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I Belong

Review: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Slays

Author: Ilona Andrews

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Kate Daniels (Book 5)

Publication Date: May 31, 2011

Format: Paperback, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 0441020429 (Ace Books)

ISBN-13:  978-0441020423 (Ace Books)

Reviewed by: Sheila


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 . . .

Quick & Dirty: This story is great for those who enjoy loads of sarcasm with their kick-ass heroines!

Opening SentenceThe ringing of the phone jerked me from my sleep.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

In the fifth installment of this series, Magic Slays starts out where most stories end; the girl gets her guy and they live happily ever after.  Lots of stories are completed this way but for those who know Kate and Curran, they don’t DO happily ever after.  I’m not entirely sure they would know what to do with themselves if they got it.

Now the proud owner of her own investigation firm and the Alpha of fifteen hundred shapeshifters, Kate is busy juggling her new responsibilities.  Being Roland’s daughter has kept her running under the radar until now. Hired by the Red Guard, Kate’s first job is to find a missing inventor and his “device.”  In typical Kate flare, this seemingly easy assignment turns into a colossal manhunt and the device in question puts everyone Kate loves in danger.  But in the world of post-shift Atlanta, where magic’s ebb and flow crash over like a tsunami, survival is always the name of the game.

There are some new factions in this book, including one introduced in the short story found in the Dark and Stormy Knights anthology. The witches, Red Guard, and the PDA, better known as the sane-optional police, get more face time.  We are also introduced to Ascanio Ferara, a fifteen-year-old bouda and the newest contributor of headaches for Kate.  As a werehyena and teenager, his sexual antics and lack of respect for authority has landed him in trouble time and again.  Using his boyish charm gets the females of his clan to be lenient on his behalf; he is constantly getting into hot water with the Beast Lord, Alpha of the Pack.  Ascanio was raised in a religious compound that is predominately female and didn’t have a male role model to style himself after.  He runs around, thinking predominately with his “other” head, without a care for the consequences.  Curran assigns Ascanio to Kate as a bodyguard for two reasons; to soften him up for the alpha male bouda to take over as mentor and for Kate to watch out for him.  The consensus is that Kate is the least likely to kill the boy if he gets out of hand again.  Living in the Pack requires all its members to be in control at all times.  Can Ascanio rise up and meet the challenge or is he going to find himself between Aunt B’s, his alpha’s, claws?

Along with the main plot, we learn more about Kate’s heritage and her mother’s people. Mostly, we watch Kate and her struggles dealing with her relationships and all the emotions attached to them.  The relationship between her stepfather and mother are no longer seen through the rose-tinted glasses of innocence.  Though this is hard for any adult to come to terms with, Kate’s feelings make her re-evaluate her own relationship with Curran, her mate.  Does he love her for who she is or what she can bring to the fight for his people’s safety?  Does it matter the reasons that brought them to together or should Kate just appreciate the fact that they are together and just move forward?  Julie, her ward, is now living in the Keep with Kate instead of away at school.  She is learning how to handle a more hands-on approach to parenting than in the past.  Kate struggles throughout the book, dealing with feelings and situations that cannot be solved with her sword.

Full of great comebacks typical to Andrews’ style, I am extremely pleased to see the direction of this series.  They have taken what should have been a HEA and created the need for fans everywhere to see what is in store for this powerful duo.  I find this book MORE in every sense of the word: more danger, more fighting, more suspense, and more “aha” lines than ever before!

Notable Scene:

The Bouda flew through the air, huge claws poised for the kill.  Derek shied out of the way.  Ascanio hurtled past him and whipped around.

“When you’re airborne, you can’t change your direction,” Derek said.  “Try again.”

Ascanio snarled and charged him.

Derek stepped into the charge, pivoted on his left foot, and kicked.  The lower part of his right shin connected with Ascanio’s ear.  Ascanio rolled sideways, crashed into a wall, and surged up.

“Mind your flanks,” Derek said.  “You have peripheral vision for a reason.”

“I fucking kilr you!”

“Left foot, right foot, left foot.”  Derek raised his arms.  “Watch.”

Ascanio lunged.  “Left foot.”  Derek met him halfway and sank a vicious left kick into the bouda’s stomach.

Ascanio staggered back.

“Right foot.”  Derek took a quick step, building momentum.  “Left foot.”  He jumped and hammered the ball of his foot onto Ascanio’s  forehead.  Like taking a sledgehammer tot eh face.

The impact sent Ascanio flying.  He smashed into my desk with a wicked bone-snapping crunch.

“Go easy on the furniture,” I said.

The Kate Daniels Series:

1. Magic Bites

2. Magic Burns

3. Magic Strikes

4. Magic Bleeds

5. Magic Slays

FTC Advisory: Penguin/Ace Books provided me with a copy of Magic Slays.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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