Review: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels #5.5)
July 31 2012
Mass Market Paperback
Received from author/publisher
Kick Ass Chick – Andrea Nash
From Goodreads –
After being kicked out of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea’s whole existence is in shambles. She tries to put herself back together by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend. When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano—the male alpha of the Clan Bouda, and Andrea’s former lover—die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate. Now she must work with Raphael as her search for the killer leads into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta. And dealing with her feelings for him might have to take a back seat to saving the world…
When Ilona Andrews first announced that they would be writing a whole full length novel for Andrea, I thought: “That should be interesting. After all, Andrea is a great character.” Okay, that didn’t come across quite as I hoped… What I mean is that I didn’t particularly feel strongly either way…but now I am SO glad Gunmetal Magic was written because the book was amazing and I do believe that Andrea has the potential to rival Kate on the kick ass meter.
Andrea has always been a rock for Kate and a bit of a mystery for us. Loyal and strong, she is the perfect best friend for Kate. But little did we know that Andrea hides an extremely painful past. She was mistreated by those who were supposed to be her equals which led her to hide her true nature. For years she lived her life as a human, hiding her shifter side. A few books back in the Kate Daniels series, we discovered Andrea’s secret. In that book, her life as she knew it started falling apart. She was lost for a little while and it was disheartening to see. She’s usually the one who has it all together and here she is with no sense of purpose or real belonging! She was let go from the Order because shifters aren’t allowed to be Knights and started to work for/with Kate at her new investigation firm. Andrea is amazing at what she does but still we feel she is missing something. Gunmetal Magic is where she finds that piece of herself and it’s the story of how she comes to terms with whom and what she is.
I liked Andrea before this book and now that I’ve read all about her and witnessed her journey and observed her self-discovery, I love her. Ilona wrote an amazing character in her. She never sat around and moped…much. And even when she did, it wasn’t all about how terrible her life was and how much it sucked, it was more along the line of ‘okay, this is not the best of situations but I can make it better and let’s figure out how to do so’.
In previous books, Andrea and Raphael were starting a relationship but that didn’t work out. But neither is completely ready to let go of the other and they both want the other to know they are not forgotten. So you know what that means, right? Yes ladies and gentlemen, that means we get to see some shifter mating rituals at work. These make me laugh! The stuff these guys do to show their perspective mates how smart and cunning they are (read sneaky and conniving) is awesome. I’ll give you one little hint: purple shag carpeting. Just you wait.
Raphael was wonderful to read in this book. In the past, he’s not often taken seriously because he is a male bouda shifter and they tend to be spoiled and pampered. He is also the Alpha’s son. But you really see great depth to him this time around. I love him with Andrea and I find they are a great match.
Another character I really enjoyed was Asciano. He’s a teenager who works as an ‘intern’ at Cutting Edge. His enthusiasm is great and his attitude is hilarious. Andrea and Kate handle him very well and he responds well to them. He adds an interesting humorous element to the book – the teenage boy sort – and it works really well. And Kate and Andrea really are good role models for this boy. I am anxious to see his character grow in future books.
Roman, the volhv we met in a previous book, has quite a large role in this book and I loved him in it. His character is actually quite awesome. He can pull anything off! He’s witty and smart, amazing with his magic, can be scary yet can pull off sexy too! I would love to read more with him in the future.
Kate, Curran, Jim, Doolittle and others do make an appearance in this book but not a whole lot. This is clearly Andrea’s book. Kate is in it a little more than the others and she has some great lines. Every time I read her, I love her more. And Kate being in this book just reminds us how awesome Kate and Andrea are together. They complement each other perfectly!
We always discover new sort of mythology or folklore in the Kate books and this time around we learn a bit about Egyptian lore. I am always amazed at how much Ilona seems to know about everything! I’m assuming she does quite a bit of research but what if she doesn’t? What if she and Gordon are just naturally brilliant!? *Focus Julie, focus.* I love how Ilona takes tales from long ago and makes them fit into her stories. And I love how it’s not typically the myths and lore we see often – they use unique and very interesting versions. It’s always a treat to open up a Kate book because you never quite know what you’ll end up reading about. That is a totally cool aspect to this series.
Overall I was extremely pleased with Gunmetal Magic. After reading it, it was obvious that Andrea’s story needed to be told…and boy was it told well. Ilona Andrews writes UF perfectly. With extraordinary and unforgettable characters, lush worlds, fascinating storylines and the perfect blend of humor and emotion, they have mastered the genre. Gunmetal Magic just continues to prove this to us. It is simply stellar.
Giggle worthy quote
Even though magic made my existence possible, it didn’t mean that magic and I played nice. Give me guns over spells any day.
“’What are you two doing here?’ I murmured to myself.
‘Maybe they have some pamphlets that will save our souls and make sure we’re right with the Lord,’ Ascanio said.
‘Did those nice church ladies come by again?’
He nodded. ‘I asked them if a man died and then the woman remarried, and the three of them met in heaven, would it be a sin for them to have a threesome, since they were all married in God’s eyes. And then they decided they were late to be somewhere else.’
“Hold on, let me grab the vamp head.”
Books in the Kate Daniels series –