Book Review: Night Shift by Charlaine Harris

Book Review: Night Shift by Charlaine HarrisNight Shift by Charlaine Harris
Series: Midnight, Texas #3
Published by Ace on May 3, 2016
Genres: Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 308
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Goodreads
3 Stars
At Midnight’s local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves—only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town.

Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There’s a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place.

And now they must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight. For if all hell breaks loose—which just might happen—it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be...

Book Review:

NIGHT SHIFT is the final book in Charlaine Harris’ trilogy about Midnight, Texas. While the book ties up most of the loose ends left hanging by the other two books, I do find myself wishing the series wasn’t over. It took some time for the series to hit its stride, and now it’s finished. I’ll miss my time in Midnight.

In MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD and DAY SHIFT, individual characters faced danger. In NIGHT SHIFT, the entire town of Midnight is threatened. People are being drawn to the crossroad to commit suicide, and while the press interest isn’t welcomed by the town, it’s the hidden danger that’s the big worry. What’s causing the deaths? And who is talking to Fiji?

Lemuel plays a bigger role in this book than in previous ones, which I liked. Part of the fun of this series is all the different characters that live in Midnight. Seeing how they co-exist and have formed friendships. Plus I just like vampires, what can I say? There’s also angels, shapeshifters, a witch, and a psychic. I’ve said before that Midnight’s a town I’d want to live in — everyone minds their own business, but they also come together when necessary, and there’s just enough danger without it being too overwhelming.

Fiji really came into her own in NIGHT SHIFT. I wasn’t a fan of the whole Fiji/Bobo misunderstanding romance, but otherwise, A+ for Fiji. There’s this great scene where she gets revenge on someone who violated her privacy, and then another when she tells her sister off. It was great to see that she wasn’t a pushover and could stand up for herself, as well as take a few for the team.

I do think too much of the action/revelations in NIGHT SHIFT took place off the page, or if they were shown, there wasn’t a lot of processing. Manfred learns about an important ancestor, but I can’t recall reading about his feelings after the reveal.

Some of the events also seemed out of place, based on the characters’ actions in the previous books. Take Olivia for example. She’s nearly killed by her father’s henchman, but then gets a phone call from her dad that hints at future making up. And this is after her father not believing that stepmom and friends molested Olivia when she was a child. Olivia thinking that she might talk to her dad in the future just doesn’t jive with the way she’s been characterized in the other books.

Overall, NIGHT SHIFT and the Midnight, Texas trilogy as a whole is okay. Good, not great. I did expect more from Charlaine Harris because of the hype of Sookie Stackhouse. But Midnight is a good trilogy to read when you want something a little slower, not full of feeling like the characters are going to die every other page.

Socialize with the author:

Charlaine Harris:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Book Review: Day Shift by Charlaine HarrisDay Shift by Charlaine Harris
Series: Midnight, Texas #2
Published by Ace on May 5, 2015
Genres: Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 307
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
3 Stars
There is no such thing as bad publicity, except in Midnight, Texas, where the residents like to keep to themselves. Even in a town full of secretive people, Olivia Charity is an enigma. She lives with the vampire Lemuel, but no one knows what she does; they only know that she’s beautiful and dangerous.

Psychic Manfred Bernardo finds out just how dangerous when he goes on a working weekend to Dallas and sees Olivia there with a couple who are both found dead the next day. To make matters worse, one of Manfred’s regular — and very wealthy — clients dies during a reading.

Manfred returns from Dallas embroiled in scandal and hounded by the press. He turns to Olivia for help; somehow he knows that the mysterious Olivia can get things back to normal. As normal as things get in Midnight...

Book Review:

DAY SHIFT is the second book in Charlaine Harris’ trilogy about Midnight, Texas. Midnight is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town, important only to the locals. So, of course it’s a town where there’s a lot going on underneath the surface: there’s a vampire, witch, and psychic in town, and that’s only the start.

Midnight is a series that grew on me. It’s great for when you’re in the mood for a slightly slower paranormal mystery, with a lot of focus on everyday life in a small town. The characters aren’t in danger every single second, which is sometimes a nice change.

