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Book review: The Enchantment Emporium - Phil's Rambling Rants
July 8th, 2009
04:53 pm

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Book review: The Enchantment Emporium
Today's book review is The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff.

This book takes place in a brand new world and tells a complete story. There is a lot of sex in this book. Most of it is off screen and we don't spend a whole lot of time on the details, but this is definitely not appropriate for the children of prudish parents.

I come out of this book slightly bemused. It was certainly a good book, the sort of book where I was genuinely disappointed that it was over because I don't want to leave the world. Its characters spend enough time doing realistically stupid human things to be very believable, but manage a lot of the time to be so much more sensible than my culture about their interpersonal relationships that it makes me ache. There was snarky humor, there was action with real tension, there was mystery. But it didn't feel like a Tanya Huff book. Usually, Huff gives us a world that is fairly easy to understand; most of the fun is in watching the characters and the plot. But much of this story is about trying to make sense of what's really going on. It's clear that there are very clear rules; the characters know what's going on. But very little of it is ever actually laid out for the reader; we have to puzzle it out for ourselves. It's entertaining and frustrating at the same time. I almost never re-read books -- I have far more books I want to read than I can get to as it is -- but I have a feeling that I should read this one again just to see how much I missed the first time.

9 out of 10.

Argh. A plot summary will take much more time than I have right now, so I will have to try to get to it later.

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From:msminlr
Date:July 9th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
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This has the feel of "first in a series". Maybe more details will unfold in subsequent books.
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From:tigertoy
Date:July 9th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
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It's not blatantly "first in a series" the way a lot of books are these days -- it doesn't just end right in the middle of the fight. I think there's plenty of room for more in the world, and I'd like to know how things turn out for Jack. But just the way that we spend the whole book piecing together the shape of how the Gale family works, and by the end of it we seem to have gotten most of it, suggests to me that another book is less likely. A sequel would have trouble maintaining the same feel.
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From:msminlr
Date:July 10th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
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Charlie is still a loose end, as well as Jack.
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From:janeg
Date:July 9th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
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I just finished it too, and loved it - but I agree the "feeling" was different from her other books. That's OK by me.
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From:tigertoy
Date:July 9th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
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My observation that it felt different isn't meant as a complaint, but perhaps a mild warning that someone who thinks they know exactly what they're getting because it has "Tanya Huff" on the cover might be surprised.
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From:msminlr
Date:July 10th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
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I've read everything I can lay my hands on of andpuff's and the ONLY thing I expect is a story I'm just about guaranteed to enjoy.
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