on 28 March 2009
I have waited 10 months to read this book and it was defiantly worth it.
The story starts two months after Magic Burns and the results of the flare in Atlanta have left kate working long hours leaving her tired and overworked, to top off her day she receives a call from the order to investigate a Pack death and another call from Saiman to rescue Derek...All in a days work!
Kate gets herself entangled in Pack problems between Jim and Curran (not a bad place to be) and trying to save one of her friends while trying to hide from Roland. This is Kate's biggest challange so far and her friends new and old are right there with her. Andrea, Raphael, Derek, Doc Doolittle and Julie are back and we are introduced to some new characters as well.
Kate and Curran's developing relationship is brilliantly written and is not forced, it moves slowly which run's true to Kate & her worries but boy is there alot of sexual tension.
There are some hilarious scenes in this book especially the story told by Raphael about is mum and dads courtship, my husband thought i was crazy i was laughing so hard:)
This story like the previous books magic bites and magic burns is excellantly written and is the best Urban Fantasy series around, A must read.
Ilona please dont make us wait another year for the next book we need another one NOW......
on 28 March 2009
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!!!
on 27 March 2009
I really can't say how much I love this book and I don't really want to give anything about it away either. I love this whole series because it's dark and gritty, but with great humor and there is something very real and believable about Kate. And that continues through the other characters too and how she interacts with them. Her relationship with the Beast Lord, Curran for example. Not smooth sailing, not the usual kind of relationship you find in urban fantasy books. It can be really volitile and they have seriously tried to kill each other multipul times. Also, it isn't something where they fell for each other at first sight. It's developed slowly through the first three books and it's much better for it.
Magic Strikes completely lives up to the expectations from the previous two books. It reveals more of Kate's hidden past and sees her come closer and closer to showing everyone who she is in order to keep her friends alive. We also learn a little more about certain members of the pack, and just how much they care for each other. The idea of the Midnight Games is done well, with enough on it and enough shown without it being constant fight, fight, fight. And I think this book has some of the funniest lines I've read, several laugh-out-loud moments (not least of which is the final page, making it a great ending!).
Easily the best book I've read in the past few months and some of the very best newer Urban Fantasy around.
on 19 April 2009
I am a huge fan of the Kate Daniels series and i always look forward to the next installment. I have to say Magic Strikes does not dissapoint it is easily my favorite of the series so far.
The setting for this one is the midnight games an anything goes fighting tournament which Kate enters in an attempt to find out who brutally beat Derek her friend and werewolf sidekick. Through this tournament kates big secret is finally revealed.
I also love the way Andrews has developed the relationship between Kate and Curran (Swoon). Troughout magic burns it seemed like curran was playing a game he was determined to win, but towards the end of this book he proves how much he really cares about her. i was also glad to see things finally getting steamy between the two of them (hot tub scene).
I found this book highly entertaining and had me laughing out loud especially after their first fight in the pit
I can't wait for the next installment Ilona Andrews please write faster.
Ilona Andrews is one of those rare urban fantasy authors who just keeps getting better and better with each book.
Seriously, the woman spins up lightning-fast action, magic and a strong, self-deprecating heroine who knows her way around the sword like few ever could. Her third Kate Daniels book "Magic Strikes" is a brilliant example of all three -- Andrews has gotten solid footing in her unstable, magic-soaked world, and spins an elaborate story with no easy answers or solutions.
Kate was already having a rotten night (involving an elderly banshee on a telephone pole) when Saiman called -- her werewolf buddy Derek tried to break into his apartment.
To save Derek's hide (and avoid charges), Kate agrees to accompany Saiman to the Midnight Games, a fighting-anime-style tournament where supernaturals of all kinds fight to the death. It turns out that both Saiman and Derek are interested in the Reapers, a gang of inexplicably powerful humans who are winning round after round. Unfortunately, Curran has forbidden any weres to get involved in the Games (due to a past disaster involving a werebear).
At the same time, there are a series of killings in Atlanta -- horribly murdered weres that somehow didn't change shape -- which Jim has kept secret. When Derek is found beaten and savaged almost to death, Kate involves herself deeper by following the Reapers into their jungle lair... only to discover their true horrible nature, and a magical stone that may be able to destroy all the weres. The only way to stop the Reapers: win the tournament!
Ilona Andrews is rapidly becoming a sort of female Jim Butcher -- her books are made out of a tangle of interconnected subplots, a tough heroine with a very unglamorous job, and lots of werebeasties, monsters, and mythic creatures. "Magic Strikes" actually jumps up another notch above "Magic Burns," especially since Andrews reveals some interesting new facts about the characters (for instance, we FINALLY learn what Saiman really is -- and it's a shock).
