♥Xeni♥'s Reviews > The Enchantment Emporium

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff
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's review
Jan 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: magic, fiction, paranormal, ebook, fantasy, urban-fantasy, romance
Recommended to ♥Xeni♥ by: Paula
Read from January 24 to 27, 2011 , read count: 1

Alright, well, I've been trying to figure out what to write about this book every since I finished it last night. The reason it's so hard? For all that it's urban fantasy, it was really really good but at the same time had some big lacking mistakes!

Let me see if I can detail it down a bit more:

The characters were very vivid. The book starts out thrust into the life of the Gale family (with out much ado, or explanation) and their interactions read like a fast-moving sitcom. It took a while to get used to, and on the one hand it was rather nice, but since action and words were flying forward together in a mismatched mess, writing a group dialog like that was also very difficult to read. I had to reread sections where there were more than just 3 or so characters talking because it was rather unclear at times.

Another note about the dialog: it was amateurish. I'm sad to say this, but there were times when a run on sentence was definitely not the way that the characters actually talked, but Huff wrote them in like that. And not just once or twice, but often. Or when it came to Allie's thoughts, she would very often not break them apart evenly. If you read the dialog / thoughts as though you were talking / thinking like a pre-teenager, then things made sense. But otherwise I was a bit lost at times.

I wish, on the one hand, that Huff had given us a bit of an introduction to the Gale family. Like a "this is how they work" prologue or something. On the other hand, I'm glad that she didn't and that I had to work to piece the bits of information tossed my way together. Although, by the time the book was over, I was aching for a bit more clarity when it came to Gale girls and the things they work over Gale boys, etc. For instance, I'm not sure if it was incest or just something else going on in the family. It's referred to many times, but never explicitly stated. Also, the whole sex magic thing left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. I don't want to think about 80-something year old's having sex with their 20-year old nephews! At least Huff didn't write this in with a negative point of view (see V C Andrew's and the topic of incest) so I could ignore the fact that they were all related for the most part (when it came to the sex allusions).

Moving on: the plot. The plot was exciting, riveting and for the most part, I was thinking "wow, so much has happened and in such a short while!!" The book is a regular tempest moving forward with plenty happening on every page! If it isn't about the love life of the characters, it's about what is going on with the city (magically and physically) or other things moving forward. Even if nothing is happening, there is always a yo-yo that gets sold! (There is, supposedly, a joke about yo-yos going on in this book, but I never noticed anything. Except that they get sold a pretty high rate, and we never see the buyers.)

I enjoyed the plot, up until things just started to feel like they were spinning out of control. I don't want to get into details since it would be spoiler-y but I was glad that Huff managed to wrap things up in a (relatively) fast way.

The setting wasn't up to par. I don't know if I would have picked such an insignificant town and then made everything happen there. It's just so Buffy and Sunnydale, that it bugged me. And the way that all the characters kept saying "Things are happening in Calgary." like it was just expected, grated on my nerves. Yes, things happen in small towns, but not a sorcerer, Dragon Lords, a Gale family branch and then all that they come with! It's just a bit too convenient.

Writing style and Organization: To be honest, the writing style bugged me. Not in a sense of "I can't read this story anymore" like I usually get, but rather more like "I feel like I'm reading the words of a 14 year old". I've read enough of that online, I don't want to be reading that much of inferior writing in a published work (by an author who clearly has managed to make her way in the publishing world). And it's not like this was her first book published... the publishing date is 2009, so unless she wrote it when she was 14, then tried to clean it up a bit and just recently published it, there is really no excuse. The organization of the writing was better than the actual writing. There were some things lacking (like a general introduction into Gale family life) but when it came to the plot it was amazingly well organized. Huff definitely stayed on top of the plot.

In general, this seemed like an inferior Sarah Addison Allen. There were bits and pieces of those sparks of family and friendship life that Allen is known for, but not in quite as charming a manner. I don't think that I'll be reading this book again, although it did make an impression on me (not altogether a bad one). It was an enjoyable read, but I had hoped for more.

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Reading Progress

11.0% "Well, I am almost done with the introduction part. I gotta agree with Paula (the friend who read this before me) that the whole incest thing is a bit odd... it's not even displayed as incest... just as "choose one of our girls" and "the girls couldn't resist the males" and such!"
15.0% "Things are going rather predictably... but it's good"
48.0% "It's odd but somehow charming as well!"
50.0% "There is something really odd about this book... it's actually interesting! I had long ago given up PNR but this is actually quite fun and interesting. The author writes her characters as though they are actually walking around and talking (very realistic) and I'm not sure if I like that yet. It'd a bit hard to keep track of who is who, anyway! Otherwise it's great!"
84.0% "It is PACKED with action! And the characters are awesome. I almost wish the story was over already, because so freakin much has happened. But at the same time I want the story to never end! :D"
92.0% "The big showdown battle is about to begin! Can I finish it tonight? Will I finish it tonight? Will they all live happily ever after? Which main character must die? All these questions shall be answered for your viewing pleasure after the break!"

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