Feb 9, 2012

Book Review: The Department of Magic

Magic is nothing like it seems in children’s books. It’s dark and bloody and sexual – and requires its own semi-mythical branch of the US Federal Government to safeguard citizens against everpresent supernatural threats.

Join Jasmine Farah and Rocco di Angelo – a pair of wet-behind-the-ears recruits of The Department of Magic – on a nightmare gallop through a world of ghosts, spooks, vampires, and demons, and the minions of South American and Voodoo gods hell-bent on destroying all humanity in the year 2012.

Only Rock and Jazz, in the company of a ragtag team of urhobos – homeless guardians of the District of Columbia – can prevent it by resurrecting “Goddess America” in a mystical ceremony on the Fourth of July.
It’s all just a normal day on the job at The Department of Magic – where new employees entering its offices are never seen again, while mysteriously continuing to draw full salaries and benefits, sometimes for decades or even a century after.

With a magical cast of characters and a wry insider’s view of the US Federal Government, here at last is a Harry Potter for grownups.

* * * * *
Despite the deaths, murders, and various paranormal nasties that abound in THE DEPARTMENT OF MAGIC, I found it to be a fun, lighthearted read. Perhaps it is because is difficult to take the book seriously which is a good thing especially if you have trouble sleeping. This book also explains the rather strange layout of Washington DC’s streets and the fact that it has some of the better weather to be found in that part of the country.

The author, Rod Kierkegaard, Jr. does a great job of hooking the reader right in the beginning with the murder of Farah and Rocky’s employer. One just has to keep reading to find out just what they got themselves into. And what that was is a life filled with magic and far too many paranormal creepies. In fact so many that I had trouble keeping up with them all. I was pulled out of the story a few times trying to remember just what they had discovered about this or that creature.

I did enjoy the character development shown by Farah. She grows from a spoiled fashion chit that was part of the beauty queen pageant to a caring woman that can be counted on in any situation. Not that she ever grows out of using her beauty to get her own way at times. Rocky however seems to be stagnant. Possibly because he just tends to go so much with the flow that he really doesn’t have obstacles to overcome that would force him to change.

I will admit that I did have problems finishing THE DEPARTMENT OF MAGIC which is disappointing when you consider that it started out with such a bang. Instead towards the middle it really started to drag as Farah and Rocky move from one theft to another, from one disaster to another. And the ending was more of the same.

This book might appeal to readers looking for a lighthearted fast paced paranormal but it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I rate it a 2. 

***I did receive this book from NetGallery for a limited time in exchange for the review.  No money exchanged hands and all opinions are my own.


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