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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Whatever You Want: Leave it to Chance and Courtney Crumrin

This week I've decided to give you two sides of the same coin: young female magic users. On the one hand, you have Chance Falconer, daughter of Shaman Lucas Falconer. On the dark half of the coin, you have Courtney Crumrin, niece of Aloysius Crumrin.

Leave it to Chance

By: James Robinson

Chance Falconer is all ready to train to take over as Devil's Echo's occult protector. A week after her birthday, she brings up the fact to her father, only ot be shot down by him saying that the work is too dangerous. Chance's mother died due to Lucas's work and deformed his face. He promises that when she has grown up and had a son that he will train her son.

Chance is ever the plucky heroine and takes to building her own contacts in the police and solving supernatural crimes on her own. This series spans three books with a couple of single issues floating around. The supernatural to us is just every day in Chance's world. Want an army of Troggs? Feed a bunch of humans this potion. Pixies? She has one that's her friend called Dash. Need a dragon? Yup, got one of those named St. George (he's just a bitty shoulder dragon). How about a ghost ship? We've got a story about that too.

Chance feels very much like a modern day, supernatural Nancy Drew. This is one of the few good books that has a strong lead female character (or at least a fully clothed female character). I've very sad that this series was never finished. I was looking forward to following Chance as she grew up and filled her father's shoes.

Courthney Crumrin

By: Ted Naifeh

If you like your little girls dark and angry, Courtney Crumrin is your girl. Her parents, who don't pay much attention to her, move to "take care" of their Uncle, Professor Aloysius. While they are enjoying the boost in social status (which is just what they were aiming for), Courtney is dealing with bullies and being the social outcast. Then she makes the aquantice of the Goblin Butterworm. He helps her get even with the bullies. Now Courtney is beginning to see that her Uncle's books are worth while for things and she starts dabbling in magic here and there.

Dabbling in magic is a tricky thing. She has a glamour go awry and her Uncle has to step in and help her undo it. Courtney ends up baby-sitting a Changling. She gets to see the crowning of the new leader of the cats.

Courtney is very down to earth, if not a bit rude and bad tempered. I know that doesn't make a good book usually, but I'll be damned if this series doesn't have me searching for the next book. I normally like my leading ladies to be a bit better tempered, but who can really blame Courtney for acting the way she does. Plus, it gets the job done.

I'm no Scotty when it comes to finding weird and unusual books to read. I didn't even find these books on my own; Mike at the St. Charles store pointed me to them. If you get a chance to flip through them, I definately suggest you give them a day in court. You won't be dissappointed.

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