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REVIEW: Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Dear Ms. Andrews:

044101702901lzzzzzzzIt’s no secret that I’m a big fan of your writing. I was thrilled to beta read Magic Strikes about a year ago. I remember being very impressed by the quality of your manuscript and gave quite a bit of positive feedback. I was happy to discover that the changes made since then have only made it better.

Magic Strikes is the third book about Kate Daniels, kick ass mercenary, and Knight of the Order of Merciful Aid. Book 1 dealt with Kate’s quest to find her guardian’s killer, a search which brought her to the Pack and the Beast Lord’s attention. In Book 2, while Atlanta is gripped by an intense wave of magic known as a flare, Kate’s ties to the Pack continue to grow when she joins up with them to save the city.

Book 3 begins about two months after the events in book 2. Atlanta is still recovering from the backlash caused by the flare. Kate is keeping busy, running from one emergency to the next, and getting very little sleep in between. One such emergency pops up when she is called to rescue her werewolf friend Derek from the always-unpredictable Saiman. It seems that Derek was planning on stealing Midnight Games tickets so that he could speak with a girl on one of the participating teams.

The Midnight Games are an illegal tournament where individuals and teams, made up of the paranormal community, fight and kill for bloodthirsty crowds. Kate attends the Games with Saiman to offer her insight on a surprisingly skillful team known as the Reapers. When Kate is attacked after the Games, she begins to realize just how serious a threat the Reapers are. Her suspicions grow when she realizes that Derek is somehow involved.

However, Derek isn’t the only shape shifter acting a little strange. Jim, the Pack’s Chief of Security, hasn’t been himself lately. While returning home one night, Kate stumbles upon a shifter crime scene investigation. What’s odd is that Jim fails to report the crime to either the proper paranormal agency or to Curran, the Beast Lord. When the next attack hits a little closer to home, Kate must decide between confiding in Curran and trusting her friend and former partner.

The conflict in this book brought with it some very exciting developments. The Reapers are a satisfyingly dangerous group of villains. Their origins were intriguing as was their flat out creepiness. Unfortunately, the most interesting aspect about them is too spoilerish to discuss. But I will say that the catalyst behind the Reapers’ actions, and certain events which unfold right at the very end, have me eagerly awaiting book four.

I continue to love Kate more and more in each book. Her narrative voice, while still given to some snarkiness and frequent quips, has matured a bit. Part of that is due to her increased willingness to open herself up to other people. Whether it’s her protectiveness of her adopted daughter, her fear over a friend’s welfare or her ability to admit to a certain amount of vulnerability where Curran is concerned, Kate has become more likable for the small cracks in her armor.

The kickass uber powerful UF heroine is a character that many authors have tried on for size. And while I’ll admit to a certain amount of fondness towards said character, it doesn’t always work for me. Some authors walk the thin line of attitude and bitchy immaturity, with many falling on the side of the latter. What I like about Kate is that while she may give attitude, she does so for a reason and she does it with humor. And although she may have an array of ever increasing strengths and powers that could make some readers skeptical, she remains one of my favorites, because, as we see in this book, even our uber powerful UF heroine Kate isn’t invincible.

I haven’t really talked much about the Midnight Games, and I shouldn’t. The less said the better. They, of course, play a prominent role here with Kate becoming increasingly involved in conflict surrounding the tournament. I thought The Games were fun, intense, and intensely fun.

I very much enjoyed reading the first two books in your series, but this one is now my favorite. From the first page to the last, Magic Strikes was a riveting, heart pounding ride. Story lines advance, truths are admitted, intriguing characters are introduced and the romance between Kate and Curran develops a sweetness that is simply delightful.

The writing is concise, finely worded and carefully constructed. You pack more in a single page than some authors do in ten. In short, a thoroughly satisfying addition to your series. A-

~Joonigrrl

This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or ebook format from the Sony Store and other etailers.

Leslie S

can usually be found hunched over her ebook reader or lurking in the romance and sci-fi/fantasy sections of her local bookstores. She discovered her love of fantasy at a young age, reading everything from Piers Anthony to Robert Aspirin and C.S. Lewis. At the age of 12, she picked up a little book called The Thorn Birds, and after crying for five days straight, decided that she liked the romantic elements, but needed a happier ending. Her first tentative visits to the romance section brought her to such favorites as Linda Howard and Judith McNaught where her love of the romance book was born. She then turned to Brenda Joyce, Lisa Kleypas, J.D. Robb, Anne Stuart, and as the years passed, many more. She currently prefers paranormal romance, urban fantasy, traditional fantasy, historical and the occasional YA.

