Jenny Strange is the manager of Kazam, a pseudo-company pseudo-family where magicians and wizards are hired out for odd jobs to get enough income to stay afloat. In a world where magic is slowly decaying to trickles of power and there is only one last dragon in the world, change is coming. And at the heart of it all, Jenny Strange will be catalyst as she strives to keep everyone in her responsibility afloat, but also to do the right thing.
I loved this book. It reads almost like a children's book or a fairy tale, but with a very down-to-earth modern feel. And it is not childish at all. I loved the nods to fairy tales and old myths and punny twists on those references. I loved the strong protagonist, the way the plot progressed, and the world building. That's basically everything a book needs to succeed.
Jenny Strange is a great protagonist to follow. She is strong enough to rely on her wits, but have enough support from friends and pets to not be a completely arrogant heroine. She's witty and clever without being obnoxious or perfect. The supporting cast is all quite interesting as well. I suppose one quibble I had was with the villains for just being too much of a stereotype: but that resolved itself near the end of the book and I am left with an overall very positive impression of all the characters.
The plot progressed nicely - it was engaging, gave information in a way that wasn't condescending or a info-dump. Everything flowed. Well done.
The world. It was believable. I loved it, this modern yet archaic Earth that has magic, but is still concerned about drain pipes. Magic carpets, but used for delivering pizza or organs. A king to rule, but companies lobbying for a celebrity face. It's lovely and wonderful, with a touch of whimsy.
I just want to say... I love the ending. Beautiful. A little short, a little abrupt, but everything I would hope an ending is.
Three and a half stars because I really did like it and it's better than the average fiction book. But rounded down because I probably won't reread it again. It's not really a re-readable book because a lot of engaging moments hinges on the way information is presented and the plot twists that happen.
Recommended for people who like a bit of whimsy in their books, or for those that want something light and fun to read. Also definitely recommended for people who like fairy tales and a touch of magic. Ah, I'd probably recommend it for anyone who really enjoyed Ella Enchanted and grew up somewhat (just a little more adult). Worth reading. Really.