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I Belong

Review: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

Gunmetal Magic (#5.5) by Ilona AndrewsTitleGunmetal Magic

Author: Ilona Andrews

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Kate Daniels World (Book 5.5)

Publication Date: July 31, 2012

Format: Paperback, 326 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425256138 (Penguin/Ace)

ISBN-13: 978-1101585191 (Penguin/Ace)

Reviewed by: Sheila


Some people have everything figured out — Andrea Nash is not one of those people. After being kicked out of the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea’s whole existence is in shambles. All she can do is try to put herself back together, something made easier by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend, Kate Daniels.

When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano — the male alpha of Clan Bouda and Andrea’s former lover — die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate … and must work with Raphael. As her search for the killer leads her into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta, Andrea knows that dealing with her feelings for Raphael might have to take a backseat to saving the world …

Quick & Dirty: Andrea Nash solves some murders and embraces her inner bouda.

Opening SentenceThud!

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Long-time fans have been waiting for this day for two years: What happened to Andrea Nash after the Erra incident in Magic Bleeds?  Have no fear, dear reader, all of your questions and concerns surrounding our favorite former Knight shall be answered.  Andrea’s past, present, and future are revealed in Gunmetal Magic, the new novel from the Kate Daniels World.

Andrea Nash is having an identity crisis.  Growing up in an abusive clan, Andrea has issues concerning other boudas.  She is beastkin, the daughter of a bouda and a hyena-were.  In a normal pack, she would be instantly killed.  So instead of taking the chance for other shapeshifters finding out her secret, she denied her animal side and chose to become a Knight of Merciful Aid.  Unfortunately, her secret came to light and she was forcibly “retired” from duty.  What do you do when everything you ever worked for and believed in is gone?  Why you go and work with your best friend, who could care less what you are.

While Kate is off doing “Pack” business, Andrea is asked to look into the deaths of four shapeshifters.  She is a good investigator and a damn good shot with a gun, surely she can handle anything that may come up.  Right?  But to be honest, Kate is usually the one to get on a deity’s bad side and not Andrea.  Besides, what kind of Kate Daniels World book would it be without someone running into stuff found only in mythology?

Andrea has decided to quit denying her animal side and fully embraces it.  She feels that there is nothing left for her since leaving the Order.  Andrea is a soldier and does best under structure and a clear chain of command.  If it wasn’t for her Aunt B and Raphael issues, I think that she would have no problem joining the Pack.  I will say that one of the best qualities of Andrea is that when she commits to something, she does it with her whole being.  Should she choose to join, her level of discipline and work integrity will definitely stand out among the other boudas in the Pack.

Though they truly do love each other, Raphael and Andrea still have some things to work on.  In the short story “Magic Mourns”, Raphael defines the parameters of their relationship: “I trust you to lead most of the time…with the understanding that when I really insist, you will listen.”  So when Andrea chooses not to help  out some Pack members in need and leaves after the big Erra fight without telling anyone where she went, Raphael feels abandoned.  Even though the Order is no longer an obstacle, their past issues still need to be addressed.  Can Raphael get over his hurt feelings and accept her apology like a man?  Can Andrea get over Raphael’s petty antics and realize that no one can love her more than him?  I love these two as a couple because they complement each other so well.  Andrea brings more discipline and Raphael brings more fun to everything they do.  When they do fight together, they are a force to be reckoned with.

As much as I mourned the wait for the new Kate Daniels book, I must say that I love this novel.  It is true that their story had to be told before we are all able to move forward with the series as a whole.  And let’s face it, you still get Kate-ness toward the end of the book and a Kate short story, “Magic Gifts”, as a special bonus.

“Magic Gifts” by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels series #5.4)

This short story tells Kate’s side during the events at the beginning of Gunmetal Magic.  During a rare date, Kate and Curran witness the untimely death of one of the People’s navigators.  The necklace that killed her found its way around the neck of a small boy; and it is slowly killing him as well.  Kate and Curran do everything in their power to find a way to get the necklace off before the little boy dies, including visiting the Neo-Vikings and their most feared secret.

During this time, we also get to learn what’s to become of the Mercenary Guild after the demise of its leader, Solomon Red.  It’s been six months and the members are locked in a stalemate.  Kate is being pressured from all fronts to endorse someone to take over, and she doesn’t want to get involved.  Kate knows deep down that she is going to have to be involved with running the Guild, even though she thinks she has enough on her plate already.

I really like seeing this new Kate; full of authority and confidence.  It is quite the change from the Kate we met in Book 1.  I like it even more because she rallies against it.  If she was excited or ambitious, it would no longer be the Kate we know and love.  Maybe Curran has influenced her more than I originally thought.

This is a fabulous story that I’m glad to have read.  Initially, it was released as a freebie for a limited time on Andrews’ website.  Now everyone can enjoy the antics and humor that make Kate Daniels so very popular.

Notable Scene:

We took a right at the fork, heading farther north.  The charred houses continued.  To the right, a large sign nailed to an old telephone post shouted DANGER in huge red letters.  Underneath in crisp black letters was written:

IM-1: Infectious Magic Area

Do Not Enter

Authorized Personnel Only

A second smaller sign under the first one, written on a piece of plastic with permanent marker, read:

Keep out, stupid.

“We aren’t going to keep out, are we?” Ascanio asked.


The Kate Daniels Series:

1. Magic Bites

2. Magic Burns

3. Magic Strikes

4. Magic Bleeds

5. Magic Slays

5.5 Gunmetal Magic

FTC Advisory: Penguin/Ace graciously provided me with a copy of Gunmetal Magic.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  The only payments I receive are hugs and kisses from my little boys.

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