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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.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, Book 5) by Ilona Andrews

Magic Slays

Magic Slays is only the fifth book in this series, but it feels like we are eight or nine books into it. The husband and wife team of Illona Andrews pack a whole lot into each of their books.

There will be no spoilers for Magic Slays in this review, but if you haven't read previous books in the series then you probably won't want to read ahead.

The Kate Daniels series is one of my all time favorite series. I adore Kate and her smart assed attitude. She's always been mature well beyond her years, but when she was only responsible for herself she could afford to mouth off a lot more than she was able to in Magic Slays. She and Curren are the Alpha pair, and she speaks for the Pack, so she must watch what she says. To balance that out though, we also get to see the positive parts of her new position, and we see her making her way just fine with it. Mostly.

To all of the authors who say the series is over once you let the relationship actually form, I give you a big old raspberry. Kate and Curran are fine, and I enjoy watching them together much more than I enjoyed watching them apart.  Jeaniene Frost has managed to keep a series going with a couple as the lead, Carrie Vaughn is doing just fine with it, as is Devon Monk, and Patricia Briggs, and I'm sure  more that I'm just not thinking of at the moment.

We were given the first two chapters last year for a few days and then they were pulled. Those chapters have gone through a major rewrite since then, with a major conversation taking place with a different person than the original version. I like the revised version better, as it answers more questions and makes more sense.

Here is the blurb:

Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job. 

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, but she's still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be-now that the Order is disparaging her good name. Plus, many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate's mate.

So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. But it turns out that this is not an isolated incident. Kate needs to get to the bottom of it-and fast, or the city and everyone dear to her may pay the ultimate price..

As for the writing elements:
  • There are two main plots and a ton of sub plots. All are interesting and twisted. A few are verging on demented. Most of them kept me on the edge of my seat. Or, would have if I'd been sitting on a seat.
  • Pacing was frantic, but I've come to expect frantic for this series and it's perfect.
  • Prose and dialogue are excellent.
  • Character development is above and beyond excellent. 
  • World building continues to amaze me.
Magic Slays easily gets a 10 of 10. In some ways it is a filler book, preparing us for the big showdown that is probably still two books away. But in many ways it is much much more than a filler. Yes, it's building up to something big, and resolution of the plots are also helping to prepare the way for the coming battles, but that's okay. It's a good book, a great read, and incredibly entertaining. There were over a dozen laugh out loud moments. It's a seriously good book that is part of a seriously great series.

  • Book Rating: Magic Slays: 10 of 10
  • Series Rating: 10 of 10

Magic Slays

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)
5) Magic Slays


  1. This comment is completely off topic, but I found this blog pretty awesome and I was astonished that you do not appear to have read the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward.. Out of all the series I have read... this is my all time favourite. I love every character, I love every book. I think you should definitely include it in your list.

  2. Great review. I love this series. The writing, which was good in the first book,gets better with each new book, in my opinion.