13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2013
I adore - ADORE - the Kate Daniels series, but I'll admit I was a little worried about it losing it's spark now that our heroine and hero are all loved up. There was nothing to worry about, the book is fantastic. I devoured it in a day and it was so emotionally draining that I was left exhausted by the end.
***** beware spoilers ahead *****
The book is set away from Atlanta for a change, so not every regular character has a big part and we are also introduced to new characters, but the synopsis probably gives a better outline than I can.
Kate and Curran's relationship is believably put under strain (a difficult manouver for the authors to pull off convincingly) and not only did I believe it as a reader, I FELT it. Warning bells went off in my head before they did in Kate's and I shared the feelings of disbelief, loss and humiliation. As a reader they took me from a place of being 100% confident in a Kate/Curran HEA and turned that belief on it's head - not an easy task! I love Curran, but there were times in this book I could have cheerfully strangled him... Luckily it's impossible to stay angry with the Beast Lord.
The story arc is drawing to a close and so it's no great surprise that we meet Hugh again... but how we meet him is ;) Some VERY interesting developments on this front and there were times he absolutely stole the show. The big bad is looming on the horizon and we really start to appreciate how momentous Kate's task is. She felt very human in this book.
Last but not least, there was the unexpected death of a much beloved character - I'll admit it, I cried. Like I said at the start of my review, emotionally draining stuff. Take the day off to read Magic Rises, because once you start you wont be able to put it down and if you're new to the series don't start here because you have missed soooooo much character development, start with Magic Bites: A Kate Daniels Novel: 1 and enjoy the ride!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2013
It is important to note that these books are written for a specific audience. I am fairly confident 40+ year old single males are not what the publishers, or probably the authors, are aiming for. As such please take this review in that context.
I have loved the Kate Daniels series since the first book and my addiction has grown with every passing novel and short story.
I do love urban fantasy but I tend to dislike most paranormal romance novels that focus on romance or sex instead of the story.
For the first time in the series it felt like I was reading a paranormal romance rather than an urban fantasy action novel. I sensed the relationship between Kate and Curran was the main focus. In the previous novels their relationship has grown and developed in spite of the story, either comically or epically. I am hoping for a return to violence and less angst in the next in the series. Whilst this is not my favourite in the series it is still very good and a worthy continuation. There is also now a real feeling that Kate and Curran have passed the point of no return and a confrontation with her father is now inevitable. There is still plenty of action and there are several action segments that were simply fantastic plus there is a great reference to David Eddings to watch for.
Overall, if you have read the others in the series you are already, like me, addicted. This is still my favourite series and Kate is still my favourite heroine.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2013
If I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. The book is incredible, the story line pulls you in from the start, the characters are well written and thought out, and it's one of the few books that's written by two authors that I've read that doesn't feel like two authors, it's so smooth. The male characters are obviously written by a male, as you really do feel that you are seeing it from a male's point of view, not what a woman thinks a man is thinking. And the female characters are really well written to, but none as good as the lead character, Kate. She is a great heroine, amazing sense of humour that has me laughing out loud at certain points. She's also not overly perfect as a lot of heroines lately seem to be, so it makes it easier to empathize with her.
If you've read all the books til now, like me, then reading this is frustratingly great. The actions of the characters frustrates because you don't understand why because you and they should know better!
There are also several shocks and twists in the story, and I refuse to write more about it so as not to give any spoilers. Suffice it to say it's great to have Kate back (wasn't a big fan - although still enjoyed it of book 5 - Gunmetal Magic) and to know they've been given the go ahead by their publishers for many more books, as it was originally going to end at book 7 and to think no more Kate and her world after that, is great news.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2013
The star rating is within the context of an Urban Fantasy series. If you are looking at this having never met Kate Daniels, stop and look up book 1 in the series (and note the series takes a couple of books to warm up).
If you are wondering whether to continue, don't hesitate. Ilona Andrews manages to keep the Kate and Curran dynamic lively despite them being an item. Unlike some other reviewers, I do think the story takes primary place in the novel, with developments in the mythology, the setting (Europe) and overall the story arc. Whilst the relationships are well illustrated, they don't overpower the narrative, (I speak as someone irritated by the PR genre.) High action and fight scenes are there aplenty and I liked the unfamiliar setting filled with my favourite characters and nasty surprises (a little reminiscent of The Castle of Otranto).
There is a nice balance between tension and humour and there is a sense that although the world is established in great detail, the style is self aware and doesn't take itself too seriously. I'm still not sure what to make of the new magical duo-the resolution was a little too neat for my liking and I would like a little more grey in my characters; GRR Marten this is not. However, it kept me engaged, entertained and made me laugh loudly throughout the novel. I will certainly be waiting for the next in the series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Kate and her Beast Lord lover Curran face a whole new type of threat to their relationship when they travel abroad on a mission to guard a pregnant shape shifter in exchange for a herbal/magical concoction that can alleviate the chances of shape shifters turning loup and having to be destroyed. Of course it's a trap, but the local shape shifters have no idea what Kate is capable of. They see only a puny human woman, but Kate eventually gets to prove to them all just how tough she really is.
