Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Magic Strikes is the third Kate Daniels book by Ilona Andrews. And wow, I love it. It's easily the best book I've read since I read Pride by Rachel Vincent at the start of February.
From the back cover:

"Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.
But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games - an invitation only, no holds barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament - she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…"

I love the world that's been created here in a post-apocalyptic Atlanta. A world where magic rules and tech barely holds on, (I love to ride, so a world where people often have to get around on horses again is fine by me!!). Magic comes in waves, suddenly appearing, then gone again in a heartbeat. But it always returns, often bringing havoc with it.

Kate Daniels is a really tough woman. But she's not your average tough, kick-ass heroine. She screws up sometimes and she deals with it, she doesn't whine about it, just realises it and deals with it. An no matter the odds, no matter how scared she is, if she thinks it the right thing to do, she tries. And I really love that. There is a pretty perfect balance of vulnerability and strength in Kate which also makes her very real and believable.

Kate has a very volatile relationship with the Beast Lord, Curran, which is a wonderful thing to watch. Again there is something very real about this relationship (not that they're really in one yet) it's something that's built slowly, too slowly for some maybe, but it wouldn't have been nearly so good if it had happened any faster. They don't instantly fall for each other and start mooning over the other at every opportunity. It's as gritty as the rest of the books. They've seriously tried to kill the other at times, and fight (mostly verbally) on a regular basis. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens between them in the next book!

Another thing worth mentioning about this series is the humor. There are some serious laugh out loud moments in all the first three and some of the very best lines I think I've ever read. But the books can go from humor to serious in a heartbeat and you really feel it. It doesn't feel choppy or dis-jointed at all. It feels real.

I really can't do these books enough justice and I'm really not going to give anything about Magic Strikes away apart from to say it is the best one yet and completely lives up to expectation. Actually leaves expectations in the dust. If you haven't tried this series yet and you like Urban Fantasy, try it! I wasn't convinced when I first bought Magic Bites, but I needed something new to read and I am very, very glad I got it!!

Bring on book 4! And On The Edge. And the Must Love Hellhounds anthology. And anything else by Ilona or with Ilona's work in it. Please?

Rating: 10/10


xkenaix said...

I'm actually going to start this book soon and now I'm so excited. I was the same with the first book and found it quite hard to get into but then the second was really good and thanks to you I'm dead excited for the third


Cem said...

The third is by far the best one yet. It all just works perfectly I feel. Can not wait for the next! Pity it's a year until it will be released.