chez_jae: (Books)
Since I didn't have to work today, I stayed up late to finish reading Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews. It's part of the authors' "Kate Daniels" urban fantasy series.

When Kate and her fiance, former Beast Lord Curran, learn that their friend Eduardo is missing, they launch an investigation into his disappearance. Visiting the scene of Eduardo's latest assignment finds them battling a magical creature, which morphs into something else after they kill it. Now they must find out who has been sending creatures to attack a seemingly innocuous neighborhood in the suburbs.

In addition, Kate and Curran, who are trying to formally separate from the Pack, keep getting drawn into Pack drama and politics, and at the same time, they learn the Guild, which employs mercenaries to keep Atlanta safe, is falling to hell. To top it off, Kate's father, an amoral demigod who may or may not want to kill her, has invited her to dinner.

Fabulous story! Plenty of exciting battle scenes, great characterizations, sub-plots that weave together, trauma and angst, and just enough levity to keep it from being completely dark.

Favorite lines:
♦ Not my circus, not my undead monkeys.
♦ "Kate, get in the car." // "Maybe you should growl dramatically. I don't think I'm intimidated enough." // "I will put you in the car." // "No, you won't."
I love how they bicker!
♦ "Does everybody think I'm an asshole?" Curran asked. // "Only people who know you or have met you."
♦ "So you sneaked up behind him, startled him by speaking, and when he turned around and saw a six-hundred-pound talking lion, you showed him your teeth?" // "I don't think that's what happened," Curran said. // "That's exactly what happened, Your Furriness."
♦ Curran and horses didn't get along. He thought they were unpredictable and untrustworthy, and they thought he was a werelion.

Another awesome installment to this series--five stars!

chez_jae: (Books)
Last night, I finished reading Magic Breaks, which is part of author Ilona Andrews' "Kate Daniels" series.

With Curran away, it's up to Kate to attend the monthly meeting of Atlanta's supernatural factions. During the boring proceedings, the assembled are informed that one of the Masters of the Dead has been murdered by a shapeshifter. Now, it's up to Kate to find the killer to deliver justice, or risk an all-out war between the vampires and shapeshifters.

Kate and her team are thwarted at every step of the investigation by her old nemesis, Hugh d'Ambray. Hugh isn't interested in justice; he wants Kate. Kate, however, doesn't plan to deliver herself to Hugh any time soon, not when he's her father's right-hand man. It's only a matter of time before her father appears in Atlanta, and Kate would like to postpone that for as long as possible. What Kate doesn't realize is that her father is coming for her. Now.

Fast, fast, fast. It was hard to put the book down. There was a lot going on, and in the midst of trying to save lives, Kate also finds herself in the middle of Pack politics. She's worried about Curran, she can't quite figure out how and why Hugh is still alive, and oh yes, the three most powerful witches in Atlanta demand to see her. If I had any complaints about the story, it was that Kate kept bemoaning how much she misses Curran, and at one point, when her situation was bleak, all she could do was hold onto the hope that he would come and save her. Um, that's not the Kate that we all know and love. Our Kate is sassy and independent, and she saves her damned self. *nods*

Favorite lines:
♦ "I can't wait to see a pack of bunnycats take down a wild hog with those short, tiny legs. Wouldn't the boar be surprised?"
♦ Sometimes the Universe smiled. Mostly she kicked me in the face, stomped on my ribs once I fell down, and laughed at my pain...
♦ If a herd of giant donkeys crossed our path and needed to be subdued, I had it covered.
♦ We were short on time, but pissing off witches ranked right between sticking your hand into a hornet's nest and telling Curran I'd made broccoli for dinner.

Excellent! Five stars:

chez_jae: (Books)
Last night, I began reading Magic Rises, which is part of Ilona Andrews' "Kate Daniels" series. I stayed up until 3am (yes, it was that engrossing!), and I just finished it.

*rubs eyes*

Ha ha! No regrets.

The plot centered around Kate and Curran being asked to travel to Europe to arbitrate a dispute between Packs. They know it's a trap, but the reward is too great to turn down. Only the European Packs have the knowledge to produce a medicine that can save a were-child from going crazy and having to be put down. Kate and Curran take along a retinue of Pack members as back-up.

Once there, Kate realizes how badly they've been double-crossed. Their host turns out to be her father's right-hand man, and he has no interest in anything or anyone but Kate. In addition to him, Kate must contend with Pack politics, attacks from winged monsters, and, oh yeah, a nubile young werewolf horning in on her mate.

