Rate this book

License To Ensorcell (2011)

by Katharine Kerr(Favorite Author)
3.39 of 5 Votes: 4
0756406560 (ISBN13: 9780756406561)
Nola O'Grady
review 1: I was hoping for a good book out of experienced author Kerr (even though I got bored with her Deverry fantasy series well before it finished up), and I was not disappointed. And for once, I even had some clear ideas about *why* I liked it.1. The characters. First-person narrator Nola O'Grady is smart, self-motivated, and knowledgeable about her areas of expertise, but not without flaws. Her expertise doesn't, however, extend to every possible permutation of paranormal phenomena. She is a bit too determined to be self-reliant (although given her mother, that seems understandable); and also rather too determined to stay a size 4.Ari Nathan, the other major character (and love interest) is also well-drawn, though as he's seen entirely from Nola's point of view some of he... morer opinions can't be relied on. He wrestles creditably with the news (and evidence) that some paranormal stuff is real. But what I found particularly entrancing is not that he's Israeli, but that the fact that he's Israeli occasionally trips up his interactions with Nola - that is, he's actually written as having a different cultural and historical background than an American. That's a feat worthy of a standing ovation in any book, in my not especially humble opinion; in a work of American speculative fiction, which often seems to believe that everybody's really an American at heart, raucous cheers are in order. 2. The paranormal aspect of the setting. In this iteration of a paranormal real world, most people can't perceive paranormal things, which is what I prefer (how else can this stuff be kept secret?). Different people who can perceive them, have different talents to different degrees, and if you train at them, you generally get better at them (another plus). The general tendency appears to be inheritable. Nobody actually knows everything about paranormal phenomena, and some of what they think they know may be wrong. The "Agency" Nola works for deals with incursions of what they call Chaos, trying to keep the balance between it and Harmony. Yes, not a new idea, but one that I like. 3. The plot. Devoid of stupid-for-the-sake-of-the-plot. Sometimes, the bad guys just outmaneuver the good guys; sometimes, the good guys overestimate their own abilities; sometimes, there's no way to see what's coming (despite the best of efforts). Lots of problem-solving, consulting resources, investigation. Good stuff, more than one thing going on, plenty of tension without being exhausting. The romance was there but not (I'm glad to note) take over the whole plot or devolve into sweaty sex scenes. I found the bureaucratese used by the Agency to describe the "Talents" and various "procedures" amusing (and very believable), though I daresay it might annoy some folks. Overall, an excellent example of the urban-fantasy type, and the second volume is already on its way to us through the mail.
review 2: So, I'm a big Kerr fan from way back, and I thought "ooh, urban fantasy! Awesome!" and grabbed this book ASAP.All the acronyms annoyed me SO MUCH. Reading it on a Kindle means I don't get to flip to the back of the book to double check, and I was continually forgetting and then being tossed out of the story because "wait, what does that acronym mean again?"But! The characters are fun, I really loved Nola and her crazy family, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better in the future books, which I'm sure I'll read. 3.5 stars, really. less
Reviews (see all)
Not too keen on this one, will give the second book ago with hopes it improves.
I love Nola's family. This is a great start to a series.
Nola O'grady #1
Extra 1/2 star
Write review
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)