By Heather Blake
*** 1/2 stars
“He does manage the bookstore, which is currently my favorite place on earth." Her eyes glazed over. "All those books. If I married him, I could probably work there the rest of my life. Nothing would make me happier."After reading a bunch of duds, this cozy actually had characters that didn't suck and a plot that made sense. I was getting really tired of heroines that were too stupid to live, but Darcy had believable issues (ok, there are magic powers involved as well, but that didn't make anything less believable), and her attempts to solve the mystery actually made sense. For one, she actually *wanted* to get the police involved. And when that didn't turn out to be a viable option, she turned to the hunky former-cop. See, things making sense and characters acting reasonably. Was that really so hard?!
"What about love?" Ve asked.
"Oh," Harper said solemnly. "I love books.”
― Heather Blake,
Darcy wasn't the most engaging protagonist I've ever read, but she wasn't "screw-up-cute" or "clumsy-adorable" and I don't think there were any occasions where she made me want to throw the book in frustration. (Man, I've really read some losers lately.) She seemed like a real person, and I appreciate that. And the supporting characters were also interesting and well-developed. Even the the character who everyone kinda hates was redeemed by the end. I loved that.
The town itself seemed like a magical Stars Hollow. It's a magic-themed town, but only some of the townsfolk know that real magic exists. Those with magic are called Crafters, and each Crafter family has a different ability. Darcy, her sister, and her aunt are Wishcrafters. When someone makes a wish out loud, and they're pure of heart, the Wishcrafter must grant the wish. The world building here was pretty cool, and the first I've read like that.
But the best part, bar none, are the familiars. If you don't love Pepe, you're wrong.
Ok, now my brain is busy imagining that Stars Hollow, like Enchanted Village (the name of the town in It Takes A Witch), has folks secretly hiding magic abilities, while other townsfolk know nothing about it. Miss Patty and Babette definitely have magic. Taylor Doose definitely doesn't. And he's constantly frustrated because he knows that Something Is Up, but can't figure out what. Kirk is totally a squib. Luke has magic, but is curmudgeonly about it, like everything else. Suki, yes. Jackson, probably not. Lorelai and Rory are No's, but they are completely enchanted by the magic, even though they don't know it's there.
I would totally watch that show.