First review to go!
The Wish List by Gabi Stevens
published by Tor in April 2010
Kristin Montgomery is more than a little shocked when her aunts inform her they're fairy godmothers. Worse, after dropping that bombshell they hand her a wand and head off on a world cruise. Now Kristin's uncomplicated life as a CPA in San Diego has disappeared like magic and she not only has to deal with her burgeoning magical powers, but also a reluctant-and distractingly sexy-magical arbiter.
Tennyson Ritter is a historian. A scholar by choice, he is yanked from his studies to act as arbiter for the newly chosen fairy godmother. He doesn't want to waste his time with a woman who doesn't know anything about magic or the magical world, but soon the beguiling Kristin draws him away from his books and into her life.
But before Kristin can hone her skills and pass the tests necessary to fully claim her powers, she and Tennyson must work together to defend the world - both magical and human - against those that would claim her powers for their own.
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Time of Transition trilogy, Book #1
The Story: Kristin Montgomery has just turned 27 and is informed by her three aunts that she's a fairy godmother coming into her powers. It is the Time of Transition which means things are changing in the magical world such as fairy godmothers retiring and new ones taking up the job.
Kristin is a Rare One - someone with magical powers coming from two normal humans - and is literally trusted into the magical world. Her aunts leave on vacation, leaving her in the hand of her arbiter, Tennyson Ritter. Tennyson is a historian wizard and has been put in charge of her training and will ultimately decide whether she is qualified for the position. This is a lot to take in for a CPA. Add in a mysterious Frenchman, the death of one of the most respected wizards and a revenge conspiracy... Kristin and Tennyson are in way over their heads.
My Opinion: Lately, I've been in the mood for paranormals with characters other than vampires and shapeshifters. The Wish List fit the bill and it looked fun and fluffy, plus it was published by Tor :) So I decided to give it a try.
I have to say, I really liked the premises of this book. I thought the idea of fairy godmothers was refreshing and fun. Unfortunately, I don't think Ms Stevens carried it out to its full potential and a lot of it had to do with the story/pacing.
The characters were okay. Kristin is a CPA who is suddenly dropped in a world she had no idea existed. Of course, there is some denial at first, but then she tries to adjust and adapt. Kristin pretty much has the typical reaction of other characters in the same situation. What was nice is that the action picked up quickly and Kristin was open-minded enough, so the mourning of her old life was kept to a minimum. Truth is though, I actually liked Tennyson a bit more. He's the grumpy hero type and is definitively not charming LOL. A bit too direct and honest, but still a nice guy :)
The story was okay; in fact, it was actually pretty interesting. Basically, several decades ago, a bad fairy godmother was imprisoned because she wanted to take over the mortal world. While imprisoned, she manipulated one of the guards and it resulted in a son being born. Time of transition comes around every 70 years (I think) and is the time period where the magic world is the most susceptible to change... Thus, the bad guy plans his attack and ultimately wants to release his mother so they can overtake the world. Muahaha :P In order to do so, he needs to corrupt the new fairy godmothers and thus, sets out to woo Kristin. Actually sounds like there's potential right? The problem though is that it was not executed to its full potential. I think the biggest reason why is that Ms Stevens did a poor job at blending everything together: the world building, the action and the romance. There was a lot of world building information to convey and she did so throughout the book, but not smoothly enough. The biggest thorn though was the romance. Sparks fly between Tennyson and Kristin, but it was more a cat and dog interaction. You know, the kind where the H/H don't like each other, but can't help being attracted to each other? That wasn't bad in itself, but my issue is that Kristin and Tennyson fell in bed together very quickly and early in the book... It pretty much felt like Ms Stevens got them together as quickly as possible so she could focus on the revenge conspiracy and the action. You know, getting it out of the way. Sure, there were some quibbles between Kristin and Tennyson during the rest of the story that passed as a relationship, but in the end, it just wasn't romantic enough and fulfilling. I did like the slight twist at the end though regarding home which is foreshadowing a very happy ending... but for now, it seems like we'll see more of Kristin and Tennyson in the future books.
Overall, I thought the book was a bit bland. The wow factor just wasn't there. It's really unfortunate, because the premises and ideas were good, but the writing simply didn't measure up :( The voice was engaging, but I guess what I'm saying is The Wish List wasn't smooth enough... still had too many rough edges to it.
My Grade: After reading it, I gave it a B-. Upon writing this review though, I feel it's more of a C. So I'm going to average it out to C+. There are obvious flaws to The Wish List; however, it was interesting enough to keep me reading and to want to try the next book in trilogy coming out next year.