Fortunately she also has the writing chops to keep the storyline moving, mainly because of her horrific descriptions of the disfigured and dismembered weres (including poor Derek, who gets turned into hamburger) and the savage magical duels in the Games. But there's also some wonderfully snappy lines ("I drive you mad and you want to strangle me." "Once! I did it once!") and some moments of relaxed humour (Raphael's tale of how his dad won his mom).
She also delves into some unusual monsters for an urban fantasy -- the rakshasa, Indian monsters with lotsa powers and not too much brains. Also in the games: a very old vampire, a lamia, an oni, a Fu lion, a silver golem, and so on.
Though she was once too angry and gung-ho, Kate is now an outstanding urbfantasy heroine -- she's tough, strong, caring and has a rather unglamorous job and self-deprecating sense of humor. She also spends most of the book doing the sexual-tension tango with Curran, who finds his iron-clad laws in conflict with the Pack's well-being. And Andrews shows a bit more of the personalities of the mysterious trickster Saiman (including his TRUE form) and the werewolf teen Derek.
"Magic Strikes" is a brilliant blend of gritty fantasy, high-speed action and twisty-turny conspiracy -- and it promises to become even more thrilling in future. Fans of strong women and lots of action need apply.
on 4 April 2009
I had so much to do this morning, but I foolishly picked up this book, which I got late yesterday, thinking to just read a couple of chapters while I had a cup of tea.
3 hours has now passed, my child is hungry, my kitchen is still wreaked, but I've finished the best book I've read in months.
If you haven't read the first two, do that first, you'll spoil it if you don't.
One last thought - I understand and appreciate that fabulous books are worth waiting for, but please don't keep us waiting so long for the next one...
on 26 May 2009
I have been looking around for ages to finally find a book as good as this one.
Ilona Andrews (Ilona and her husband Gordon) is an amazing writer: an original universe, amazing characters that manage to stay human despite their 'magical' abilities, a great writing style, great action and story line and witty dialogues. THE BEST BOOK OF ITS GENRE. The romance, which is very secondary to the plot, is also extremely well written. I love Curran and Kate!
I hope someone would make a film or a tv series based on it. It has all the keys to success. I think that by the time the series finish this will become cult. It is just perfect! And I can't wait for more (unfortunately I will have to wait a whole year for Book 4!)
on 6 June 2012
When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it's a job for Kate Daniels! Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that's saying a lot. But when Kate's werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games - an invitation-only, no-holds-barred ultimate preternatural fighting tournament - she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta's shapeshifting community . . .
Book 3 in the fabulous Kate Daniels series (Magic Bites, Magic Burns) is possibly my favourite so far. It's all starting to come together and Kate has come into her own as an amazing heroine. She's got smart, sassy, mouthy, strong, funny and gorgeous ticked, so can she tick the romance box finally?
If you're only just coming to this series, then start with Magic Bites, it's quite necessary to read all the books in order, plus it only increases your enjoyment of the series to read them in order.
Derek (Kate calls him The Boy Wonder) is a young werewolf who seems to have fallen in love for the first time; the course of true love doesn't run smoothly for him and he ends up getting attacked and nearly dies at the beginning of the book. Jim the Chief of Security for the pack goes AWOL and Curran is getting antsy... Kate is trying to keep all of them safe in her own kind of way (violence, smart-mouthing and humour) and her investigations lead her to the Midnight Games (think 'the hunger games on steroids). Pack law means that shapeshifters aren't allowed to compete in the Midnight Games so a select few have to go behind Curran's back to start a team and enter so that they can save Derek's love, and avenge him at the same time. Obviously Curran finds out... eek!
This book is soooo good, it's longer than the others so far, and the story is strong and beautifully written. Kate is getting deeper and deeper involved with her friends and she's starting to realise that her relationships with them are a little bit more important than locking herself and her heart away from everyone in the belief that this will keep them safe from the demons in her past.
We learn even more about her past in this book, and the reasons she is motivated to behave the way she has. We also get to meet the Bouda's in more detail, who can resist them! They are possibly my favourite of the shape shifter clans, and Rafael is awesome. We also get to spend a bit more time with the characters we've grown to love whilst they are together at the Midnight Games, and we finally (FINALLY!) get to see Kate's feelings for Curran. There are some wonderful scenes between them in this book. I think their constant bickering is fabulous, it's funny and it's touching. I must have read some of their scenes 10 times before I let myself move on to the rest of the book.
