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4.8 out of 5 stars43
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 17 August 2012
I'm a huge fan of the Kate Daniel's series of books - the humour of Kate's thoughts and her interactions with Curran et al always makes me snigger, and this was mostly missing in this book, because Gunmetal Magic is about Andrea and the various life choices she needs to make, with Kate only making an odd appearance.

From the end of the previous book in the series (Magic Slays), and the hype, I had expected there to be much more regarding Raphael's competition in the love stakes - Roman. But there wasn't and in fact he makes 3 appearances in total, and none of them really noteworthy, even the "love scene" was just a few lines long. In Magic Slays Roman had shown quite a quirky personality, someone willing to fight for the lady of his choice. This book we got a wet rag in the love department (ripped body but still a wet rag!), so I was terribly disappointed with how both he and their relationship progressed in the book. Don't get me wrong, I knew who she was going to choose, but still I was expecting there to be more suspense regarding it, rather than blatantly obvious all the way through.

Having said that, the book is a good read. the Ilona Andrews pairing pulling their skills together to create completely different personalities to write about - unlike other book series by different authors where all the stories and characters feel the same, just the names are changed. As I like Andrea, it was great to see her point of view on the world and her friends, plus it was fun to see more of Ascanio and see his character develop further.

The saving grace for me was the mini story at the end - Magic Gifts - I know some fans got to read this some time ago on Ilona Andrews' website so for them its nothing new, but for those who missed it (like me) it was a wonderful bonus and a glimpse of Kate, Curran and the crew. Even better reading it straight after reading Gunmetal Magic, there are various parts in both stories where the two books coincide, so seeing the conversation from both sides (something Ilona Andrews always does well - fans will know of the Curran Points of View and this has that feel about it) is great.

Overall, it is a really good read, but doesn't have that "I cannot sleep until I finish the book" feel about it I got from all the other Kate Daniels books, although I still read it fairly quickly (2 days to read instead of 1!).
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on 9 May 2014
I would give this book more stars if I could. I've read it twice now and the only reason I haven't read it more is because I insist on reading it in order with the rest of the Kate Daniels series. Technically this is a standalone book from the rest of series but because Andrea and Raphael feature so strongly in the main series, it's worth reading it in order. It's brilliant. The authors are not a one-trick pony, they have created just an interesting story with lots of character-depth for Andrea as they have for Kate. And this is a stand-alone book so technically it's not like they really needed to. But it is so worth it!

Andrea is interesting, her back-story is brilliant (if gruesome) and the story-line is well thought out and well written. If you are a fan of the Kate Daniels series, definitely buy this book (but you probably already have!). If you have never read any of Ilona Andrews before then this is a good starter book. Even though you'll be reading it out of order with the main series, it still stands alone just fine, so it would be a good way of finding out if you liked the author's style before starting another new series. I discovered this author by reading a short in an anthology, all it did was made me want to read the whole back-catalogue! Well worth it.
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Firstly, if you've been waiting for 'Magic Gifts', the Kate Daniels story promoted at the end of The Magic Graves anthology and have been disappointed to find it unforthcoming: don't be! The story is here, in the shape of a 100+ page novella included at the back of this book. 'Magic Gifts' - told from Kate's perspective - overlaps with the timeline of the first part of 'Gunmetal Magic', and has a plot which feeds into it. This being the case, you might prefer to read it first... if so, skip to page 329! 5/5

And for the main event... 'Gunmetal Magic', which sees shapeshifting former Knight of the Order Andrea Nash handed the narrator's role is generally an entertaining, action-filled, fantasy yarn. Andrea has lots of issues to resolve: her own shapeshifting nature, her discomfort with the idea of Pack status, and of course the wreckage of her relationship with Raphael Medrano - the Alpha male of the bouda pack.

Everything you could ask from Ilona Andrews is present - action, adventure, mythology, humour... shapeshifter courtship rituals! Andrea has had enough of being beaten down and trying to hide from herself. She's back, and she's kicking butt.

However, while Andrea makes an interesting narrator and has a clearly different voice and outlook, Kate (cast in a secondary role) is hugely diminished - relegated to little more than a few wisecracks for many of her appearances. Much as I enjoyed Andrea (and Raphael)'s story, I did find the vision of Kate a little disappointing. Even so, overall there's much to enjoy. 4.5/5
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on 24 October 2012
I have read the Kate Daniels series since I accidentally fell over it at a con. I picked up MAGIC BITES and started to put it back down when a fan of the series told me I had to get it and read it. I think of her every time I pick up one of the books and wish I had gotten her name so I could thank her.

GUNMETAL MAGIC is the latest in the series. I was thrilled to see we were going to learn more about Kate's best friend, Andrea Nash and her on and off again lover, Raphael Medrano. I was fascinated reading about them in previous books. This was the chance to learn more about the Hyenas and Andrea's past.

