Review: Much Ado About Magic by Shanna Swendson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Much Ado About Magic, by Shanna Swendson, is the fifth installment of the Enchanted, Inc. series. It’s a delightfully easy read, a perfect book for summer, as long as you are truly not expecting much ado about magic. In fact, there is very little magic about the story. The world within the plot is a world of magicians, normals who are susceptible to magic, and individuals, such as the protagonist Katie Chandler, who are magic-immune. Katie can’t feel magic, can’t see the effects of magic, and – what makes this book so easily written, and probably readable for those who are not into paranormal or fantasy fiction – doesn’t understand what actually happens whenever anyone has anything to do with magic. She and her ultra attractive, ultra powerful wizard boyfriend, Owen Palmer, try to save the world from corporate espionage and struggles for power.
In more detail, the magic world of this series appears to be run by a shadowy government and by a corporation, Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc. (referred to in the book as MSI). MSI is firmly on the side of good. However, a second corporation involved in magic, driven by an individual who seeks to take over the world, wishes to gain power. Meanwhile, Owen, as handsome, adorable, and perfect as he is, has to face his childhood demons. Who will win? And how? I read the book, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I can’t really answer the second question. The reader is never sure how magic works, although some spells are described (for example, the author goes into great detail in how wizards move apartments and make coffee; packing and brewing are not required). In all other respects, the wizards are always saying something, waving their arms around, using spices, but other than that, magic is a mystery. The author includes just the right amount of detail to make the universe where magic is practiced and exists believable, but not enough to truly elevate this book into fantasy fiction.
Aside from attention to detail, the book is a great read to bring along on vacation. It’s cute and relatively well-written. There is a little bit of romance, a little bit of suspense, a little bit of heartbreak – nothing too taxing on the reader, however. Serious readers of fantasy genre (for example, the Wheel of Times series or the Games of Thrones) will hate it. Casual, weekend-readers who are not turned off by the title, will pick it up and probably enjoy it.
Much Ado About Magic is available in a variety of formats: