Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review: Magic Slays

Magic Slays
Ilona Andrews
Urban Fantasy
Kate Daniels/Book 5
ACE/June 1, 2011

*Spoilers for Previous Books*

From the back cover ~

Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, but she's still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be - now that the Order is disparaging her good name. Plus, many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate's mate.

So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead asks for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. But it turns out that this is not an isolated incident. Kate needs to get to the bottom of it - and fast, or the city and everyone dear to her may pay the ultimate price...

This is a series that not only continues to grow and develop but stays fresh and keeps the reader engaged in the characters lives. In Magic Slays, Kate and Curran are both still fairly new at this "mate" thing. They are adjusting to living together at the Keep. The adjustments Kate makes are more obvious but Curran has some adjusting to do too.

It's been a month since Kate opened her business, Cutting Edge Investigations and to say things have been slow is an understatement. That's about to change when Kate finds herself in the thick of blood, guts and what may be a whole shitload of trouble. Thankfully she's not alone. Her BFF Andrea shows up looking for work and Kate, being no one's fool, hires her. Yes! Love the friendship and camaraderie that Kate and Andrea share. The banter between Kate and Andrea is that of good friends with a long history. I enjoy seeing this side of Kate, she's more relaxed.

Circumstances heat up fast when Kate comes under attack. There were a number of players this time around, some new, but Andrews keeps everything following in a nice orderly fashion so I had no problem keeping track of who's who. One new secondary character had the name Leslie. My name. Now, I rarely see my name in books so I was thrilled when I saw it here. Then as the story progressed, not so thrilled. As you can guess, Leslie isn't very nice. Oh well. We do get to see a favorite character of mine, Saiman. There are some shady dealings going on and wouldn't you know it, Saiman just happens to be involved. Kate and Saiman have a tenuous relationship, given that Curran has some violent tendencies when it comes to Saiman. But it's fun to see Kate and Saiman interact with Saiman having a healthy fear of Curran and Kate thinking Saiman is a bit nuts.

There are small, quiet moments in amongst the fighting, bleeding and dying. One such moment is when Kate is having a hell of a week and Curran isn't there with her but he's left her a message. ~

I took my scraps of paper, headed upstairs and dialed 1000. Curran's voice filled the room. "Hey. It's me."

I landed in the chair. Hearing him was like coming home in a downpour and finding the lights on and the house warm. I was in so deep, I couldn't even see the surface anymore.

Kate's totally gone over Curran but she's at the point where she's finally okay with it. Lord knows she fought it long enough but now she's actually getting comfortable being the mate of the Beast Lord. That's not to say she still doesn't have some issues but ultimately, she loves him. Period.

We see not only Kate and Curran's relationship progressing but also Kate's relationship with her adopted daughter Julie. Julie can be a handful but she's a teen and has more than her share of teen issues. Kate only wants the best for Julie and to keep her safe. I love how Julie brings out those maternal instincts in Kate. She's certainly come a long way since the beginning of the series when she was more of a loner badass. Now she's a badass with a mate and a kid!

Kate also discovers more of her family history which leaves her stunned. It's a revelation that came at the right time for Kate. She now has a lot of support around her and doesn't have to deal with the family drama alone. I really like how the progression of Kate's world of family and friends has developed. Relationships are not easy for her but she's smart enough to realize how important these people are to her.

There are plenty of big bads in Kate's world and Andrews continues to pull myths from various cultures and blend them into one fascinating and believable creation. I'm always excited to see who might show up next in the fight. And those fight scenes are some of my favorites. In Magic Slays there are plenty of well choreographed fights but there are also heartbreaking scenes of pain and loss. It is, at times, a very emotional read.

Magic Slays is everything you'd want in a story. There is love, friendship, family, action and humor. I can't wait to see where Kate, Curran and the gang lead us next.

Rating: A

Books in this series ~

Magic Bites
Magic Burns
Magic Strikes
Magic Mourns (Must Love Hellhounds anthology)
Magic Bleeds
Magic Dreams (Hexed anthology)
Magic Slays


  1. Hah! You loved it. That's just great. I loved the way Kate and Curran's relationship continues to grow as well as Kate herself. This is such a great UF series. No doubt about it.

  2. It's one of my favorite series! Kate has grown so much since the first book.

  3. I loved this one so much. This one and book 3 were so fantastic! Great review!

  4. Tracy ~ I loved Magic Strikes! It's my favorite but Magic Slays is right up there too!

  5. Definitively a great series! :) I'm so happy it's maintaining! What did you think about Kate's discovery about her family and stepdad? I was happy that she had more family... but the stuff about her stepdad? Why, why? Definitively looking forward to the next book. sigh, one year. Why? LOL.