The mystery of DAY SHIFT showed up earlier than the mystery in book one, MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD, which helped the pacing. When Manfred travels to Dallas for a weekend of in-person readings, his first client dies in the middle of the appointment. Accused by the woman’s nasty son of stealing her jewelry, Manfred needs the help of his fellow Midnight citizens to clear his name. And while that’s going on, there’s also a mysterious new hotel built in town, one whose purpose might be sinister…?

DAY SHIFT also expands some of the “minor” characters from the first book, such as Olivia Charity. I was super intrigued by Olivia, so I was happy to see her play a major role in this book. There’s also more about Joe and Chuy, as well as the Rev, who ends up watching a friend’s son. Diederik was a lot of fun.

I read the entire Midnight, Texas trilogy in a weekend, which I recommend doing if possible. Now that I’m finished, I miss spending time in Midnight. It’s the type of town I’d like to live in if I were in an urban fantasy book, because there’s spooky stuff going on and some danger, but there’s also a feeling of community and small town life without destruction raining down every day.

Socialize with the author:

Charlaine Harris:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Book Review: Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine HarrisMidnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
Series: Midnight, Texas #1
Published by Ace on May 6, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 305
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
3 Stars
From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale - populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that’s how the locals prefer it...

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth...

Book Review:

MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD is the first in a trilogy set in the quirky town of Midnight, Texas. It’s the perfect place to psychic Manfred to settle in and get down to work. Manfred bullshits sometimes, but he also has a real gift. But it doesn’t take psychic ability to see Midnight isn’t what it appears on the surface.

I found the pace of MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD to be somewhat slow. The mystery doesn’t show up for a long time; the book kind of meanders about, much like the town of Midnight. There’s a lot of detail on ordinary life: Manfred settling in, meeting the locals, going to dinner, that sort of thing. At first it bored me, but after I thought about it, I realized I liked the ordinariness. MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD isn’t as in your face as say, Kate Daniels or Mercy Thompson, and that’s a nice change.

The book is told from three perspectives: Manfred, pawnshop owner Bobo, and witch Fiji. At first I thought Manfred was the main character, but he isn’t. I liked all the perspectives, because I got a better view of Midnight that way, and the author handled switching characters in a clear way. I was also super curious about some of the other characters, such as Olivia, Lemuel, Joe, and Chuy.

Once the body of Bobo’s missing girlfriend was found and the mystery kicked off, the book sped up a bit. I had my suspicions for the killer, but I was totally wrong. I always like when I can’t predict the outcome, and the outcome of this mystery… it really cemented what sort of town Midnight is and who lives there.

I’ll be honest — at first I wasn’t sure if I would continue this series. MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD was my first Charlaine Harris book, and I did expect a little more. But I got sucked into the book, intrigued by the town and the characters. It also helps that all the books are available, so I was able to read all three in a weekend, which I recommend doing if you can.

Socialize with the author:

Charlaine Harris:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

Book Review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul KruegerLast Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger
Published by Quirk Books on June 7, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads
3 Stars
A sharp and funny urban fantasy for “new adults” about a secret society of bartenders who fight monsters with alcohol fueled magic.

College grad Bailey Chen has a few demons: no job, no parental support, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend who’s around when she moves back home. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders, her demons get a lot more literal. Like, soul-sucking hell-beast literal. Soon, it’s up to Bailey and the ragtag band of magical mixologists to take on whatever—or whoever—is behind the mysterious rash of gruesome deaths in Chicago, and complete the lost recipes of an ancient tome of cocktail lore.

Book Review:

LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE is a fun, quirky urban fantasy. Featuring a squad of “new adult” bartenders taking on the dark forces of the night, the book is definitely one I’d recommend for aficionados of properly mixed beverages.

