Let’s face a hard fact here: the real world can seem pretty boring. Get up, go to work, curse at traffic, flip off random drivers and pedestrians and the occasional kid in the back of the school bus, go home. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if that person who thinks he’s a warlock really is? Probably not, because you’ve picked on him since kindergarten and he’s got a huge chip on his shoulder and the power of the universe in his little finger. What about if magic were real and, frankly, pretty pedestrian? What if, instead of lurking behind the normalcy, the fantastic was right out in the open? Got a stain, go the cleaners. Got a hex, head down to Regina’s. She’s the best at getting out hexes. She’s even got a groupon going this month.
That’s the thing that fascinates me the most about urban fantasy as a genre. Regular fantasy, with mages and dragons and wizards, is less interesting to me because the world they’re set in is less interesting to me. That doesn’t mean the fantastic elements aren’t cool as shit, it just means I don’t really care for castles and dungeons. I like the idea that the hero or heroine saves the day then goes home to play XBox or Tweet about what they just did.
Totes stopped invasion of evil from 9th dimension. Suck it red ‘lectroids. Lolz. #banzai4life yo.
That’s the kind of world Raven Snow creates. There are magic stores – real magic, not prestidigitation – and they’re fiercely competitive. A budding witch with a powerful grandmother owns a throwback 70s roller rink. (BTW, I spent many a misbegotten day in legitimate 70s roller rinks. Yes, I’m that old). Snow has created a cool world where magic is just one of those things. By stripping the fantastic element from it, she’s made it even more amazing.
The story embedded in the surroundings is a traditional mystery, but Snow has breathed new life into the genre by dropping it into a magical universe. The cool thing is, magic doesn’t solve the mystery, because that would have been cheating.
Roller Rink Witchcraft is part urban fantasy, part mystery, part romance, and a heck of a lot of fun in the process.