Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Book Review: As You Wish by Gabi Stevens

Title: As You Wish
Author: Gabi Stevens
Series: Book #2 in the Time of Transiton series
Number of pages: 320 pages 
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: eARC received from the author for an honest review
Release Date: 26 April 2011
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Book Depository

Grade: 4 stars

Novellus superbus!
Goodreads appetizer: Born into a magical family, Reggie Scott is content to live out her life as a normal human until the moment she’s informed that she’s a newly appointed fairy godmother. Left struggling to deal with powers the never thought she’d have, Reggie faces a curse, a plot to overthrow the Arcani, and an entirely too enthusiastic mother—all in a matter of days.

Jonathan Bastion is a man of power and wealth—and a dangerous secret. He desperately hopes that Reggie's new powers will hold the answer to his problem and he isn't above using her to achieve his goals. What he doesn't expect is how much Reggie will affect him. Her honor, her honesty, and her strength quickly make cracks in his ruthless exterior.

As danger from the Arcani swirls around them both, Jonathan realizes that what was once a ploy to get Reggie to assist him has become a battle to keep her safe and protected…in his arms.

My Thoughts: As You Wish is Book #2 in Gabi Stevens' Time of Transition series, and a magical contemporary romantic fairy tale. This series is all about fairy godmothers, magic wands and spells! You see the transition period is when the present three fairy godmothers step down and give up their position to the three newly selected ones. Book #1 told the story of Kristin the first fairy godmother and Book #2 tells the story of Reggie, a young woman who has lived her whole life believing she didn't have any magic (though both her parents and sister are wizards), until on the day of her 27th birthday she receives a visit from her aunts (and current fairy godmothers): Lily, Rose and Hyacinth telling her she was selected as the second fairy godmother!
Even though I haven't read the first book of the series I can reassure you that these novels can be read separately. Gabi Stevens introduced and explained enough about the universe she created, for the reader to understand it and not feel lost. I loved what a special and rich alternative magical universe Gabi Stevens has created: Gabi Stevens' Time of Transition series is a mix between contemporary romance and Harry Potter!

The population includes Arcani (the magic wielding people) and normal humans. Arcani have their own hierarchy, schools and council, and even their own magical version of Google:

He returned to the computer, and touched it with his wand. The screen popped up the Abracadabra logo, the search engine that served Arcani, accessible only by wand.

The heroine Reggie is a normal and very likable character, and someone the reader can easily relate to. As the only person not having had any magic in her family she has lived her whole life feeling different and carving out a life of her own for herself. She opened a bakery with her two best friends: Joy and Tommy, and her compassion and kindness shines through her every day life.

Joy and Tommy are two special characters: Tommy has Down syndrome and Joy is "simply Joy". They are different but neither Reggies nor the reader upon reading the novel sees them as any less than normal healthy people. They have such kindness and innocence to them that we would wish more people had so much light and joy in their hearts.

The supporting characters were all a lot of fun: Reggie's mom and Alfred were my personal favourites.

One thing I enjoyed the most and looked forward to were the rules of Reggie's mother to her daughters at the beginning of each chapter. They were fun and started every chapter on a light note. Like this one for example:

It's just as easy to marry an important man as a nobody.

Alfred is a small grumpy gnome, who despite gnomes only eating dirt and gravel has somewhat of a sweet tooth. His grumpiness and dry sarcastic humour made me often chuckle:
"Can we talk about this later? I have to soncentrate on something else."
"Sure. You've got important things to do." Alfred took their cups and plates. "Because we're just dancing around rainbows making lemonade from the sunshine. Take your time then. We dinnae have to earn a living."

There are two heroes in this story: Nate and Jonathan Bastion. I was immediately a fan of Nate long before Jonathan made its first entrance, so without giving anything away I'll just say that it was very hard to decide which man I was rooting for for Reggie to choose. Nate was all solid and protective, helpful alpha male, while Jonathan was the handsome, civilized, dreamy gentleman.

"I understand your feelings but I don't want you to fight what might happen between us." He cupped her face and captured her lips. At the first contact, she nearly forgot to breathe. She could taste where the salt spray had touched him. He was daylight, spreading liquid sunshine through her. Her nerves tingled as warmth unfurled in her belly.

As You Wish takes a fresh and modern tone in retelling parts of some classic fairy tales: you will find some winks to Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty, all done with lot of charm and humour.

"You really are too peppy this morning."
"I know. It's a sickness. I'm taking pills for it."

Verdict: As You Wish is a cute and funny contemporary romantic fairy tale with dashing heroes, some exciting action and lots of magic. If you like fairy tales I'm sure you'll enjoy this one!

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Cover: 4/10 I neither like it nor get it. Why the tattoo? ANd the scratch marks? Who is he? Don't like it :-/

Buy it:

The BookDepository 

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