Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Rises
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels, Book 7
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 29 July 2014

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it...

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear...

This is my second or third read of this book. When I started reading it this time, I was amazed (and shocked) that I hadn't yet written a review for it. I usually do that immediately upon finishing the first time. But what I realized, as I got further and further into the book, was that to review this was to have paragraph after paragraph full of spoilers. There's no avoiding talking about certain things, there's no way to be vague and still give an idea of what happens and what it means. There's no way to even start without giving away things that have been going on in the last six books. So, I guess I'll start with this warning: Spoilers ahead for everything through Magic Rises (Book 6).

And I still don't know what to say. If you hated the relationship angst of the last book, be assured there's none of that here. If you love the fast-paced roller-coaster, I can't say that this will exactly fill the bill. But if you're looking to find out what happens next, see Kate at her ass-kicking best, find out what happens when everything hits the fan, and see one hell of a climax, then this is the book.

Kate's secret is all but an open secret now. So many people know it she may as well have taken an ad out in the paper announcing it. But that doesn't mean that she's open and free with herself to anyone that asks. Something that still frustrates that alphas of the Pack. I can't say that I feel too much sympathy for their not knowing when they treat her (and Curran) as they do most of the time, but I do love so many people in the Pack.

Anyway, when Hugh shows up in Atlanta looking for Kate, there's only a few people that are surprised at the fact that they have history. But when war looms on the horizon, and Kate's the one who can stop it, she's - once again - putting herself between the Pack and danger. Do they appreciate it? Not nearly as much as they should.

Let me talk about Hugh for a moment, because I didn't get the chance in my review for the last book (didn't want to spoil things too much). Hugh is a psychopath. Full-stop. And yet....well, I can't help but love him. He's an amazing character. He's such an asshole, he kills without regard, harms without thought, and is absolutely single-minded in the pursuit of his goals. But he's also so damn enamoured of Kate, so freaking appreciative of her, and I can't help but love that. Plus, every time they fight, it's sexy as hell.

There's a lot of ... questing, for lack of a better word, in this book. There's a lot of getting from point A to point B. It's not boring, don't get me wrong, there's always something happening or we (or someone) is learning something new, but it's also kind of all over the place. There are a few different mini-plots that come together to lead us to the end, but I think it might read kind of jarring in some instances. Me? I was enthralled, but I know not everyone will be.

Since we've been made to question everything that Kate, and we, knew about Voron, I've been wondering just how accurate his assessments were of other things. I admit that the meeting that I've been looking forward to years was covered in less blood-shed than I was expecting. I'm not entirely sure what that says about me that I was looking forward to all the mayhem. Even if that was slightly disappointing, I can't argue with the way the story went, because I'm even more invested and interested in how things progress from this point now.

Talking about this one thing is really hard by the way.

This is my favorite series. I'm slightly biased. I admit it. Still - READ IT. If you haven't started down the path with Kate Daniels, go out and get Magic Bites now. If that one doesn't blow you away, please try Magic Burns - each book gets progressively better. If you're already a fan of the series, this is definitely a must read.

Grade: A-

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