Saturday, March 30, 2013

Title:     Much Ado About Magic [Enchanted Inc, book 5]
Author:  Shanna Swendson
Rating:  ★★★★1/2

Enchanted Inc is one of my favorite series because it's a mixture of my love for chick lit, a good witchy story, and magic. Plus, Owen Palmer is just so adorable, I couldn't help but add him to my book boyfriends. Thankfully, Much Ado About Magic did not lose its charm and I enjoyed the book very much. In fact, I'm aching to read the next book but I have to stop myself for Holy Week.

Katie Chandler is back in New York and at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc. – and just in time. The city’s in the grip of a magical crime wave from spells that wizarding whiz Owen Palmer thinks look awfully familiar, and the rogue firm Spellworks is raising its profile in the magical world by selling protective amulets. It’s Katie’s job as the new director of marketing for MSI to fight this battle of public perception while Owen and the other wizards try to uncover what’s really going on.

What Katie doesn’t realize is that her idea to stage a showcase for MSI’s magical achievements is playing right into a devious plot more than three decades in the making. Now Katie has to do damage control that has nothing to do with marketing. To save the magical world, she’ll have to prove who the real enemy is, and doing that will require digging deeper into Owen’s mysterious past than he wants anyone to go. If she fails, she not only stands to lose a magical war, but she could also lose the man she loves.

In Much Ado About Magic, we finally find closure as to the whole mess of why Merlin was brought back in the first place. I wouldn't be telling you why but it was a very enjoyable ride. Although we already know who the real mastermind behind it is, thanks to Katie's non-magical self, it does take the magical community a while to figure it out.

Katie Chandler is still her same practical self, who goes back to MSI after a brief stint back at her home. She now finds herself the marketing head and in charge of the PR to get MSI back in the public's good graces, thanks to Spellworks' devious ploys. I really enjoy her character because it's a huge break from all the dramatic, emotional women (like myself). Plus, she's so level-headed when dealing with Owen and is just such a good girlfriend! Imagine, for example, when Owen drops off the face of the earth for a week because he was so busy at work. Unlike other women, Katie understood him and didn't get hysterical over his disappearing act. She understood his role in the magical community and was patient.

Owen Palmer was his same old self - extremely shy but capable, manly, and dependable. Why can't he be for real? Even if he is not a wizard, I think women would be scrambling for him. I like that even when he becomes a jerk under pressure, he admits it and apologizes to Katie. Plus, he's not afraid to say I love you - and actually mean it. If Enchanted Inc was turned into a movie, and I wish it would be, I can totally imagine Ryan Gosling playing his character.

Other beloved characters like Merlin and Sam were not forgotten, although they did not have much character development. Katie's friends Marcia and Gemma, were also included in Much Ado About Magic, and they played a bigger role this time as they are now aware of the magical community. One of the enjoyable parts about the story though is when Merlin finally went out in full Merlin mode and displayed a bit of his power. That was incredible, but it was had to visualize the battle between him and the bad guy, as I only have the Harry Potter battles to reference from for dueling wizards.

One of the reasons I really like this story is because I feel a little bit closer to the magical world of Hogwarts. Whut? Let me explain. I always fantasize that one day I'm going to get my Hogwarts letter and be all wingardium leviosa, but that seems a little bit impossible. Enchanted Inc, on the other hand, brings the magic right to the every day world and shows us that even if you're purely Muggle, without any drop of magic in your blood (depressing, I know), you can still interact with magical beings. In fact, you can interact with them more since you can see through their illusions! Isn't that cool? Does that make sense for you as it does for me? I hope so.

I was a little lost while reading the Much Ado About Magic because it's been a while since I last read the previous book, but thanks to the neatly placed reminders in the story, I was able to catch up after a while. But if you're new Enchanted Inc, you should really read from the start because it's a progressive kind of series. Moreover, reading the story of Katie and Owen's interaction is just too good to pass up. There's a bit of a sad part in the story, but I'm hoping so hard that the next book, No Quest for the Wicked, will change that. And I just found out there's a seventh book that will be out this year, so that's another book I'm going to watch out for.  

Much Ado About Magic was pretty clean, no sizzling love scenes or descriptive make-out sessions, and I like it the way it was. The reader gets to concentrate on the magical story and the nature of Katie and Owen's level-headed relationship rather than all the passion just bursting to come out between them, though I wouldn't mind seeing them display more affection for each other.

If you're looking for a good, light read with some humorous lines in between added with great characters and a good plot, do give the Enchanted Inc series a try.

Happy musings :)