Review: Magic Extras [Kate Daniels Extras] 4/5 (1)

February 14, 2019
Title: Magic Graves(0.5), Magic Mourns (3.5), Magic Dreams (4.5), Magic Tests (5.3), Magic Gifts (5.4), Gunmental Magic (5.4), Magic Steals (7.5), Magic Stars (8.5)
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Romance/ Adventure

Summary:

A sum of all spinoffs, extras and scenes written from different POV Ilona Andrews shared with us.

    Magic Graves(0.5) or also as we know it A Questionable Client was one of my favorite short stories of the series. I like Saiman, well, sometimes, and I find him fascinating. And I always wondered what the story was behind the ‘friendship’ or whatever it is between him and Kate. I somehow imagined it to start just like this and I had a good laugh as I read.

    The story follows Kate on a job as a bodyguard detail – her least favorite type of job. But beggars can’t be choosers so she drags her butt to the only standing tall building in a shitty neighborhood with no idea who she will be guarding and from what. All she knows is that the money are good.

    The story was full with mythical creatures, fighting and Kate’s typical humor which we love and enjoy. The only thing I regret about it is that it was too short but I always say that when I like something. I am not even sure what else Ilona Andrews could have added if they were to extend it. I just want more 😀 

   Anyway the story gets 5/5 rating from me. Check it out – definitely a fun read.

     I’ve thought about it and decided it may be best to put all Extra books (not the main story of Kate Daniels’ series but spinoffs, extra scenes, etc that Ilona Andrews graced us with) in one post as some of them are quite short and I don’t feel a whole post would be necessary. I hope you’re ready 😀

   The first one that I got my hands off, following its chronological order, was Magic Mourns (3.5). The book is written from Andrea’s point of view which was a nice surprise, giving us a glimpse into the life Kate’s best friend. The story revolves around Andrea and Rafael (a were-hyena also called bouda) who is besotted with her. We follow them around as they try to outsmart Cerberus, Hades’ hound that is trying to collect its keeper’s body. A Master of Dead had stolen the body in attempt to question it before allowing it to go to the Underworld. We get to see the funny blabbering between those two and follow them as they finally profess their feelings to each other and decide to ‘give it a go’ 😀 In the main series I find Rafael hilarious and he stands out easily but in this instance those two and their relationship reminded me too much of Kate and Curran, way too much. 

   I know that the opposites attract and it is really cool to see them fight and resist each other but when pretty much all couples there do that it becomes kind of repetitive. I would have liked to see some kind of diversity on that front but we get what we get 😀 I am happy that I learnt a bit more about Andrea and Rafael as people, it helped me connect with them easier in the next book of the main story since the story doesn’t include them so much there. 

    I would give it maybe 4/5. It was indeed entertaining, the idea about the three-headed dog and all was awesome but they are not Kate and Curran 😀 

      Magic Dreams (4.5) was the next extra book we got and I really liked it. It is written in Deli’s POV, a were-tigress with bad sight and knack for magic (more than usual). Dali Harimau, an Indonesian woman from a long line of magic users who happens to be a changeshifter as well, is desperately in love with Jim but thinks she is not pretty and good enough for him and he’ll never look at her in such way. Jim shows up in her house smelling of bad magic and she is determined to save him from whatever he got himself to.

   I have to admit, the plot was really interesting and unexpected, I loved the narrative and how smart Dali is. I am happy it was not Jim’s POV, I find him kind of stiff, in a serious-Alpha-kind-of-way. Seeing him through Deli’s eyes made him more likable for me. There were some hilarious moments but it’s hard to fall in love with a book (even a short one) when you are not in love with the characters. I like them both well enough and in combination with the others (in Magic Strikes we saw more of them) but on their own, I am still undecided. If one of them is your favorite character then I am sure you’ll enjoy the spinoff. 

    I would give this one 3/5. I liked the story itself but it didn’t grab me the way the others did. It’a hard to compete with Kate 😀 

    Magic Test (5.3) is yet another short story by Ilona Andrews that is part of an arrangement of stories from various authors.

