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 24 hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she' ll find herself embroiled in a war that could destroy everything she holds dea.
©2014 Andrew Gordon and Ilona Gordon (P)2014 Recorded Books
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
*** Review may contain spoilers for previous installments in the series. ***
Whenever I finish a truly amazing book I’m often tempted to write a one sentence review because words fail me, and the only thing that potential readers really need to know is READ THIS. And, never has that urge been as strong as in the case of MAGIC BREAKS. This novel wraps up one of the greatest Urban Fantasy story arcs that has ever been penned, and that’s not even the best part, because even though KATE DANIELS’ lifelong journey has reached its culmination, the best is still to come. In this installment, characters die, power shifts, and a new path is forged—epic is the only term that comes to mind, and even then, it still falls short.
It was a good thing that MAGIC BREAKS came with a disclaimer because otherwise I think this novel would have caused mass panic among readers (me included). I loved the character recap; it really helped to set the stage for this story, and ensured that everyone was on the same page regardless of whether you re-read all of the installments prior to this one, or haven’t visited Andrews’ universe since last July when MAGIC RISES hit shelves. Hugh d’Ambray demonstrates why he earned the title of Roland’s Warlord when he sets his ingenious scheme in motion to cause an all-out war between the Pack and the People. Kate’s got some pretty big shoes to fill with Curran away on business, and although I did find myself missing the Beast Lord, the wait was worth it when he finally made his spectacular entrance.
Pretty much all of this series’ characters came out to play which was awesome, and fitting seeing how everything comes to a head in this book. Kate and Curran’s interactions were perfect, and I loved learning more about Ghastek. And, even though the action was at the forefront of this story, there’s still a good dose of romance, and—believe it or not—cuteness thanks to Cuddles, the mammoth donkey, and an adorable bunnycat. A long time character dies, however I think that I was actually more upset over what happened to Slayer, but again it was all part of the Andrews’ master plan. The authors did a fabulous job of tying up loose ends while still continuing to add new mythology and world-building to the mix. Roland was positively magnificent, and I was thrilled that his and Kate’s first meeting exceeded my sky high expectations after a grueling six installment long build-up.
I’ve been hooked on Renée Raudman’s narration of this series since the very beginning, but never have I hung on her every word quite like I did while listening to this audiobook. Towards the end, I think that I actually forgot to breathe a time or two. The conclusion was jaw droppingly wonderful, and her suspenseful delivery made time stand still. I loved everything about her performance, from Curran’s raspy baritone, to Kate’s sarcastic wit, and Julie’s bonus short story at the end was the cherry on top.
Never has a series been more about the journey than the actual destination, and the evolution that Ilona & Gordon’s characters have undergone is staggering. Urban Fantasy doesn’t get any better than MAGIC BREAKS—READ THIS.
I have been happily married for 17 years, I have 3 children (12, 14, & 16), and 2 dogs. I am currently working on a 2nd degree. Life is chaotic and stressful, but I wouldn't change it. I am blessed and enjoying my life.
This is a great addition to the collection. I was scared for a moment about half way through the book because I thought that this was the end. But take a deep breath, stay calm, hope is alive! lol We have more additions coming up :). Or at least it’s not the end. There is no need to go into details (mainly because everyone else has already done that) this is just a wonderful story and I look forward to each and every addition. I love Kate and I love Curran. I spend all year wishing for the months to past, waiting for the new book to come out, listen to it in one to two settings and then (sigh!) starting the wait back over again. It is a fantastic world that I love visiting.
Thank you llona Andrews for sharing your world with us.
Renee Raudman thank you for making that world come alive.
The combination of IA's writing and RR's narrating is a magical experience!
Maddie and I, are a dad-daughter combo who love audible books. She has recently started to write reviews also. I hope you can differentiate.
