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5.0 out of 5 starsKeeps getting better! Brilliant!
Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2016
This book was honestly a powerhouse for me. Although I enjoyed the first 2 books this one was the best so far. There were quite a few surprises in it. In this book Jim is in some trouble along with Derrick. We know her real father, Roland is in the picture and its not good. Although no appearances he sends someone in his stead. The flirting between Curran and Kate. There were some downright laugh out loud moments in this book. I smiled really big in a lot of parts. For example when Kate was having lunch with Andrea and Raphael and she was spouting her “Can I” speech about Curran and he happened to be standing behind her. I was just WAITING for that promise of Kate’s when she threw out there if Curran found them within the 3 days she’d cook him dinner and serve it naked for him. I was NOT disappointed when that came back and bit her in the butt at the end. Now, I will say that although Curran and Kate dont seal the deal in this book they get really close. Dont get me wrong the thing between them didn’t diminish the book at all. It wasn’t a focal point. Just little moments here and there. Illona is brilliant and her world building and details in this book were just absolutely brilliant! We meet a new species Rakshasa’s. They are some interesting beasts. Very off putting and that’s putting it mildly. They eat their victims no matter what species they are. As I mentioned Derrick is in trouble again and gets himself into something real nasty with them. Kate tries to help him but once she realizes how bad it is…its too late. Derrick is horribly hurt and is dying. I was really emotional just as Kate was. She’s gotta figure out how to save him because he’s like her brother. Kate is vulnerable in regards to Derrick and we see how much she hates that she shows it. Jim was pretty well calling the shots in this book only because it was his team and he defied The Beast Lord and that so wasn’t good. Curran really surprised me in this book. I wont say anymore but hopefully you’ll understand what I mean when you read it. Saiman is back. I’ve liked him in other books and it was super awesome to learn so much more about him. I still dont trust him but he proved an ally so far. We also saw a very vulnerable side of him. This whole book had me going from beginning to end. I am buying this series on audio as well and honestly I love the narrator. Renee Raudman. Her voices for the different characters are great! I’m so impressed because not all narrators can pull it off! The deep timber and bass of the male voices. You can still tell it’s a female narration but honestly she does good! Dr. Doolittle is in this book a lot as well. He’s a much needed appearance. I wont give away anything else but I highly recommend reading this series because its constantly something new in each book.
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2018
This series was making me a bit queasy with regard to the attempts at building romantic tension between the narrator and the "alpha male," but I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt until this book. The authors use a trope that should have been retired with the advent of birth control--attractive but hostile and arrogant man doesn't respect woman, breaks into her home when she is asleep, and assaults and overpowers her physically and--she likes it. I know they end up a couple so I just could not read further. Yuck. I had to return the book. There was some excuse to use this ghastly chestnut when popular morality denied women sexual agency, for example in the 1950s, but there is no excuse in the present. It's just disgusting.
You guys... *takes a deep breath* this was such an amazing book :) like... I have no words good enough to describe all of the feelings I have about it, but I will do my best to articulate as much of them to convince you to pick it up if you haven't already... ;) since this is book #3 in a series all about one main character and things in later installments build up on events from the previous stories, I will divide my review into two parts... the next paragraph will be completely spoiler free, giving you some details about Kate, the heroine of the story and some background informations about the world, and then in the third and last paragraph I will share my thoughts and feelings about this particular istallment, and I'm gonna try my best to not spoil you things ;) ok, now that we have all of this out in the open, let's get to the good stuff :)
First of all, I can't believe I am soooooo very late to finally read this amazing series... for example, this particular story was first published in 2009 or something like that... not only that, but I read book #2 almost a year ago... I mean... what took me this long... *sighs heavily in disappointment about myself* ok, moving on :) if somehow you haven't heard about the awesomeness of Kate Daniels, let me give you a few details :) the whole series takes place in an alternate version of our world, in Atlanta... it's a world where magic comes in surges and basically disables all technology for some time... all of that comes in waves and have a much bigger and more meaningful impact on the world, but I don't want to get into more details right now, cause it's explained much better in the books :) there are also all sorts of magical creatures, but there are so many of them, that I will leave the details for you to discover while you read the stories :) Kate is a mercenary who keeps to herself and doesn't make friends... she has oh so many reasons for her solitude, but I am after reading three books already and know only a bit about it, so I definitely won't spoil you any additional things :) all of that starts to change in that very first book, when Kate investigates the death of her former mentor... during it, she will cross paths with some very interesting characters... *smiles knowingly* and some of them will definitely leave a lasting impression... ;) what I love most about this series, is the main character... Kate is such a fantastic heroine... she's clever and brave, doing things because they are right, even if most of the time it's dangerous... she's such a kickass character, and the more I read about her, the more I love her... :) and if that wasn't enough, there is a bunch of very interesting and entertaining secondary characters that you will fall in love with... trust me, it's the only possibility :) but since not all of them are obvious at the beginning, once again I won't be sharing any names... at least not in this paragraph :) before I get into my more detailed thoughts about this third book in a series, let me just say one more thing... if you have any doubts whatsoever about giving this series a try, just go for it... even though it might take you a moment to get into all the details and rules of this world, just stick to it, because once you have a basic understanding, things get so much better... ;) each book is filled with action and surprising twists and turns... not to mention an absolutely entertaining writing style that will keep you glued to the pages :) we see character's growth and some unexpected decisions and it's just... soooo... it's just the best, trust me on that :) ok, now that we have all that out of the way, let me tell you all about my love for this third installment :)
