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on October 25, 2009
I hate to give bad reviews; in fact, I almost never do. I am not giving this less than a three, because the writing is grammatically accurate, there are no large plot holes, and, well, because I hate giving a hard working author a bad review. However, I think that a label of Young Adult would have better prepared me for this book.

It's always a chance with humorous fantasy, that it will cross that line; the line that Pratchett seldom steps over; the one that this book does, into juvenile. Perhaps I'm a bit old school, but reading a book where the main characters use words like "fantabulous" makes me die a bit inside (like I did when "ginormous" got added to the dictionary last year (sigh)). There are fat-butt jokes repeated ad nauseum, and if I ever hear the term "Ducky" again, well, I might jump. There is also quite a bit of filler and fluff- let me rephrase that, QUITE A BIT of filler and fluff: I just spent 5 pages (pages 340-346) reading a stupid, circular argument about whether to take a car ride or not (I might have forgiven one page, but no more than that). This type of filler is not a unique experience, as far as this book goes.

This is not a bad book. It is not poorly written. I just have a difficult time relating to anyone in it, or keeping interested in the natterings of the main characters. As a disclaimer, I am in my 30's and male; however, I know of no one, personally, in my demographic, who would disagree with me. If you're into fantasy series about worlds populated by talking cats, are a fan of Mercedes Lackey, or like Reality TV (with lots of people bickering), then this book might be just your speed. I hope that it works for you. (note: I have not read a Lackey book in 2 decades, so she might have changed in that time)

For the record, I found the first book in the series to be a bit better.
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on July 17, 2009
K. E. Mills' sequel to The Accidental Sorcerer brings to my mind a quote by Thorne Smith, author of "Topper": "Like life itself my stories have no point and get absolutely nowhere. Quite casually I wander into my plot, poke around with my characters for a while, then amble off, leaving no moral proved and no reader improved. You will be equally mystified if not revolted. I am myself."

Gerald, a previously 3rd grade wizard come into his "rogue wizard" powers, is now an undercover agent for the government, while his friends Princess Melissande, Reg, and Monk's sister Bibbie have started their own agency, Witches, Inc. Of course their assignments intersect, and the words "madcap" and "hijinks" are brought to mind. I am a fan of Thorne Smith's work, so I was entertained by this book as well. 543 pages flew easily by, never getting bogged down in details or plot. The story focuses more heavily on the girls of Witches, Inc, but I was still a little frustrated by the lack of growth of Gerald's powers. The first book had him developing the power to create dragons, while in this book the most impressive demonstrations of his powers included mind control and lock-picking. I had also hoped for a little more elaboration on Reg's history. I have high hopes for the third book in this series.
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on February 1, 2011
So. Melissande, a supporting character from the first book, takes center stage in this sequel. She, Reg the nagging bird, and Monk's newly-introduced sister Bibbie open a sort of magical detective agency. Meanwhile, Gerald is sent on his first assignment--but that's almost a subplot; we spend much more time with the trio of two women and a bird.

It just wasn't great. Melissande didn't work as a main character for me--she was a lot of fun as a supporting character, the practical and not-beautiful princess--but IMO she can't carry a book by herself, or even with the help of lovely, scatterbrained Bibbie. Gerald (and Monk) pop into view occasionally, but there's not enough of them.

The central problems of the book seem tame after the first book's mad king, cave of torture, and climactic battle with a dragon. There just wasn't much to worry about. The detective agency's two cases are both trivial in nature, and even the third case (Gerald's assignment) is only about some stolen blueprints. It's hard to care.

I read this book avidly, because I liked the first one so well that I bought the second and third at the same time. I thought this book might be a case of sophomore slump, but alas, it was not so. If you enjoyed the first one, I recommend leaving it at that.

On the bright side, this book is almost free of the editing and proofreading problems which plagued the first one. You get the "most improved" award in that respect, Orbit.
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on August 12, 2009
I enjoyed the first book of this series quite a bit, but found I had trouble getting into this one. The opening of Mel's thread of the plot, and particularly the interaction between her and Reg, were off-putting for me and I put the book down several times before finally just skipping a chapter or two ahead and moving on. I enjoyed the rest of the book at that point, but Reg (who had amused me in the first book) continued to grate. She was just so obnoxious that I wanted nothing to do with her and couldn't understand why the characters in the story didn't feel the same way. Perhaps I wasn't in the right mood for the book when I read it. Regardless, I'll certainly be getting the third when it's available.
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on September 2, 2009
While I liked the debut book of this series more, I still enjoyed this book. The previous entry into the series was much more epic, and I tended to like the characters more. This book focused on a character I didn't enjoy from the first novel, and there was really no big villain. It played out more like a mystery novel where the characters have magical powers. The characters were still really strong, and the goofy nature played out well, though the tone had some problems when switching between the Witches Inc investigation and the Rogue Wizard point of view. Nonetheless, I was thoroughly entertained while reading Witches Incorporated and will be sure to pick up the next installment.
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on June 29, 2011
This might have been a nice book. The story is not horrible, but I've had to resort to skimming the book to glean anything of interest. The grammar is correct and technically it is well written, but this book is tedious, very very tedious. As one of the previous reviewers said, it is full of fluff (or drivel). Every 6 pages someone says something interesting or relative to the plot line. The rest is uninteresting babble between the characters. K.E.Mills seriously needs a good editor.
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on April 27, 2015
A continuation of the previous book, The Accidental Sorcerer, follows much of the same formula. It maintains a mostly lighthearted tone with some complexity thrown in. The story follows Gerald and Melissande in a parallel story that converges near the end of the book. The writing for this book is good and the story fairly interesting, but alas a few cons prevents me from giving it a full five stars.

