Wayne's Reviews > The Enchantment Emporium

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff
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's review
May 14, 2012

really liked it
Read from April 29 to May 14, 2012

This is the first book in a new series by Huff. Allie Gale has just inherited her grandmother's shop in Calgary and she moves away from hearth and home and a big pile Gale girls to go run the shop. Or, at least to find out what's Gran was up to. Dragons and sorcerers and leprechauns start showing up. As do more Gale girls and Gale boys, to help Allie. She doesn't let the Gale aunties come, since they'll just meddle and cause more trouble. Things got hot and hairy and Allie is hard-pressed to keep control of the situation, all the while falling in lurrrve.

I liked this book a lot. Shoot, it's Huff, so it's bound to be good. I'm looking forward to the second (and third? fourth? fifth?) in the series. It has the hallmarks of Huff's writing -- excellent story, good characters, strong female characters, interesting ideas.

This is written in an interesting way. It's third-person. The dialog is all, "'Blah blah', Charlie said." It's never, "'Blah blah', I said." However, lots of the non-dialog text feels strongly like it's internal monologue you'd get in first-person. Is this just Huff? Is it a common style now? Has it been like this for decades? I dunno. It's not bad, but I don't think I want to read a huge amount like this.

There were a couple things that really bugged me. One is spoileriffic, the others aren't.

Spoiler free: I got really tired of all the "Gale girls this" and "Gale boys that" references. I didn't ever count, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was at least one like that on 95% of the pages. Okay, they're family-oriented, but man was it overdone. Also, there were a few things whose explanations were spread out much too far. The explanations about the circles? Too spread out throughout the book and they started too late in the book. Okay, maybe you don't want to give that explanation right away, but it wasn't critical to the story, it wasn't critical to where it came in, it should have been much earlier.

Beware! Here Be Spoiler!

Not a critical one though.

I really disliked what happened with Allie, Graham, and the leprechaun. (Joe? I'll call him Joe because I think that's his name.) It felt wrong.

Allie is built up to be very strongly family oriented. Not just her, all the Gale girls and all the Gale boys are family oriented. Family loyalty is really important, even if you don't like the cousin or aunt or whoever. This is established early.

Along comes Joe the Leprechaun and Allie kind of adopts him, unofficially, unexplicitly. Adopt may be too strong a word, but she is already in a protective mode for Joe.

Graham threatens Joe, puts a gun to his head and is willing to kill him.

Allie gets upset by the threat and the gun-to-the-head, but heavens to murgatroid! Graham is hot! He's got gorgeous eyes, and he's just soooo lovely!

The book makes clear that Allie, the Gale girls, and the Gale boys are all pretty closely in touch with their brains' lust lobes. But dagnabbit, Joe was kindasorta almost family and he was seriously threatened, and Allie goes all gooshy for the threatener. It really, really felt like she was betraying a family member.

This was such a shock that it threw me out of the book. I finished it and really liked it, but I lost a lot of sympathy for Allie with that betrayal. I'd have given the book five stars -- even with all the annoying Gale girls/Gale boys references and the overly drawn-out explanations. Except for this. The betrayal seemed so out of character that it cost the review a star.

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