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REVIEW: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

MB

SPOILER WARNING – Because Magic Breaks is Book 7 in the Kate Daniels series, there are unavoidable series spoilers found within this review. I’d also highly encourage readers new to the series to begin at the start of the series.  Below are links to Dear Author reviews of all previous books.

  1. MAGIC BITES
  2. MAGIC BURNS
  3. MAGIC STRIKES
  4. MAGIC BLEEDS
  5. MAGIC SLAYS
  6. MAGIC RISES

Dear Ilona Andrews:

I’m what we’ll call a “late bloomer” to your Kate Daniels series. I bought the first in the series, Magic Bites, when it first came out, but tried it and didn’t like it. But over and over when casting about Twitter asking for a great series to read, other trusted readers would recommend the Kate Daniels series.  When I confessed that I couldn’t get into the first book, Mandi from Smexybooks encouraged me to just skip it and start with book 2. About a month ago, I did, and it began a week-long glom of the highest order. I consumed all six books in the series within that span, barely stopping to eat, sleep or work. To no one’s surprise, Mandi was right. The series features a fantastic heroine, a dandy hero and more than that, a fully realized world that features fantastic creatures, court intrigue and power struggles galore — what’s not to love??

In Magic Breaks you bring a resolution an overarching storyline that has been strongly featured the entire series: the impending confrontation between Kate Daniels (our heroine) and her father, Roland, an ancient wizard who is more powerful than any other creature on Earth.

Kate and her mate, the Beast Lord, Curran, are looking forward to some alone time. First, Curran needs to travel for a short time to negotiate with a silver miner who he knows is selling to Kate’s father and mortal enemy, Roland. He’s promised Kate two weeks away from the Pack as soon as he returns from his visit with the miner. In the meantime, as Curran’s mate and alpha of the Pack, and overseer of all pack alphas in Atlanta, Kate will have to handle the dreaded Conclave with with People (Atlanta’s undead). Kate agrees to attend Conclave and hopes to get in and out without incident so she and Curran can get away. To her dismay, her father’s second in command, Hugh d’Ambray shows up at Conclave with the dead body of one of the two local leaders of the People in tow. He accuses the Pack of murder and demands that the killer be handed over to the People for retribution.

Kate determines that she and a designated team from the Pack will have to go to speak with one of the Rats’ spies who watches the Casino (the People’s stronghold). They set out through Unicorn Way, a place where magic never dies and is particularly unpredictable. Once Kate and her group has discovered the details of the killing, and apprehended the killer, she must devise a way to avoid turning the killer over to the People. During her double cross of the People, she is kidnapped by Hugh d’Ambray and teleported to Mishmar, along with Ghastek, the remaining of the two vampire leaders, who she’s had a cautious working relationship with. On top of that, during the kidnap, Kate’s most prized possession, her sword Slayer, is broken. Now Kate is in a real pickle. She’s in a bottomless pit of water, with Ghastek, a broken sword and no way out. She knows that Curran will come for her, she just has to stay alive while she waits.

I’m hesitant to say too much more about the plot, as it’s truly exciting and I think the best of the series, in terms of developments that will move the upcoming books forward. It also provides what I felt like was a very credible partial resolution to the Roland issue while also setting up intriguing new possibilities for the series.

There are so many things to like about this series. Kate is an incredibly strong heroine, one who reminds me very much of Mercedes Thompson from Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. She’s self-sufficient, smart, more powerful than she knows, and bears the weight of responsibility incredibly well. The series as a whole offers a truly wonderful romance between Kate and Curran, who also carries the weight of responsibility heavily. This books features Kate growing more and more comfortable with her power and also introduces some exciting new dynamics within the city of Atlanta on all sides.  Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of urban fantasy, and while this probably falls more into the UF genre than paranormal romance, I find Kate and Curran’s romance to be satisfying enough as a romance reader to always want more. The writing itself is very tight and the worldbuilding is stupendous.

While the book does have at the beginning a brilliant “journal entry” by Barabas, one of Kate’s trusted advisers, which summarizes the plot and the positioning of the various groups within the world, I’d highly encourage readers to start at the beginning of the series (or book 2, as I did). It’s among the best written UF/PNR books I’ve read in ages, and from now on the series will be a much coveted and often re-read one. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Magic Breaks gets an A, and a highly Recommended Read from me.

Sincerely,

Kati

 

 

 

 

 

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Kati

I've been reading romance for more than 30 years and reviewing regularly for the last five. My first romance was Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts, and once I read it, I was a goner. I read most subgenres of romance (except inspirational and steampunk) but focus mostly on contemporary and paranormal, with a sprinkling of historical thrown in for flavor. I am an avid sports fan, so I have a special place in my heart for sports themed romances. I'm a sucker for old skool romance, which is probably most evident in the fact that The Windflower is my favorite romance of all time.

17 Comments

  1. Sirius
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 11:08:15

    Awesome review Kati. I love these books and this one is waiting for me on my kindle to start tonight – I have to say as much as I love them though (Kate and Curran truly rock my world), I was really irritated by the development of the romance in the previous book. It was still amazing, do not get me wrong, the book as a whole, but I felt like they needed some angst in the romance department and instead of find some organic reasons for that, they did it by making the characters look stupid. So I was worried, I was especially worried by Ilona’s comments on her blog about taking Kate in the new direction. I was pretty sure that I would be hard pressed to continue would mean making them break up at the end of the book, so yeah I have read the last page (or two, or three). Am happy from those pages, all I will say and yes, it does look like new direction for the last (hopefully!) three books in the series. Thats my other worry – as much as I love these series, I would hate, hate for them to go on forever and to loose steam. I mean I was even worried when I heard about the extension – but we shall see.

