Coming back from a long-awaited trip to Atlanta (it's been almost two years since I went home!), I settled into the third installment of Ilona Andrew's much loved Kate Daniel's series with more than a little excitement. With the series set in a futuristic Atlanta that has been ravaged by magic, I felt like I was getting to extend my vacation a few more days as Kate described tromping around Buckhead and other notable downtown spots. Also, I've been waiting all summer to snag a copy of this one and the anticipation may have made me a tiny bit antsy. What started off as a pretty good series has now turned into one of my top three current fantasy series, the stories have literally gotten so much better with each book.
Kate is back to her usual Order of Knights of Merciful Aid day job after the massive magical flare that rocked the city of Atlanta. She's still trying to figure out how to support Julie - the orphan she adopted in the magical aftermath - and most of all how to avoid His Royal Fussiness or Curran, the Beast Lord. Needless to say, she isn't exactly pleased when the ucky Saiman calls her up to say he's got one of Curran's shifters, Derek, captive in his apartment. Derek makes Kate swear not to tell Curran the reason he's broken into Saiman's apartment - to steal tickets to an extremely illegal, extremely dangerous gladiator-type tournament - which leaves her in a place she does not want to be. But when things with Derek go south in a hurry, Kate throws herself in a deadly struggle to save her friends without revealing her true identity (which she actually finally divulges to the reader! FINALLY).
What I think makes me keeping coming back for more in this series is its constant humor. Kate is a smart-mouth and I love her. I guess I just have a thing for girls who can't keep their mouth shut even to the detriment of their health. Sometimes I would completely bust up while reading and just couldn't wait to see what would happen next. This humor element is especially important to me since there is so much darkness that Kate faces. For starters, her whole life has been centered around killing one big, bad guy for goodness sakes. So, Ilona Andrews strikes a nice balance for me. Another reason I love it is becuase of the relationships between the characters: Kate and Curran, Kate and her 'ward' Julie, Kate and Derek, they are all so real and constantly changing, leaving me breathless with anticipation for what will happen next.
Does anyone else totally dig this cover? Okay, I know they all have been quite similar: Kate with a sword and Curran as his furry self - but until I saw this book up close and personal and realized that Kate is sporting a set of very colorful bruises along her arms did I think: "Yeah! That's my girl who doesn't know how to stay out of trouble!"
series reading order:
~ Magic Bites
~ Magic Burns - my review
~ Magic Strikes