Let's get one thing straight - Ivy Wilde is not a heroine. In fact she's probably the last witch in the world you'd call if you needed a magical helping hand, regardless of her actual abilities. If it were down to Ivy, she'd spend all day every day on her sofa, where she could watch TV, munch junk food, and talk to her feline familiar to her heart's content.
However, when a bureaucratic disaster ends up with Ivy as the victim of a case of mistaken identity, she's yanked very unwillingly into Arcane Branch, the investigative department of the Hallowed Order of Magical Enlightenment. Her problems are quadrupled when a valuable object is stolen right from under the Order's noses.
It doesn't exactly help that she's been magically bound to Adeptus Exemptus Raphael Winter. He might have piercing sapphire eyes and a body a cover model would be proud of, but as far as Ivy's concerned, he's a walking advertisement for the joyless perils of too much witch work.
And if he makes her go to the gym again, she's definitely going to turn him into a frog.
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Great story, eccentric narration
The book is great, I loved the down to earth language and behaviours of the characters. Ivy is very "normal", Helen Harper hasn't fallen into the pervasive trap in fantasy literature of making her heroine super-good or special. Although she is a very talented witch, she is also very easy to relate to.
Brutus, every cat owner can appreciate his stubborn determination to get what he wants.
The narration is eccentric to say the least. A book set in England, with English characters narrated by someone with an American accent. The book is written in the first person so Ivy is portrayed with a US accent, even though her language is very British. (e,g, plonker, bloody hell etc). It jars when listening to it. Tanya's character accents are a bit hit and miss, some are good, but there are a few Dick Van Dyke moments with some attempts at British regional accents.
If you are American, imagine a book set in New York, with New York characters being narrated by someone with a Received English accent. It's perfectly understandable, but just doesn't sound right.
Once I managed to get passed the US accent using British vernacular, it was very enjoyable and will definitely be getting the next ones in the series.
- Ms F. Beaumont
I have enjoyed other books by Helen Harper
Tanya Eby is American, not good at English accents or pronumciation, and a bad choice for a voicing character who uses so many English idioms that she must be English, nor for narrating a book that has such a very English setting.
Winter - he's a bully who willingly gives his loyalty to a corrupt organization headed by a man who openly blackmails people to get his own way, yet he's cast as the love-interest for the female protagonist.
Unfortunately, hackneyed but sadly pervasive (in paranormal fiction) trope of Girl thrown into position of being stuck working with handsome, powerful, overbearingly arrogant Man ends up falling for him instead of finding a way of slapping him down so hard he can't get back up.The amusing writing style and reasonably good plot, unfortunately, aren't enough to save this one from the offputting and irritating romance element.