Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona Andrews
“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 Knights 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 may pay the ultimate price…
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I love this series so much. Ilona Andrews writes first-class urban fantasy and Magic Slays, the fifth installment in Kate’s story, is no exception.
It’s hard to find a place to start writing because everything was so great. Kate is, as always, powerful, stubborn, itching to fight, and just a little righteous, even when no one is willing to hire her after she breaks away from the Order. One of the things I love about Kate is that she realizes who she is and what she’s not, at least when it comes to the battlefield. Her love life and life with the Pack are a little tougher for her to negotiate but she handles it all with style, particularly the problems within the shifter ranks. This is one of the things I love about the book, actually. Kate is Curran’s mate and therefore should have a lot of power within the Pack but not everyone likes her and she faces a lot of opposition, some overt, some more subtle. I’m glad the authors didn’t generate an automatic Happily Ever After for Kate and Curran since it wouldn’t fit the tone of the series, or feel genuine. The obstacles Kate faced at the end of Magic Mourns within the Pack are very much in evidence in Magic Slays and that’s the kind of continuity I love in a series.
As if that weren’t enough, Kate is forced to explore her own powers and origins a bit more in this novel and, as a result, we get to learn about her mother’s side of things. I thought this was great since Kate’s mom has always been something of a mystery — all we really knew was that she was Roland’s lover for a long time and ended up sacrificing herself to save Kate and Voron — but now we know so much more. Great for us, tough for Kate since the authors do a great job of abusing their heroine. 🙂 Plus, it sets Kate up to learn more about that side of her lineage in future novels, which should be very interesting.
There’s also some more Julie action, which I always love since she’s a lot of fun. Teenage Julie is such a hoot; grownup Julie is going to be a terror and I hope she’ll be more involved in things from here on out.
The major plot line of Magic Slays, which has Kate investigating why the People are losing control of their vampires as well as the kidnapping of a genius inventor guy, is really well done. The authors write the villains marvelously, having them pose a serious danger with major ramifications, and the suspense builds and builds, particularly in the last third of the novel. SPOILER ALERT The baddies are terrorists in the truest sense and there’s a lot of allegory if you’re into that kind of thing. I don’t want to talk about it too much since the book is relatively new but I will say that they were portrayed as bad but weren’t caricatures, which was nice. END SPOILER
Once again, I’m so sad that I have to wait another year before we get another Kate and Curran fix but at least there’s a novella called Magic Dreams in the Hexed anthology (out now), featuring Jim and Dali, so I’ll have a little something to help tide me over.