Title: Magic Strikes
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Romance/ Adventure
Publication date: 2009
When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it’s a job for Kate Daniels…
Drafted to work for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems these days than she knows what to do with. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.
But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…
If I put as much passion into work as I put into reading… well, I might start going places 😀 I need to find a job reading books and getting paid for it…
Anyway, I finished with Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews, third book of the series about Kate Daniels, about 8 am this morning. Yes, I did read all night. Sue me. Now I’m so hooked that I may do something stupid like stay up all night before a work day. I haven’t felt so pumped up since the last Skulduggery Pleasant book but the latter lacked something Kate Daniels’ books are full of – romance, sexual tension and heavy dose of heavy language. Everything else is there – the humor, the fighting, the mystery, the monsters and of course the bad-ass characters.
This installment revolves around a particular event called ‘The Midnight Games’. They are an illegal tournament where humans, shifters and all kinds of supernatural beings fight to the death for the final prize. The Pack is forbidden to have anything to do with it. The Order outlaws it. Naturally, Kate finds herself right in the middle of it – where else?
When shapeshifters bodies start appearing torn apart and discarded all around the city, Kate realizes that something is wrong. But it is Derek, Kate’s teenage werewolf sidekick, found broken into too many pieces to count and barely holding onto dear life that sends her out for blood. She starts investigating the attacks with the help of Jim, the Alpha of the cat clan and chief security of the Pack who has gone against the Beast Lord’s orders, and they manage to find the perpetrators – an ancient race of horrendous creatures who loath humans and shifters alike, determined to wipe out the Atlanta pack.
According to Pack law Jim has three days to return to the pack and accept the punishment of his Alpha for his insubordination or be killed. Time is running out. The only way to stop the seemingly unstoppable enemy is to win the Midnight Games and win the Wolf Diamond, a stone that is more than it seems.
I’ll leave the spoilers stop here and go back at praising. I knew I have criticized the other books so far about the seemingly lacking explanations about the mechanics of Ilona Andrews’ world but at this point I feel it hardly matters. Reading the book, I was so immersed in the story and dazzled by the characters’ actions and fates that I could hardly notice any discrepancies in the rules – if any – that govern the magic/technology driven world.
But let’s switch to my main point of entertainment and no, I am not talking about the plot, which, I must admit, was the best so far, neat and elaborate and full of mythology references patched together. No, I am talking about the ever-growing tension between Kate and Curran. I know Curran is kind of a walking, talking, smoldering cliche but I love him to pieces 😀 I am so happy to see the progress of their relationship, the sexy, exhilarating game of push-and-pull, even the fighting. Especially if Kate bests him 😀 I still can’t believe she challenged him with the promise of cooking for him naked if he finds them before the three days were up. Knowing him, he would turn the city upside-down just to win the challenge. 😀
I think it’s extremely smart for the writing duo to keep those moments between them to just a few. The anticipation until their next encounter makes it all the more enjoyable. Meanwhile, they show Kate can have feelings and urges but can also put aside to deal with the more important things at hand.
I liked that we finally learnt more about her biological father and the mystery around her past. It brought ten thousand more questions but I’m glad it’s in the open. Now that Roland is bound to know of her existence I wonder if he would come for her with full force or bide his time like every villain bound to fail 😀
I’m curious. Now that we are talking about Kate’s secret and we know Andrea knows, do you think Jim does too (and Curran by extension)? There was something weird in the way Jim looked at her and said ‘We’ll protect you’. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.
In any case Magic Strikes worked for its rating and this time I’ll give it solid 5/5. Very enjoyable, very engaging.
What about you? What rating would you give? What are your thoughts and takes on Magic Strikes?