Fresh out of college and unable to find a job, Bailey’s working as a barback for her friend Zane’s bar. It’s not a job worthy of her Ivy League education, but Bailey tries to overachieve anyway. One night she mixes herself a screwdriver, walks home, and is ambushed by a gruesome creature. But that screwdriver? It gives her the power to knock the beast into smithereens.

Bailey finds herself in a secret part of Chicago, where a perfectly mixed drink gives the imbiber magic powers for as long as the drink’s in their system. Each drink gives different powers based on its ingredients. Scattered throughout LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE are pages from The Devil’s Water Dictionary, Bailey’s guide to mixing magic drinks. Those pages were quite cool; one of my favorite parts of the book. They really added to the flavor of the author’s world.

As I said above, this book was quirky and fun. I also liked that the author worked in Bailey’s underemployment and living at home, as those are things a lot of college grads are dealing with. And I liked seeing her make friends, become confident, and realize she can do more than memorize and regurgitate information from a book.I liked seeing Bailey think on her toes. Let’s just say… Dumpster tank.

But there were also a few things that didn’t work for me. Sometimes I felt like the author forgot to mention stuff, like he forgot an important thing here or there, or it was edited out. Once in a while I felt like I was missing something vital. I also thought the romance between Bailey and Zane was unnecessary, awkward, and resolved way too quickly. I think it would’ve worked better if they stayed friends, rather than getting over the Fight and jumping together. I also wanted more background on the tremens.

Right now I think LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE is a standalone, and while I had a few issues with the book, I would definitely read more about Bailey and the Alechemists.

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Paul Krueger:
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– leeanna

Book Review: The Reburialists by J.C. Nelson

Book Review: The Reburialists by J.C. NelsonThe Reburialists by JC Nelson
Published by Ace on March 1, 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
4 Stars
The author of Wish Bound and the Grimm Agency novels returns with an all-new urban fantasy novel!

Burying the dead is easy. Keeping them down is difficult.

At the Bureau of Special Investigations, agents encounter all sorts of paranormal evils. So for Agent Brynner Carson, driving a stake through a rampaging three-week-old corpse is par for the course. Except this cadaver is different. It’s talking—and it has a message about his father, Heinrich.

The reanimated stiff delivers an ultimatum written in bloody hieroglyphics, and BSI Senior Analyst Grace Roberts is called in to translate. It seems that Heinrich Carson stole the heart of Ra-Ame, the long-dead god of the Re-Animus. She wants it back. The only problem is Heinrich took the secret of its location to his grave.

With the arrival of Ra-Ame looming and her undead army wreaking havoc, Brynner and Grace must race to find the key to stopping her. It’s a race they can’t afford to lose, but then again, it’s just another day on the job . . .

Book Review:

THE REBURIALISTS is delightfully quirky urban fantasy. It’s full of action, a super cool mythology, and even a partnership/romance. “Burying the dead is easy. Keeping them down is difficult.” Who can pass up a summary with that line?

I’m typically not a fan of zombie books; they’re just not my thing. But ancient Egyptian inspired zombies? Totally my thing. The mythology in THE REBURIALISTS was my favorite thing about the book. In J. C. Nelson’s world, the dead can rise. So most people are cremated now, and if they aren’t, they’re buried with tendons cut and jaws pinned shut. Many of the risen dead are just shamblers, but they’re under the control of a very intelligent Re-Animus.

One of those Re-Animus knows Brynner Carson by name. One of the most famous agents of the Bureau of Special Investigations, Brynner’s also a playboy with a reputation. When a Re-Animus asks for something his dad hid, Brynner must work with Grace Roberts, an analyst who believes in science and only science. Predictably, they clash plenty of times in THE REBURIALISTS, but because the book is written from both of their POVS, it’s a great way to see both sides of the story and mythology. Brynner’s all belief and instinct, where Grace is rational and methodical.

For now, THE REBURIALISTS is a standalone. It’s a complete story, but I would like to see more of Brynner, Grace, and the author’s supercool world. There’s a lot of story and a lot of stuff happening in THE REBURIALISTS’ ~400 pages, all of which I enjoyed. I definitely didn’t expect some of the twists, which is always nice.

