Must Love Hellhounds: Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews

I'm not really one to pick up anthologies but seeing as though I have to wait at least until June for the next Kate Daniels book, Magic Bleeds, I made a special exception in the case of Ilona Andrews novella Magic Mourns in the Must Love Hellhounds anthology. Usually I'm not a huge novella fan simply because I don't think the format can adequately give an author the time or space needed to truly maneuver characters into an engrossing story. Inevitably, letdown occurs and I'm left dissatisfied. But knowing I'd get a chance to spend more time with Kate's friend and co-worker Andrea and her gung-ho suitor Raphael, whose antics I laughed myself silly over in Magic Strikes, I succumbed (hint: I wasn't disappointed).

Like Kate, Andrea is also a Knight but instead of magic Andrea specializes in tech. Her focus? Guns, baby. The woman could probably load, fire, hit a bulls-eye, and reload before anyone else could even draw their weapon. Handy that. In Kate's absence Andrea is taking over her cases (come on, we all want to be Kate, just admit it) when she gets a strange call asking for someone to rescue a shapeshifter who has run into a dog the size of a house in magic stricken Atlanta. Said shapeshifter turns out to be the one and only Raphael. The man who has been doggedly pursing Andrea for the last six months and whose idea of wooing happens to include breaking and entering. Although Andrea is convinced she can remain professional in the face of Raphael's Casanova charm, figuring out how to tame a dog the size of a house just might get her a little nervous. But that's what the big guns are for.

Magic Mourns wasn't Kate but frankly, I'm okay with that. I couldn't help but be lured in by Andrea's candid honesty and fierce arsenal. I also couldn't help but love her bald description of Atlanta:
I liked the city. I wasn't born here, nor did I come to Atlanta by choice, but now the city was my territory. I walked its streets, sampled its scents, and listened to it breathe. Atlanta wasn't sure about me. It tried to kill me every now and then, but I was confident we'd come to an understanding eventually.
Not one to mince words or make any excuses for herself, Andrea effortlessly grabbed me from the get-go. Magic Mourns was fast, fun and just might have changed my opinion regarding novellas. Maybe. I still haven't read the other three stories yet. But I might.

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Darque Reviews
Errant Dreams Reviews
Janicu's Book Blog review
Literary Escapism review

book source: my local library


Angiegirl said...

I picked this one up as well and read the Andrews and Brook contributions. LOVED Andrea and Raphael. She's so different from Kate and yet so great. And Raphael...he's just yummy.

I haven't read any of Meljean's books, but I enjoyed the novella. Not as great as Ilona's, but good. :)

Michelle said...

Angie - good to know. I haven't read any of Brook's stuff either but maybe I'll give it a go before returning it.