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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Review: Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, Book 3) by Ilona Andrews

I was up until 2:30 this morning because there was absolutely no way I could put Magic Strikes down before finishing it. I will survive today on less than four hours of sleep. And it was so totally worth it.

As the book opens we see that Kate is pretty comfortable in her role with the Order now as she quite capably handles some smaller stuff that seems to be almost routine. Then she gets thrown right into the middle of shapeshifter politics and the action doesn't slow down.

There is a decent amount of Curran in this book. I don't want to spoil anything, but I think I like where things are heading.

There is also a lot of Saiman in this book, and we learn a bit more about what he is.

We learned about Kate's heritage in the second book, and in the third book things are set up so that the time when Kate has to confront her heritage seems to be rapidly approaching. We don't really learn much more about that heritage, though we do learn more about her childhood and how she was raised.

And we see Kate's circle of friends being drawn even closer, though we are reminded that Kate's father cautioned her against having friends. Still, I think we see a circle of people who will stand behind Kate and help her as much as possible, whether she wants the help or not. I'm really hoping the deal with her dad not wanting her to ever rely on someone is not foreshadowing of some sort. I want her to be able to depend on her friends.

Cast of characters we've previously met that we see a decent amount of in this book: Curran, Jim, Derek, Andrea, Raphael, and Saiman. Kate's sort-of foster child also makes a brief appearance when she comes home from boarding school. Oh, and very brief appearances are made by the head of the hyenas and by Mahon the Kodiak.

I really like Kate. And she's grown and come into her own so much more in this book, she just gets better and better. She stands up to Curran a few times and manages to catch his attention when she does. She also has to stand up to Jim and make some threats in order to get him to take her seriously (and he does, once she makes herself very clear). Come to think of it, she has to do that with Saiman, too. She's still her normal smart-assed snarky self, and that is part of the fun of the book. Her personality is one of the reasons I've enjoyed the first two books in this series as much as I have. Yes, the plot is good and the world building is good and the other characters are great characters. But Kate's personality makes the book a lot of fun to read.

The plot in this book was quite good. There are a few new mythological beings, placed into a setting that manages to shake things up so that this book is pretty different than previous books.

Magic Strikes is a very enjoyable read. The book and the series get the highest rating I can give, a 10 of 10.

This is a series you need to read in order. I don't think it's possible to skip around and truly understand what is happening in this series.

I am not prepared to wait another year for the next book. I'm really not. There is supposed to be a Kate story called Magic Mourns in the Must Love Hellhounds anthology due out September 1st of this year. We know there will be a fourth book, but I don't see anything that tells us what the fourth book in the series is to be called, or when we might expect to see it.

Book Rating: 10 of 10
Series Rating: 10 of 10

1) Magic Bites (2007)
2) Magic Burns (2008)
3) Magic Strikes (March 31, 2009)
4) Magic Mourns in the anthology Must Love Hellhounds (Sept 1, 2009)

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