Series Review: Kate Daniels, books 3-5 by Ilona Andrews

Series Review: Kate Daniels, books 3-5 by Ilona AndrewsMagic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #3
Published by Ace on March 31, 2009
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 310
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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four-half-stars

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…

After an enjoyable but also somewhat lackluster book two (listen, I realize I gave it the same rating as book one and I stand by that bc I really like the cast and the world but it wasn’t the most fun plot-wise at all), I wasn’t on a high riding into Magic Strikes. But OMG Magic Strikes is so fucking delightful and I have feelings all of a sudden and the plot got way more bamf and holla basically.

In terms of plot, it’s a tiny bit slow off the starting gates, seeming like it’s going to do another “mystery of the week” thing, but actually Andrews is just lulling you into a false sense of security before starting in seriously on some of the overarching plot threads for real for the first time. With paranormal series like this of long duration, there need to be arcs to each book and threads lying in wait for big series long conflicts, and the first one of those is kicking off, though obviously it most likely won’t come to a head for a while. Also, I’m just really into books about fighting competitions apparently.

There’s a lot of battle that manages to be both a bit concerning and hilarious at the same time. But mostly Andrews really starts hitting those shippy feels. Kate and Curran are fucking fire rn. I ship it soooo hard. I started shipping them in the last book, but I am firmly on board and there’s absolutely no dragging me back to land at this point. They hit so many of shippy buttons and they hit them perfectly. I acknowledge that there’s a lot about the ships in this book that is problematic, but also it really fits the characterization/world building, and I think Andrews for the most part does a great job walking the line between creepy and cute/funny. Ymmv.

This gets a top rating because I loved this book. Yes, there are still some unfortunate lines like you’d expect from a paranormal novel published in 2009, but I am very into this crew. (If you like the sound of a lot of it but want the healthier, less problematic version, go read October Daye because it’s basically flawless (after the first couple books—IT IS WORTH IT).

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

Series Review: Kate Daniels, books 3-5 by Ilona AndrewsMagic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #4
Published by Ace on May 25, 2010
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 349
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose.

Kate Daniels works for the Order of 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 on the border between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, 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 Beast Lord, to handle. Because this time Kate will be taking on family…

Howwwww do I write a coherent review when I am a mess of feels? I feel like the answer is that I don’t. Magic Bleeds wrung me out and left me an emotional mess basically.

Kate faces down yet another terrifying enemy in Magic Bleeds, and it’s another enemy who is very relevant to her overarching goals and the larger series plot arc. As much as dealing with this enemy is painful and scary, Magic Bleeds is such an emotional journey book from beginning to end. This whole book is a love letter to Kate and Curran’s relationship, and omfg it’s so good.

Kate and Curran are one of those kind of fucked up couples that just totally works, and you really just can’t weigh them by regular standards. Well, I mean, you totally can maybe, but I can’t. With this book, though, I do feel like there was an up-tick in quality, and it feels a bit more modern. There’s a major and clear focus on consent; Curran’s a protective, controlling asshat by nature, but he is absolutely clear about his terms and will not force Kate into anything. That reallllly gets me.

Kate and Curran spend the start of the book in a really stupid fight, and I’m so far gone I really love their stupid fights. Even more, I love that they’re beginning to learn to communicate by the end. And I love that Curran gets that, despite the absurdly impossible shit they face, that the only real barriers to their relationship working out are Kate and Curran. Also View Spoiler ».

Welcome to the scary place of shipping, Kate Daniels.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

Series Review: Kate Daniels, books 3-5 by Ilona AndrewsMagic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5
Published by Ace on May 31, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 308
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name. Plus, many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate.

So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. But it turns out that this is not an isolated incident. Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—and fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price…

Multiple people told me that this series just gets better and better, and so far that is so incredibly right. Magic Slays is the best yet, and I’m really losing any ability to say remotely smart and coherent things about this series.

Kate and Curran are a life-ruining ship of perfection and I love them so fucking much. They’re slowly learning how to communicate with one another and feeling out what they need from each other. They’re working through Kate’s incredibly understandable trust issues in a way that just destroys me thoroughly. And they do all of this while continuing to bicker and snark like they did when they hated each other, only in a massively loving way. So often when fictional couples get together, they become a bit less themselves, but Kate and Curran remain so solidly themselves, and they work really hard on their relationship all the time, fighting the instincts that could push them apart.

The whole cast delights me, and the possible ship between Julie and Ascanio deliiiiights me. There are so many ships in here, and they all feel so real, when things are going wrong or going right. There are so many powerful women, and men who totally love that. The fierce love Kate has for all of these friends and pets she keeps collection breaks my heart, because Kate is so afraid of being close to people, but she cannot turn them away. *insert weeping emoji here*

The plot of this one is once again really good, with massively high stakes. The book starts out intense and stays there until the very end. Even the epilogue was actually kind of terrifying, which is basically where we’re at now. There’s a great balance between darkness and humor, too, which makes everything go down that much sweeter.

I am never leaving the scary place. It’s nice here.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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