The only part of THE REBURIALISTS that didn’t quite work for me was the relationship between Brynner and Grace. I just didn’t see a spark between them, and wished they had stayed friends. That said, once the kinks were worked out, I did like them together, and liked how they backed each other up (even when they were mad at each other).

THE REBURIALISTS is a fun read. I enjoyed how the author mixed ancient Egyptian mythology with zombies and science. I never thought anyone would get me to read a book about scary walking dead, but J.C. Nelson did.

TL;DR Version:

the reburialists mood graphic

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– leeanna

Book Review: Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak

Book Review: Black City Saint by Richard A. KnaakBlack City Saint by Richard A Knaak
Series: Black City Saint #1
Published by Pyr on March 1, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 390
Format: ARC
Source: Amazon Vine
Goodreads
1 Stars
For more than sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has followed and guarded the Gate that keeps the mortal realm and that of Feirie separate, seeking in vain absolution for the fatal errors he made when he slew the dragon. All that while, he has tried and failed to keep the woman he loves from dying over and over.

Yet in the fifty years since the Night the Dragon Breathed over the city of Chicago, the Gate has not only remained fixed, but open to the trespasses of the Wyld, the darkest of the Feiriefolk. Not only does that mean an evil resurrected from Nick’s own past, but the reincarnation of his lost Cleolinda, a reincarnation destined once more to die.

Nick must turn inward to that which he distrusts the most: the Dragon, the beast he slew when he was still only Saint George. He must turn to the monster residing in him, now a part of him…but ever seeking escape.

The gang war brewing between Prohibition bootleggers may be the least of his concerns. If Nick cannot prevent an old evil from opening the way between realms…then not only might Chicago face a fate worse than the Great Fire, but so will the rest of the mortal realm.

Book Review:

I’m a fan of Richard A. Knaak’s books in the World of Warcraft realm, so I was eager to try out some of his original work. BLACK CITY SAINT sounded quite intriguing, with its mashup of noir, fae, dragons, and 1920s Chicago.

Unfortunately, I was bored by 97% of the book. Every time I picked it up to read, I kept putting it back down and looking at Instagram or Twitter or any other diversion I could find. Part of the reason was the stilted, overly formal writing style, which I think the author used in an attempt to make the book feel more 1920s-ish. But I also know that Knaak can overwrite, so that was part of it as well. I hate when I have to reread sentences 2 or 3 times to figure out what they mean.

My second problem with BLACK CITY SAINT? Nick spends the first half of the book going all over Chicago for no real reason at all. The first few chapters were cool, because they introduced Nick, the dragon, and the author’s version of fae, but then nothing happens. Nick goes here, he goes there, he keeps secrets, he goes here, he goes there, he keeps more secrets.

Third, the author tried so hard to make Nick’s enemy the typical tricky fae lord that I was confused by all the double-crossing, lying, trickery, and secrets. Nick was continually surprised by the villain, which I found hard to believe considering they’d fought before, and he had more than a thousand years of experience. And because he kept getting tricked by Oberon, I found it even more hard to believe that he would eventually triumph.

Fourth, why was Claryce even in BLACK CITY SAINT? All she wanted to do was follow Nick into danger and Nick wanted her to stay behind and be safe. She never listened and he loved her even more for it? Claryce played practically no role in the book, other than a prop to be moved around until the very end. I thought it was lazy the author relied on her past incarnations to develop hints of a relationship between them, instead of just developing it in the here and now.

All of that said, I did like the dragon in BLACK CITY SAINT. Knaak is good with dragons.

Overall, I think BLACK CITY SAINT tried to combine too many things and genres, and tried too hard to be clever. There were some cool ideas, but the execution was off for me.

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Richard A. Knaak:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Book Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona AndrewsMagic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #8
Published by Ace on August 4, 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 342
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
5 Stars
In the latest Kate Daniels novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews, magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta—and each crest leaves danger in its wake…

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…

Book Review:

MAGIC SHIFTS is the eighth book in the super awesome Kate Daniels series. I just read the entire series to get caught up to MAGIC SHIFTS, and this is one series where the books get better and better. I can’t recommend this series enough if you like a snarky, kick butt heroine, solid and creative worldbuilding, and villains and bad magic from all over the globe.

