Enchantment is first book in the Channie series and currently there is a sequel (Taken) and a prequel (part of a YA anthology, Midnight Surrender). It’s not necessary to read the prequel before Enchantment since it was written after the first book.
Channie Kearns isn’t your typical sixteen year old girl and she’s use to living in seclusion. When the family is forced to flee the Ozark Mountains, they move to Colorado where they must hide the fact they are witches. What ensues is a journey about a young teenage girl falling in love and finding herself.
Imagine for a moment having a name and it’s tied to your personality. You’re probably asking yourself, how can a name be tied to a personality? Let’s say your name is Charity, you might be inclined to do charitable work. The concept of a power-name is unique and thoroughly explored. Channie warned her parents several times that they couldn’t just change her name with another spell without consequences. Channie finds herself fighting to stay as Enchantment while possessing Chasity’s power and it frightens her. The reason they change her name has to do with her sister, Abundance, and their belief Channie will end up just like her. This worries them more because they are living around Empties (those not magically gifted).
On the night Channie’s power-name is changed, she decides to see what type of effect her new name has on men. She meets Joshua Abrim at the local park where he’s hanging with his friend and sure enough her new name affects men the way her parents had anticipated. Over time Channie and Joshua fall in love. Channie has strong sexual feelings towards Joshua and no doubt had there not been a magic barrier, I’m sure they would have consummated their relationship. Alas there is that obstacle and Joshua understands. There’s a hilarious scene involving a spell gone awry and girls reacting to Joshua as if he were a member of a popular boy band. Joshua also is a bit unsure if he believes what Channie tells him about magic and witches. At first he’s inclined not to believe her, but overtime he comes to terms with it. The way he accepts Channie is lovely and although he wants to protect her, he’s at a complete loss at how to do it. I respect Abel for handling the reality of teenagers and sex. I believe the plot could have gone either way, but instead she emphasizes the importance of an emotional connection. The only boy Channie felt a mild attraction to before meeting Joshua was Hunter. Even she admitted to herself that it wasn’t love, but lust and that her parents hadn’t warned her that females could feel it too.
A few people have suggested Channie is a bully and has no remorse using her new found powers as Chastity to get what she wants, but I disagree. One simply has to look at her parents and you understand how and why she takes situations into her own hands. They just order her around and punish her for Abundance’s mistake; heck they punish her for their own mistakes. I love the fact that the voice of reason in the family is aptly named, Aunt Wisdom. Channie is in many ways naive about the world and very much is still able to be controlled by her parents. Changing her name also changes her, something her parents did not anticipate. There were moments I felt Channie was a bit too childish especially towards her relationship with Joshua, but I had to step back for a moment and put myself in her shoes.
Joshua’s real identity isn’t known until the end and upon my first read I couldn’t connect the dots as some have pointed out. After a second reading it became clear and even though the ending is predictable, I admit to being surprised. There’s a few unanswered questions that I’m sure are addressed in Taken. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I really liked the spells and the chaos that ensues.
People who like to read YA novels, will read this and give it a five rating. I couldn’t because I didn’t love it enough for a five rating, but I did enjoy it and to be honest I have Taken and just need to find a moment to read it. If you’re a fan of fantasy or paranormal books this might appeal to you.