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I Belong

Review: Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Magic Strikes (#3) by Ilona AndrewsTitle: Magic Strikes

Author: Ilona Andrews

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Kate Daniels (Book 3)

Publication Date: March 31, 2009

Format: Paperback, 310 Pages

ISBN-10: 0441017029 (Penguin/Ace)

ISBN-13: 978-0441017027 (Penguin/Ace)

Reviewed by: Sheila


Drafted to work for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems these days than she knows what to do with. 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 Beast Lord, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

Quick & Dirty: Kick-butt Kate enters an underground tournament to stop a group of rakshasas from taking out the shapeshifters.

Opening SentenceSome days my job was harder than others.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Kate Daniels, smart-a$$ mercenary and unofficial grunt of the Order, is back and ready to kill things using her deadly sword and sarcasm.  This time, she finds herself in the middle of an underground tournament fighting for her life and those of her furry friends.  Her father always said that having friends would be the death of her; here is to hoping that isn’t the case after all.

The Midnight Games is a place for those to fight and die for money, prizes, and fame drenched in blood.  When it looks like a team competing is more than what they seem, Kate is drafted to help find out who they really are.  After they attack and decimate some of the local shapeshifters, including Derek, she is willing to do whatever it takes to make them pay.  Roping in some unlikely help, Kate and some of the other shapeshifters defy Pack law and enter the tournament so the prize, the fabled Wolf Diamond, doesn’t fall in the wrong hands.  This particular diamond is said to also be more than it seems; enough believe in its supernatural powers that they are willing to do whatever it takes to obtain it, even kill.  How far is Kate willing to go to keep her friends safe?

This is the book that got me hooked on the series.  Kate’s new openness to having friends, her more humane side, makes for a much more remarkable character than a simple killing machine.  Her loyalty isn’t given lightly and neither is her friendship.  She literally puts herself on the line in order to keep the people she cares about safe; a far cry from a girl raised with a single bloody purpose in life to take down the powerful man that sired her.  Also, it seems that her friends have the same (if not more) note of sarcasm and humor that Kate has; it makes for the most entertaining conversations!

Kate’s potential exposure makes her sacrifice that much more significant.  She has always flown under the radar, trying to grow stronger so that she can take out Roland, her father, once and for all.  By competing in a public setting in front of potential watchers, Kate is making herself known in the worst way possible.  It is a big step and an important one.  It signifies a change in priorities; from her father’s to her own.  Kate is now living more for herself than what she was trained to do from birth by Voron, Roland’s ex-Warlord.

Hindu mythology mixed in with the intense fight scenes give the book that much more flavor.  It is action packed while attending to character development and progression.  Not only does the reader get a fast-paced cut-and-slash, they also get the depth that makes this a series a must-read for any Urban Fantasy fan.

Notable Scene:

“His Majesty needs a can-I girl anyway.  And I’m not it.”

“A can-I girl?” Andrea frowned.

I leaned back.  “Can I fetch you your food, Your Majesty?  Can I tell you how strong and mighty you are, Your Majesty?  Can I pick out your fleas, Your Majesty?  Can I kiss your ass, Your Majesty?  Can I…”

It dawned on me that Raphael was sitting very still.  Frozen, like a statue, his gaze fixed on the point above my head.

“He’s standing behind me, isn’t he?”

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 Magic Strikes.  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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