Sunday, January 5, 2014

Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6): A Review

Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6)
Written by: Ilona Andrews
Softcover: 355 pages
Publisher: Ace
Language: English
July 2013
Genre: Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Series

Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…


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It’s been a while, what can I say. Life happens, but I never stop reading…just apparently the blogging part. But it is a new year now and I am ready to begin again. During all of the past six months I have had some great comfort books. You know the ones I am talking about, the ones that you cannot wait for the authors to write the next one because you know you can curl up under a blanket and read to your heart’s content. And you will love every moment of it.

You love the characters and you love the world. In fact they are kind of like old friends that you haven’t seen for a year or so, but the moment you are reunited it is as if no time has passed. Some series are like that…old friends. Once I get my hands on the next book I devour it in one sitting and feel sad when they have to go away again. Kate and Company are like that for me. There is something about the Kate Daniels series that just works for me. I completely love the magic/tech times. I love the leads and I love the characters you only get little glimpses of.

So of course amidst all of my new challenges and adventures of the past year I met up with my old friends Kate and Curran and disappeared into Atlanta for a few hours. It was a good time, even though Curran and I may not be speaking to each other (me more than him) until July of 2014.

In Magic Rises we meet a young woman who is not only married to two men who seem to not want her, but she is pregnant with both of their children. Don’t ya just love magic? Factor in her father, who is an asshat and a half and really wants her dead now that she has stopped being his plaything to trade around to whomever he wants and a host who is not at all who anyone expects and voila Kate is in over her head again. Simple job though right, keep the woman and her unborn babies safe until it’s time for them to be born. Babysitting. Peachy. Even though it completely screams ‘TRAP’. But how did she get mixed in with the packs across the Ocean even though all the signs are pointing that this is a really bad idea? Because Julie’s best friend is going loup. It’s something all the kids must face and so many do not survive it. It’s devastating to the Pack and if they do this job, they have enough Panacea to help a lot of kids. The risk…well it’s worth it.

And risks my beloved authors did take. There were times I hated Curran, times I hated Kate and also my authors when they killed off one of my favorite characters. I laughed, I cried and I seethed. I also devoured it in one sitting and rarely do books pull me in that much anymore. I don’t know how they do it, but this series never gets old or flat for me. The world building in this series is top notch. There is always something new to learn, one more factoid that makes the world all the more real for me.

Things I loved: “Outside the windows the day was bright: golden sunshine, blue sky, pleasant wind ... I wanted to punch the happy day in the face, grab it by the hair, and beat it until it told me what the hell it was so happy about.” Um, yeah….that quote right there. I feel that on occasion and I love that the authors could relay that to the rest of the world.

First off, I heartily recommend doing what your authors suggest and that is read An Ill-Advised Rescue (if you haven't already read it on their website) which is a short story that relates to the beginning of Magic Rises and trust me it all makes way more sense. Plus more Kate and Saiman. How can this be a bad thing?

The plot this time around has its flaws but there are some great WTF moments that had me making weird faces and noises at some of the reveals. As per usual, the fight scenes are top notch. In fact probably some of the best in the genre. The book was snarky, it was emotional (oh boy did I run the gambit), and every bit worth the read. They always are.

I loved some of our new additions such as Astamur and Christopher and how they may factor in to the story overall. I liked our baddies. My heart broke over a lullaby. I cheered and I jeered. And to be honest I really loved getting out of Atlanta. I am curious how other parts of the world fare with the tech and the magic.