I think if a book can make you smile, whilst transporting you to another world and making you ignore all other duties while you're reading it then it's a fine book indeed.
This is urban fantasy at it's very best. Read it, and then read it again. Fans of Patricia Briggs, Jeaniene Frost, Seanan Mcguire should love this book and series. It's in my top 3 and I read ALOT of urban fantasy.
on 25 June 2009
Kate Daniels is a down on her luck mercenary who also works for the Order of Merciful Aids Atlanta Chapter. Kate isn't a fully fledged knight of the Order, but she works for them nonetheless and also "enjoys" Friend of The Pack status with the local shapeshifters. The Beast Lord who rules over The Pack in particular has taken an interest in her. In Kate's world magic is well and truly out -- leaving the inhabitance to battle its effects as it constantly wipes out technology in unexpected waves.
Magic Strikes sees Kate scraping by two months after the events of Magic Burns and she's a busy girl. She's approached by Saiman to escort him to the Midnight Games on security detail and to observe some probable non human fighters -- the Midnight Games being a kind of illegal paranormal gladiator competition to the death. Kate is asked by Derek AKA boy wonder to deliver a message for him to someone at the Games. But he won't tell her what it's about. Suspicious? Yes. There's also a murder that The Pack is investigating, but the Beast Lord doesn't know about it... On top of that despite declaring his intentions, Curran hasn't contacted Kate for months and she's feeling a little confused (and relieved).
Kate is reluctant to give into her hormones with regards to Curran because she thinks if she sleeps with him, he'll get what he wants, lose interest, and walk away untroubled leaving her heart broken. Their relationship is still beautifully written and nuanced. There's some fantastic interaction between the two of them in Magic Strikes; I loved that Curran offered to make Kate coffee and ask her about her day -- something she told him she didn't have someone to do for her in the last book. Kate finds herself embroiled in a right old mess. I loved every single minute of it. The writing was fast paced as usual, and I think the plotting benefited from the slightly higher page count. We learn a lot about almost every character -- Saiman, Jim, and we're treated to some particularly amusing personal stories from Raphael who explains to Kate how his father wooed his mother (hilarious!) There's also vital information and insights into Kate's mysterious lineage and past. Curran's past was touched upon as well; I really enjoyed learning more about all of the characters because it was not only interesting, but it felt earned.
I love Andrea so much. I have no idea what it is about her, but I just adore her. She has this wonderful caring sweetness to her. The fact that she wouldn't let Kate forget her and became BFFs was cute. Raphael has also won my heart with his crush on Andrea and doing funny things like teasing Curran and Kate about one other. It makes me happy that there's going to be a short story about Andrea and Raphael in Must Love Hellhounds.
Jim was surprisingly interesting; I was intrigued by his back story and find him quite funny in places -- especially his reaction to the first fight. Derek broke my heart. It's nice to care about the characters and I was very happy to see Julie back. Kate was fabulous in this book. She was strong and brave and put the people she cared about before herself. Kate really has changed and grown over the course of the books and is a better person for it. The revealed back story also served as insight into her character; why she is the way she is.
Overall the book was as excellent, if not better than the prior offerings. I thought the story was emotional, romantic, hilarious, and there was a lot of rewarding pay off for some arcs. The ending being particularly genius. May is too far away for Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, Book 4).
on 13 February 2013
I think after finishing number three in the Kate Daniels series, I have officially turned into a little bit of an Ilona Andrews fanboy. This really is a series that just gets better and better with each entry, and I am really looking forward to the next one.
The setting for this one featured a gladiator style event called 'The Midnight Games', which allowed for some good fight scenes, an introduction to the worlds more unusual beasties, and more information on Kate's ancestry and Roland. This book (like the one before it) continues to be a lot more fantasy than most urban fantasies out there, with it's flying castles and ancient hindu orders. I would normally dislike that as fantasy really isn't my genre, but it works here very well.
If there's any gripe I have with the series as a whole, it's that the action scenes tend to be a bit on the short side, leaving little suspense as to whether Kate is going to win. There's no tension, like in the earlier Anita Blake's for instance. Even in 'The Midnight Games' where the fights are supposed to be epic and a spectacle, Kate more often than not, one hit kills everything. They aren't unenjoyable by any means, but I would prefer a little more detail and suspense in them.
Overall, another great entry in one of my favourite urban fantasy series.