Spell or High Water picks up about a month after the events of Off to Be the Wizard. Martin and Philip are invited to a summit for magical time-travelers, to be held in the mythical city of Atlantis, where Gwen is now a resident. In the present, Jimmy has managed to get out of South America and is hot on the trail of Martin, intent on convincing the Treasury agents hunting Martin to help him. Plot wise, that’s basically it.
The entire book follows Martin and Philip’s adventures in Atlantis, with all the politics and romance and murder attempts involved there, and Jimmy’s experience with the Treasury Agents. Between these two storylines, there’s a lot of laughter to be had.
My favorite thing about Atlantis, which is where every single woman who discovers the File ends up, has to be the man servants. Musclebound men with little more than fluff for brains congregate in Atlantis, hoping to catch the eye of one of the sorceresses. In doing so, they guarantee an easy, comfortable life for themselves, doing manly stuff like cleaning and filing papers while the sorceresses take care of the womanly things, like politics and city infrastructure. The gender role reversal was very entertaining for me, and the “uniform” these men often wore, comprised of mesh shirts and short kilts, just made me role my eyes so hard.
Jimmy’s storyline, with Agents Miller and Murphy, was laugh-out-loud funny. The lengths that Jimmy had to go through to work around his magnetic field that destroyed all electronics was one of the most amusing things I’ve ever read. But what really killed me was Agent Miller’s extreme anger issues. The man is hilarious. And again, what made this book so incredibly fun for me was listening to it on audio. Luke Daniels is a treasure, and his voices for the Treasury agents were fabulous.
All in all, this is a very fun, light series. I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the first, but the difference wasn’t large enough to adversely effect my rating. If you’re looking for a fluffy blend of science fiction and fantasy that will have you chuckling as you read, give this a go. And if you want to upgrade those chuckles for full belly laughs, pick up the audiobook.