10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
May induce fits of laughter,
This review is from: May Contain Traces Of Magic (Hardcover)
With effortless wit, Holt introduces the reader to another world where the underlying mechanics and physics of how the world works is closer to that of myth and fairytale, and only marginally more unreliable than the real world we know. For Chris Popham, a travelling salesman and amiable loser seeking to impress customers into buying a wider range of JWW magical products than the inexplicably popular DW6 dried water ("just add..."), there's always the risk of a malfunctioning product like the instant car-park space trapping him in another dimension. Not to mention the trouble with Demons. All fine and dandy when they're held in objects like a SatNav kept secure by protective charms, but Chris has been encountering a lot of rather more dangerous ones while out on his rounds, and wonders if it has anything to do with his friendship with Jill, a high-ranking official at Demon Control in the Department of Metaphysics, the new work placement student tagging along with him, or the entity in his SatNav with whom he has formed a dangerously close relationship.
It's the typical Tom Holt one-remove-from-reality that makes May Contain Traces of Magic great fun, with its juxtaposition of mild-mannered fools, looking only for a quiet life getting inadvertently mixed up in fabric of the universe business. Even if I were to tell you who was the troublemaking Demon ruining Chris's miserable but comfortable life, Holt delights in constantly shifting realities to the extent that you're never sure what the truth is. Despite pushing the situation a little too far past its limits in this respect with unnecessary complexity, the story and Holt's writing remains consistently entertaining.