The Song of the Quarkbeast
by Jasper Fforde
Jennifer Strange is a foundling who is running Kazam Mystical Arts Management, one of two groups who manage the magic in the Ununited Kingdom. The Great Zambini, the mage in charge, has gone missing and will only pop back for a few minutes at a time, though never in the same place. The competing magic company is led by one of the most dangerous mages of all time. A bridge needs extreme repairs, which requires more mages than Kazam currently has. And the king doesn't really like Jennifer at all.
Now Jennifer has to keep Kazam running, get the magic sorted and organized, find the Great Zambini, stop iMagic and the mage in charge, Blix, from taking control of all magic, repair a bridge, and avoid angering the king.
If only mages weren't turning to stone left and right. If only the most powerful magic wielder around hadn't given up magic forever. If only the Great Zambini would stop disappearing. If only the bridge repair hadn't become a contest that would determine the fate of Kazam and all magic in the Ununited Kingdom.
Jennifer is the only person who can stop it from getting out of control... more than it already has.
Final thoughts: Cute read meant for young adult readers, but it may be a bit too clever for many. Fforde's Thursday Next series was amazing and fun to read, but that one was rich with in-jokes and puns that only bibliophiles would truly understand. This current book is much the same with all the cleverness and in-jokes that many might not catch or understand. The story itself is a little roundabout with small items placed early on in the book that are not referred to again until near the end of the book and those items turn out to be key pieces of the puzzle; that kind of foreshadowing may go over the heads of some. Overall, this is a cute read and a lot of fun if you get the jokes.