I kept reading last night, thinking, Just one more chapter, but then the chapter would end on a cliffhanger, compelling me to keep reading. Gah! Hallmarks of a great book, however.

Favorite line: "...clearly we're both crazy, and this relationship is doomed."

Five of five!

chez_jae: (Books)
Late Thursday night, I began reading Magic Slays, by Ilona Andrews, and I just finished it. This is the fifth installment in the authors' "Kate Daniels" series.

I love this series, and I devour the books whenever I pick them up, which is why I usually wait until the weekend. Ha ha!

In this story, Kate has quit the Order and gone into business for herself. Her first client gives her a seemingly simple task: find the person they were guarding and the device he was working on. Turns out, the device can kill anyone with magic within a certain range, including shapeshifters, mages, witches, etc. Now, Kate and Curran are in a race to recover the artifact before a cabal of fanatics can commit genocide.

Characterizations in these books are wonderful, extending to the secondary characters and even those who merely flit through for a brief time. It's wonderful to read about all of the characters; I appreciate that the authors continue to build on even the secondary characters. The world building is exquisite and believable, which is a hallmark of great urban fantasy. The banter between Kate and Curran is amusing, and the action scenes are gut-wrenching and gory.

Five diamonds!

chez_jae: (Books)
My New Year's resolution was to read 30 books this year...

*blows horn and throws confetti*


Yesterday, I began reading Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews, which is the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series. Um...I stayed up until 3am to finish it. Automatic five stars! *laughs*

I love this series of books. They're told from Kate's pov, and she's a tough, witty heroine with nerves of steel. Her bantering and bickering with Curran, the Beast Lord, is always entertaining, as is the UST between them.

In this story, Kate is called to investigate a fight at a bar on the edge of the territories between the Pack (shifters) and the People (vampires). A simple investigation becomes much more serious when Kate learns that the person behind the attack is thousands of years old...and family.

These books aren't fluffy by any means, but this one was a shade darker than the others. Still, I couldn't put it down (obviously!), and I am eager to read the next book in the series.

Five stars!

chez_jae: (Books)
I took a (drifting) snow day today, and I used the time off to finish reading a book I began on Saturday -- Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews. This is the third in her Kate Daniels series, and I typically devour them.

There was no lack of action and intrigue in this book. In the course of a routine investigation, Kate stumbles onto something secret and sinister, The Midnight Games. When her young friend Derek is beaten and left for dead as a result of his own investigation into the Games, Kate is drawn into the middle of things.

This book revealed Kate's heritage, and the UST between her and Curran ramped up even higher. There were just enough light-hearted moments and clever quips to keep the story from being one long dark-and-angst fest.

I loved this book, and I'm hard-pressed not to grab the next one in the series and begin reading it right now!

Five stars!

chez_jae: (Jae cat)
I literally just finished reading Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews. It is the second in her Kate Daniels series, and I enjoyed the first so much that I couldn't wait to read the second. I am thoroughly loving these books. Urban fantasy at its finest!

In this installment, Kate is investigating the simple theft of maps from the Pack when she stumbles upon a broader conspiracy. Magic in Atlanta is flaring, and deities are using the increase in power to attempt to manifest in the real world. Kate gets caught in the middle when she rescues a child and brings demons to her door.

As if the plot wasn't exciting enough, there's all that delicious UST between Kate and Curran. Best quote of the book goes to Curran when he told Kate, "You don't cause cause catastrophes."

More hints are given at Kate's true nature, but no big reveal yet. I need to hold myself back from grabbing the next book in the series. Or...maybe I won't. This one gets five stars!

chez_jae: (Jae cat)
Since I took today off of work, I just finished reading Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews. It's the first book in her "Kate Daniels" series, featuring mercenary Kate Daniels, who is more than she appears.

In this first installment, Kate's guardian has been murdered, and she is determined to find the person - or creature - responsible. In addition to her guardian, Kate learns that vampires and weres have also been killed, and that several young women have recently been reported missing. As she searches for answers, she must deal with necromancers, vampires and shapechangers. However, Kate has some tricks up her own sleeve, including hints at a powerful family bond. It's never revealed completely, but then again, this is the first in a series.

I enjoyed Kate's brashness and her sarcasm. I especially enjoyed her interactions with Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, and it was apparent that Curran was intrigued with Kate. The two of them must grudgingly work together to bring down the killer.

This was a fantastic book, set in an alternate Atlanta, in which magic and technology battle for supremacy. I am very much looking forward to reading more in this series. Five stars!



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