In MAGIC SHIFTS, Kate and Curran are trying to live a normal life. As normal as life can be when Kate’s the daughter of the most powerful man alive and Curran’s the former Beast Lord. Thanks to Kate’s agreement with her father in the previous book, MAGIC BREAKS, they’ve left the Pack. But instead of settling into their new house, they’re catapulted into a confusing investigation when Eduardo, a werebison, goes missing.

THE GOOD:

♥ I was a little worried when I started MAGIC SHIFTS, because one of my favorite things about this series is the Pack. I liked watching Kate manage the shapeshifters, and seeing them bicker and politic their way around the Keep. But many of the characters I liked in previous books are still in the series, and you know what? Kate and Curran shine even outside of the Pack. Their relationship is solid but still growing, and seeing Curran try to behave for the neighbors was hilarious.

♥ At last, there are some real consequences for Kate throwing herself headlong into danger. I enjoy how Kate never hesitates to draw her sword and rush into a fight, but with the amount of abuse she puts her body through, you start to wonder how she’s still alive, even with magic. I won’t spoil things, but I loved what happens to her in MAGIC SHIFTS.

♥ Three words: Roland. Likes. Applebee’s. Those three words lead to what has to be one of my favorite scenes in the whole series. Again, I’m not going to spoil the fantasticness, but I like where the author’s going with Kate and Roland.

♥ As with the bad guys in other books, the author doesn’t go with the traditional Western European supernatural creatures. I’ve seen the creature in MAGIC SHIFTS before, but this time it was scary. Yet again, I don’t want to drop spoilers, but I will say I’ve never read such a cool theory on ghouls.

THE BAD:

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Socialize with the author:

Ilona Andrews:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Book Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona AndrewsMagic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #7
on July 29, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 348
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
5 Stars
No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

Book Review:

Daaaaamn. I just finished MAGIC BREAKS, and I’m at a loss for words. I’ve said this in almost every review I’ve written for the Kate Daniels series, but this is a series where the books just get better and better.

I’ve been looking forward to Kate’s confrontation with her father for seven books now. I had absolutely no idea how the author would handle it, since Kate’s always known that Roland has a gazillion times more magic than she does. I’m not going to spoil what does happen, but I like how it all went down. It makes sense and shows how much Kate has grown over the series. Because you know if she had met Roland in book one, she would have stuck Slayer in his heart, and he would have killed her, and that would have been it. But now that Kate has lots of friends, fiancé Curran, adopted street kid Julie, and the welfare of the Pack to worry about, she can’t go in sword point first.

In other books, I liked seeing lots of the Pack, but I also missed the Kate from the first few in the series, where she was more on her own. In MAGIC BREAKS, Kate’s separated from Curran and the Pack, and she has to rely on every bit of training from Voron to stay alive. I loved it. I had absolutely no idea where the story was going in this book, and I loved that, too. It was also great to learn even more about Roland and Kate’s powers, which is something I enjoy in every installment. The author has some super creative ideas for magic.

I’ve been binge reading this series, but if you’ve been following it all along and need a refresher, the author includes a handy list of characters and summary of events by Barabas, Kate’s bouda nanny.

One of my favorite things about the Kate Daniels series is how talented the author is at making me feel about every single character. Lots of old faces are back in MAGIC BREAKS as well as some new ones. Even though I’ve never really liked Ghastek before, I felt for him in this book. Same with the alpha wererat couple, Robert and Thomas. Christopher, the insane guy Kate rescued in MAGIC RISES, shows up too, and I felt for him. Seriously. These characters tug on my (mostly nonexistent) heartstrings.

And the last page of MAGIC BREAKS? As Kate would say, “Why me?” I’d have screamed that if I had to wait a year for the next book, MAGIC SHIFTS.