This is a wonderful story. Ilona Andrews has done their normal bang up job. You feel for Andrea and the mistakes she has made and wonder if she can come to an understanding of herself and the changes in her life. The protagonists, or bad guys, are the ones you love to hate. The end result is a great book in a great series.

This is not a stand alone book. The reason I say that is they discuss things that happened in previous books. While not completely necessary to know, it would be nice if you understood the tree with the g-strings on it.

This series is a great read. GUNMETAL MAGIC also includes a Kate Daniels novella. If you like reading about shapeshifters, magic and ancient gods, this is the series for you!
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on 26 October 2012
I am a big fan of Ilona Andrews, the wife and husband writing team, producing amazing Urban Fantasy books.

Firstly, I'm going to have a big whinge that this title isn't available on Kindle. Very disappointing and hopefully, soon to be addressed.

As a book in the Kate Daniels series, it was fantastic.

Andrea Nash, a closet beastkin has lost everything she valued and is rebuilding her life. She's working with her friend Kate in Cutting Edge, but business is poor. A new case from the Pack means she's got to face Raphael and all of the emotions that brings. Andrea has got to come to terms with being beastkin and her uncertainty about the Pack...if that's not bad enough, she must solve the mystery of the murder of the 4 pack members, preferably without dying.

She is feisty, loyal, dedicated and is working hard to be less screwed up.

What's great about this is that Andrea has her own voice. Some writers who start with a character and series, when they try something else, their reader is left thinking 'hang on, this isn't a different character'.

Not so here.

There's a great balance between action and introspection, there really isn't anywhere I started flipping through and once I finished it. I had to go back and re-read my favourite bits. It's a great read.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 September 2013
An offshoot of the "Kate Daniels" series, this book is set several months after the events in "Magic Mourns". Andrea has been kicked out of her beloved Order after it is discovered she is a shape shifter but has ended up working with her best friend Kate. She's also split from Raphael following a massive misunderstanding that had him questioning her loyalties. When Andrea is asked to investigate the deaths of 4 shape shifters she hopes to steer clear of Raphael; only he has other plans which include flaunting his new fiancée in front of her.

There is plenty of explosive action and drama as Andrea and Raphael find themselves taking on a God, yet Andrea may have to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure those that she loves survive. There is also a lot more focus on Andrea accepting her Beastkin persona, her relationship with Raphael and accepting her role in the Hyena community. Andrea has plans for her future and I can totally see her achieving the goals she sets herself. This is another great addition to the magical world IA has created and Andrea proves to be as kick a** a heroine as Kate.
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on 12 August 2012
Gunmetal Magic gives the reader a chance to get to know Andrea Nash with Kate Daniels taking a cameo role in the main book although she takes front stage again in the novella Magic Gifts at the back of the book.

I absolutely loved this book and have enjoyed the development of other characters which makes for a more rounded experience of the World of Kate Daniels. In fact I've already downloaded Magic Dreams about Dali and Jim which I will be reading next :o)

The writing of this book is as good as I always expect from this fabulous husband and wife writing team including their wonderful sense of humour :o)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 November 2012
I'm completely hooked on this series and so glad when it was brought out on Kindle - I had waited an extra few months from the paperback release as I am trying not to clutter the house with books.

I found it refreshing to focus on one of the other players and see the world through a second person's eyes and I wanted to know how Andrea solved her relationship woes and how she dealt with the other shapeshifters.

The only drawback in this novel was I found some of the place descriptions repetative, for example, I think I have read what seems to be the same description for The Unicorn and White Street in almost every book and it is getting a little tedious. Apart from that little niggle I enjoyed the book and read it so intently my husband thought I was out.
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on 10 December 2012
I am a big fan of the writing team that is Ilona Andrews. The Edge series now concluded nicely and the Kate Daniels series being thoroughly addictive and action packed, this spin off within that series has continued the action packed roller coaster of an Urban Fantasy.

Andrea has always been a great side character and we've gleaned more about her beginnings as she has developed alongside Kate, she also has her secrets and bad family life. I really loved having her up front, but still with Kate behind the scenes and other characters from the main series.

I devoured it in a few days, a long time for me usually, but a toddler doesn't allow for quiet reading time. It was fab reading and can't wait for more.
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on 28 July 2015
I enjoyed this book although I think I don't find Andrea quite as fascinating as Kate. However, I absolutely hated, completely loathed and detested the layout of the book and the novella that followed. It was done in such a way, that you could not tell who was 'speaking' and you'd keep having to go up to the top of the page to see if it was Andrea or Raphael or Kate or Curran. The sentences followed each other in a jumble with little respect for paragraphs and layout and it was really difficult to keep track of who was speaking when. This is definitely a Kindle problem. No self-respecting publisher of paperbacks or hardbacks would allow this kind of sloppy editing.
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