Monday, May 13, 2013

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews - 5 stars

Magic Strikes (#3) by Ilona Andrews
5 stars

Previous Kate Daniels Series Reviews

Magic Strikes is one of my favorites! It's also one of my favorite covers. I always love listening to this one. Maybe it's the developing relationship between Kate and Curran, or maybe it's the intense action throughout the book. It's extremely funny and I find myself laughing a lot. This is not an uncommon thing when it comes to Ilona Andrews.

Magic Strikes starts out with Kate getting a call from Maxine, the Order's secretary. I say call but it's telepathically, not through a phone. There was a shapeshifter death and since Kate had the lovely standing of "friend of the Pack," she gets to handle all shapeshifter related cases. When she gets there she sees a team of shapeshifters cleaning up and a severed limb. Not just a death, a murder. Jim sends Kate away saying it's under control.

Kate is home for ten seconds before she gets phone call from none other than Saiman. He's got Derek in a loup cage because Boy Wonder decided to break into Saiman's apartment and steal something of his. Kate has until dawn before Saiman calls the cops. Seriously, when does Kate ever get enough sleep? I think it's only when she's injured and it's a forced sleep.

Kate exchanges a night as arm candy and an evaluation of fighters in the Midnight Games for Derek's freedom and Saiman's discretion. For all of Kate's trouble, Derek gives her a note to give to a girl in the Midnight Games but makes her promise not to read the note. Of course Kate keep her promise and doesn't read the note. She sure does regret that later. Even though I've read this before, every time I get to this part I want to scream "Open the damn note! Just open it!" Of course published writing doesn't change but the urge is always there.

The Midnight Games is this gladiatorial competition that is highly illegal but there isn't much law enforcement can do about it. Of course Saiman is a part owner because he always has his hands in everything. There is a team, the Reapers, in the games that rubs him wrong. There is something not quite human about them. He asks Kate for her expertise and she gives it. These Reapers are not human nor are they a human derivative. For the Reapers to be able to compete that have to have a certain number of humans/human derivatives. Somehow they are beating the M-scanner and not much can do that.

Kate finds the girl, gives her the note, and then decides she actually needs to read it in case Derek has decided to do something extremely stupid. He was going to do something stupid and Kate tried to get there in time but was unable to. Derek was attacked and was on life support. He wouldn't shift. Something was up.

Curran sent out an order for Jim and his crew to pull in. Jim won't do this so Curran has three days to find Jim. Kate has three days to find a way to save Derek so Curran won't kill him. Basically everyone is on a time table.

Kate and Curran fight...again. Kate's mouth gets out of hand...again. Kate uses her sword to kill things...again. Julie makes an appearance and we also get the sexy Raphael. He has a huge crush on Andrea and he needs Kate's help to "woo" her. I love that Ilona Andrews explained the courting habits of the different clans of shapeshifters. Aunt B's is the best. We meet a few new characters including Dali, a legally blind vegetarian weretiger who knows a lot about Eastern culture and likes to drag race.

What I love about this series is there isn't any info dumping. The world builds slowly and easily. We don't know much in Magic Bites. The characters are all fresh and new and we start to learn. By Magic Strikes we are getting back stories to multiple characters. We know why Kate has to hide from Roland, we learn about Derek's and Jim's past, we learn what Saiman actually is, and the world of magic and tech still throws everyone for a loop. The only problem I have is the continual recapping of events from previous books. I asked the authors (yes you can email them questions and they will answer! How cool is that?) and they said their agent requires it. From the tone of their response, they hate it. They constantly have to re-introduce characters and try and find more creative ways of doing so. I applaud them.

This book brings Kate's identity closer to being discovered by Roland and I love the mounting danger Kate has in her life by doing to right thing. Magic Rises is coming out soon and she will be confronting a character that we meet in Magic Strikes. It should be quite interesting!

Gordon also provided Curran's point of view from the Hot Tub Scene. It's quite hilarious and I love Curran POVs. Read it here.
There is also a Curran POV in Curran: Volume 1. We get Curran's right before he falls into the loup cage and right after Kate leaves, leaving Julie behind. It's fantastic. Read it here free.

Some awesome quotes. Honestly there are so many so I had to cut it down. This is another reason why I love Magic Strikes...the writing is brilliant:

“Curran looked back at me. "Why is it you always attract creeps?"
"You tell me." Ha! Walked right into that one, yes, he did.” 

“As he passed me, he leaned to Curran and handed him a paper fan folded from some sort of flyer.
Curran looked at the fan. “What?”
"An emergency precaution, Your Majesty. In case the lady faints.”
Curran just stared at him.
Raphael strode toward the Pit, turned, flexed a bit, and winked at me.
"Give me that,” I told Curran. “I need to fan myself.”
"No, you don’t.” 

“I've never seen such a collection of idiots in my whole life.' Doolittle shook his head. 'If you participate in this lunacy, y'all will get yourselves killed. Then don't come crying to me.'
Now that would be a neat trick.” 

"No, he just needs a moment," Curran said. "Young bouda males. Easily excitable.” 

Review on Goodreads

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