Saturday, 19 July 2014

Kate Daniels Series #5: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Published: May 31st 2011 by Ace
Goodreads Summary: 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 . . .


The very first thing that hit me, when I read Magic Slays is how much Kate had grown as a person. Gone was the lone soldier who would shun companionship as if it was a contagious disease. Gone was the skilled assassin who would answer to authority by juvenile insolence.

Now, most mornings Kate's wakes up next to her lover Curran, the mighty Beast Lord, the one who rule over all the shapeshifters in Atlanta. Thousands of lives depend on him, and due to her relation with, these lives are also under Kate's charge. She also tries to run her business Cutting Edge which takes care of any magic related trouble, her best friend Andrea being her (only) co-worker. Our little Kate’s becoming a grown woman.

Before moving forward, let’s take a step backward, so that I explain how Kate got her business in the first place, and how Andrea ended up working for/with her. In Magic Bleeds, while Kate’s freakish auntie was wreaking havoc in Atlanta, after yet another row with her boss, our heroine finally got the nerve to quit The Order of Merciful Aid (or rather The Order of Overzealous Bigot but whatever).

 By the end of the fourth book, now officially the Beast Lord’s mate, her boyfriend offered her an office whose rent she wouldn’t have to pay for several months and from which she was allowed to run whatever business she felt like running (yeah, so much for having a super wealthy boyfriend. Someone, please tell me when my turn’s coming?!). The deadliest among the deadly swordwoman that is Kate decided to do pretty the same type of job she was doing as a member of The Order, except that now she would be the one giving orders.

As for Andrea, the girl’s a shapeshifter. She went through tremendous pain to hide her identity to the Order. We all knew that sooner or later her secret was going to be found out and we all knew that things were going to get really ugly for the little blonde. I guess what’s coming is a bit of a spoiler,  but long story short, when the debacle with Kate’s aunt ended, The Order realized that Andrea was a shapeshifter and they kicked her out because of that. 

It’s not as if the blonde didn’t try to argument with them in order to keep her job and dignity. She did.  However, in the end she lost. And just like that of Andrea’s years of hard work, patience and dedication went down to the sewer in ONE flush (you imagine, not even two!).

Now, going back to the present, it’s one thing to have a business and it’s another one to have a successful business. For the moment Kate has the former but not the latter. When Rene (that girl who worked as a guard during the Midnight Games in Magic Strikes) entered her office, Kate might have thought that she was (finally) climbing the ladder. But I’m not sure she expected the mess she was about to face.

So Adam Kamen, a brilliant human engineer Renee guarded in a top secret location because he was working on a mind-blowing revolutionary project disappeared. Renee must take care of her sick brother, therefore, she can’t deal with the situation, so what does she decides? Well, she decided to enlist Kate. And Kate obliged her because it’s either that or keep depressing about her abysmal lack of clients.

As usual, the mission isn’t as simple as it seems to be, and allies and enemies are so intertwined that it’s difficult to guess who’s which. I won’t spoil you guys once again, but Adam’s invention can have seriously damaging effect on anyone who possess magic or are supernatural.

You know how in cinema, the second movie of a trilogy is often a little less good, a little less enthralling but still pretty entertaining? Well it was like that with Magic Slays, too. There’s nothing truly negative about Magic Slays, it contained a solid plot (something that we’ve come to expect from the wife-husband writing team), it was well written, it was funny, the characters were still as relatable as usual. However, compared to Magic Bleeds, it lacked that gripping element, which makes someone turn a book’s pages like an addict getting his fix. That doesn’t mean that they weren’t things I deeply liked.

The highlight of the fifth books (for me), was that we learn more about Kate’s mom and how she managed to escape Roland.  As many would have expected, mommy Daniels wasn’t a “normal” human and...And you’ll have to read the book if you want to find out more about her*insert evil laugh (I know I can be mean sometimes)*. I’ll only reveal that I was shocked by how twisted Kate’s background is. I also enjoyed Kate’s and Curran’s relation evolution. I like how close they are, I don’t know if that makes sense. 

There’s nothing overdone or exaggerated in their relation. In some romance books, love stories can become suffocating, because they don’t mirror at all real life, and it becomes impossible to relate to them. But in the Kate Daniels series, things are different. Curran and Kate love each other, strengthen each other, but they aren’t perfect. They get pissed at each other, they get annoyed by their lover, they try to work through their issues, and people (I’m mostly talking about me) root for them because of that, because they feel real. 

I’ve always been very pleased by the Kate Daniels series, and Magic Bleed only reinforced my opinion. This is why, I’m more than eager to read the next book in the series, Magic Rises.


  1. OHMIGOD...we are so obsessed with this series! LOL...I can't get enough of Kate or Curran. Can't wait for book 7. Brilliant review my friend! :)


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