Because I want to keep this review spoiler free as much as possible, I will be a bit vague on the details... even though it might just kill me ;) this third book picks up about two months after the last one and involves Midnight Games, an illegal fighting tournament for all things supernatural :) Kate is pulled into a situation by accident... because how else ;) whe she has to help one of her friends... we have mysterious enemies, revenge after someone close to Kate almost dies... and reading those scenes nearly brought me to tears... and as always lots of action and surprises... :) perfect mix for an etertaining read :) we get to know more about Kate's history and see how her relationships with people, and creatures ;) close to her change and grow :) the mythology of the world is expanded as well, because we see a side of it I did not expect at all, but it was a really good choice :) as always I loved the banter between Kate and Curran, the Beast Lord and alpha of the alphas of shapeshifters... :) I adore a good slow burn romance and this one shapes up to be just the best of them all ;) looking forward to see more in the future installments... but this is just a small part of a much bigger picture... not only it's action packed, like I already mentioned, but this book shows us a more complex and different side to quite a few secondary characters we met before... and I was very intrigued to get to know them like that :) I inhaled this story, because I absolutely needed to know how everything will end... and I was kept at the very edge of my seat up until the very last page... I mean... I was half afraid it will end on a major cliffhanger or something like that, but no worries, it doesn't :) the more I read of this series, the more I am falling in love with it... and I have a confirmation from very trusted sources... as in K, my #BookBestie who recommended it to me in the first place, that it just keeps getting better :) add to it the fact that the concluding novel is already out and it's really hard to not binge all of it... ;) but it's so good that I want to take my time to really enjoy it, so that I can remember at least a bit from each installment... although trust me, I can already tell you that I will be re-reading this whole series at some point... once I know everything I will be on the lookout to discover little teasers and glimpses in the previous books of things that will happen in the future... but that's a story for another time :) for now, let me finish this review by strongly encouraging you to just PICK THIS BOOK UP because it's absolutely phenomenal :) that is all ;)
4.0 out of 5 starsThere's a lot to love in Magic Strikes..
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2018
There's a lot to love in Magic Strikes, but my favourite aspect has to be finally getting a better understanding of Kate's lineage, specifically Roland and how that relates to Atlanta and herself in the present. A lot of things that have been teased since the first novel are finally explained here. And how her blood is employed at the end was as unexpected as it was fascinating. Up to this point, Kate's magical abilities have been rarely emphasised (usually reserved for the battle at the end of each novel); it's actually really easy to forget she even has power words, given their application can feel a little arbitrary. I understand that a certain degree of peril is the baseline, but I'm never quite certain where that line exactly is and the book doesn't offer much else.
Also, the mating rituals are handled much better this time around than in Magic Burns, where it felt like there was little parity in the situation. Through conversations with Raphael, it's made clear that both individuals can and do engage in the rituals—not that it mitigates Curran's actions in the previous book—it's just good to know that generally both parties are supposed to be equal participants. I'm also glad that Kate was actually firm about setting boundaries with Curran, even if it feels half-hearted at this point.
Derek, Jim, Saiman (his lecherousness remarkably toned down this time), and Andrea are back, too, and each gets a good moment or two during the gladiatorial games, although Derek is definitely the one who undergoes the most development this time. I'm interested to see if that development actually goes anywhere in the sequel.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 14, 2015
OK. Kick-ass heroine with a secret who's attracted to the head of the local supernatural pack. You know how this goes if you're familiar with how Urban Fantasy has developed over the years. The challenge is to write so well that the cliches fade into the background and the husband-and-wife duo behind the Ilona Andrews name certainly manage that. Heroine Kate Daniels is the only surviving child of the legendary original vampire, who would kill her as a threat to his power if he knew of her existence. That's the backdrop and the reason why she's been trained since childhood as a warrior - she's going to have to kill Daddy at some point. Complete with magically supercharged blood and a tasty fey sword, she tries to maintain as low a profile as possible while doing supernatural clean-up in a near-future Atlanta. The authors have created a believable world where magic comes in unpredictable waves, disabling all modern technology and clearing the way for a variety of supernatural beasties. Meanwhile, the heroine has a love/hate relationship with Curran, leader of the local were-tribes. Unlike some authors in this field, the duo behind Ilona Andrews don't let the 'relationships' engulf and devour plot, action and a hard-boiled approach. In this book, the heroine finds a werewolf friend badly injured. Werewolves are tough - who could have done this? Her investigations lead to an illicit gladiator contest called the Midnight Games. You just know she's going to end up taking part to find the bad guys. Throw in a series of supernatural baddies (and goodies) plus some realistic action and inter-species politics and you end up with a very satisfying mix. Recommended.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2017
I am sure that this series just gets better and better with each book that I read!!! There is so much that goes on in this book and I love the variation, especially about new species that are introduced into this world! You seriously can't stop reading once uou have started and you can't help but turn the pages like a compulsion just to find out what is going to happen next and what the next surprise around the corner will be.
