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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.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Review: Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, Book 4) by Ilona Andrews


Oh. My. Goodness.

I've re-read  Magic Bites, Magic Burns, and Magic Strikes this week, in preparation for Magic Bleeds. I was expecting something good, but Magic Bleeds blew me away.

I've ordered it from Amazon, but then found out a local store already had it on the shelves. Days before the UPS guy will bring it to my door. I wanted to read the book so badly that I made a special trip to the store and bought the book. Again. And you know what? The ability to have the weekend to read it, made the trip and the extra money totally worth it.

After the events of Magic Strikes I thought I had a good idea where Magic Bleeds would be going. But then the Prologue was posted online a while back and suddenly half of what I thought would happen, wasn't going to.

And now that I've read the book, the other half of what I thought was going to happen, didn't happen, either. Well, it didn't happen yet. It will, it's just taking longer to get there.

Besides the prologue, there was a discussion, and then there is this snippet, and this snippet. In the discussion it is mentioned that "Kate loses everything". That's kind of true, but when I read it I had flashbacks to the events of Changes, where Harry Dresden really does pretty much lose everything. I almost didn't want to read Magic Bleeds at all when I first saw that in the discussion. I like Kate, I don't want things quite that bad to happen to her. But some other reviewers have been happy with the ending, so I took the plunge. I will say that the events of Magic Bleeds are rough, but they are not as bad as the events of Changes. And for that I am thankful. One door has to close before another can open. Jim Butcher ended Changes while the new door hasn't opened yet. The writing team of Ilona Andrews doesn't do that to us, we get a nice glimpse of what the new door brings.

Here's the blurb:

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it rose.

Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…

To go over the basics: pacing is excellent, dialogue rocks, humor and smart assed comebacks are perfect, plot is exceptionally well done, drawing on old mythologies and legends is so creatively done my head almost started spinning, and the complexity of all of the relationships she has with others is very well written. Her relationship with the Order, the Mercenary Guild, the various other law enforcement agencies, the People, Ghastek, Saiman, Andrea, Raphael, Jim, Mahon, the shapeshifters in general, and (of course) Curran... those relationships are almost as much of the story as the plot. And the plot this time, is huge. They are all pretty big, but they are only getting more and more involved. And closer and closer to what is going to be a huge showdown.
In the past I've said that my favorite series is the Night Huntress series, but it is now the Kate Daniels series. I can easily give Magic Bleeds a 10 of 10. Easily. 

Book Rating: Magic Bleeds: 10 of 10
Series Rating: Kate Daniels series: 10 of 10

1) Magic Bites (2007)
2) Magic Burns (2008)
3) Magic Strikes (March 31, 2009)
3.5) Magic Mourns in the anthology Must Love Hellhounds (Sept 1, 2009)
4) Magic Bleeds (May 2010)

Related Post:  Kate Daniels Book Five Chapters One and Two


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