Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Magic Breaks by Ilona AndrewsMagic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #7
Published by Recorded Books on July 29. 2014
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
four-stars

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews had a different feel to it than its predecessors. I don’t know if it was the disclaimer the authors chose to include at the beginning of the story or what, but Magic Breaks definitely had its own thing going on.

Something that really made the beginning portion of Magic Breaks hard to digest and latch on to was the abundance of Kate’s sarcastic quips. I’m used to her having one-liners throughout each installment in this series, but it felt like every action of hers or someone else’s needed a punch line and she was the designated comedian. The one-liners felt over the top and were seriously cheesy. Not only that but Renee Raudman’s narration worked my nerves early on too! It was weird since I’ve always enjoyed her take on the Kate Daniels series. I don’t know if it was because Kate spoke so much within the earlier action scenes and her inner dialogue moments that just hearing the story told in her perspective became boring or what, but I found myself almost begging for someone else to take over telling the story. But once we got past the beginning portion me and Raudman’s narration was back on the same page.

With all of that being said, it was the last few chapters before the ending where I found myself on the edge of my seat and glue to my headphones regardless of what was going on around me. The curve balls that these authors chose to throw at their readers were some of the best that I have read! There was no way that I could’ve seen the progression of this series going the way it did, and I am glad that we finally got the Roland v. Kate Daniels meeting/almost show down. Whew!

Everything that happened in Magic Breaks came at the perfect time, in my opinion, because there was only so much I could take of the building up of Roland’s premiere before I either became bored or started to feel cheated. With this transition of the Kate Daniels series the fire that this series has ignited in me for the urban fantasy genre, or the fantasy genre as a whole, has gained new life! I really don’t know what to expect with the remainding books in this series now that circumstances for Curran and Kate aren’t the same as we’re used to seeing them from the previous stories.

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Magic Rises by Ilona AndrewsMagic Rises by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #6
Published by Recorded Books Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Goodreads
five-stars

My gosh! This series just keeps geting better and better!

I’m usually a stickler for figuring out how the story title fits into the story, but for a huge protion (about 85%) of the time I was listening to Renee Raudman’s narration of Magic Rises I kept forgetting its name lol. I was so caught up in what was going on in its story that the title didn’t matter.

I’m not going to repeat myself on how awesome and compatible Curran and Kate are both together and as individuals because they definitely exhibited that. The plus side of this story, well there are a lot of positives, but the one I focused on most was how they both kept getting better and closer with each installment in this series, especially Magic Rises.

The key elements that made Magic Rises so entertaining and intense was its story contents. Ilona Andrews took the team away from their home in Atlanta and took them to where there would be no advantage to have and where their allies would center, maybe, on those that came with them.

The beauty of having favorite authors is that you make it a habit of not reading the synopsis of any book you pick up of theirs. So while I don’t know what’s to happen in Magic Breaks, I’m super excited for what it could contain and bring to this series.

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona AndrewsGunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5.5
on July 31, 2012
Source: Publisher
five-stars

When several shapeshifters die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea and her former lover, Raphael Medrano, must work together to investigate the crime.

After being kicked out of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea's whole existence is in shambles. She tries to put herself back together by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend. When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano—the male alpha of the Clan Bouda, and Andrea's former lover—die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate. Now she must work with Raphael as her search for the killer leads into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta. And dealing with her feelings for him might have to take a back seat to saving the world . . .

Yes! Gunmetal Magic was everything!! Who would’ve thought that a story featuring the secondary characters of the Kate Daniels series would be the refresher it needed to let me know that this series is a BEAST in and of itself.

I will admit that Andrea wasn’t a beloved character of mine simply for how she flaked when both Kate and Raphael needed her loyalty at such a crucial time. When her side of things was given in Gunmetal Magic, though, I can now say that I understand why she did what she did, but man the grudge holder in me doesn’t want to let it go. I think it’s easier to forgive her break from Kate because their friendship was built to withstand anything so I knew that they would be able to bounce back from Andrea’s actions, but what she did to Raphael really chafed and it took ’til about the halfway mark of Gunmetal Magic before I could accept that things for Andrea, at the time, was hard and she didn’t have a whole lot of room to maneuver into making a play to both protect herself and Raphael and Kate. But within this story she really grew both in character and in her maturity level.

When it comes to Raudman’s narration I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but the new observation I think I can lend to her awesomeness is how articulate she was when switching between characters. One fear I had when listening to Gunmetal Magic was that Andrea would end up sounding like Kate and I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. But the way this husband and wife writing team writes constantly shows me that they have no boundaries, so when the perfect opportunity was given my fears were put to ease. To be quite honest I’m not sure why I focused on Raudman’s narration more within Gunmetal Magic than I did the previous Kate Daniels books, but it was like something within me knew that this story was going to be special and I wouldn’t want to miss a single thing about it.

