A fluffy Adult Contemporary Fantasy that resonated with me (since I lived in NYC for 4 years, although I never saw any fairies)
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 sells 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. She quickly learns that office politics are even more complicated when your new boss is a real ogre, and you have a crush on the sexy, shy, ultra powerful head of the R&D department, who is so busy fighting an evil competitor threatening to sell black magic on the street that he seems barely to notice Katie.
Now it's up to Katie to pull off the impossible: save the world and - hopefully - live happily ever after.
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Enchanted, Inc by Shanna Swendson, read by Eva Wilhelm, published by Audible Studios (2014) / Length: 10 hrs 31 min
This is Book #1 of 7 in the completed "Enchanted, Inc" series. All of them are available on audio.
I'm not a huge fan of Urban Fantasy, since I don't really like "dark" and so much of that genre merits the description. It was a real pleasure to find this comedic city based fantasy.
I wasn't pleased with the love triangle that developed later in the book, however.
Katie: I like that she totally willing to the let the stronger people protect her from the "scary bad guys," yet jumps in whenever she can.
There are a lot of other characters in this book, but most of them are just supporting characters. Mr Mervyn is my favorite (although I'm not generally a fan of his story line). Owen is a sweetie, but doesn't get enough development in this book. Sam the gargoyle is another favorite, who I hope to see more of in the following books.
So many NYC books & movies have their characters living in apartments that would be nice in other cities but are palatial for Manhattan. Ms. Swendson has 3 women living in a 1 bedroom fourth story walk-up (no elevator) and each paying enough for a 1 bedroom in my city. This is just one of the details that made me feel like I really was reading a book that takes place there.
Although technically this is an urban Fantasy (since it takes place in our largest city), it is not Urban Fantasy in tone. There are fairies & other fae type creatures, and humans who can use magic, but there don't appear to be any vampires or werewolves. And this is definitely light comedy.
It felt like it took a bit long to get to the good stuff. I would have liked a bit less set up of her situation at her old job. And some of the stuff with her friends could have been moved to after she gets her new job.
The main situation for this book is resolved at the end, so there isn't an actual cliffhanger. But the overall situations in the magical world and Katie's romantic life are completely unresolved.
HIGHLIGHTS / CAUTIONS:
- The way she commuted to work in comfortable shoes and changed when she got there. I've totally done that lots of times.
- The scenes where she goes out with Mr. Mervyn to help him get used to the city (not on a date).
- The description of their Matrix wannabe opponents at the duel
I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: The whole girls night out and frog kissing stuff just wasn't funny to me (although I know it sets up important stuff later).
Character voices differentiated = Yes / Opposite sex voices acceptable = Yes, she mostly changes the tone of her voice for these / Accents = I really would have liked a bit more Texan, but Katie does try to suppress it. There wasn't much NY in anyone's accent, but that is actually consistent with my experiences in Manhattan / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Good. I especially want to note that she pronounced Houston St the correct NYC way (how-ston) which few people do / Emoting = Good. I really liked it / Speed = listened on 1.25, my usual, and it was perfect
Her voice is a bit unusual. If that sometimes bothers you, be sure to check out the sample before buying.
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