make a splash in the big city. Working for an ogre of a boss doesn’t help.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, Katie gets a job offer from Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc., a company that tricks of the trade to the magic community. For MSI, Katie’s ordinariness is an asset. Lacking any bit of magic, she can easily spot a fake spell, catch hidden clauses in competitor’s contracts, and detect magically disguised intruders. Suddenly, average Katie is very special indeed.

My Thoughts:
After reading a few dark novels about sociopaths and serial killers, I desperately needed a recovery book. So when Christina (A Reader of Fictions) mentioned recommended Enchanted Inc., I picked it up from the library immediately. It just sounded like oodles of fun with a dash of romance and magic thrown in…and that was exactly what it was. Although I adore a fun chick-lit novel any day, the last one I read was Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number about six months ago, and I didn’t realize how much I missed the genre until I devoured Enchanted Inc.

Enchanted Inc. is a funny novel. I love Katie’s quirk, wry sense of humor; she just made the entire novel a pleasure to read from the first page and I was grinning from ear to ear. The best thing is that none of the jokes is at the expense of embarrassing situations or stupid decisions. Katie relies on her wit, not tripping over a rock to be funny.

Magic, the New Plastic Surgery:
In a world where gargoyles are your bodyguards, fairies bump into you in bars, and gnomes are your co-workers, life can be very interesting. But magic is primarily illusions (along with some casual spells), and anything magic is somehow masked to the normal civilian. I love the whimsical take on magic, nobody is brewing lizard eyeballs or drinking disgusting potions.

I still don’t grasp the idea of magic too well though. If you are skilled enough, you can conjure coffee on a whim, but normal people won’t see it…so what happens if a normal person bumps into you while you are drinking that magical coffee–do they have hot coffee spilled on them? Where is the coffee coming from? And talking to a gargoyle is masked as well, which makes me wonder when the gargoyle knows someone is talking to it so he knows to mask them. Doesn’t make much sense to me, but when does magic make perfect sense anyway.

Marketing is Easy as Pie:
At one point, Katie uses her limited marketing expertise to advertise for her new company. Here is where I felt she just had it too easy with her amateur, marketing skills. It seemed more luck than talent really. A change of packaging and a few brochures? I don’t really see how that would solve anything since the company already has a monopoly. You might has well just squash the start-ups into bankruptcy with low costs. They are a big corporation, they can afford it.

EPIC Final Showdown…not really:
This was my main gripe. I didn’t care for the intellectual property sub-plot line at all. And that final showdown? Not only did it feel random, it just didn’t work. And then all of a sudden it was over–talk about melodramatic.

Adorable Romance:
It’s chick-lit! It wouldn’t do not to have a cute romance thrown in. There also might be a love-triangle in the making, even though the second guy was thrown in the mix abruptly. I am rooting for Owen, because his shy demeanor just makes him vulnerable–and positively adorable. As for the other guy, I will have to find out more about the guy to make a judgment. Sometimes I wonder if Katie is being an unreliable narrator and Owen actually likes her more than she realizes. I hope that’s not just wistful thinking on my part. Meanwhile, Katie’s friends and co-workers drag her to blind dates and frog kissing hoping to find her the One.

Overall, a fun story, absolutely adorable romance with a smart protagonist. An absolute pleasure to read, but sub-plot just left more to be desired. Next book please!

Rating: B

Spoilery Thoughts I Need To Get Out of My System
What court do you go to for spell plagiarizing that won’t think you’re being ridiculous?