Monday, May 6, 2013

The Wild Ways, Tanya Huff

I liked this book better than the first one. I don't think it was as predictable as the first book of the series.

This book is from Charlie Gales' point of view. Charlie is Allie's (the first book's main character) best friend and lover....and yes, distant cousin. Charlie's powers are part of what make her more interesting. Charlie is what the Gales call a wild power. One of the things Charlie can do is travel the wood, which gets her from point A to point B in the blink of an eye. She uses music and her guitar to make her magic work.

As far as her character, she's....well, she's called a slacker in the book, and while that's not entirely untrue, it's not quite right either. She's never needed to apply herself. She bounces from band to band; she doesn't like to be tied to one place; she uses her magic to ease her way. She's more carefree than slacker. When Allie needed her in The Enchantment Emporium, she was there. She mainly acted as a support system for Allie instead of a power, but she was where she was needed.

In this book she's drawn to a music festival around Halifax and Cape Breton. Once there, she discovers her Auntie Catherine, Allie's grandmother, and all around manipulative pain in the ass, has stolen a few selkies skins to help an oil company get the permits for offshore drilling in the shelkies home. Now, if these actions seem a bit much even for an Auntie, even her manipulations in Enchantment Emporium were to save the world, you are correct. Turns out she saw (one of her wild powers) that an old god lives under the drill site and the drilling platform will keep it from rising. So, she may not be a nice person, but at least she's not just ok with ruining the environment. *eye roll*

Even though Auntie Catherine is a manipulative pain in the ass, she's not the character that bothers me. Neither is the CEO of the evil oil company. It's one of the selkies. God! She's such as bitch! Her name is Eineen (and what kind of name is that?!). He skin wasn't stolen, but she kind of represents the victims. Now, selkies fall in love with human men, then men catch the selkies and "take" their skins. That means Charlie and Eineen are never going to happen - selkies don't fall for human women - no matter how much Charlie wants Eineen. Eineen uses Charlie, whether or not it's due to Charlie's interest is irrelevant, she uses Charlie to get the skins. The selkies never even thank them. Not for getting the skins back, and not for stopping the oil drilling. She even wants to leave Charlie behind when she's dying. It's her human lover who goes back. I just really found her to be an ungrateful brat. She's like a spoiled child who's so used to getting her own way. Just goes to show: being pretty doesn't make you worth shit.

Anyway, Charlie's evolution doesn't just come about through her acceptance of her power, like Allie, though she does. It also comes from accepting the responsibility and making decisions for herself. She finds that Auntie Catherine didn't see everything. She missed the troll that almost killed Charlie, and more importantly, she missed Jack. Jack is a character that joins the family in the previous book. He is the son of the evil sorcerer Graham worked for in the first book and a dragon queen. We learn that all sorcerers are Gale boys who have let the power corrupt them. That makes Jack a Dragon Prince, a Gale, and a sorcerer.

Since Auntie Catherine didn't see everything, it allows Charlie to make her own choices: to save the selkies and the world. Or is that allowing Charlie to not make a choice?

Overall, a much better read than the first one. Charlie is fun and getting to know Jack is really enjoyable. A 14 year old boy, who also has immense power and is a huge dragon? Yeah, that's a coming of age tale I gotta hear.

The Wild Ways, Tanya Huff

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