Ok, I wanted to like the book. I REALLY wanted to like this book. All the previous books in the series were amongst my favorite. The character Kate Daniels was FUN to read/listen. Remember when she was fighting in the Arena in one of the previous books, where she first came to the attention of Hugh, and an older cocky competitor asks her what she meant about remembering what is was like to fight in arena? Because she was too young to fight in the last gladiator arenas, and she tells him how her father made her fight in some other arena years ago...then the guy realizes that the 13 year old girl he saw fight years ago is the same person standing right before him...and he darn near poops his pants right there and runs off to figure out how the heck he and his team were going to survive this?...That was the *fun* Kate Daniels...this Kate Daniels spend FAAAAARRR to much time wondering where Kern is..."Ohh, where is Kern?...I LOVE Kern.....Kern will save me....Oh My gosh, I sooo want to have Kern's babies." It was annoying!! I kept hoping that Kick-butt Kate would return, and she does at the very end of the book. But for the first 75-85% we get whiny Kate. I get what Illona is trying to do, she is trying to convey the emotional growth that is transforming Kate from a loner killer into a family women. But I am afraid I don't buy it. While all character need to grow and evolve in a a series this long, I just felt that Kate's growth would have been more "I want to be married, so I am going to kill everyone who tries to prevent it", and then actually killing them. I this novel, Kern and the other weres are the big bad and Kate seems to be always waiting for Kern to show up and take care of the problem. Yes, she leads them, but it is the weres doing the vast majority of the work while she pines for Kern.
I have to point out, that the real problem may have been in the narrator's interpretation. It seemed to me that when a line could be read two ways, for example "where is Kern". The narrator opted for a more simpering quiet "Where is Kern" instead of a shouting angry "WHERE IS KERN!!!" . I may have to try reading the novel to see if Angry Kate was there all along.
All this....and I have to admit I still liked the book overall. I like this series. The writing is still mostly superb, and the characters are very well conceived and fully fleshed. I like these characters and I wanted to see how this story arc finished, and I liked how it ended. There will supposedly be three more novels in the World of Kate Daniels, and the ending sets up what may be a very fun and exciting story arc. While this is the weakest novel in the series (in my opinion) overall this is still a good book/listen.
I was so happy to see the latest edition to the Kate Daniels world has arrived! This is my all-time favorite series! If you've been following Kate and the pack, you will have to get this book, you know you will - and you will not be disappointed! If you're stumbling upon this book looking for a great series, you've found it.. just go back to book one and set aside a week of straight listening! I usually listen to each new book twice, once to eagerly hear whats happening next and the second time around to absorb all the details and put the pieces together. And the narrator? Oh, she is sooo good! LOVE LOVE LOVE this book - it stacks up with the rest!
Say something about yourself!
Listened/Read for Fun (Audible/Library)
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 4.50
Audio Rating: 5.00 (not part of the overall rating)
First Thought when Finished: Despite the hot mess that was the "investigation" (sorry there were parts I was like "really Kate" and quit calling them kids), Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews was a fantastic read/listen (I actually read most of this one because I was out and about instead of where I could listen). I LOVED how it ended and can't wait to see the next adventures. I want MORE!
LOVED: I have to add the following quotes to my quote jar (most courtesy of Desandra, Ascanio, Derek--they should have a road show)
“Quick, Derek, it's your chance to shine," Ascanio said.
Derek gave him a withering look.
"Desandra is a mother, Robert is married, Kate's affianced, and I'm an old soul. You're the closest thing to a virgin we've got. Get on with growing some flowing locks.”
Desandra shrugged her shoulders. "Hey, Kate? Have you thought of walking up to Hugh and telling him that he's got the biggest dick ever?" She spread her arms to the size of a baseball bat.
"No, you think it would work?" I asked.
"It's worth a try. May be he'll be so happy you noticed his pork sword, he'll forget all about trying to kill us."
Pork sword. Kill me now. "I'll think about it."
Ascanio began patting his clothes.
"What?" Derek growled.
"Looking for something to take notes with.”
“Sit your ass down, Don Juanabe," Derek said.
"Don Juanabe?" Ascanio pulled out his swords.
"Don Juan Wannabe," Derek explained. "See I shortened it. If you still don't get it, I'll write it down for you after the fight."
"You've maxed out your wit quota for the night," Ascanio said.
"I'm just getting started."
"Be careful, you might sprain something in your brain.”
“Where are we going?” Desandra asked.
“We’re going to Blue Ribbon Stables,” I said. “It’s the closest place to rent a horse.
“Why?” Desandra asked.
