Enchantment Place edited by Denise Little

Enchantment PlaceFrom Goodreads:  "The stores in Enchantment Place live up to the title, catering to a rather unique clientele ranging from vampires and werecreatures to wizards and witches, elves and unicorns = in short, anyone with shopping needs not likely to be met in the chain stores. Here are seventeen shopping trips you'll never forget, from a store that sells the highest quality familiars… to the non-magical daughter of a magic-filled family who is left to mind the family jewelry store though she has no means to defeat an enchanting thief… to a woman running a Wiccan supply store who is suddenly faced with an IRS audit.…"

Honestly, I feel like a bit of a jerk giving this a higher score than Sixteen, which overall is of higher quality, but it's all about what you expect versus what you get.  With Sixteen, I expected something lighthearted, but moving about sixteenth years.  What I got was depression.  With Enchantment Place, I expected a mediocre anthology about a magic mall with some good and some bad stories and for most of them to be comic.  That is what I got.  

I will admit I liked the first story by Mary Jo Putney, a cute tale which introduces us the the mall and the type of customers it might have from the point of a mundane human, and the next story from Esther Friesner, a story about a magical familiar hamster, so much that I expected a much better selection of stories after reading the first two, but the rest of the series eventually settled into more of what I might have guessed was coming based on previous anthology experiences.

A few stories disappointed more than others including one about a woman who only finds her magic when she finds her soulmate (UGH) and another about a woman who buckles down and finds herself good at doing something for the first time after years of being a wastrel and that ruins her whole life.  Great life lessons, no?

Others are just forgettable.  As in, I read the summary up top and I asked myself, "Wiccan supply store and an IRS audit?  What?"  And after I recalled it, I realized it was one of the latter stories in the book!  

If you like anthologies about comedic uses of magic, give this a try.  Heck, I picked up the fact that I might possibly like the work of a romance author (Mary Jo Putney) out of it and that's enough to make me smile.

Verdict:  5.  Some stories definitely deserved a higher score, but the overall quality drags it down to a 5.

Thoughts:  I want to get out there and read some Mary Jo Putney now!  That was one of the clear and surprising winners to me.

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