Kate has no problems with the thought of fighting the shape shifters that hate her, yet she's got to remain diplomatic and not jeopardise the Pack's chance of obtaining the much sought after but scarce and hideously expensive drug that can alleviate loupism. What she isn't prepared for is the appearance of an enemy who knows who her father is and a winsome werewolf princess who displays too much interest in Curran.
This series continues to thrill with its engaging characters and action packed plots. There are a couple of surprising twists, the introduction of some enigmatic but clearly powerful individuals and the unexpected and heart-breaking loss of a character I initially didn't think much of but grew to like.
It's taken me a long time to get my thoughts together enough to write this review, Magic Rises took me on such an emotional roller coaster that there were times when I couldn't tell up from down and I was exhausted by the end of it. That happy kind of exhaustion where you have cycled through so many different types of emotion but are left with a huge smile on your face, where the highs were only as high because you plunged into the lowest lows but you've finally made it out the other side and lived to tell the tale. I have become such a huge fan of this series over the last couple of months, I've devoured all of the books and short stories and I've loved every minute of it. Each time I finish a book I'm convinced that Ilona Andrews can't possibly top it but with every new instalment they consistently manage to. I'm not going to lie there were things in Magic Rises that I absolutely hated, things that made me so angry I wanted to throw something, but in spite of that I loved every single page of this book. There aren't many stories that can inspire such rage in me but then turn around and make my heart melt, have me bawling my eyes out one minute and clutching my sides with laughter the next. Magic Rises does all that and more and for that reason alone I'm going to have to say it's my favourite book in what has hands down become my favourite series.
For the first time we see Kate and Curran venture out of Atlanta and travel across the seas to Georgia because Curran has been asked to mediate a dispute between three European packs. It's not something he's looking forward to, in fact he's pretty sure it's a suicide mission because he's had dealings with these packs before and it didn't go well the first time, but they are offering the one thing they know he can't refuse - panacea. The European packs are the only ones who know how to create the medicine that can save the lives of young shapeshifters who are on the verge of going loup and they have promised to pay Curran with it if he resolves their dispute. Both Curran and Kate will do whatever it takes to protect the youngest members of their Pack and they aren't afraid to put their lives on the line to do it.
I was quite excited to see Kate and Curran in a different environment, especially when I found out they would be taking most of my favourite characters with them - Derek, Andrea, Raphael, Doolittle, Aunt B, Barabas, Saiman and a few less familiar faces too. We even get to meet Jim's sister Keira who I have to say I hope we see more of as the series continues. I knew it would be interesting to see them all out of their comfort zone, especially Curran who is so used to being in charge and for everyone around him to immediately follow his orders! What I wasn't expecting was the strain it put on Kate and Curran's relationship. Some of Curran's actions made me absolutely crazy, even though I knew he had to have a good reason and was sure there was some kind of plan he was acting on I was so mad at him I couldn't see straight. I wanted to climb into the book and punch him on the nose on Kate's behalf and to give her a comforting hug at the same time. My heart broke right alongside hers and I hated seeing her hurting so badly.
As mad as I was with Curran I was thrilled with the way Kate's friends rallied around her, she has come such a long way since the beginning of the series. From that loner who kept her distance from everyone to someone with friends and an adopted family who she loves deeply and would die to protect. It was great to see that they also have her back and that they'll even take her side when Curran acts like an arse. I will say that Curran went a long way towards making up for his behaviour by the end of the book. I'm still mad at him but I understand the reasons for doing what he did. He knew that he was risking losing Kate forever but he went ahead anyway because it was the only way he could see of keeping her safe, he loves her enough that he would rather risk seeing her walk away from him than to let anything happen to her. I still want to see more grovelling from him in the next book but I have high hopes that they're back on the right track.
I don't really want to go into any details about the rest of the story so I'm just going to tell you that there are some extremely interesting new characters, shocking twists, a lot of action, fabulous fight scenes, moments that will break your heart and others that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Basically it's everything you'd expect from Ilona Andrews and this series but to the power of 10. Magic Rises is hands down the best book in the series so far and it will turn you into an emotional wreck while you're reading it. Clear your diary before you start reading because you are not going to want to put this book down for a second! I don't know how I'm going to survive the wait for Magic Breaks.
on 2 August 2013
Edited to add ------> you may want to read the deleted scene at the back of the book first. I beleive it would have made an excellent prologue.
It is not often that one can say that a book in a particular series is `the best ever'. However, in my mind I can and will be saying exactly that about Magic Rises. It is the without an iota of doubt in my mind, the best book in this series to date. This book is filled to the brim with magic, action, mystery blood and even some romance.