The world of Rogue Agent isn't developed properly leaving gaps in my imagination of what the world is like. This is the second book and by now, one would expect the reader to have a firm grasp on the setting, but it isn't happening leading to several questions. Is the world semi-modern with cars? Is it Victorian-esque? Is it like steampunk? How much of the world depends on magic? For example, it looks like using a crystal ball for communication is the norm in this world, but we also know that not everyone is born with magic. How does the mundane person communicate?

Another minus is the rather obvious pointing at sexism. New Ottosland placed women in a lower tier and was explained away as it having to do with Tradition in a Tradition-centric society of New Ottosland, but even then Melissande held the high position of Prime Minister. Yet here is Ottosland which is described as more forward thinking, sexism is rampant. It felt as if Witches Inc. was created to show the struggles of women in a male-centric society, but it does a terrible job of it. You have Melissande who has minimal magic potential but great admin skills that resents that fact, then there is Bibs who has tremendous magic potential but is as ditzy as she is pretty, and finally you have a bird who's only skill seems to be to nag and reminisce about her past...

Finally you have Gerald, who is probably now the most powerful sorcerer, not doing anything. It seems like his time is equally split between not following orders, resenting the fact that he has to be undercover, and being afraid. The inner turmoil of Gerald is very ham handed and sharing book spotlight with Melissande didn't help him get his story across fluidly.

I'm not saying this is a bad book. If you enjoyed the first book, you'll probably enjoy this one too, but from a review standpoint, it has some issues.
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on September 23, 2011
The second book in the Rogue Agent series is another fun romp. I have a special fondness for books that can make me smile. The last thing I want to do is spend my free time reading a book that is just as dark and depressing as reality and the Rogue Agent books certainly are not. In this tale, Mellisande, princess and former prime minister of a tiny colonial kingdom, is now living in the mother country. There she establishes a kind of witch-powered detective agency with her boyfriend's sister, who is both gorgeous and magically talented. They have been hired to uncover the identity of the person pilfering biscuits and sugar cubes in an office building. While attempting to unmask this dastardly miscreant, they stumble into the middle of a government investigation into a far more complicated and deadly affair involving terrorism and espionage.
I quite enjoyed this book although it could possibly have benefited from another round of editing and minor revision. Some scenes feel drawn out and there are places where the reactions of the characters do not seem to fit the situation. About a hundred pages could, and probably should have been cut in the final version. I did not find these flaws overly distracting though and I still recommend it.
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on July 31, 2011
Every now and then I find myself reading a book that I can't wait to finish so that I can read something a little 'meatier'
Witches Incorporated is one of these books. On the surface it is a spy novel involving wizards and and a secret agency, but there is also a second story involving a detective agency run by a princess, a witch and a talking bird(also royalty but bewitched many years ago)
Now doesn't that sound as if it could be very interesting?
I certainly thought so when I started it but I was very wrong.
The characters are boring... they really shouldn't be, but they spend so much time arguing and bickering with each other, pages and pages of it, that it slows down the story quite alarmingly.
The plot itself was a good one, lots of twists and turns but the denouement was so obvious it quite spoiled it for me. I knew who the baddies were long before the end, and after that it was just a question of reading on , and waiting for the author to let me know if I was correct.
And as for the humour, well for me there were absolutely no 'laugh out loud' lines and very few smiles.
It was all very disappointing.
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on April 18, 2010
I finished this book a few days ago, and liked it well enough to check into getting the others in the trilogy, and perhaps mailing them to a friend when I'm finished.

The wizard concept isn't new, but the author's take on it is amusing and interesting. I like the bird-queen, she seems to be the smartest of the gang. Some of the conversations need to be edited down, I think. In fact, the book was so -unstructured- I thought it was from a new author. I was surprised to find she's published quite a few books.

The characters are a bit too easily riled, irritated and provoked. But maybe if I had a talking raven telling me I had a big butt, I'd get angry too! One doesn't get the feeling the Rogue Wizard is all that talented; instead we are told after the fact that he performed a really amazing feat of wizarding.

But, after all the criticisms, I must say I think Ms. Mills has the genuine talent of a good storyteller. She spins a good yarn. So I'll be buying the other two books in the trilogy.
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