This dark urban fantasy series just gets better as it progresses. I thought book 1 "Magic Bites" was fantastic, but book 4 "Magic Bleeds" in on a whole new level. I was hooked from the prologue, as Kate begins to accept Curran in her life and finally admit to herself this is one shape shifting lion she can't resist. Yet their blooming relationship hits a giant hurdle right at the start of the story, plus the shape shifting races are again at threat as a new enemy stalks Atlanta. Unfortunately this enemy is not only a plague bringer capable of turning every shape shifter Loup, but also a member of Kate's very powerful and extremely bloodthirsty family.
Despite the fact Kate has yet to confront her greatest enemy; the man she has trained since birth to kill, I cannot see how this author can possibly top the adrenaline packed adventure and wonderful romance in this book. Curran and Kate are absolutely perfect together, their verbal and physical sparring obvious signs of their attraction to each other, whilst Kate's friends sit back and enjoy the show. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, although a warning to the squeamish; there does continue to be a high level of violence in the plot.
on 28 May 2010
In most cases, book series get gradually worse throughout the series. Each book seems to be worse than the previous by a little it except for a few miraculous clumps of great writing. However, this is not the case with Andrew's Kate Daniels series, and I found this fourth book the best so far.
It was described as the type of book that 'makes or breaks a series' and i have to say not only does it make it but it practically blew up the competition. It is a stellar mix of action, snappy comebacks and witty dialogue and the tempestuous relationship of Curran-the Beast Lord of Atlanta-and Kate. The mix is so seamlessly blended together with great writing that you sit on the edge of your seat captivated by every detail, and I must say I think that the book calls for many rereadings.
Magic Bleeds ties off certain threads started in the first book, particularly the relationship of Curran and Kate which was subtly developed in the previous books and creates ones, leaving the reader wondering where the book will go next.
A fantastic read. I would recommend to all.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2010
Magic Bleeds is the 4th book in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. It's a series that has just gone from strength to strength. The third book, Magic Strikes, was immense and is one of my favourite books ever. I've been dying for this book since finishing Strikes over a year ago. This book had a lot to live up to, and it wasn't a let down in any way!
Kate has never had it easy, but after the events at the end of The Midnight Games (in Strikes), things are far more dangerous for her. There is an enemy out there who knows her parentage now, it's only a matter of time before she faces the fight she's been preparing for her whole life, the one that will likely kill her. It's a bleaker Kate we're faced with here. One trying to keep her heart protected, determined to protect those she loves, and yet facing huge odds. She can't walk away from her friends, or from her job at the Order. Her latest case starts with her investigating a bar room brawl that finished with a dead man pinned to a telegraph pole with a deadly, fast spreading disease of some kind. Powerful magic is behind the attack and Kate knows that the person behind them must be stopped before they destroy Atlanta. Easier said than done.
Like magic Strikes, the plot flowed smoothly and quickly, and its another book that is very, very hard to put down. However, while the main plot gets plenty of page time, it does take a back seat occasionally to the romantic subplot. Tension has been building steadily between Curran and Kate since book one, and something had to give, one way or the other. This book is where it happens. I won't give away details of the outcome, except to say nothing in Kate's world is simple and just because there is some resolution of some kind, does not mean trouble goes away! Overall, there is less humor than the previous books, but with the way things have turned, that is to be expected and the book is no worse for it. Also, it has the what is, in my opinion, the funniest moment of the series to date. Which given certain things from previous book, is saying something. This particular moment had me in tears I was laughing so hard and I had to stop reading for a couple of minutes to get myself under control. I am giggling about it again now just thinking of it.
The tension, of all kinds, rides thick through the book and you can really feel Kate's angst as she battles to figure things out, make the right choices, and fight for her life. One of the things I love most about this series is how real, complex and well rounded the characters are, secondary characters included. Most of them have their own little stories going on as well, and we get glimpses of them from Kate's POV at times. They all add to the story rather then being random things dropped in to attempt to add depth, these really work. It constantly has me wanting more on various characters, wanting to know more about their lives, as well as Kate's. The use of various myth and legend is once again used to great effect in this book as Kate's foe. And as always, it manages to stay interesting as it twists and turns while Kate figures out the facts, and what is pure myth.
There were some fantastic scenes in this book showing off the way Kate's changed through the course of this series, how she's grown and how she intends to face her future, as well as showing where she's come from, how she's never forgotten that. But Kate's past isn't the only one that gets an airing in this book. There is some tantalizing back story on Curran (finally!) as well, again adding further depth to his character.
The whole book was near impossible to put down, but the ending was very, very intense as things hit boiling point. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll leave it at that for talking of the ending. There were some interesting twists I really wouldn't have guessed, leaving some tough stuff to be dealt with in the next book. And while there are some resolutions to earlier plot threads, there are other issues just starting, waiting to be explored in the next books. I can't quite decide if I like this more than Strikes or not, simply because they are both immense books, but they are quite different. It's certainly no worse, and if you liked the previous Kate books, you're sure to love this one equally. I'd hate to choose between the two, but it's certainly an awesome edition to the series. My one complaint? Same as for Strikes, and Magic Burns before it: Too short. And that's even though this one is 40 pages longer than Strikes. This is a series not to be missed. Easily some of the very, very best urban fantasy out there with some of the deepest, most realistic characters I've read. If you haven't tried the Kate Daniels series yet, do so right now! And if you dropped it because the first book isn't great (I like it, but it's not all that) then pick up book 2 and keep going! Because the rest of the series more than makes up for it!!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2010
Ilona Andrews comments at the beginning that this was a difficult book to write - and you can tell how much work has gone into it. Not a word is wasted, the story doesn't let up for a single moment, it's breathtaking in its emotional range.
This book is definitely darker than the first 2 but it is also the start of the real saga (well arguably it started when Kate broke Rowland's sword at the end of book 3 and let her secret become public). This book brings family into the fight as Kate battles her aunt to prevent disease taking over the city and madness infecting the Pack. The battle scenes are detailed and written in such a way that the scale and devastation is overwhelming, yet because everything is from Kate's viewpoint they are also deeply intimate and the reader feels every "slash of the sword". In spite of the action however what really anchors the book (as it does all of them) is Kate. She is a great heroine and her relationship with Curran, which has been subtly developed over the previous 3 books, is realistic and written with genuine warmth and wit - which when you consider he is a pre-historic werelion and Beast Lord of Atlanta and she's well, heaven knows what exactly - takes some doing.
This book is both an end and a beginning; some things are tied up and threads which have been followed in the previous 3 books are brought to a satisfying conclusion, I won't spoil things by saying more. The exposition is over, we know who Kate is, we know about her heritage and we know the Pack will now be a part of her life. The real story of how she takes on Rowland can now begin.
Like others, I would strongly recommend you read the 3 previous books first - not least because they are great and deserved to be read in their own right, but mainly because if you want to invest in these characters you have to know their stories.
Now I've read it and written my review, I'm going back to start at page 1 again!
on 5 August 2011
It was great!
I read it all in as close to one sitting as a year old baby would let me.
The romance between Curran & Kate still adds spice without overwhelming the entire story, despite taking greater prominence than in previous books. The authours have done really well in treading that particular line, so well done them.
Having read the previous books in the series, I can't really comment on how good a stand-alone it is. I CAN recommend that you start with No. 1 and work up, because there is no sense that the set-up has run out of juice and the authors are still trying to milk it. In fact, I am waiting for No.5 to be delivered.
If you enjoy female centred urban fantasy, have a sense of humour, and have been bored in the past by too many sex scenes, you will like this.