    Must shut up now :-).

  2. Divya
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 11:23:28

    I finished reading this last night and I am in awe. Wow. This book completely blew my mind. Anything I say will be a huge spoiler, so I’ll just say I cannot WAIT for the next book and the reappearance of a certain godlike character.

    Does anyone know what the spoiler code is?

  3. Tae
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 12:25:32

    is there a romance between Christopher and Barabas? I really want this to happen!

  4. Jayne
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 12:25:53

    Sorry, I tried to post the code but it didn’t work, darn it.

  5. CathyKJ
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 13:59:31

    I just finished Magic Breaks, and there was absolutely nothing unsatisfying about this book. I’m resisting the urge to immediately start it again from the beginning. I may have sighed with happiness at the end (but also been slightly creeped out by a certain note). This series is so good but continues to wow me, this was definitely an A+ book in my mind.

  6. Sarah
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 14:23:20

    I finished it too and I loved the ending. It was satisfying and now I can’t wait for the next one to come out. Do we really have to wait a whole year?

  7. sitka spruce
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 15:36:44

    I love love loved Magic Breaks. By far the best of 2014, so far, for me. Kate & Curran only get more dynamic and their relationship is one of the best. And now Roland graces us with his crazy presence! Awesome. At least he is a baker like Kate ☺

    I can only think of two series that have gone as long and have still kept my interest (& awe!) – the Miles Vorkosigan Series by Lois McMaster Bujold & Fool & Fitz Series by Robin Hobb.

    Brava Ilona & Gordon!

  8. Nifty
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 15:53:15

    Finished earlier today and doing my re-read now. I thought this book was great!! Lots of go-go-go! and I was really happy with the resolution of various plot elements. I’d read several reviews prior to release — many of which contained spoilers — and it seemed that some folks felt a tad let-down by the showdown between Kate and Roland. I thought their interactions were spot-on. Roland is INSANELY powerful — ridiculously powerful! — so a fight between him and Kate could not have had a happy ending without readers complaining about a deus ex machina. Instead, what happens is RATIONAL…if such a description can be used for such a suped-up situation. I know the authors are contracted for 3 more books, and I’m eager to see how things continue to develop for Kate and her family. (And by family, I mean also some of her more loyal Pack friends, who don’t play much a role in the Epilogue. So some loose ends there, perhaps, to be tied up in future books.)

  9. Susan
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 18:58:31

    This book was definitely full of game-changing twists and revelations. There was so much going on that I’ll need time to absorb it all–and do another reread (and listen, since I also had to get the audio book). It’ll be so interesting to see where the series goes from here.

  10. Janine
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 20:55:27

    I need to give this series another shot. I finished the first book, but it didn’t do much for me.

  11. Holly
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 23:03:09

    I loved this book! The last two in the series weren’t for me, I was depressed reading the fifth and the conflict of the sixth just made me angry (conflict between Kate and Curran, I mean- it was a weak and unnecessary plot point). I hesitated to buy Magic Breaks but decided to give it one more shot, it was so worth it. Looking forward to the next Jim and Dali novella in November to catch up with the characters.

    Cuddles was hilarious, I love the humour in their writing.

  12. Amy
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 01:11:57

    If I skipped Magic Rises, will I feel lost while reading this book? I didn’t read Magic Rises after reading reviews with spoilers regarding how the Kate and Curran relationship was portrayed. Based on what I had read I knew I’d be upset throughout the story. But I’d like to continue on this series. If you guys tell me that I won’t be able to follow Magic Breaks if I skip Magic Rises, I may force myself to read Magic Rises.

  13. Lin
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 08:47:56

    I can only speak for myself, but I think you will need to read Magic Rises in order to read Magic Breaks. I honestly quite liked Magic Rises as well, but Breaks was the best. Really liked it, finished it in a day!

  14. Divya
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 11:07:57

    @Amy:

    Technically you don’t need to read MR because in MB, there is a chapter narrated by Barabas that catches you up to speed. That being said, I recommend that you read MR first because otherwise you will miss a lot of the nuances in Hugh’s characterization and you may be confused by some things in MB. Personally, I loved MR and the romance plot didn’t bother me at all. But if you think that it will bother you immensely, you may want to skip it. Sorry I didn’t give a clear cut answer!

  15. mel burns
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 11:23:43

    @Amy: The relationship crap in Magic Rises is a plot device to keep them separated for part of the story. Magic Rises is worth the read…..there is a part where Kate meets two fellows and it is wonderful. Read it for that alone, but there are some revelations that Kate learns that might matter in Magic Breaks.

    Thanks for the review Kati!

  16. Amy
    Jul 31, 2014 @ 00:34:00

    Thanks for the replies. I guess I’ll go read Magic Rises first.

  17. Sirius
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 16:03:19

    Loved it, that is all. Had one gripe with the identity of the mole, but only if it was planned as a surprise – so so was not. If they just wanted to show somebody with believable motivations, they succeeded for me here as well.

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