Friday, December 29, 2017

Review: Enchant - Micalea Smeltzer

Enchant (Enchanted #1)
by Micalea Smeltzer
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: November 17, 2017

Mara Pryce never imagined that her life was anything but normal and then a strange gray-eyed young man appears at her graduation. When he vanishes without a trace, she’s convinced he’s a figment of her imagination. Then he appears again and shatters her whole world.

Mara is an enchanter, part of an ancient line of Wiccan power, and a war is raging—one of good and evil—between the Enchanted and the Iniquitous.

The Iniquitous want her dead and it’s Theodore’s job as her protector to keep her safe.

When Mara and Theodore arrive at a safe house, where Mara will remain hidden while learning about her powers, they find that the real threat might be a little closer to home than they want to believe.

3 Stars

Things had been feeling off for Mara for a while, her dreams and unease as she approached graduation keep her looking over her shoulder constantly, but she never could have prepared for the night that changed everything. She finds herself on the run with a handsome guy named Theodore, filled with questions and fear as she leaves everything she's known behind her. Her old life is gone, in its place is a locked-down safe house, an over-protective jerk for a protector, and a sea of lessons to learn about the magic she never knew she possessed.

"Something big was happening. Something I believed none of us were prepared for."

Mara is a likable and naive teenager, her previous life cushioned by good friends, an amazing father, and a fairly normal high school experience. She's the perfect YA cliche, a sweet girl who happens to be an Enchanter and one of the Chosen Ones meant to save all those who are good and against The Iniquitous. I'd tell you more, but that's about all the book gives you to work with. Theodore is your good guy in a bad boy's body. He's handsome, he's brooding, he's a massive jerk, and he's all about protecting Mara from...well...everything. He takes his job as a Protector a little too seriously for me. They, of course, find one another so attractive. Then there's Theo's little sister Adelaide, Mara's new bestie and Winston, resident cute guy with an English accent. Queue the drama. On top of all this, there's a war building up outside the protective doors and it all leads back to Mara.

"I still felt like plain old Mara. Not an enchanter. and certanily not chosen."

I wanted to love Enchant. Everything about this book, prior to reading it, called out to me. The gorgeous cover, the intriguing blurb, and of course, the promise of witches, romance, and drama. I love YA Fantasy novels, I rarely read any Adult Fantasy so I really expected this to be right up my alley. Micalea Smeltzer came with fairly high recommendations from my friends and I figured, what better book to start with than Enchant? Unfortunately, it just really missed the mark for me. I felt like I was reading a young adult book written by an actual young adult, not a book written for YA by a well-known, several times published author. Each scene reads like it happens in seconds, 4 months gone in a blink of an eye, and the break between paragraphs seems to be done by a dull chopping knife.

"Was it possible that my touch affected him the way his did me?"

It's hard to follow the events happening in the safe house and even harder to follow along with the character's relationships. At one point Theo knocks Winston for reading Pride and Prejudice, but a few pages later admits he loves to read everything. What? So you're pulling the ole Kindergarden card, where we're mean to impress the people we like? The dialogue felt forced, the chemistry was lacking, and the premise of the story was flat. I wanted emotions, I wanted background, and I wanted to really see the magic and the romances completely play out. The usually well-received cliche of youthful witches fighting the draw of romance, while also fighting for their lives, is not done well in Enchant and it will fall behind other well-known novels with similar storylines.

"You are my greatest fight and my longest battle.

I'm giving Enchant an extra star, rounding my review out to 3 Stars, because I kept reading and it does have an incredibly intriguing plot. Plus, there are some really fantastic lines in this book, lines that show how well Micalea Smeltzer can write. I'd love to see this book get re-released with a more fleshed out story, maybe someday. I think more truly young adult aged readers will appreciate Enchant, but I suggest waiting for book two to release before jumping into Enchant right away.

ARC provided through Netgalley.

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