I still love Curran, I love reading about his character and he may come across one way Hut he has so many levels to him. My heart goes out to Derek in this book and the more I hear about him and his past making him who he is the more I like him.
To sum it up I adored this book and can't wait to read more!!! A must read for everyone!!!
5.0 out of 5 starsIt gets better and better and better...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 6, 2012
When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it's a job for Kate Daniels! Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. 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 Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta's shapeshifting community . . .
Book 3 in the fabulous Kate Daniels series (Magic Bites, Magic Burns) is possibly my favourite so far. It's all starting to come together and Kate has come into her own as an amazing heroine. She's got smart, sassy, mouthy, strong, funny and gorgeous ticked, so can she tick the romance box finally?
If you're only just coming to this series, then start with Magic Bites, it's quite necessary to read all the books in order, plus it only increases your enjoyment of the series to read them in order.
Derek (Kate calls him The Boy Wonder) is a young werewolf who seems to have fallen in love for the first time; the course of true love doesn't run smoothly for him and he ends up getting attacked and nearly dies at the beginning of the book. Jim the Chief of Security for the pack goes AWOL and Curran is getting antsy... Kate is trying to keep all of them safe in her own kind of way (violence, smart-mouthing and humour) and her investigations lead her to the Midnight Games (think 'the hunger games on steroids). Pack law means that shapeshifters aren't allowed to compete in the Midnight Games so a select few have to go behind Curran's back to start a team and enter so that they can save Derek's love, and avenge him at the same time. Obviously Curran finds out... eek!
This book is soooo good, it's longer than the others so far, and the story is strong and beautifully written. Kate is getting deeper and deeper involved with her friends and she's starting to realise that her relationships with them are a little bit more important than locking herself and her heart away from everyone in the belief that this will keep them safe from the demons in her past.
We learn even more about her past in this book, and the reasons she is motivated to behave the way she has. We also get to meet the Bouda's in more detail, who can resist them! They are possibly my favourite of the shape shifter clans, and Rafael is awesome. We also get to spend a bit more time with the characters we've grown to love whilst they are together at the Midnight Games, and we finally (FINALLY!) get to see Kate's feelings for Curran. There are some wonderful scenes between them in this book. I think their constant bickering is fabulous, it's funny and it's touching. I must have read some of their scenes 10 times before I let myself move on to the rest of the book.
I think if a book can make you smile, whilst transporting you to another world and making you ignore all other duties while you're reading it then it's a fine book indeed.
This is urban fantasy at it's very best. Read it, and then read it again. Fans of Patricia Briggs, Jeaniene Frost, Seanan Mcguire should love this book and series. It's in my top 3 and I read ALOT of urban fantasy.
5.0 out of 5 starsKate is feisty with a great sense of humour
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 11, 2013
Magic Burns is the 3rd book in the Kate Daniels Series (1st book being Magic Bites) by the husband and wife writing team known as Ilona Andrews who have also written the Edge series. The series is set in Atlanta but in a time when magic and technology compete with each other to be in charge, resulting in a world where nothing is guaranteed to work in 5 minutes time even if it it working now. Kate Daniels is feisty with a sense of humour and an interesting family background but also a tendency to jump both feet first into many situations. Kate is tough which is good when she doesn't always play nicely with others, however she's not the only stubborn one and so luckily doesn't have to face everything alone even when she intends to. Other characters include Shapeshifters such as Jim, Derek, Raphael, Dali and the Beast Lord Curran, Vampire Navigator (Master of the Dead) Ghastek, Andrea a Knight of the Order, Saiman a Shape Changing Consultant (not a Shape Shifter) and Julie a street kid who has become Kate's ward, all of whom have some interesting banter with Kate.
Other people have written more comprehensive descriptions of the storyline but I'm going to write a shorter summary and then concentrate on why I enjoyed the book. When Kate is being kept out of a Shape Shifter investigation it makes her suspicious especially when the Beast Lord is also being kept out of the Loop. When she finds out why though, Kate also tries to keep Curran out of it but he manages to find a way to get himself involved all the same. The Midnight Games really is a tournament to the death and it risks exposing Kate's family history. I love the sense of humour with which the book is written and the depth given to all of the characters. Interactions between characters are always done intelligently and with the tongue firmly in cheek, even when the encounter is antagonistic. This story builds upon the characters from Magic Bites and Magic Burns and introduces more new ones too. It is a story that carries you along with it giving you the information you need as you need it, rather than overloading you and expecting you to remember everything.
It was fun to read the first and all subsequent times when reading the whole set each time I get the next in series.