Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.
Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.
Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…
Book 0.5: A Questionable Client
Book 1: Magic Bites
Book 2: Magic Burns
Book 3: Magic Strikes
Book 3.5: Magic Mourns
Book 4: Magic Bleeds
Book 4.5: Magic Dreams
Book 5: Magic Slays
Book 5.4: Magic Gifts
Book 5.5: Gunmetal Magic
Book 6: Magic Rises
Book 7: Magic Breaks
Book 8: Magic Shifts
Book 8.5: Magic Stars
October 2015 Re-read:
I loved this book just as much as the first time I read it. And though I said, in my original review, to read it without any spoilers, I would amend that now. Just this one: Curran is an ass. And the emotional turmoil that Kate gets put through in this book is devastating. She’s kicked when she’s down more than once, and at different points in the book I wanted to kill so many people for making her hurt so badly. I understand (especially on a re-read – though I guessed the first time through) why it was happening, but it doesn’t make it any less painful.
That being said, this book is so taut with tension and we meet some fantastic new characters. It broke my heart more than once, and I sighed with relief when it was done. This is – by far – the most difficult, emotionally, book in the series. It’s also one of the best.
I highly, highly recommend avoiding all spoilers for this book. Read it fresh. I promise there aren’t spoilers in my review below. The spoiler tags just note stream-of-consciousness thoughts I had.., If you don’t want to know anything other than I loved it – Read no further. Fair warning 😉
Once upon a time, I’d never read anything by Ilona Andrews. I lived in the dark, badgered by my good friend (thank you Kat!!) constantly as she tried to get me to pick up Magic Bites. I don’t even remember what my problem was – why I didn’t pick up this book as soon as I knew about it. I think I thought it just wasn’t for me. If I wasn’t so very wrong that would be funny.
Then, one day, I was looking at my beautiful bookshelf full of books I needed to read and Magic Bites called out louder than the rest. I picked it up, laid down on my bed, and turned to the first page.
I sat at a table in my shadowy kitchen, staring down a bottle of Boone’s Farm Hard Lemonade, when a magic fluctuation hit…
Several hours later I surfaced to the real world again; reluctant to leave behind Kate, Derek, Curran, and even Saiman. Luckily, the next three books were out and I immediately downloaded them, and any novellas I could find, to my Kindle. And ordered them in paper to be shipped to me… The next several days were spent in a magic-induced reading high from this series. Immediately upon finishing Magic Bleeds I started the series from the beginning. Diving back into this world, spending time with the characters I couldn’t yet let go of, and eagerly, (impatiently), awaited Magic Slays.
I’m here to say, the magic definitely isn’t waning on this series. Ilona Andrews continues to be one of the best in the Urban Fantasy genre. They’ve proved time and again they have excellent world–building skills as they show us an Atlanta ravaged by the effects of magic and technology fluctuating, and Kate’s struggles through it. Relationships are complex and nuanced; the slow build of Kate and Curran’s relationship is just one of the things that makes them my favorite literary couple, ever.
So when, Jenny was kind enough to send me her ARC to read I was ecstatic! (I may have jumped and skipped and floated back to the house after getting the package, and squealed when I opened it.) I immediately cracked it open and started reading. I recommend flipping to the end and starting with An Ill-Advised Rescue (if you haven’t already read it on their website) which is a fully-contained short story that relates to the beginning of Magic Rises; also, it’s just more awesome times with Kate.
In Magic Rises Ilona Andrews takes everything a step further – expanding the world over the Black Sea, and pushing these characters I’ve come to love so much to the very edge of their abilities to endure. This book was an emotional roller-coaster for me. I was up, I was down; I cried, I laughed, I screamed, I cheered. My heart broke, and was put back together.
If I had the ability to jump into the pages of this book and kick some people’s asses, I would have. I wanted to kill some characters. Slap others upside the head; hug and comfort if possible. It’s not an exaggeration to say this book will put you through the emotional wringer. Not only are Kate and Curran fighting for the medicine to save the shapeshifter children from going loup – emotional enough in and of itself – Ilona Andrews puts everything on the line, shaking it up and pulling us through the other side.
I won’t say a lot about the main story line, except to say that it blew me away. I wasn’t sure how I was going to stay interested outside of Atlanta – dealing with packs I’d never heard of and didn’t know. Lucky for me, and for Kate and Curran, a contingent from the Pack traveled with them. The help and support was very much needed, and I enjoyed seeing how Kate’s begun to integrate from her solitary existence to being an alpha, the alpha female of the Pack. She went from working alone, having no friends, no lovers, no one she trusted to relying on others, being emotionally involved in others survival, and doing everything she can to help those under her care – no matter the cost.
The cost has the potential to be very high in Magic Rises. Even knowing they’re walking into a trap, Kate and Curran don’t begin to contemplate the possibilities of how dangerous this deal is. To their lives, yes, but also to everything they hold dear. Their relationship is tested, hard, in this book. And I can easily say that I wanted to kick Curran’s ass more than once. I was devastated for Kate, I felt her pain and I hated to see her hurt.
There are shocks and twists, plots and schemes, danger and kick-ass fights. There are also quiet moments full of love and friendship. You may finish this book unable to look at some characters the way you did before starting, or find others mean more than you expected – I know I did. The plot, which I worried about when I first started, moved along nicely with a lot of action – there was one fight scene that had my fanning myself, it was so hot. As always, there’s plenty of witty banter between Kate and everyone. Even while my heart was being torn out, slowly, they still had the ability to make me laugh.
Magic Rises is right up there with Magic Strikes for my favorite book in this series, and catapulted the Kate Daniels series to my favorite ever! It’s a fantastic addition to the series, the world, and the genre. Magic Rises is a game-changer, shaking everything up and showing yet again that Ilona Andrews are the best.
I read late into the night, staying up until I finished it – at 1AM. Sleep wasn’t important to me, and I’ll lay money on you not thinking so either. If you’re waiting for this book as impatiently as I was, you won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t started this series – are you in for a treat. Go! Grab Magic Bites and dive in! You can thank me later.