Monday, September 3, 2012

Review: Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Strikes
Series: Kate Daniels #3 
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Bean sidhes, Vampires, Necromancers, Shapeshifters, Werewolves, Psychic Abilities, Mages 
Publisher: Ace Books, Penguin Group
Format: Mass Markest Paperback, 310 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-441-01702-7
Release Date: April, 2009
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it's a job for Kate Daniels...

Summary: 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 ans Curran, the Beast Lord, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta's shapeshifting community...


Curran's first law as Beast Lord was, "Don't touch the Games." The Midnight Games is a gladiatorial-style tournament where teams of supernaturals are pitted against each other. When Kate's friend Derek is found near death, all signs point to a team in the tournament called the Reapers. Determined to find those responsible, Kate and a small team of rogue shapeshifters infiltrate the tournament. But the tournament hold potential exposure for Kate, and those who work for her father are closer than she ever thought.

Kate's stepfather told her that having friends would be the death of her, and that may be so considering the number of times she's been near death because she was helping someone out. But I think Kate has also gained strength from having people she wishes to protect. The fact that Kate risks potential exposure at the tournament shows a change in her priorities and she's finally starting to live for herself. This sacrifice is significant in that she is starting to open herself to new friendships and relationships. And her loyalty to those she chooses as her friends is undeniable. But she still fears these relationships because she fears these people being caught up in her ever-approaching battle with her father. She has lost so many people in her life already because of who she is and she doesn't want to lose anymore. Derek's attack at the hands of the Reapers brings those fears into reality.

Curran's advances toward Kate reach the stalker-level in Magic Strikes. After the reeve attack in Magic Burns, Curran replaced her apartment door and kept a copy of the key for himself. He goes to her place once in a while, watches her sleep (and let's face it, he's probably the one who ate her apple pie), just to know that she's safe. And after Kate was attacked by some of the members of the Pack, Curran put out an order stating that anyone who attacks her will be punished. Then there is the Universe-explosive kiss that just leaves Kate wanting more. It's no wonder Curran thinks that they're mated. Though Kate will deny it, Curran notices her fear that there may actually be something more between them. I have to say that I would love to be stalked by Curran (who wouldn't?), and the verbal sparring between Curran and Kate is just too funny. The only thing holding Kate back is her fear that Curran will be killed because of who she is. With Curran's persistence though, Kate won't be able to hold out forever.

Kate's father, who we know to be the infamous Roland, hires the Reapers to take out the Pack. Curran's Pack is the second largest in North America and it's growing everyday, so Roland sees them as a threat to his growing empire. He has also sent Hugh d'Ambray, his Warlord, to oversee the job and make sure that the Reapers do as they were hired to. He goes so far as to lend them one of his personal weapons, forged of his own blood, the Scarlet Star. This is the risk to Kate. She is the only one who has the power to destroy Roland's sword, but doing so will expose who she really is. The fact that Kate risked her own life to protect them is not lost on her shapeshifting friends. This is Kate first big show of loyalty to the Pack. This is a very powerful and important moment in the Kate Daniels series so far. It's also a big moment for Kate, because she learns that she also has the same ability as her father to shape her blood.

Magic Strikes shifts from the usual Euro-Greco-Roman mythology of the first two books to Hindu mythology. There is mention of Hindu gods, creatures, and artifacts. And all of this informations is given to us by Dali, an Indonesian, vegetarian, were-tigress. I usually prefer Euro-Greco-Roman mythology to others, but the Hindu mythology used in Magic Strikes was a refreshing change since I don't know much about it.

Stand Out Quotes:

"You're screening your calls?"
"Why not? It saves me from conversations with idiots."
"Is that an insult?"
"You're not an idiot. You're just a deadly psychopath with a god complex. What is it you want?"

"The Beast Lord--my own personl stalker. Gee, every girl's dream."

"I had no idea you were a sausage expert."
Die, die, die, die....
"Is he choking?"
"No, he just needs a moment. Young bouda males. Easily excitable."

"You came for me."

About this Author:

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.

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