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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.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kate Daniels Book Five Chapters One and Two

The writing team of Ilona Andrews briefly put up the first two chapters of the fifth Kate Daniels book (tentatively titled Magic Sucks), as a thank you for making Magic Bleeds such a success. But then apparently changed their minds, and they have since taken it down.

I did not listen to the little voice in my head that told me to c&p it, so all I have is my memory to go by, but I'll give a synopsis based on my memory:

Kate is in her new office. It's been a few months and she hasn't had anyone hire her. She's looking over the bills, depressed at all she owes. When the magic flicks off and tech comes back she turns the light off to save electricity.

Ghastek calls her, a necromancer journeyman has fainted and now a vamp is out and loose, and headed towards Kate. Kate jumps into action and runs outside, clears the street of people, sets up a chain on a tree, commandeers a horse (I think, could have been a mule, don't remember) and cuts it to get it to bleed. She gets her hand bloody and waves it around until the vamp comes at her, and manages to get the chain around the vamp's neck and then get away from it. She's wondering how long the tree will hold when Ghastek gets close enough to possess the vamp and get it under control.

The First Response people show up. I think they are PAD - could be wrong, but that's what I'll call them. PAD shows up and Kate steps in front of the vampire, telling them it's under control. PAD isn't happy, they want to shoot something. Ghastek makes the vamp bow to show it's under control. Then Ghastek shows up and is being berated and threatened by PAD for allowing a vamp to go out of control, and Ghastek faints, putting the vamp out of control again. PAD starts shooting and they kill one of the People with Ghastek and seriously wound the other. Kate drags Ghastek and the girl into her office while PAD shoots what sounds like more than a thousand rounds into the vamp to make sure it's dead.

Then two people from PAD come knocking on her door, telling her to open up, and she refuses. She's managed to get the bleeding mostly stopped on the girl who was shot, but did it with a tourniquet and the girl is still critical and needs to get to a hospital quickly and is probably going to lose her leg. Kate is sure if she turns these two over to PAD that they will "die of their injuries on the way to the hospital". PAD threatens to kick the door in, Kate tells them they need a warrant. They decide Kate's life is in danger and that means they don't need a warrant. Kate points out the Pack seal over the door, reminds them that they don't want to come up against Pack lawyers, and they stop to think that one through (the Pack must have some kick-ass lawyers). In the end she makes them a deal that if they bring either a warrant, or the detective she's worked with before (don't remember his name, sorry) that she'll open up. They get the detective on the scene, Kate opens up, and they take the two People to the hospital.

The Nice Detective points out she ticked off PAD and she doesn't want to make an enemy of "them". She thinks that is odd wording, wonders why he's separating himself from PAD, says "Them?" to him, and learns he is GBI. She asks if that makes him an agent, he said special agent. She asks if it is new, he says (I think) something like "more than a decade" (not sure, but it's been a long time, much longer than she's known him). She points out that he introduced himself to her as Detective and he says he must have had his reasons. He asks her why she didn't call the People, since she had two of them here, one unconscious and the other very close to bleeding out. She chooses her words carefully, saying that if she'd called the People they would have sent help in the form of a vamp, and that while she has respect for PAD (they are the first responders, the first to get shot, etc), that they were fresh off of a kill and would have likely killed any vamp showing up at the scene, under control or not, and her goal was to keep the peace.

Both Ghastek (before he faints) and the detective ask her how she managed to get the vamp in the chain without getting hurt herself. She casually blows off the question both times (one of the times I think she says something like "I have mad skills") and then changes the subject. She just keeps doing things to draw attention to herself, doesn't she? She'd have been better off just killing the vamp, since it takes more skill to capture one than kill it.

When the detective/special agent leaves he says he may be back with more questions.

Kate is cleaning up the blood in her office when Andrea walks in. Kate tells us that she hasn't heard from Andrea in months, not since all of the stuff with her aunt. She's called Andrea with no answer, gone to her house and no response, etc. Andrea walks in noting the bullet holes outside, the blood outside, the blood inside, and asks where the list is -- since Kate's hands are bloody Andrea can cross off bullets, cops, and a few other things I don't remember.

And that's it - no discussion about why Andrea removed herself from Kate's life, whether she's there on a friendly visit (or not)... nothing. Oh,and Andrea is loaded down with weapons when she arrives. Not terribly unusual for her, but it's enough to make me wonder if this is an official visit or a friendly visit.


That's what I remember. What I came away with is that there is something making The People faint, and that will probably be a big part of the plot.

For the rest of what I came up with, there will be spoilers for the first four books in my musings. If you haven't read the first four books and don't want to be spoiled, you should stop reading now.

  • Kate's business isn't doing so good just yet. On the one hand that's good, since the Pack will be using her for any problems that come up that involve humans or The People, so that means things have been calm in that regard. But it also means no one else has hired her, and she'll need clients besides the Pack. She thought she had enough contacts for this, and apparently she doesn't. Or... maybe Saiman is involved with her not having contacts willing to send business her way? Not sure, but I wouldn't put it past him. He deals in information, after all.
  • The only mention of Curran was that The Beast Lord wouldn't be happy that she put her life in danger to save a vampire, or to save members of The People... it gave me the impression that they are still okay and that he's still just as concerned about her health and safety as always.
  • No idea what's going on with Andrea. Could it be that when Curran got in her face about putting Kate down that Andrea decided being friends with Kate could be hazardous to her standing as a beastkin who is allowed to stay outside of the pack? Or could it be that the Knights of the Order forbid her from having anything to do with Kate? Or... something else? Or maybe both?
  • I had expected Roland to jump into action faster, but it's been months. Maybe Hugh d’Ambray hasn't spilled the beans yet? But, wouldn't Roland be interested in anyone strong enough to kill his sister? There has to be something there. Hugh was trained by Kate's dad, maybe Hugh liked Kate as a kid and has figured out who she is and is more interested in helping her than killing her? Or, maybe not. At any rate, Hugh has to have figured things out by now, and the fact that life has been quiet for a few months tells me that there is going to be an extra twist in there somewhere.
That's all that comes to mind at the moment. I'm not sure about Magic Sucks as a title, but then I don't know what happens in the book. Maybe the magic is being sucked out of The People, and that is the reason for their fainting.

But, unless there is a plot reason to use the word "sucks", I think that Magic Blows might be more suitable. Though, either one brings up X rated thoughts in my head - LOL.

As I mentioned in my review of Magic Bleeds, this is now my favorite series. As you can see from the sidebar, I read a whole lot of series. And this one is at the top of the list for me.  If you haven't read the series then I highly recommend it.

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)

UPDATE:  Here is an old snippet that is a small part of what was posted yesterday. I was right, it is PAD!

UPDATE #2: A most excellent snippet showing how Curran got revenge on Saiman:



  1. Can I just say I love you? I read the whole Kate Daniels series in about a week and a half, and I've been dying to know whats gonna happen. I agree with your theories and I have an inkling that Curran is most definetly not going to like that special agent. Can't wait for the book to come out!

  2. I would like just point out that Hugh, didnt know Kate before book 4, he never even saw her, since she was born after her mother and Voron fled. So he is probably just trying to find some hard evidence of her identity which would be quite hard considerig how isolated her early life was and I am guessing he will try to captue her alive and present her to Roland. Otherwise great work