So here is where we get to the spoilers: You have been warned so you should probably stop reading now. About Aunt B’s death. In a way it reminded me of some other deaths in fiction that just ripped me to shreds not because of the emotional impact (though there is that), but the suddenness of it. The we-can’t-mourn-her-because-we-are-running-for-our-lives sort of thing. And yet I was angry about Aunt B. Angry the way I was when Anya died in Buffy. How could you just kill her and not have any characters really mourn her. Because its war. In war those you care about die and sometimes you don’t have time to give them a proper sendoff. You cannot claim the body. You cannot have the proper closure and goodbye that you hoped to have. You don’t get to say all of those deathbed bedside niceties. It just happens. There is no rewind. The fallout happens later, when no one expects it. It hits you at the most inopportune times. Then you finally have to deal with yeah, we may have made it but at what cost? Was it worth it? And no this wasn’t just a bad dream. I have faith in my duo that they will write a proper repercussion and mourning for all of our characters because of that death.

Things I didn’t love so much: So things that bugged me. Curran. Yep, he’s got that alpha male thing down. The you are only a woman must protect you and thus keep you in the dark about everything shtick. Ugh. Do you know who her father is Curran? Do you know the power words she has under her control? If you loved Kate you wouldn’t have put her through the wringer. You know you have done a bad thing when I start seeing sociopath Hugh as a good replacement for you. That little plot twisty bit was contrived. It was not something that Curran would do to Kate, then again maybe it is and I should loathe him to pieces. And hell yes Kate can lie. She has been lying about who she is since she can remember and up until now she has been safe because of those lies. So yep, calling bullshit on your reasoning there Mr. Kitty. You just had fun playing the arrogant jackass and enjoying how much control you have. It just seemed so out of character and made no sense. I know those that have read this probably agree with me.

The same little plot arc could have worked with trying to find out what little Miss Princess’s real plan was. You knew something was up when she just magically decided to visit at the same time. They still could have played her without keeping things from Kate. But no, Curran thought it would be a better idea to humiliate her, hurt her, lie to her, make her look insignificant to his own Pack and oh you know other ruling members of Packs in Europe (good to make your relationship seem completely invaluable to the world…yep great move). Cause you know everyone has to follow rules EXCEPT him. Also good to know that all of the importance that you put on those Pack rules involving your mate really didn’t mean anything. All because you want to be Mr. Knight in Shining Armor and still possibly get your loved one killed. Don’t you think if Kate knew about it all that it would have saved a lot of things, possibly even Aunt B? Curran consistently makes decisions for those around him, including Kate without consulting anyone. This is kind of scary as we lead up to the final confrontation. I cannot trust that Curran will have her back completely or be the one to go running into battle without telling anyone and thus ruining the big plan and getting them all killed.

Speaking of the little romance plot arc, Curran and Kate not being married? Oh so now you need a piece of paper. Please, they are married in every sense that matters. Kate is Curran’s mate. Yep, that one. And Kate has earned her title, not only through her love for Curran, but the fact that she fought and killed all challengers to her position. Kate rules alongside Curran. She lives with him. I could keep going.

Ugh and back to Curran being an asshat. Kate says that they are ‘not okay’. And they shouldn’t be after what he did. But then she forgives him so easily. Hello relationship suspension of disbelief not happening there. I know what it is like to be hurt like that and it is not something that a few kisses and a ring can fix. Trust me. In a way, that broke my heart because the Kate I fell in love with would not have accepted that so easily. Kate, who didn’t need anyone to save her, who had strength and moxie, and wouldn’t let “love” break her. They can be the couple I love and root for (Adam and Mercy, Toby and Tybalt) and Kate can still be true to her character.

Quibbles perhaps, but big quibbles. I guess in any friendship you are bound to have a fight now and again. This is my first one with Kate, Curran and company. I am sure I will get over it. We just need some time apart until I cool down. I am going to go hang with Andrea until July.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. Because I love this series to pieces and so should you

Part of: Series.  The Magic _______ series or the Kate Daniels series.

Also Recommended: Other great Urban Fantasy that isnt just vampires and werewolves are the Toby Daye series by Seanan McGuire and the creatures that exist in the cities of Matthew Swift (Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin), Felix Castor (The Devil You Know by Mike Carey) and Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher.

3.25 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

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