Going into Gunmetal Magic I had a few reservations, but by the time the audiobook was over I was one happy camper, although I felt like the ending was a little too predictable – well not predictable in the sense that I knew exactly what was going to happen, but that I knew Andrea wasn’t going to have to share her body and powers with a God wannabe. I seriously can’t wait to listen to the other books in this series, I don’t know what’s next but all I have to say to that is “BRING IT ON!”

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Magic Slays by Ilona AndrewsMagic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5
on June 8, 2011
Source: Publisher
four-half-stars

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she's still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate's mate.

So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price.

Magic Slays Initial Reaction:

With the way I’m feeling about the entirety of Magic Slays I’m going to take a guess and assume that the mood that permeated throughout its story, that was also within Magic Bleeds, will remain for the coming books in this series. It’s just a guess…

It wasn’t that Magic Slays didn’t have action, heart tugging suspense, or romance, I just think that my ‘meh’ feelings towards its has to do with the fact (probably) that I’m tired of talking about Roland and how much of Kate holding back of herself. For one, I need more of Roland’s offensive actions towards Kate to be shown, and lastly I need Kate to either embrace her powers and skills, figure out how to fit that in with what all is going on in her life.

Magic Slays didn’t wow me as much as the second book in this series. My emotions were engaged and I loved its story, but when the audiobook was over and Renee Raudman’s voice was no longer playing I was left wanting more. Even with each installment revealing more and more and revealed Kate’s powers and the state of unrest that all magical beings are facing since this magic surge, I still find myself wanting more. I’m not at the same place that I found myself at when reading the Elemental Assassin series, but I’m more at a happier version of it.

I don’t know, I feel like I’m babbling. I sincerely hope that Gunmetal Magic reengages my full attention.

Magic Slays Main Review

Every time I finish a book in this series I draw a blank on what could possibly happen next. I’ve gotten into this nasty habit of trying to assume what each story will be like based off the title, but when I do that for the Kate Daniels series my assumptions are always dashed (lol). The title Magic Slays suggests to me that things were going to get dicey within its story, but now that I’ve finished I shouldn’t have taken that assumption to heart. A lot went on in Magic Slays and there were more emotional slayage than the actual slaying of people, or supernatural beings.

The one additional thing I absolutely love about this series is how no one is safe. In Magic Breaks Curran was placed in a coma, in Magic Slays Julie wasn’t spared from walking that line of fatality.

What I’m starting to learn is that while the mood of these stories, as the series continues, might not be exciting and full of uncovered mysteries but do give us a look into the every day lives of a Beast Lord (Curran) and whatever the heck Kate is. Additionally, it shows how two dominant personalities that have come together in love can rule a vast ‘kingdom’ together. So with realizing this, I’ve come to see this as a blessing because more often than not in a fantasy series, this type of insight is a rarity but are usually what readers are secretly wanting to see in a series that’s full of action and suspense.

After saying all that I’ve said I can’t in good conscious leave Magic Slays at just four stars (my initial rating), so I’ll add a .5 to those four stars. It wasn’t a five star read, but it wasn’t far from it.

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Magic Bleeds by Ilona AndrewsMagic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #4
on May 25, 2010
Source: Publisher
four-stars

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren't for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose.

Kate Daniels works for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle---especially if they involve Atlanta's shapeshifting community.

When she's called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar on the border between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers that there's a new player in town. One who's been around for thousands of years---and who rode to war at the side of Kate's father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Beast Lord, to handle. Because this time Kate will be taking on family.

Oh, I don’t know what happened with Magic Bleeds and Me. When I started Magic Bleeds I was still riding along from the high of Magic Strikes, but the fuel from it started to dwindle when I realized that the story wasn’t working for me as the previous installments of this series has.

Magic Bleeds, for a large chunk of its story did have filler tendencies, somewhat. This story was full of a lot of back story and information, and while I’m not adverse to that I was really expecting a lot of action to take place. On top of that Curran and Kate were in a riff; I don’t like it when mommy and daddy fight 😢.

BUT… When I got to the last 20% of Magic Bleeds, MY GOSH it made up for the entirety of all that I found lacking with its story.

My heart still races just thinking about the number of close calls some of my favorite characters had, as well the power shifts that had taken place. I don’t even know how to rate my favorites amongst this series anymore because with each installment Ilona Andrews just keeps knocking it out of the park and wowing me. I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without reading the Kate Daniels series, it’s all about timing I guess.

Renee, Renee, Renee, you should get all the awards. In combination with the writing of Ilona Andrews and your narration I can never put these books down. I can’t even identify what it is about your narration that makes it impossible to unplug from my listening device but its there in spades. You have probably become the easiest auto buy narrator I have ever listened to.

I can’t wait to listen to the rest of this series and the rest of the books from this author. Four books in and I’m still hooked, there’s not a whole lot of series or authors I can say that about.