Not that it's wasn't good. I really enjoyed it. In fact, the 2nd book is out and I plan on reading that next. Unfortunately that's where it stops for the time being.
I think one of my favorite things about this book is also one of the most difficult to deal with. Typically, these fantasy or urban fantasy genre books seem to involve the main character being thrust into a new, and previously impossible, situation and having to find their way - find out who they are. Even in stories where the character knows about the real world they live in, they usually involve some kind of self discovery.
On the other hand, this book thrusts the reader into a new, and previously impossible, world and it's the reader who has to find their way. There are few explanations as to what's going on and what the Gale family is. We meet Allie, a twenty-something Gale woman. She's grown up around the family and their magic - she doesn't need explanations. While I do enjoy this tactic, it did leave me lost a few times. It's hard to catch the subtext when you're not entirely sure what the characters are talking about.
It does lead to the feeling of really strong, confident characters. They know who they are, what they can do, and they make no apologies for it. I enjoy that.
Allie is the main character. She's lost her job at a museum and moved home. Her family is huge - I mean like...there have to be hundreds. She has 12 aunts who are the matriarchs of the family and are literally scary. There are more Gale girls than boys. The boys choose who they mate (for lack of a better term) with, from a list by the aunties to make sure the relation isn't too close, but the girls rule. Until the male has chosen, they don't seem able to refuse a direct order from a girl. Ok, yeah, I know the idea of family sleeping with family, regardless of the supposed distance, is a little....ick. Then again, there's so many of them if it wasn't necessary to keep the family lines straight and get together for rituals, they probably wouldn't even know they were related. A normal family wouldn't even live in the same place.
Yeah, I'm gonna go with that rationalization.
Anyway, Allie gets a letter from her grandmother saying she's dead and has left a store to Allie. Allie takes over with the idea to find out what happened to her grandmother - no one believes she's actually dead. Allie starts accumulating friends to help her and meets a man. The man, Graham, turns out to be an assassin for a sorcerer. Gales kill sorcerers.
Through the series of events, Graham learns his employer is not the good man he thought and Allie establishes a new branch of the family using her brother to tie them to the land.
It's a fast paced plot without too many of twists and turns. Though, there are a couple of surprises. The characters are interesting, but I hope we get a little more depth in future books. The reader has to think because it's not all explained out, but it's not so confusing as to lessen enjoyment. There is also banter and little quips to make it a light and fun read.
I recommend it - it's an enjoyable read and I'll continue the series - but by writing this review I've realized it's not mind blowing. The fact that it doesn't explain everything out for the reader intrigues me - I want to keep reading to find out more about this crazy family - but this story on it's own could be called a bit predictable.
The Enchantment Emporium, Tanya Huff