The Department of Magic By Rod Kierkegaard, JR
Magic is nothing like it seems in children’s books. It’s dark and bloody and sexual - and requires its own semi-mythical branch of the US Federal Government to safeguard citizens against everpresent supernatural threats.
Join Jasmine Farah and Rocco di Angelo - a pair of wet-behind-the- ears recruits of The Department of Magic - on a nightmare gallop through a world of ghosts, spooks, vampires, and demons, and the minions of South American and Voodoo gods hell-bent on destroying the world in the year 2012.
Only Rock and Jazz, in the company of a ragtag team of urhobos - homeless guardians of the District of Columbia - can prevent it by resurrecting “Goddess America” in a mystical ceremony on the Fourth of July.
It’s all just a normal day on the job at The Department of Magic - where new employees entering its offices are never seen again, while mysteriously continuing to draw full salaries and benefits, sometimes for decades or even a century after.
With a magical cast of characters and a wry insider's view of the US Federal Government, here at last is a Harry Potter for grownups.
As you can see from the Amazon description this story follows the sometimes hapless adventures of Rock and Jazz, two new government employes who have no idea what it is they have been employed to do. The world around them is suddenly revealed to be seeped in magic and mostly awful creatures who are pretending to be human beings. We are introduced to a number of new and horrifying creatures. Most of which Jazz and Rock encounter while trying to get the personal effects of George Washington. Think Warehouse 13 but instead of Random artifacts we are after stuff like George Washington's teeth.
Lets take a moment to talk about the characters. Jazz starts off as a spoiled brat, worried more about her appearance than about anything else. Rock seems like a broke well meaning doormat, still being strung along by an ex-girlfriend he can't seem to forget about. The two instantly hate each other, which of course means they are going to like each other a whole lot in the near future. As the story progresses we see both characters begin to change, feeding off the adrenaline of their jobs. Jazz seems to worry she's being corrupted but Rock just appears that much more manly making him even more attractive to Jazz.
The story line did start to drag a bit in the middle until the birth of Tink, a human/vampire born to Rock and his then girlfriend (Jazz's best friend) Bobbi. Bobbi as it turns out had been dead for some time and been replaced by a crazy shapeshifting vampire. Once Tink shows up the story really picks up. I actually flew through the end and found myself wanting to read the next book.
Overall I'd give this a 4 out of 5 stars. Even though the start was slow the book really grabbed me. I understand the need to set the stage for the world we are reading about and that can take a few chapters, so I'm going to cut him a little slack. I also enjoyed the casual political digs. Since it seems all of these otherworldly creatures spend their days working in American politics or running Homeland security. If your looking for a change from the usual fantasy novel this one is worth your time.