“Because I can’t keep up with you on foot,” I said.
“And she runs like a rhino.” Derek added. “You can hear her a mile away.”
Traitor. “I thought you had my back?”
“I do,” Derek said. “The rhino running is nice. Makes it easy to keep track of you. If I ever lose you, I just have to listen and there you are.”
“Yes,” Desandra agreed. “It’s convenient.”
“Are you always this casual?” Robert asked.
“Derek and I worked together for a long time,” I told him. “He’s allowed some leeway.”
“What about Desandra?”
“She only bothers with protocol when she wants something. The rest of the time it’s lewd jokes and descriptions of plums.”
Robert’s eyebrows crept up. “Plums?”
I waved my hand. “Don’t ask.”
Narrated By Renée Raudman / Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
Just Listen! Trust me you will love it :)
Part of my Read It, Rate It, File It, DONE! Reviews
Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.
The first 45 minutes is just a list of the characters and a recap of events from the other books. So if you have been reading this series at all you won't need to read it if you don't want to.
This series need to be a TV series. I think Jessica Alba would make a perfect Kate Daniels. There is a lot that happens in this book. This series is full of great characters, action, adventure, romance and a touch of crazy. Thank God there will be at least 3 more books to come. I miss Marigold the mule and am glad we have another the crazy donkey Cuddles to entertain us. Narrator does such a great job she is now Kate Daniels in my eyes.
Magic Test is a short bonus story at the end that is all about Julie starting a new school. 1 hr 15 mins.
Outstanding. Exhilarating. FUN!!!!!!!
I really don't want to give anything away so this is what I will say. This is the book when Kate is revealed about who she is. I have been waiting for the big reveal and it was so WORTH the wait.
I love Renee Raudman. She always makes me feel what the character is feeling. Her voices for Curren and the other characters come off PERFECT.
I did listen to this in one sitting and I have that buzzing in my wats because my headphones have been attached to my head for 16 1/2 hours.
Ilona Andrews has once again delivered us a perfect story.
Renee Raudman is a perfect Kate Daniels. :-)
This was good, but more like 4.5 then 5. :) My only quibble is that I tend to like Kate and Curran's scenes so much that I'm disappointing when it's not the two of them and while there is quite a bit of the two of them there is some quite a bit with just Kate....sigh. I like her but...well, you know.
Renee Ruadman did a wonderful job narrating as always.
One thing I will say, I really liked the ending....
*This review has nothing to do with the book or story.
~The book is 5 star and a must read.. Kate Daniels fans will be riding another roller-coaster.. Hold on tight~
I have read all the books, audiobooks are just an addition.
In my opinion, Renee Raudman is one of the most inconsistent narrators I have listened to. I have listened to several of Kate Daniels audiobooks & she only manages to get Kate, Curran and Doolittle consistent. (I purchased audiobooks on discount).
The biggest inconsistency was between the voices in Magic Rises and Magic Breaks..
In Magic Breaks, Renee decided to give accents to Christopher and Hugh.. But Hugh's voice changes to the voice he had in Magic Rises later in the audiobook. Christopher's, innocent, wide-eyed voice he had in Magic Rises becomes an accented voice with none of the sweetness.
Jim's melodious voice, turned into a Curran wannabe voice. He had no smooth, velvet or deep menacing words..
And Andrea.. Something changed.. More of an accent now?
Ghastek- sounds like Hugh.
An inconsequential Master of the Dead adopted Mahon's voice..
I know it must be difficult to remember each character from book to book.. However, there are narrators who are flawless every time. Tavia Gilbert is a great example.. She narrates Jeaniene Frost's "Night Huntress" series. Listen and you will love her.
Happy reading or listening!
Wow, this series is definitely my favorite Urban Fantasy series. Well developed characters, a rich world of fantasy that has been cultivated over the series, and a strong female lead. This installment did not have as much interaction between the characters as in previous books which gave it a different feel than the other books, less of a warm, homey-environment feel, but the direction the story went, makes it all worth while.
If you are new to the series, to really appreciate the storyline, you should probably go back to the beginning and enjoy the books leading up to this one. The narrator, Renee Raudman, is one of the BEST!
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