Top critical review
One person found this helpful
Magic strikes but doesn't quite hit the mark
on 16 June 2012
It's 2 months since MAGIC BURNS. Up to her eyes in work when the tech dominance ends, the last thing Kate Daniels needs is for Saiman to tell her that he's caught the young werewolf Derek breaking into his apartment. Knowing what Saiman is capable of Kate has no choice but to come to Derek's aid. Doing so involves her in the Midnight Games, an illegal preternatural fighting tournament where contestants form teams and fight to the death where Derek is trying to help a girl fighting with The Reapers (a team that's won all its fights).
When Derek's found beaten almost to death and infected with silver after other shapeshifters have been similarly attacked and killed, Curran's determined to find the culprit and muscles in on Kate's investigation. Forced to work together, they uncover a malign plot to destabilise Atlanta's shapeshifting community, a plot that brings Kate face-to-face with the past she's hoped to escape ...
The third in Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series has a bit of a filler feel, coupling plot strands aimed at progressing Kate and Curran's relationship with Kate's past and a fight club that reads like a computer game.
The world building remains great. Andrews has put a lot of thought into how the magic/tech waves work and I love how she portrays the warring dominance between them and the affects that this has on everyday life for Atlanta's population.
I like Kate's practicality, her determination to get to the truth and her loyalty to her friends and Andrews does well at also showing her vulnerability and her reluctance to get close to anyone. Where she comes unstuck is in the relationship with Curran as she almost always comes off worse in their verbal sparring, which results in her behaving like a petulant teenager and him like an arrogant Neanderthal. I hated the ending, which I found sexually demeaning for a character shown as being a strong woman in her own right.
The action scenes are well written but the Midnight Games plays out like a computer game with various big bosses to beat. I liked the way Kate's past is being integrated into the series storyline and there's plenty of set up for the next book in the series but this did feel like filler, which only made for an okay read rather than an enjoyable one.