Saturday, March 23, 2019

Mini Reviews [26]

Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7)
by Ilona Andrews
Narrated by Renee Raudman
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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...


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Have I mentioned how much I love this series? I love it even more when I take a break between books, because then the repeated information (reminders and relevant facts for new readers) doesn't feel as unnecessary. I understand why they do recaps and re-explain how the world works, but it makes binge-reading the series more difficult. I wish the repeated information was condensed at the beginning of the book (for new readers and people that need to refresh their memories), so it doesn't impact the reading experience of people who are already intimately familiar with the world and characters. 

Warning: possible spoilers if you haven't read the other books in the series.

As for this book specifically, I was thrilled when Kate finally confronted her father. Confronted might not be the right world, but he's no longer an enigma. We get to see him, some of his powers, and we also learn a little more about his history. He definitely knows more about Kate than she thought he did, and I'm curious if everything we've learned about him previously is the truth. There's a lot of mystery surrounding Kate's escape as a baby, and this is the first time she's really getting to ask questions. Roland is also super powerful. I thought Kate and Curran could take on anything, but Roland might be more than the two of them can handle. I think it'll take a collective effort from the world (or at least everyone in Atlanta) to stop him, if he decides to do something dangerous.

I really liked the ending for this book! It gave us some closure, but we also know it's not the end. There is still more to Kate and Curran's story, and I cannot wait to see what happens next!



Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy, #3.5)
by Ilona Andrews
Narrated by Renee Raudman
and Emily Rankin
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan's extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn't do for her sister's happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.

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It was so easy to fall back into this series! The characters were familiar, and I really enjoyed Catalina's perspective. Renee Raudman (narrator) starts the book off with Nevada, but we quickly switch to Emily Rankin (also a narrator) and Catalina. I thought the transition was done really well, and I think Emily Rankin is going to be an amazing narrator for the next three books in this series. I'm also anxious to see what adventures Catalina will go on! Her sister, Nevada, finally found love and happiness with Conner, and their journey has been one of my favorite stories! Ilona Andrews is a dynamite duo, and I hope they write books forever.

Diamond Fire was a quick read, but it told a big story. Catalina has always felt uncomfortable using her powers, because it makes it hard for her to trust the intentions of others. It means her love life is nonexistent, even though we see a potential for something (cannot wait to see how that develops). Catalina starts using her powers more frequently in this book, because she wants to keep people safe, and we see how beneficial her abilities are to investigations (which is the family business, so that's nice). I'm happy her confidence grew as the story progressed, and now she has someone willing to show her the ropes. I'm sure we'll see her develop more control over the course of the next few books, and I really loved her personality in this one.




Find the synopsis for Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (Underland Chronicles, #2) here.
Find the synopsis for Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods (Underland Chronicles, #3) here.
Find the synopsis for Gregor and the Marks of Secret (Underland Chronicles, #4) here.

I've really enjoyed reading this series to my kiddos! We're on the last book now (Gregor and the Code of Claw) and had stop due to uncontrollable crying (mine). I don't think I'll be able to keep reading this one to them before bed, because my tears make them think something is wrong with me. It's hard to explain that nothing is physically wrong, just Suzanne Collins shredding my heart. She has a knack for making you love characters, and then destroying you with them later on.

This series does have some darker aspects, so I've had to be selective about what I read out loud. They're still a little young to hear about mass murder and excessive violence. It's meant for middle grade readers, and I think it's perfect for that age, but there is a lot of death and sadness (feelings a five-year-old might not be ready to address). 

I love everything about this series. The characters, the world, the individual prophesies -- all amazing, detailed, and expertly executed. I try to figure the prophesies out as I read, but nothing is clear until the very end (not for me or the characters). The giant bats, rats, and cockroaches are all very unique and interesting. Boots, Gregor, Luxa, Henry, Ares, Temp, Ripred, Twitchtip -- I really do love them all! Everyone brings something to the story, and this series wouldn't be the same without every single one of them. Collins has created a story that I will remember for the rest of my life, and one that I look forward to revisiting in the future.

8 comments:

  1. I read Diamond Fire because someone sent it to me and I liked it but I haven't read any of her other books.

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    1. The first three books in the Hidden Legacy series are from Nevada's perspective, and the next three are going to be from Catalina's. Diamond Fire was written to transition from one to the other, and the POVs briefly overlap. It was like Nevada was handing the reigns over to her sister! There's also a wedding! Loved it! I think you should read the rest of the books in the series, Mary. <3

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  2. I'm so glad you enjoy the Gregor the Overlander series! I wish Suzanne Collins would do a companion to the series, it reminds me so much of the Percy Jackson series.

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    1. Yes! Percy Jackson is one of my all-time favorites! I've already read all of those to my son, and the Harry Potter books. However, there's just something about Gregor the Overlander that really resonates with me. I have twins that are two, so even Boots was relatable. I know how Gregor felt when trying to explain things to his sister, or when he tried to get her to be quiet in a dangerous situation. I really love this series!

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  3. The Kate Daniels series is one that continually pops up on various recommended for you lists - one of these days I am going to read one! Lol!

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    1. I hope you do! It's one of my favorites! I always worry when it's a longer series, but this one has been fabulous -- never a dull moment! Technically, you could start anywhere in the series, but I would recommend starting with the first book. :)

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  4. So are you reading both Ilona Andrews simultaneously? I've mentioned before that I listened to the first book in the Hidden Legacy series on audio and it just didn't work for me. But I love seeing that Nevada and Connor are getting married! :)

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    1. I am! Once I read the first three books in the Hidden Legacy, I looked for something else written by the same authors. I stumbled across the Kate Daniels series and fell in love! <3 I think I might like Kate and Curran more than Nevada and Conner. I didn't like the audio at first, but Renee Raudman really grew on me! I associate Ilona Andrews with her now, so it would be weird if she wasn't reading it. It's an acquired voice, but it's perfect for Kate! <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