Socialize with the author:

Ilona Andrews:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Book Review: Magic Rises by Ilona AndrewsMagic Rises by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #6
Published by Ace on July 30, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 355
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Goodreads
5 Stars
Mercenary Kate Daniels narrates a surprising trip with her bite-me humor. The pack of her mate Curran, werelion Beast Lord, need rare medicine from Europe to save children who die from stuck shapeshifting. Europe offers them barrels of the drug if they guard a spoiled princess. Knowing the invite is a trap, of course they sail right in.

Book Review:

MAGIC RISES is the sixth book in the Kate Daniels series. This is the first book where we get to see the rest of the world Post-Shift, as Kate and the Pack travel to Europe to guard a pregnant shapeshifter. They know it’s a trap, but they go anyway, because the promised payment is panacea, a medicine that can reverse loupism.

I really liked getting to see more of the world than just Atlanta. It’s good to see how other countries cope (or don’t) with magic, and who has come out on top. You won’t believe who the lord of the castle is in MAGIC RISES — but he’s an excellent pick. MAGIC RISES has a lot of Pack dealings, but it also moves Kate’s arc towards her inevitable confrontation with her father. I appreciate that the author isn’t making Roland a one book enemy, and I like how we’ve learned more about his background and Kate’s powers as the series progresses.

I wasn’t super thrilled with Curran in this book; it felt like Kate and Curran’s relationship took a step backwards. There are a couple of inconsistencies with how they act, and I wanted to slap Curran for a good portion of MAGIC RISES. I didn’t buy his excuse for the whole thing with Lorelei, and with the sheer amount of important stuff happening, I could’ve done without the relationship problems.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed MAGIC RISES. As usual, I can’t believe how much the author packed into the book: a bodyguard case, the lord of the castle, mysterious new shapeshifters, Kate/Curran, and some big important battles. There were a few scenes that made my eyes sting, because I care so much about the characters in this series.

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Ilona Andrews:
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– leeanna

Book Review: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Book Review: Magic Slays by Ilona AndrewsMagic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5
Published by Ace on May 31, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 308
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Goodreads
5 Stars
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 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, and 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. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price.

Book Review:

MAGIC SLAYS is the fifth book in the Kate Daniels series. I say this every review, but the books in this series just keep getting better and better! I’m a latecomer to this amazing urban fantasy series, but that’s good in a way, because I can’t imagine waiting a year between installments.

If you thought Erra was bad in the previous book, MAGIC BLEEDS, the bad guys in MAGIC SLAYS are even worse. Kate’s case this time spotlights a danger to the entire city of Atlanta. It’s something she can’t handle herself, even though she’s quit the Order and doesn’t have them holding her back anymore. I really liked the big fight in MAGIC SLAYS, because lots of different groups come and fight together — it felt epic in scope.

My favorite things about this series include Kate, Kate and Curran, the Pack, and the other characters. The author continues to deliver on all of those points.

♥ Kate has grown so much from the first book in the series while staying true to herself that it’s incredible. She’s still snarky and bad ass, but now more vulnerable because she’s formed attachments and friendships with people.

♥ Kate and Curran — their relationship has become one of my favorite in an urban fantasy series. They bicker and have to work to develop their relationship and support each other. It’s realistic, which is always important to me.

♥ I do so enjoy the Pack. It’s great to see Kate act as the Alpha, showing the shapeshifters that she can act like them without going furry, and that she’ll protect them just as much as Curran does.

♥ I love Kate and Curran, but I also love all the other characters in this series. The author’s really good at making you feel for everybody, if they’re in one scene or multiple books. Andrea is back, which was great, since I like her friendship with Kate. Julie’s also back, yay! Although maybe not yay, because the poor kid goes through some rough stuff. The new bouda Ascanio’s a hoot, and the attack poodle Grendel is back. Seriously, there are some great characters in this series, and I’m greedy enough to want novellas about all of them.

MAGIC SLAYS slays it.

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Ilona Andrews:
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– leeanna