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Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: Magic Strikes

Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, Book 3)Title: Magic Strikes
Author: Ilona Andrews
Page Count: 310 pages
Publisher: Ace
Genre: urban fantasy
Copy for review was purchased by me

50 words or less:  Kate Daniels is back and trying to infiltrate the Midnight Games, a super secret, super lucrative, super illegal fighting tournament in order to save Derek, the boy werewolf wonder.  If things were only that simple, life would be a lot easier.  Too bad they're not...

I devoured this book over the holidays while I was traveling.  I mean literally devoured, they're calling my flight and I'm not responding, eyes glazed over, not attending to anything around me devoured.  I wised up and bought this book for Kindle so I couldn't accidentally leave it on the plane and therefore would have it to revisit whenever I wanted.  I had high expectations for this book going into it and I wasn't disappointed.

Kate Daniels is probably my favorite urban fantasy heroine.  She is tough as nails, smart, has a snarky sense of humor that I really, really appreciate, but she's not some meathead idiot who can't manage to solve problems or have feelings.  She's complex; she's loyal to her friends and her unorthodox family; she knows that the power she wields can corrupt as easily as it's pulled her fat out of the fire all these times.  She makes mistakes, sometimes big ones; she really, really wants to be loved but doesn't want someone else to have to bear the burden of loving her; she knows that even bigger conflicts perpetually loom on the horizon because of who her father is.

That doesn't stop her from having some seriously intense adventures.  When she finds out that Derek, the young werewolf from the Pack who was sworn to protect her and now does so out of his own free will, has been busted breaking into super creepy Saiman's apartment, she's determined to find out why.

Turns out Derek is in deeper poop than Kate had figured; he was trying to steal tickets to the Midnight Games, an illegal underground fighting tournament that members of the Atlanta Pack are forbidden from entering or even attending.  One thing leads to another and Kate finds herself having to enter the games to fulfill a promise and catch a killer; one by one, the cast of characters we know and love from this series, including Raphael, Andrea, Derek, Jim, and even Curran himself are caught up in the maelstrom.

There are twists and turns in abundance in this story, and we see Kate and Curran growing closer as well.  The development of their relationship from uneasy allies to weird friends to something more is fun to read.  The Midnight Games, too, are more than they appear on the surface.  Kate is a great fighter and her skills are becoming more honed with each battle; the enemies in this book are not to be taken lightly though.

At the end of the book, the stage is set for some delicious developments in the next book- I shotgunned these books one after the other so I can verify that book four lived up to my expectations as well.   If you haven't read this series yet, why not? Do something about that!

Overall Grade: A
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