     The story is told from Julie’s pov, which is a welcome surprise since it really gives us a deeper look into her world. She is not a main character in most of the books, although she does have an important role in Kate’s life. And her magic is awesome and interesting so it was great to see it in action.

   In Magic Tests Kate is trying to find a new school for Julie, despite her protests. And knowing her ward, Kate expects Julie to try to run away or do something to get out of there. So she does the only thing that would keep her there – she gives her a mystery daring her to resolve it. On her own. And like a typical teenager Julie falls for it – she even realizes she is falling for it but she does it anyway.

   Anyway, the story is shorter than the others but full of magical creatures, teenager drama and a dragon so definitely not to miss.

  Magic Tests gets a well deserved 4/5 and I hope to get to see more of Julie now.

    Magic Gifts (5.4) was an awesome off-timer for me. It had the same flair, the same adventure spirit and Kate/Curran cuteness as the main storyline but it featured mythical Norse creatures, vampires and hell lot of old magic. As far as spinoffs go, this one was awesome.

   I only regret that I didn’t follow the storyline directly. I should have read it after book 5(but I read it now after book 7) so I had to go back and remind myself what had happened and what had not – especially in terms of Andrea-Rafael. 

      The story is simple – Kate and Curran try to have normal date  but as usual get the opposite. The restaurant where they are also serves two Journeyman, one of which dies and releases their two vampires outside. After disposing of them Kate and Curran start investigating the suspicious death of the female journeyman and get entangled in old magic that threatens the life of a child. Naturally, they are decided to save the boy so they go through hell and back to do it. It’s rather cute, if you ask me, just the Kate style. And we meet vikings, or rather neo-vikings, whose philosophy is drink, make trouble and pretend no technology exists. More or less.

   I’ll give it 4/5 rating and definitely recommend. I think such spinoffs and extra makes the real difference. Once I finish my series I’m totally adding such extras. They are so cool and they let you see the world in a different way.

   Usually I’m not a big fan of short stories, I just don’t think a short story is enough to fully develop and reveal a plot. But I now believe short stories are a great way to get to know characters and Magic Stars(8.5) really shows Derek and Julie in a new light. 

      Their interactions are cute, awkward and very real. And I’m glad it was from Derek’s POV since I have always found him in interesting but somehow distant. I feel like I know Jim more than him and I don’t even like Jim that much. So Magic Stars was the perfect addition to the world of Kate Daniels – and long overdue. It was still too short to feel natural(meaning Derek’s feelings towards Julie) but it was okay, we’ve been teenagers – we all know how weird and awkward the conversations with other teenagers are 😀 

       The story follows our two young heroes as they investigate the murder of a family and the search of a strange magical stone. We have a good deal of magic, shapeshifters fighting and Julie finally showing her potential – although I now like her less knowing what she is doing behind Kate’s back. 

     Anyway, I’m giving the story a solid 4/5 rating. It was exciting, it was cute and it hyped me up even more for the next book in the main storyline.

        I have to admit, Magic Steals was much, much better than Magic Dreams. For one, Jim was not incapacitated by a spell and it was an active character; two, we finally got some action between those two and some sweet moments; three, the storyline was awesome.

        I love that Deli is different, so different that she is weird 😀 She is a predator that gets sick from blood and that doesn’t eat meat. This here is a golden mine for conflicts and whatnot 😀 I even liked Jim here, he was funny (yeah, I was surprised too).

      The storyline follows Deli as a friend comes to her and asks her for help in finding her missing grandmother. The investigation helps them find the grandmother who is enchanted in a way, drives right into the middle of a magical conspiracy and a curse that brings your worst fears to live. It is Supernatural meets Kristine(Steven King) meets The Walking Dead. It was really fun to read and it reminded me of so many awesome books/tv shows I like that I didn’t want to it to end. I now even like Jim and Deli – they make sense, kind of.

   I’ll give this story a 4/5 rating. If those two are among your favorite characters it is a must-read. If not, you should read it 😀 you may change your mind.

What do you think?

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