Enchantment is a well written and unique YA paranormal romance. It centers on sixteen year old Channie (Enchantment) who is part of a mage family. When her dad ends up on the wrong side of a very powerful mage, Channie’s parents pack up the entire family and move to Colorado in an attempt to blend in with regular, non-magic people. The problem, as Channie’s parents see it, is that her power name, “Enchantment,” makes her too appealing to all of the boys she will be meeting at her new high school, and they make the radical decision to change her power name to “Chastity.” Unfortunately, her parents don’t fully understand the dark magic they are dealing with and their name changing turns into more of a curse. Whenever a boy thinks lustful thoughts in Channie’s proximity, they don’t even have to be about her, he gets zapped by her power – leading to the kind of tragically funny belief among her fellow high school students that she’s carrying around a concealed taser and letting it loose on random boys.
The night before she starts at her new school, Channie meets Josh, a cute but sweet high school student who also happens to be a BMX racer. Channie and Josh fall for each other, but the curse works itself in several interesting ways – fueling Channie’s own desire for Josh, as well as shocking Josh whenever he thinks about her in a way the curse deems inappropriate. They find several funny ways to still be able to hold hands, etc., in an attempt to get around the curse, but Channie’s ultimate goal is to break Chastity’s hold on her and reclaim her original power name.
I found the magic in Enchantment to be very well written and true to itself. I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to magic rules…I’ll believe almost any kind of magic you try to sell me as long as it makes sense within its own world. There weren’t any points in the book where I questioned the magical world that Charlotte Abel has created. I thought it flowed very seamlessly, although at the beginning she doesn’t give a lot of explanation, the character just speaks as if the reader should understand what she is talking about, and eventually we do. The mage community was very unique and interesting. I appreciated that we get the sense that Channie and her family speak in a rural dialect without it having to be spelled out for us every time someone tried to speak.
Channie’s family was an interesting mix. Her parents are outright horrible and abusive and when Channie begins to fight back against them the reader actually feels relieved that someone is standing up to them. There are times when Channie herself is whiny or manipulative, including one particularly traumatic scene where she lashes out in jealousy. Even though this made me dislike her as a character a few times (although overall I liked her), it makes sense within the context of the family she was raised in and the curse that has taken root inside her.
The hero Josh was very well written. I have a thing for good guy heroes and am always thrilled when I find one in a book. He has interests of his own outside of Channie, a relatively decent family, and seems to be a good friend. There’s always the question of why two characters fall in love so quickly, but I don’t think it is quite as quickly the reader might feel at first. Josh is definitely attracted to Channie right away, she makes sure of that, but I think there relationship experiences significant growth.
This is the first book in a series, the second, Taken, is already out. I definitely plan to read it.
Four out of Five Stars
I’m linking this review with the Self-Published Reading Challenge over on Workaday Reads. There’s still time to sign up for the challenge!