As You Wish by Gabi Stevens follows on from The Wish List, continuing the story of the Arcani world during the Time of Transition, whereby the old fairy godmothers lose their powers and the new godmothers come into theirs.
Gabi Stevens has chosen to focus on a different godmother for each novel in the series, and this second book focuses on Regina Scott, or Reggie as she likes to be called, as she gains her godmother powers. Her life is fairly uncomplicated at the beginning of the novel, as she runs an Arcani bakery, despite having no magic of her own. She is somewhat an outsider in her family, as she is only one without magic, and as such is overlooked by her overbearing mother.
Then the godmothers from book one turn up to inform Reggie of her new found calling. However, they are forced to leave straight after she chooses her wand, abandoning Reggie with a whole host of unanswered questions. As she has grown up with the Arcani world around her she is more knowledgeable about magic, and so there is no need for the level of description we had with Kristin in book one. However, one of the problems I had with the first book was that Kristin immediately seemed to know how some magic worked, and with Reggie we get more of a gradual exploration, for example when she first transforms into a sprite:
They were magnificent. The blue and green shimmered together like jewels. How did they work? Did she simply have to concentrate on where she wanted to go and the wings would take her? Somehow she didn’t think it would be that easy.
She is left in the capable hands of Nate Citadel, a mysterious diner at her bakery who covers up every aspect of his appearance other than his eyes. He is a friend to Kristin, but there are mysteries surrounding him that mean he might not be helping her for the right reasons.
Similar mystery envelops Jonathan Bastion, a rich wandmaker who is famous in the Arcani world and takes a particular interest in Reggie. They are drawn to each other from the beginning, but there is always the hint that he isn’t who he seems. However, with Jonathan I did feel the slight irritation at his ‘perfect’ looks, especially with Reggie described as average, as this seems to be becoming a common trait in fiction.
Continuing the threat of the first novel, our antagonist appears again under a different name (although it’s clear who he is from the beginning if you’ve read the previous book), trying to convert influential people to his cause. The council has become a problem, as they are desperate to control Reggie after the problems with Kristin in book one, leaving her unsure who to turn to for the most part of the novel.
Overall I liked this book a lot more than the first one, and feel that the series has improved. I now feel like I want to read the next book, whereas before I didn’t mind whether I continued or not. However, I still feel that the antagonist isn’t overly threatening, and he barely featured in this novel at all until the conclusion, which again felt vaguely rushed. I did love the character of Reggie a lot more than Kristin (who does make a cameo appearance in this book), as she is more unsure of herself and felt like someone you could relate to. I’m hoping the last fairy godmother is as exciting as Reggie!
I liked As You Wish better than its predecessor, and feel that it made a great improvement to the series. Reggie is an intriguing heroine, and one that can be related to, whilst the plot is fast-paced and action-packed. The romance twist is slightly unconventional, and this book sets up the last in the series nicely, and I’m interested to see who the next godmother will be!
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- The Wish List
- As You Wish
- Wishful Thinking
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