Sunday, 17 August 2014

Kate Daniels Series #7: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Published: July 29th 2014 by Ace Hardcover
Goodreads Summary: 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…

I know that many people loved it, but for me, the long awaited Magic Breaks ended up being a bit of a disappointment. 

At the beginning of this book Curran leaves Atlanta to attend a meeting concerning panacea with the leader of another pack. Therefore, Kate his consort and soulmate, must represents the Pack all by herself during a Conclave meeting (you know the monthly get together meeting between The Pack and The People at an ubber gorgeous and expensive restaurant).

Of course, other Alphas (by the way there’s some serious power struggle in the Wolf clan between Jennifer and Dessandra) are present and Jim put some tough-a** protection in place. So technically and logically, everything should have gone smoothly, but obviously, it didn’t. Hugh D’ambray aka Roland’s warlord aka Voron former apprentice aka that nutty godlike swordman who wants to get his freaks on with Kate showed up uninvited at the party. And he crashed it. 

The man has been 2 minutes in, and things started being messy almost immediately. Before you know it some tough guy came up with a dead body who happens to be Murahldine, a Master of the Dead and Ghastek nemesis. You know what’s worst than a dead body in the middle of a boring meeting? It’s when accusations are levelled at one of the party present. In this case, The People are accusing The Pack of having killed one of their Master of the Dead (you see the pun?). ‘Cause there’s no doubt about it: a wolf definitely did the killing (Jen were looking at you!).

In order to avoid a war between shapeshifters and necromancers, Kate will try to find the culprit in a deadly race against the clock, helped by Derek, Dessandra, the brand new beta in the Wolf clan and Robert, the Alpha rat. She’ll also receive some unrequited help from Acasciano.

This sound like fun, doesn’t it? So why was I disappointed? That’s a good question.

As in every book in the Kate Daniels series, I was pulled into Magic Breaks within its first pages and my attention never wavered.  I was eager to know how Kate would resolve all her problems. 

Robert and Dessandra were among the most outstanding characters in this book. I really enjoyed getting to know them more. Oh and in the race for the Alpha seat in the Wolf clan, I’m team Dessandra all the way. In Magic Slays, Jennifer was just a nasty bitch, but in this novel she turned into a paranoid and crazy bitch drenched in cowardice. Seriously, I was always neutral toward Jen, but in this book, I really wished Kate would slap some sense into her. I also really enjoyed knowing more about Ghastek.

As you might expect, Hugh is also very much present in this book. Well what can I say about him? I’ve always considered Hugh as condescending, arrogant, witty, Kate obsessed, cocky, cruel but in Magic Breaks, he put his Patrick Bateman gears on and turned into a full blown psycho and it scared the sh*t outta me. He’s real badass with a sword, though *nods with respect*.  You just better not be in his way when he’s wielding one.

At the beginning of the book, there’s an entry from Barabas’ diary and I found it unnecessary. You don’t learn more about his personality or get some juicy facts about his life. Basically, the author wanted to have a recap of the previous books and so they inserted the diary. There were others info dumps here and there in the book.

If truth be told, the first part of Magic Breaks was kind of boring. Thanks god Dessandra and Robert (which I love) were present. It was just the gang going to a place, fighting some strange creature, and then going to another place fighting yet another weird creature and then GOING TO ANOTHER PLACE, fighting YET another bizarre creature. Besides, the banter between Derek and Acasciano which should have been funny felt dry and contrived. The fighting scenes were well described though. 

The pace picked up in the middle of the book, with a major clash between Hugh and The Order. We even meet Nick (remember that bum looking Crusader from book 1?) and his background is much more interesting than what I expected.

Then, in the second part of the book, we meet Roland, the Builder of Towers at last. Again, I’m not sure how I felt about this meeting. On one hand I liked to see Roland, because we’ve been hearing about him since six books.  But on another hand, everything concerning him in Magic Breaks felt very anticlimactic. It felt like it was your birthday, and your boyfriend kept telling you how amazing a present he had for you. 

So you get all excited with yourself and you start thinking designer shoes, an expensive bag, a ring or even a nice romantic dinner. In the end, it turns out he’s only gotten you a mere key ring. Well, meeting Roland was a bit like that. I expected some super cool fight with an epic ending. Instead I’ve got a nice fight with some pretty cool scene and a very unsatisfying end.

Actually, now that I think about it, more than being disappointed by Magic Breaks, I was unsatisfied by it. I expected a pot of gold but I received a pot of copper instead. 

Curran acted like a jackass with Kate in Magic Rises. In the 7th instalment of the Kate Daniels series, we don’t get that much of him. Kate’s missing him like crazy, though. As a matter of fact, every three pages or so, we’re getting a reminder of how bad she misses him. I actually didn’t mind, in contrary I empathised with her. However, I didn’t like how she often wished he would save her. I would have preferred a bit more independence.

As for Curran, I don’t have much to complain about him, but I still wish he would be a tiny bit less controlling. He made a big sacrifice for Kate at the end of Magic Breaks. More than being useless, that sacrifice was unbelievable. For me, the one time he should have sacrificed was when Kate asked him to let her meet her father alone. Instead of obliging her, he persuaded Kate that they should go together.  

I guess the author wanted to show how strong their bond was, but to me it seemed that like Curran lacked faith in his girlfriend and somehow prevented her from being independent.

Magic Breaks wasn’t a bad book, not at all. The story was still very entertaining (I finished it in about two days). But compared to what I grew accustomed from Ilona Andrews, it was of lesser quality (in my opinion). Nonetheless, I’ll be there for the 8th book in the series.

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