Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Perfect Ten: DON''T HEX WITH TEXAS by Shanna Swendson

DON’T HEX WITH TEXAS - Shanna Swendson
A Perfect 10
Enchanted Inc, Book 4
Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-0-345-49293-7
May 2008

Cobb, Texas - Present Day

It’s not always easy going back to your hometown, but for Katie Chandler, it was necessary. The romance that was finally blooming between her and Owen Palmer, a very powerful wizard whom she works with, was nipped in the bud when, during a magical battle, their archenemy, Phelan Idris, was able to escape by threatening Katie’s life. While she may not be battling rogue wizards or fire-breathing dragons these days, Katie has more than enough to handle in her small Texas town. The sleepy little town of Cobb is one of the least magical places in the country, so this is the perfect place to get away from magic for a while. Or so Katie thought.

When Katie’s mom starts talking about the weird things occurring in town, the rest of the family starts to worry that mom may need professional help. Katie, knowing that her mom is immune to magic just like Katie is, starts to wonder if the help they need is magical. After a little investigating, Katie discovers that not only does Cobb have it’s very own wizard, but this wizard is apparently learning his craft through a correspondence course taught by Idris himself. Obviously, this battle will be too big for just a magical immune, but when Owen shows up, Katie’s torn. The attraction between them is just as strong, and her feelings haven’t changed -- unfortunately, neither has the fact that she may be Owen’s biggest weakness.

It’s been four months since Katie left New York, but it doesn’t take her long to get back into fighting form in DON’T HEX WITH TEXAS. She misses Owen, her friends, and even the magical world like crazy, and she can’t tell people the truth about most of her time in New York or why she left, at the risk of having other people think she is crazy. Readers finally get a chance to meet Katie’s family, who have quite a few surprises in store for her. But familiar characters, such as Sam, the gargoyle who heads up the security team at Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc.; Merlin, yes that Merlin; and Rod, Owen’s best friend, also play a large part in what is reportedly the last book in the series. This is definitely a series that you want to read in order, both because the battle between Idris and Owen arcs over all four books, and because all of the books are thoroughly enjoyable.

Humor, magic, action and romance, DON’T HEX WITH TEXAS has it all, and I found it very difficult to put down. Which is only one of the reasons why I’m awarding it a Perfect 10. Ms. Swendson has also created a fantastical world and filled it with intriguing characters, and I will be very disappointed if this truly is the end of the series. After all, with Katie’s luck, surely another adventure is just around the corner.

Jennifer Bishop

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