The third book in the Kate Daniels series, MAGIC STRIKES is just as brilliant as the first two. Stop reading here if you're a newbie-go back to MAGIC BITES and start there! Promise you won't regret it.
Anyways, in Magic Strikes we are introduced to the Midnight Games, part-owned by Saiman (the shape-shifting "sexual deviant" who wants into kates pants), where teams of 7 sign up to battle it out to the death in the arena. It kinda reminded me of gladiators. With her usual skill, Andrews manages to think up new and varied weapons, creatures, fights and gruesome wounds, all of which are a delight to read (in a non-wierd way) just because they are so original in such a saturated market. Although it is more of an urban fantasy, and not a paranormal fantasy as I am prone to reading, you still get to a saturation point where you feel like you've seen/read it all before.
This is part of the reason why the series is so good-not only are the characters well-fleshed out and believable, they are original too. Same goes for Atlanta, same goes for the magic/technical mix, same goes for the love affair between Kate and Curran...all are written about with just enough skill and detail to get you hooked and caring, but not so much that you switch off with boredom.
Mmmm Curran...where to start...the sexual tension that is ripe throughout Magic Bites and Magic Burns, is cranked up a notch (or two) in Strikes, and is all the more delicious for it. Another thing that Andrews has done so well: instead of falling straight in-love and straight into bed, you actually believe that these two characters are made for each other. In fact, only in this book have I noticed that Kate is starting to describe Curran as a bit of a hunk; not that we all failed to notice, but at least it is personality first and looks second for these two, which also makes a nice change from many of the other love stories out there!
Back to the plot: behind the Midnight-Games is a dark plot that threatens the shapeshifting community, and when shapeshifters start turning up dead or seriously injured, Kate steps in to investigate.
We learn more about the histories of quite a few characters in Strikes, which bulks them out even more, and even more 'hints' are dropped about Kate and her bloodline. If you didn't work it out from the previous two books then you will from this one.
I can't really write much else without giving the plot away; needless to say, if you loved the previous two books, then this one is a keeper. More of the same, but with all the same originality, this series certainly isn't boring or predictable when it comes to its plot-lines...although by the end of Strikes I think it is fairly obvious what the basic plot outline of the sequal is going to be. 'Uh oh' is all I can say...
I personally cannot wait for the next book to come out. Write faster please!!!