I was so excited when I saw this at the library! Wild Ways is the sequel to The Enchantment Emporium which I read when I first moved to Victoria last year. This book was much shorter than EE, which I was glad for. (Long books are so difficult to hold up while you are reading in bed. Yes, this is *actually* my reasoning. Shut up.)
The main focus of this story is Charlie. She is one of the Wild Powers in the Gale family, and can move about by making us of things called the wild ways – passages through space and time, entered through natural spaces that wild powers can find and use. The story continues from EE, so it’s worth reading that one first, I think (Huff does a lot of set-up in that book, which is longer). Charlie is beginning to tire of her country band in Alberta, and is trying to ignore her itchy feet. When an old friend calls her up and asks her to come out to Cape Breton and play with his band for festival season, she realizes it’s time to keep moving and accepts. But there are other wild powers at work and Charlie feels the need to step in… not surprisingly, nothing is straightforward as it seems.
Apart from the dubiously black-and-white portrayal of the environmental aspect of the plot (I thought it was a good idea, especially with the incorporation of the fey, but it didn’t feel completely believable to me for some reason), I really enjoyed this book. Huff does a pretty amazing job of incorporating humour (we must have similar senses of humour) and Canadiana into her novels. And, this time she got all the street names right in Calgary, which I appreciate (only one slip-up in EE but it was pretty blatant to this born-and-raised Calgarian).
It’s such a novelty to read fantasy by Canadian authors who write about familiar places and make Canadian pop culture references. I really must prioritize reading some of Huff’s other books.