Review: Magic Claims (Kate Daniels : Wilmington Years #2) by Ilona Andrews
New town, new friends, new challenges…. And a new heart-stopping adventure from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ilona Andrews. Kate, Curran, and Conlan may have left Atlanta for Wilmington, but the usual magic mayhem has also hitched a ride!
Kate and Curran have just settled into their new home and their ‘low prolife,’ when a local businessman approaches them with an offer they can’t refuse. A mysterious evil has spawned in the nearby forest and is holding a defenseless town hostage. The ‘due date’ is rapidly approaching.
It’s exactly the kind of fight the Lennarts can’t resist, not for the prize the town offers, but for the people who will surely die if they ignore it. If they succeed, they’ll be rescuing an entire community and can build a strong new base for their family and the Wilmington Pack. If they fail…well, fail is a four-letter word. Nothing comes without a price. Now Kate must decide if she has what it takes to pay it.
Dear Ilona Andrews,
I preordered this book, of course, and I remembered that it was coming out in June, but I did not remember the day so when I saw it appear on my kindle, I had to start reading as soon as I could find just a little bit of time (which was almost right away actually :)) and finished the book next day.
If you read the first novella in this sequel Kate Daniels series, you know that Kate and Curran’s quiet life may be coming to an end. And in this book both of them were honest enough to acknowledge that all the danger notwithstanding they kind of missed it. The authors very much raised the stakes in this book because the evil that threatens the small town is VERY evil, the kind of evil that wants human sacrifices in order to leave the town alone and I think even casual readers of fantasy know that evil that gets a hold of you in that way or similar way will never really leave you alone.
Ned, a very wealthy man who has personal stake in freeing the people who live in the town from the necessity of choosing a human sacrifice every year, comes to Kate and Curran and asks them to get involved. Neither of them can say no, mostly because the stakes are so high, and neither of them can sit still and let the innocents die. As a payment for their services, Ned promises Curran a huge piece of land and forest which Curran can play with as he wants to – and Curran does want that land – but again, this is just a nice bonus and not the main reason why Kate and Curran decide to get involved.
I loved that the shapeshifters whom we met in the first novella returned, and some new ones as well, and they were getting more and more interesting. It does look like we will get a chance to learn more about them. Owen the werebison was such a hoot for example, and I can’t wait to see him developing more as a character in each new story (no matter how many new Wilmington Years books we will get a chance to read).
As I said before, the stakes were raised significantly in this book in comparison to the first one. No, I was not really worried about Kate or Curran dying because the books are not done yet, but the mood was just so intense and kind of grim and I thought it was very well done how they managed to maintain the tension. Barring Kate and Curran’s deaths I just was not sure what will happen. Of course I knew that this writing duo loves to play with different mythologies in their book, but there are so many of those that I just could not make any predictions.
The stakes were also raised because the Lenarts had to make the difficult decisions about possibly exposing themselves to the world and that would mean that more dangerous people may want to come and fight them in the future, but as I said above and as blurb states this was not a fight that they felt they could refuse and I was glad they decided to get involved.
As much as parts of the book were grim, the Andrews do humor that works for me and which I always enjoyed even in their darker work and this book sure delivered for this reader. If you enjoy their humor keep an eye for a dancing vampire for example. It made me not just smile but giggle hard and I loved it and did not think it was out of place at all.
I enjoyed the first novella, but thought that this was a much tighter one in all aspects – the fighting danger, the development of the new pack (no matter what form it will take in the future books), the interactions between Kate and Curran. Contrary to the first novella, here they for the most part fight together or at the very least they are close enough to each other when the events take place so they interact a lot and I loved every minute of it, them as husband and wife or warriors or both. I also loved that they interacted with Conlan more, it was fun. A-