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Charming Incantations: Enticed by Monique Snyman

I’ve had this novel sat here for a few weeks now and it’s taken me some time to get around to reading it. A friend wrote this, as yet, unpublished novel and kindly allowed me to read it. She asked if I could write an honest review of it for her when I was done. So here we are an honest review.

Charming Incantations is the story of Elizabeth Richards, or Lisa as she prefers, and her struggle to come to terms with her life when it changes so much after an accident that killed her parents. She is thrust in to a world of the supernatural, where she discovers her family have been part of an ancient alliance between the magical and supernatural creatures and the human race to fight an ongoing war against the goblins. She is told the humans abandoned the Alliance long ago and she is the only human who knows of it’s existence and the fate of the human world rests in her on her shoulders.

As the story starts we come in as she’s meeting the representatives of each type of supernatural race; Werewolf, Banshee, Witch, Shapeshifter and Vampire and after discussing the nature of The Alliance she becomes a little overwhelmed. It’s decided Lisa should stay with Romulus, the extremely handsome werewolf representative, since she’s new to this world and has no idea what’s happening or the danger she’s in Romulus is to protect her and train her to defend herself.

Of course, this being a dark romance/fantasy book aimed at the teen audience, you know what happens next Bella and Edward (or perhaps that should be Jacob)… sorry, Lisa and Romulus form a budding romance, but he’s dangerous and doesn’t think she should risk it… you know what you’d expect really. If this sounds like I’m belittling the story, I’m not really, though it is pretty much par for the course in these stories and in it’s defence it has an interesting mythology and backstory that definitely kept my interest throughout. To be fair I’m not exactly the target audience but it seems a good addition to the genre with a well established world, wide ranging characters and an interesting True Blood meets Buffy kinda feel to it with its mix of romance, training to fight monsters, longing for an ordinary life when destiny is calling and big battles it isn’t quite either but reminded me of both. Of course being aimed at younger audiences it isn’t as graphic or sexually charged as True Blood.

The story is a little predictable, or maybe just well foreshadowed, but I’m guessing in future stories it’ll turn out to be more than it appears in this one, but I’m probably getting ahead of myself.

With some entertaining and interesting characters, as well as some of the cliches you expect from these type of stories I think it’d definitely work for the teen audience. A well done and interesting story but (and sorry Monique I know I’ve already said this to you) could benefit from a professional editor to come in and do some cleaning up and proofreading. Though I have to say, somewhat despite myself, I’m interested in seeing where the story leads and I would recommend it to anyone who likes this kind of story.

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Reviewed by Kevin on 31 January 2011

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