The Department of Magic by Rod Kierkegaard Jr.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Deep in the bowels of the American government's intelligence community is the Department of Magic. Comprised of only a handful of people, including newcomers Jasmine Farrah and Rocco Di Angelo, their purpose is to stop the destruction of America by a South American god/demon. Battling all manner of supernatural creatures, Farrah and Di Angelo work to collect the items needed to raise a hero who will protect America from the invaders.
Part conspiracy theory, part history, and part political fantasy, The Department of Magic is a really interesting idea that isn't executed quite as well as it could have been. Entwining the creatures and magic with American history and politics is a stroke of genius (and really funny), and the creatures Kierkegaard uses are quite terrifying. However, the stakes aren't made entirely clear until the last third of the book. Farrah and Di Angelo (and, thus, the reader) flounder about doing their boss' errands with no clear idea of why they're doing it or what exactly they're trying to do.
When the stakes are made clear and the final climax comes on, the book becomes far more interesting (as well as a clear metaphor for the fear of the "invasion" of illegal immigrants from South America) and the pace picks up, leading into quite the showdown. At the same time, the very ending struck me as incredibly cliched and out of place in relation to the rest of the book.
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