The Wild Ways Mass Market Paperback – Nov 6 2012
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“Zingy characterizations and a quick pace are the book’s strong points.... Fans of the previous book will hit the ground running.” —Publishers Weekly
"Combining Celtic folklore, musical references, and a love of nature and magic, this sequel to The Enchantment Emporium will appeal to Huff’s many fans and to readers who like their urban fantasy with more depth and character development.” —Library Journal
“Timely environmental themes can easily draw in new readers.” —RT Book Reviews
“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
“Quintessential Huff -- sharp, clean, funny. A heady mix of music, place and people that rings true on every level. Once again, I find myself hoping that this is a series that will go on.” —Green Man Review
"Combined with Huff’s ability to blend ancient traditions seamlessly into the modern world and making them seem perfectly normal and characters who are appealing and fun to hang out with, you’re in for an amazing read. A perfect example of how there’s more to urban fantasy than teenage girls swooning over the undead and how so many others are failing to exploit the genre’s full potential.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
About the Author
Tanya Huff may have left Nova Scotia at three, and has lived most of her life since in Ontario, but she still considers herself a Maritimer. On the way to the idyllic rural existence she shares with her partner Fiona Patton, six cats, and a chihuahua, she acquired a degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson Polytechnic—an education she was happy to finally use while writing her recent Smoke novels. Of her previous twenty-three books, the five—Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, Blood Pact, Blood Debt—featuring Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII, romance writer, and vampire are among the most popular.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The events in The Wild Ways follow about six months or so after the Enchantment Emporium ends. Jack who is now living with Allie & her partner is bored as only a 14 year old half dragon prince/half Gale Boy teenager can be. He isn't the only one. Charlie (Charlotte Marie) Gale, who as a Wild Gale cousin can not be held down to a place, is also bored with her country music band and her life in general. By various means Jack & Charlie end up on the other end of Canada in Halifax participating in the Celtic music festival scene & getting involved on the side of a "save the seals" environmentalist group who are protesting an offshore shallow water drilling project. It goes without saying I hope that Selkies, Goblins, Trolls and other fey creatures are integral to the plot ;-).
I was afraid at the debut that Huff would sacrifice the story & characters for some heavy handed political/environmental message but I had no reason to fear. While Amelia Carlson was clearly the ugly corporate antagonist in the story (owner of Carlson Oil and willing to use unethical means to get her oil well drilling permits), Huff makes it clear through Charlie's clear-eyed gaze that the Selkies aren't above manipulating humans for their own selfish ends and that environmental success comes at the expense of increased human suffering (unemployment & the resulting poverty) for the locals that the Selkies really couldn't care less about. The ultimate puppet master is Auntie Catherine (who wasn't dead after all) who goes mano a mano (sort of) with Charlie at the end in support of the oil drilling effort and the unexpected hero of the story is Jack (maybe not such a surprise if you are paying attention).
Bravo Tanya Huff.
May I add, that it is a pleasure to read such a superb fantasy novel (well written & great story) compared with all the ... ahem... *stuff* that Amazon is pushing at me these days with 5 star reviews no less! Some writers, editors & publishers are obviously getting all their relatives & friends on board to lie for them when writing those reviews. Tanya Huff needs none of that, the quality of her work stands on its own.
Charlie loves music but also uses music to focus her power, which explains why several other bands want her to join their group. Nobody is as surprised as she is when she helps the Selkies who had their pelts stolen by her Auntie Catherine who was hired by an oil company. Assisting her is fourteen year old Jack who is a Gale Draconian Prince and sorcerer. The person who wanted to control the Selkie is Amelia Carlson who wants to control the selkies as they belong to an environmental group Two Seventy Five N that presses government to deny off shore drilling permits to Amelia's company. Charlie and Jack search for the stolen pelts, try to prevent the drilling, and prepare for battle against a powerful family member.
The latest Gales urban fantasy (see THE ENCHANTMENT EMPORIUM) is wonderful thriller due to the strong cast who make selkie and Gales seem genuine. The story line is fast-paced but character driven as the aunt and niece are on different sides of the drill baby drill controversy; which anchors the plot in a real contemporary debate. Readers will appreciate Tanya Huff, known for her military science fiction, as The Wild Ways is a terrific read, one of the best urban fantasies I have read in years.
Where the first book, Enchantment Emporium, focused on Allie Gale and her role, The Wild Ways follows Allie's cousins Charlie, a Wild Power, and Jack, a dragon prince. They're both great characters: neither really fits into the mold for Gale women or men, so this book is about each of them learning their place in the world. They're also funny and work really well together, and since (unlike Allie) neither of them really got a love story, I hope we'll see more of them in the next book.
In this book, Charlie investigates the theft of selkie skins. Gales aren't supposed to involve themselves in anything that doesn't directly concern the family, but she's never been very good at following the rules. This story was good, if not particularly intricate. There were a few moments where the direction of the plot just seemed sort of...random. But the appeal of these books isn't in the plot, it's in the world and characters anyway. However, there were several times in the book where I was on the edge of my seat, and there are a few questions I still want answers to after finishing the book.
But this book just didn't work out. 'The Enchantment Emporium' was a very interesting change of pace and new style for the author; I remember it taking a while to really catch me the first read through, by I full out cried at two separate points during my second read.
'The Wild Ways' just lacks the emotion of the first novel. I don't feel connected to Charlie or interested in her story to a tenth of the degree that I was drawn into Allie's struggle in the first novel; I loved Allie, and it was great to watch her evolving relationships with Graham, Michael, and her family. Watching Charlie sorta kinda flit around with completely unexplored and unexplained musicians does nothing for me. Jack has a lot of potential as a character; there are a few parallels to Diana from the 'Summon the Keeper' trilogy, and certain aspects of his role in the Gale family that could have been better explored.
I feel awful criticizing Tanya Huff. But this story seriously shook my faith in the series. I will absolutely reread 'The Enchantment Emporium' again and again over the years, but I'll never pick this one up again. And, if the series continues, I doubt I'd buy it unless the main character shifts away from Charlie.
Read everything else Tanya Huff has written; they are all 5 stars (except 'Scholar of Decay' (which is 3.5/4 stars) but I give her the benefit of the doubt on that one).