Friday, January 11, 2019

Magic Strikes & Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #3-4) by Ilona Andrews

Narrated by Renee Raudman
Synopsis (via Goodreads): When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it’s a job for Kate Daniels…

Drafted to work for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems these days than she knows what to do with. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.   

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…


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I am devouring this series! I would have posted my review for Magic Strikes a few days ago, but our home computer decided to crash. I’m currently using the iPad, which is infinitely more difficult to write reviews on. 

Ilona Andrews is a wonderfu duo! I discovered them when a friend recommended Burn for Me, and instantly fell in love with their writing. Once I’d read all of the available books in the Hidden Legacy  series, I looked for something else written by them and stumbled across Kate Daniels. Hooray for me!

This is going to be a review for both Magic Strikes and Magic Bleeds, since I listened to the latter in less than twenty-four hours. It’s still fresh on my mind, so there's a chance my thoughts would overlap. Also, before you read any further, you should know there might be spoilers for the earlier books in this series. Some of the information is relevant to my review!

Listening to these two books one after the other made me aware of a few things I’d missed in the past. For example, the authors use the word “preternaturally” quite a lot. It’s not a word I see or hear too often, so it started to stand out in this series. Someone is preternaturally fast or they have preternatural strength, and I’ve started noticing every time it’s used. It has already been said a few times in Magic Slays, which I am listening to right now.

This series has a slow burn romance, and I’ll admit to being sexually frustrated on their behalf. Kate refuses to believe that Curran’s feelings are real, and she doesn’t want to risk her heart just to have it broken. We can see that Curran’s intentions are authentic, but Kate is stubborn and they’re both frustrating. They would rather play games and challenge one another than have a heartfelt conversation. I’ve enjoyed watching these two come together and seeing how their relationship developed over three books. Their status was still unclear at the start of book four, but something finally happened. Phew! I was beginning to think they’d be at odds the entire series. Despite my wanting them to be together a lot sooner, I’m happy their relationship wasn’t rushed. Their feelings are legitimate, and they’re willing to destroy the world for each other.

When you get past the first few books in a series, some of the details can start to feel repetitive. I understand and appreciate that each book can stand on its own, but reading them consecutively made  some of the information feel tedious and unnecessary. Some of it varied slightly, but I would still tune out until something else happened. I really hope I don’t have to listen to how the shifter society works, or what happens when they don’t follow the code, in any of the following books. Lupe is bad, code is good.

The secret fight club was interesting in Magic Strikes. It challenged Kate’s morals and also forced her to spend time with Curran. The hot tub scene was fantastic until Derek popped up. I’ve never disliked Derek, but I was pretty angry with him at that moment. Don’t get me started on what the Andrews duo did to him... it was nearly unforgivable. I’m still not sure if I’ve completely recovered from what they did to a beloved character. 

At the end of Magic Bleeds more people were aware of Kate’s secret, and I’m glad it’s finally out in the open. As a reader, we know know what her secret is before the other characters, but Andrews kept readers in the dark for awhile too. I’m curious how Kate’s relationship with Andrea will be addressed in the next book (if it even is), because I’m not entirely sure why Andrea would be avoiding her. They fought together and seemed fine, but then the two made different decisions in the same situation, and I think one is feeling guilty about her actions (or lack of action). 

I really hope something happens with Ted in this next book, because his prejudices need to be addresssed, and someone needs to kick his ass. If it were up to me, he’d be replaced by Andrea. I have a feeling Ted is going to move against the Pack in the future (and Kate), and there will be an epic showdown. Hopefully something happens to remove Ted and install Andrea. I also want her issue with Raphael to be addressed and resolved. 

Kate doesn’t do well with politics, so I’m curious about her new role within the Pack. She kicked ass in the last book (against friend and foe), so it’ll be interesting to see how she handles her new situation. I liked Kate before Magic Bleeds, but I appreciate her so much more now. She stuck with Curran despite the unfavorable circumstances. 

Am I rambling yet? Haha! This is seriously one of my all-time favorite series, and I’m looking forward to diving back into Magic Slays. The balance of power has shifted, and I’m not sure what disaster Kate will have to tackle next. At least now she has friends and people to rely on, and her attack poodle is almost always nearby (hopefully we learn more about him too). I still have a lot of questions after the last book, but the indivual story wrapped up nicely. I’m only halfway through the series, so I’m sure I have plenty to look forward to! There are also a ton of side stories I can read, so yay for me! I should probably read some of my review books, but it’s incredibly difficult to stop...

Also, the history and mythology interspersed throughout the story is phenomenal. It’s clear they’ve done their research on people, places, and cultures. The fight scenes are elaborate and someone obviously knows how to use a sword (or has the ability to imagine epic battles (or both)). The way they slide various gods and deities into their stories feels seamless and completely believable. I cannot wait to see what they come up with next!

If you are looking for a new UF series, look no further! Ilona Andrews is an amazing author duo that writes wonderful stories and creates fantastic characters. You could start with this series or the Hidden Legacy books, because both are marvelous and addictive. Books like this make me wish I didn’t need sleep, but it also makes me appreciate everything they’ve created. I’m excited every time I pop headphones into my ears, or curl up in bed with my phone on my pillow. Sometimes I’ll fall asleep listening to Raudman’s voice, and I’ll have to spend a few minutes rewinding to the right spot. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt so consumed by a story, and I’m looking forward to losing many more hours of sleep.

Narrated by Renee Raudman
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle — especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromance, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years — and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family...

I’ll try to clean this post up once we get our computer repaired! All of my icons are on there, and I’m going to be really bummed if we lose all of our files. All my pictures of the kids are on there. 

8 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear about your computer. I hope you're able to get it repaired and can save all your pictures. I haven't read much of this author but the books sound good.

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    1. We're taking it somewhere today, so hopefully they'll be able to fix it! It will probably cost an insane amount of money, but should be cheaper than buying a new computer. I just hope they are able to save all of my files! All my pictures of the kids are on there. :(

      You should really try this author duo! I'm enjoying the Kate Daniels series, but I think the Hidden Legacy series is my favorite. I would suggest spacing the books out, because they can feel a little repetitive when read back-to-back.

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  2. I love this series and I love Kate/Curran but feel you on the repetitiveness. I needed a break from the series because of it. I have the last two still to read.

    I liked Andrea's book too.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I adore Kate and Curran! I love their banter! <3 She's also not afraid to kick him in the face, haha. They can be a little violent, but they're both alphas in an odd situation. I'm really looking forward to Andrea's book! Does she resolve her issues with Raphael, or does Roman start to play a larger role? He seemed interested in the last book!

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  3. I'm glad you're having such a great time with this author! I love this series so much!!!

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    1. Have you read all of the books?? There's so many! Ten, yes? I can't imagine where the story will go from here. She has to fight Roland eventually! :)

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  4. *fangirly squeals* I can't really comment on this because I have so many comments... I kinda want to go through your thoughts one by one because I LOVE this series. It's my absolute fav. I can't recommend these authors enough. I'm so glad you're working your way through them and enjoying them!

    I really need to have a series re-read... They're so easy to read again. The enjoyment doesn't diminish. It's awesome.

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    1. I'm loving this series! I've already finished Magic Slays. I'm on hold at my library for the next two books. Although, I'm going to start spacing them out so the repeated information doesn't bother me as much. :) Have you read their Hidden Legacy series? It's ongoing and I love it! <3

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless