Jul 26, 2013

Posted by in Reviews | 10 Comments

Early Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels #6)

magicrises6 stars

Urban Fantasy
July 30 2013
Mass Market Paperback
327 pages
Ace Publishing
Received from publisher

Yummy Man – Curran
Kick Ass Chick – Kate Daniels

From Goodreads –
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…

———-

Magic Rises is the sixth book in Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series.  Now before I continue with my review I must get something out of the way.

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGSOGOODSOGOODSOOOGOODSOSOF*INGGOODOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!

*sigh* I feel better now.

So far each book in the series focuses on a different threat to Kate or to the Pack and how she and Curran handle it.  This time around things are a little different.  I had heard that Gordon and Ilona had taken a slightly different route with this book and it’s very true.  It is also very good.  Just as there are Packs in the US, there are Packs overseas.  They are different from the Packs on this side of the ocean and we finally get to see that in Magic Rises.  Curran is commissioned to guard a pack princess during the late stages of her pregnancy.  She is carrying twins and these babies hold the fate of something very important to two different Packs in Europe.  Which baby is born first decides who gets what.  Yes, there are details missing here but I don’t want to give too much away.

Curran knows that going there doesn’t make complete sense – why ask him to begin with? – but he has no choice once he finds out what he will gain by going:  panacea.  That is worth more than gold to a shifter as it fends off the effects of loupism, a disease of sort that turns shifters so uncontrollable they have to be killed.  Many babies and many teens go loup and panacea prevents that from happening.  Curran is not only thinking his Pack but also of his and Kate’s kids, whenever they decide to have them.  So even though he knows he’s walking into a trap of some sort, he agrees to take the guarding job and boards a boat with Kate and some other prominent Pack members and heads for the Carpathian Mountains.

This is not a series you can just jump into midway.  Layers upon layers have been built over the course of the series and it all plays a part in each story.  Ilona and Andrew are masters at having a reason for everything and everyone in these books and it’s especially clear in this book.  You also get a great recap in this one.  Every book that is a part of a series will have a certain amount of recap about past events in past books.  I found this one did an exceptional job recapping pretty much every major event from past books that still affects these characters.  Magic Rises’ story is so well weaved together, it’s incredible.

There are different levels of villain in this story.  There is who you think is the ultimate villain and then there is who you find out actually is.  It’s really well done, and as per usual, very entertaining.  It was actually quite the shock to find out who was making an appearance in this book as I wasn’t expecting to see him for another few installments.  On top of our mystery man there are new creatures, lots of gore and guts and amazing fight scene filled with action and ‘heart-in-your-throat’ moments.

I want to talk about Curran.  I think he is made of awesome.   And even though he acted a bit like a doofus in this installment, I always knew why he was doing what he was doing so I could never hate him for it.  I think of him when I need an example of a character who is loyal and fair and strong.  I think what makes him the perfect Alpha for me is that he truly cares for his people.  He knows them and wants what is best for them.  He’s not all pomp and power – he is heart too.  Oh, and he’s yummy.  Really, really yummy.

Kate is by far my favorite literary heroine.  In Magic Rises she continues to grow in her magic and her character.  There is such strong vulnerability in her but it only makes her more determined to be who she is ultimately going to be.  She knows what is eventually going to be waiting for her and she knows it won’t be easy but she is not trying to run.  She is trying to be stronger and better for herself, for Curran and for the Pack (who she thinks of as her own now) so she can face the end knowing she did her best at her best.  I absolutely adore her.

Some of my favorite moments in this series and in this book are the ones that involve Kate interacting with her friends.  Her scenes with Derek, Raphael, Barabas and Andrea (among others) often provide the greatest laughs.  Her friendships are strong and true and they are a joy to read.

The end…oh the end.  This one was brilliant.  Just when you feel total defeat something happens that makes you smile, even though you are close to crying.  I was so frustrated for Kate and her friends and was not expecting the little twist that was thrown in.  It was awesome.

Overall, Magic Rises was superb.  Each book in this series is stronger than the last and this one is no exception.  The authors have reached a new level of exceptional with this one.  Magic Rises is an exquisite blend of character and story development and the characters and story will linger with you well beyond ‘the end’.  I say it every time I read a Kate Daniels book and mean it every time:  this is urban fantasy at its best.

5plus stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“’The invitation is for the Beast Lord and the Consort.  I understand if you choose not to go.’

I just looked at him.  Really?  He meant everything to me.  If I had to die so he could live, I would put my life on the line in an instant, and he would do the same for me.

‘I’m sorry, run that by me again?’

‘We’ll have to cross the ocean in the middle of a hurricane season, go to a foreign country filled with hostile shapeshifters, and babysit a pregnant woman, while everyone plots and waits for an opportunity to stab us in the back.’

I shrugged.  ‘Well, it sounds bad if you put it that way…’

—–

‘I was just telling them it was Gerardo,’ Desandra said.  ‘It’s his long legs. He can run forever.  Most men don’t have sexy legs, but he does.  They are very elegant.’

Aha.

‘And, like I was saying, he is hung.’

Oh boy.

Andrea turned her back to Desandra and rolled her eyes.  Raphael grimaced.  They both looked scandalized.  Dear God, what could she have said to scandalize a bouda…

‘No, really!’ Desandra nodded.  ‘Okay, so most guys don’t have a nice ball sack, right?  It looks all hairy and wrinkled like some small animal died between their legs, but Gerardo’s is like two plums in a velvet bag…’

Derek, who’d been lingering in the doorway, took a careful step to the left behind the wall and disappeared from my view.

Kill me somebody.  I raised my hand.  ‘Hold that thought.  I need to borrow Andrea for a minute.’

I grabbed her arm and pulled her into the hallway.  Behind us Raphael growled, ‘Don’t leave me!’

Andrea leaned towards me.  ‘Plums.’

Books in the Kate Daniels series –
Magic Bites
Magic Burns
Magic Strikes
Magic Bleeds
Magic Slays
Magic Rises
Magic Breaks (2014)

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  1. Ann-Catrin Sköld says:

    You lucky girl – I´m TOTALLY envious! I have to wait another couple of days until I get to read it!

    Oh, by the way – GREAT review! 😀 <3

  2. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t read your review on this one. I saw Jen’s review and skimmed through it. I know that you’ve been singing praises for this series and I have the first few installments sitting on my shelf at home. I need to get on this band wagon! LOL. I’m so happy to hear you think this is worth 5+ stars…Jen said the same thing! MUST READ THIS SERIES SOON! 😀

  3. Readsalot81 says:

    This book is ZOMG – WTF – and YESS!!!!!!!! all rolled into one. 😀
    I *loved* the villain. Loved. And I don’t say that lightly. I thought the way he was constructed was flat out awesome. He didn’t treat Kate the way I thought he would.. and I just want to see more. MORE I tell ya 🙂

    But the other parts.. with Kate/Curran/ various shifters rocked. So much to love in this book. Although Curran = kind of a butthead for much of the book.

  4. I agree with you 100%… How do they keep writing such amazing stories? With each just as good, if not better than the previous.

    My jaw totally dropped when the big bad was introduced. BRILLIANT! And the ending – BEST EVER!! I am with you – I just go ga-ga for this series and for Kate and Curran. I really don’t think it can get better the this series!!

    Thanks for your awesome review!

  5. I CANNOT wait for this book! I started reading this series because of your reviews and probably love it as much as you do now. This review and your quotes have raised my anticipation even higher! I had been a little worried because Ilona seemed nervous about reader reactions to the “different” nature of this book, but it sounds so good!

  6. Hehehe, you called Curran a doofus. I don’t think a better word could be used 🙂

    Great review!

  7. I pre-ordered it *waits*

  8. Ann-Catrin – Better a few days to wait than a few weeks 😉

    Deanna – This series should be YOUR VERY NEXT READ!!!

    Readsalot – You are very right about the villain. Loved how that threw us for a loop. Just awesome.

    twimom – Beautiful ending. 🙂

    Liz – Ilona is always worried but the books always rock lol. You have to let me know what you think once you finish this book. 🙂

    Paranormal Haven – I do feel it fit 😉

    blodeuedd – Not long to wait now…

  9. wonderful, I so can’t wait to have it!!!

  10. I love the quotes. Ilona Andrews always has the best quotable passages.

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