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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars

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on 1 May 2009
Having read the first two of these books I was really looking forward to the third installment and as before I found this book really enjoyable

This book follows on with the same characters from the earlier novels. without giving too much away about what happens the reader is given a further insight into Kate's background and her developing relationship with the other characters. While previously you may have wondered why she reacted the way she did to some scenarios, this time you find out some of her justifications.

To my mind the book keeps up a good pace and is interspersed with some good action sequences and unlike some books in this genre it is not overloaded badly written sexual encounters between the characters.
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on 5 May 2017
Fantastic as always, what a brilliant world of adventure,sarcasm and kick assery. I love this author. A definite must read series
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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......
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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!!!
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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.
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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).
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on 6 April 2011
This has to be the best yet (I have a feeling I'm going to be saying that for every single one of these books!) This one was epic, though. This was, Kate-takes-on-Gladiator. And what happened to Derek! Agghh! And the bathtub scene! I don't even know where to begin reviewing this book!

Okay, so there was definitely a lot more in the way of drama in this one, both in terms of the tragedy that befalls our lovely Derek, and in the relationship progress with Kate and Curran. I really went through the whole range of emotions during this book; I felt angry as hell on Kate's behalf at one point, I felt giddy as a kipper at others (Curran is so scrummy in this one!) and I felt the fear of walking into a stadium about to fight to the death for the entertainment of others. Like I said; EPIC!

As usual I don't want to give too much away, but Kate is again brought into the pack's inner circle, to assist her one-time Merc partner, Jim, with the big ol' mess he's made. It all centers around the Midnight Games, something that Pack members are strictly forbidden to have anything to do with, but unfortunately, that choice gets taken out of their hands.

I can't really say anything else without spoiling it, so I'm just going to stick with- Best. One. Yet!
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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.
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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.
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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...
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