This is the fourth (and most likely last) book in Swendson’s Enchanted, Inc series. While Swendson has mentioned that she had originally planned it as a five-book series, the publisher apparently hasn’t bought the fifth book. Very sad, because I love this series – it’s definitely one of my favourites, and I’ve reread the previous books numerous times.
Don’t Hex with Texas takes place outside of New York, in a small town in (surprise, surprise) Texas. Katie’s returned home in hopes that if she is away from New York, her lovely boyfriend Owen Palmer won’t be distracted from vanquishing the evil Phelan Idris. However, things in Cobb, Texas aren’t as quiet as she had been expecting – it seems like Cobb, Texas has suddenly gotten a rogue wizard of it’s own, and it’s up to Katie to figure out what’s going on. She soon starts unveiling Idris’s plan to teach people who are magical, but have no magical training, all kinds of spells that can create all sorts of havoc. Of course, if Idris is behind this, then Katie needs help from her magical friends in New York, and soon Sam and Owen appear in Texas.
First thing I noticed when I got my hands on this book is that the cover was not quite the same as the rest of the books in the series. This may not seem like a lot to some people, but as a graphic designer, the fact that the colour of the title in this installment (a bright reddish-pink) is so different than the other books in this series (various shades of purple) really bothers me. It sticks out like a sore thumb, and it’s going to really annoy me when they’re sitting next to each other on my bookshelf, even if all I can see is the spine.
The story itself, though… I loved it. It definitely stood up to the standards set by the previous books in the series – not my favourite one (Once Upon Stilettos still manages to be that), but definitely wonderful. The only thing that bothered me with the actual story is that so much it seemed to be spent explaining who different people were, or different events that happened during the previous books.
I miss some of the characters from previous books that didn’t make it down to Texas for the book, but most of my favourites all managed to make an appearance – Owen, Merlin and Rod were all there, though I think we could’ve used some more time with Rod that we actually got. And I wish we had gotten to see Trix. There were so many great new characters in this book, though. It turns out that some of Katie’s family are magical, and others are immune to magic like she is (we found out about Katie’s mother previously, but one of her brothers is too).
And then Phelan Idris is obviously back, who is a wonderful bad guy. Insane in the most amusing sorts of ways. When first confronted with Owen and Katie, what does he do? Start whining and complaining about how hard it is to be a criminal mastermind. It definitely was one of the best parts of the book, and had me in a giggling fit. Only thing I wish we knew more about was the people that Idris is working for… I suppose that’s what would happen in the fifth book, if it gets published. Oh, one can only hope.