Thoughtful and leisurely, this fresh urban fantasy from Canadian author Huff (Valor's Trial) features an ensemble cast of nuanced characters in Calgary, Alberta. Headstrong young museum research assistant Allie Gale takes over her missing grandmother's titular junk-shop, which is supposedly crucial to the local community. When Allie arrives to find a leprechaun, a monkey's paw and a magic mirror, she realizes her grandmother didn't mean the human community. After spotting low-flying dragons and other UnderRealm creatures in the neighborhood, Allie calls on the help of her powerful family of modern, benevolent Toronto witches, who attempt to visit via a spacetime-spanning Wood until something shadowy begins pushing them out in inconvenient locales like Haiti. Fantasy buffs will find plenty of humor, thrills and original mythology to chew on, along with refreshingly three-dimensional women in an original, fully realized world. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Twenty-four-year-old Allie Gale has recently lost her job and returned to the home of her very large and very magical family. When Allie receives a mysterious letter from her grandmother in Calgary, Allie ventures away from home to take over the operation of her grandmother's junk shop. It quickly becomes clear that the shop has been serving the local fey community and that something sinister is brewing. A tangled plot involving dragon lords and sorcerers emerges. With the help of friends and family, as well as a bit of romance with the sorcerer's henchman, Allie and the rest of the Gale family unite to save Calgary from going up in flames. Although the world-building at the beginning is a little choppy, overall this novel is a very entertaining and humorous read. The low P score provided here mostly speaks to the fact that the book does not have high teen appeal. Teen urban fairy tends to present a nascent romance as a critical component, but this title presents a heroine who has been thwarted in love, develops a physical relationship with a man, and then slowly falls in love with him. Fans of Melissa Marr and Holly Black, however, who have exhausted all teen titles in the urban faery genre may be intrigued. When recommending to teens, it is important to understand that the book contains more frank discussions of sexuality, in all its limitless possibilities, than even the steamiest of teen titles. Reviewer: Kristin Anderson
Alysha Gale isn't sure what she wants to do with her life. Born into the magical Gale family, she feels that everything is predestined—she'll marry another Gale, have magical children, and, after menopause, become one of the Gale Aunties. Though she tries to live a normal life, she finds her attempt thwarted when her Gran goes missing and leaves Alysha a strange inheritance: a Calgary junk shop that is a hub of activity for the city's fey community. Though Alysha journeys reluctantly to Calgary, she soon realizes that this trip is yet another part of her predestiny as a Gale—something scary is brewing in the prairie province of Alberta, and she needs to help stop it. VERDICT This new urban fantasy by the author of the "Blood" vampire mysteries (the basis for Lifetime's now canceled Blood Ties series) will appeal to fantasy fans who enjoy supernatural phenomena in real-world settings and urban fantasy readers who are bored with the grittier side of the genre. A good readalike is Laura Anne Gilman's "Retrievers" series.
"Fantasy buffs will find plenty of humor, thrills and original mythology to chew on, along with refreshingly three-dimensional women in an original, fully realized world." —Publishers Weekly
“It’s a great adventure, full of music and magic and just a little goofy at times, thanks to the delightful oddities of the Gales.” —Locus
"Combine Huff’s ability to blend ancient traditions seamlessly into the modern world and make them seem perfectly normal with her characters who are appealing and fun to hang out with, and you’re in for an amazing read." —Seattle Post-Intelligencer