The writing team of Ilona and Gordon Andrews have come a very long way from their first novel in this series Magic Bites.. The maturity of the characters has left me breathless. The plotting is without a doubt, written more intricately and adeptly than any other author of this genre can. This team can write a scene where everything looks hopeless for the protagonist, and instead of pulling some lame trick out of thin air to rescue the character, the team actually uses something that makes sense, has already been mentioned and planned for. This is a sign of a great author.
There is a very popular author, whose main character gets a new power when backed into a corner. This other author does not plan or plot - she just adds a new powers when needed. With no plausible explanations how the character got the powers.
The Andrews team does NOT rely on Mary Sue characteristics for Kate. They plan and they plot and the end product is nearly flawless. Yes, there still are continuity problems - ones that might easily be missed, but nothing that will take away from your reading experience.
As an added bonus, there are deleted chapters in the back of this book that the team simply could not fit in anywhere without creating a problem with the finished novel.
The characters are written and developed so well that you think you might be able to become friends with them. The secondary characters are written so well that you think you will explode if you don't read at least a novella about their lives. You will become so invested in the characters that when something happen to one, you almost feel it like it had happened to you. Even the romance in this book, as little as there is, is true to life - no fantasy garbage, just real people leading real lives in a topsy-turvy world where your best friend may get a bit furry and fanged when irritated.
As we know from the synopsis, our group will be going over to Europe to do a job that is guaranteed to be fraught with danger, yet yield a wonderful payoff; the panacea to end most cases of Loupism. They know they are heading off into a trap, but what else could Kate and Curran do when the children of the pack might be cured of this horrible problem? You know they will both enter with blade and claw drawn. What they didn't know is that the trap is even more deadly than they thought and the price for the panacea is even higher than they expected it to be.
Spoilerish but not really-------> We will lose one of our min secondary characters in this book and two of the others will be damaged, possibly beyond repair. There is confrontation with a particular someone so unexpected, that my jaw actually dropped. This happens in the first quarter of the book. Curran may possibly look like an opportunistic jerk for a while. There is more blood and guts in this book,than in most of the other books. There is a very hot scene. In addition, I thank the writing team for not making sex the focal point of these novels. This series has stuck to being an Urban Fantasy series without the sex/romance.
The group will encounter some interesting new species, and even take one home with them. Yes our intrepid group (or most of it) does manage to get a happily ever after - in a twisted sort of way.
----------------> End Spoilers <---------------------------
There is a secondary plot going on with Kate and Curran that proves to us that Kate is her own woman. She is still unsure of herself. She is still trying to protect those she loves from her Father and she has fears of losing Curran. Although she loves Curran to bits, she has not lost her mind or herself over him. The Andrews make the couples interactions very realistic.
This was purely an edge of your seat, cannot put it down type of read.
on 8 August 2013
Where to start! I LOVE these books!
I had waited what felt like forever for the next part of the Kate and Curran adventure, and Ilona and Gordon did not disappoint!
Most of my favourite characters feature heavily in this book, and for the first time most of this story not set on home ground. There are more twists and turns in this book than you will believe, new people are introduced that you know are going to be important, and someone (much loved) dies. (I had to read that whole section twice and cried the whole time.)
This book turns everything on it's ear, making you doubt the things you thought you knew about Kate and Curran's relationship (even before Kate does). It throws all Kate's worse fears straight at her and we stand on the side lines watching her struggle to deal with each new blow. (I really wanted to smack the hell out of Curran more than once!) and for the first time really worried what she might have to do next.
I read it in a day, and then picked it straight back up and have begun to read all over again (only much more slowly). If you haven't got it yet... what are you waiting for?! Go get it.... QUICKLY! You are going to love it!
on 25 August 2013
Another great instalment in this series. Kate Daniels remains my favourite female lead (and given fierce competition such as Mercy Thompson, Jane Yellowrock, Allie Beckstrom and Dory Bhasarab amongst others, it's not easy to hold that number 1 position). Magic Rises is well written and hugely engaging - I felt every emotion that Kate felt when I was moved to tears in the first few pages, I knew this book was going to engage me as much as the previous books. **SPOILER ALERT** parts of the story were a bit thin - the explanation for Curran's behaviour didn't stand up to too much scrutiny and were, in my view, was a bit weak and whilst I could accept he may be that protective, I didn't really buy that he would have taken that course of action - really, he risked their relationship because she's not a good liar rather than find another approach? I don't think so.
Overall though, it didn't really detract from the story which is character driven and these characters, all of them, are just wonderful. Thank you Illona Andrews for not allowing the fact that that Curran and Kate got together to detract from their story or their characters.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2013
After finishing the last novel I checked out the kindle store and was pleased to see yet another one, needless to say I grabbed that too and was not disappointed, I don't want to ruin the storyline but it does seem that the Ilona Andrews team have something planned for Kate which is making the storyline rather interesting to say the least, I'm liking the way she changes with reveals and seems to be growing.. One minor moan.. Didn't she need to feed the sword previously? No real mention of that now.. Or am I thinking of another book.. Hmmm
Only buy this book if you have 2 days to waste.. Because opening this will delete them from the week!