22 Comments

  1. Rene
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 09:58:57

    I just bought this book yesterday. I think it was my most anticipated book for the year. “Magic Burns” was so good and I honestly thought the last page had one of the most romantic scenes I’d read in a long time.

    ReplyReply

  2. Sela Carsen
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 10:10:46

    This is in my top 3 list for the year and I can’t wait to get to the bookstore!

    ReplyReply

  3. carolyn jean
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 10:14:08

    Oh, I love a series that grows and evolves like this.

    ReplyReply

  4. MB
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 10:52:45

    Oh good! I just got this from the library finally.

    ReplyReply

  5. sandy l
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 11:18:35

    I just finished this at lunch today. I think it was one of the best books read this year.

    ReplyReply

  6. Donna
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 11:29:07

    I just finished this as well. The romance slowly developing between Curran and Kate is really sweet. I enjoyed watching Kate open up more to him. I also liked seeing her feelings for the friends she holds dear. She did develop more powers towards the end and it was hinted that she would eventually develop even more. Hopefully it doesn’t become an Anita Blake type of thing.

    ReplyReply

  7. ilona andrews
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 13:24:48

    Thank you.

    ReplyReply

  8. ilona andrews
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 14:26:56

    ::abandons professionalism:: Sorry I tried.

    ::takes a deep breath:: Squeeeeeeeee!

    Okay I go now.

    Edit: Squeee!

    Okay now I promise I am done.

    ReplyReply

  9. Sarah
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 15:08:03

    I can’t wait to get my hands on Magic Strikes. I powered through the first two from my library but no way am I waiting on the hold list for the third.

    ReplyReply

  10. Jage
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 17:02:33

    I was an idiot and decided to wait until the actual release date to pick it up from my local chapters instead of the weekend before since they had about ten out before it came out and I figured they would put more out on the actual release date.

    There is only one available now, LOL, so now I’m calling and attempting to get it put aside for me before anyone else can get to it.

    ReplyReply

  11. Eirin
    Apr 02, 2009 @ 01:47:53

    This was one of the most eagerly anticipated books in a long while for me too.
    I got it some weeks ago, finished it up the same day (and night) and loved it.

    I’ve since been forlornly hanging out at the Andrews’ site, trying to get a fix on when the next Kate book will be out. I have, of course, already preordered Must Love Hellhounds.

    I’m also very excited about the new series (it will be a series, wont it?) The Edge.

    Much as I love Kate (and I really, really do); it’s the consistently good writing, and visible dedication to develop and improve her craft, that put Andrews on my autobuy list. I expect us to have a long and satisfying relationship :)

    ReplyReply

  12. Jana Oliver
    Apr 02, 2009 @ 08:32:54

    We got a kick butt heroine, an equally kick butt hero who is a hunk, emotionally damaged people, unholy environment and characters that actually CHANGE over the course of a series. OY! What’s not to like?

    I’ve fidgeted for this book since the first of the year. I’m an overly fussy reader who has little time for less than stellar efforts. This series rocks and you can carve that in stone. Yeah, I’m hooked. Sigh…

    ReplyReply

  13. LauraJane
    Apr 02, 2009 @ 12:18:01

    I really loved this one. It was such a satisfying read.

    ReplyReply

  14. Zee
    Apr 04, 2009 @ 19:28:54

    I just finished it – finally got it in the mail yesterday and I loved it. Ditto to the review and all the comments – it was a great book and a lot of fun to read. Can’t wait for the next one.

    ReplyReply

  15. Dear Author Recommends for April | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Apr 10, 2009 @ 07:24:29

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  16. BlueRose
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 16:11:27

    Im coming into this a bit late but this review intrigued me enough to buy the first book, which I then LOVED so much I had to order the next two in and they took about 3 weeks to arrive

    Love this series and Kate – hope to see more of her. Thanks for the excellent review, it made a new convert!

    ReplyReply

  17. Joonigrrl/Leslie
    Jun 09, 2009 @ 01:37:10

    Always happy to help- I’m glad you liked it!

    ReplyReply

  18. Chenebe
    Jun 24, 2009 @ 06:05:31

    I just read the first in the series ‘Magic Bites’ and I was totally swept away. This is urban fantasy as it is meant to be. Will be picking up the next two asap.

    ReplyReply

  19. Chenebe
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 23:56:32

    Ah, just finished Magic Strikes. I want to be time traveller so I can read the rest of the books in this series that Ilona Andrews is going to write in the future. Especially … what’s going to happen to Kate and Curran???

    ReplyReply

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