Friday, April 12, 2013

Extracurricular Review: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
(Kate Daniels World #1 / Kate Daniels #5.5)
Reviewed by Maggie: April 12, 2013
Published July 31, 2012 by Ace
Goodreads • Buy at AmazonKindle • Indie Bound

Do you remember that episode of Arrested Development where GOB goes to work for Stan Sitwell (Season 2, Episode 7: Switch Hitter)? While trying to impress Sitwell, GOB runs through the entire backlog of Michael's ideas in one meeting and then goes back to Michael and asks for more.
Michael: There were 34 proposals in there.
GOB: You'd be amazed how fast they come out when you read them all in a row.
Michael: That was 6 months worth of work. You can't just blurt them all out at once.
Well, Ilona Andrews, I'm sorry I blurted through 6 years worth of Kate Daniels novels back to back ... to back to back. And thank you for knowing we'd ask for more after Gunmetal Magic and throwing in the Magic Gifts novella (and setting some of it in a Korean restaurant!).

I kind of wish I had read Magic Gifts first. Both stories take place at the same time, Magic Gifts from Kate's perspective and Gunmetal from Andrea's, but since Gunmetal is full length, it goes beyond the events of the novella and references some of it. When I was reading Gunmetal, I thought I had missed a story or my brain had finally turned to mush after a week of choosing Curran over sleep.

Gunmetal Magic shifts the focus of the story over to Kate's partner-in-crime, Andrea Nash. Andrea was always such an interesting character to me because she's a lethal weapon who constantly allows herself to be sheathed by the Order and Ted Moynohan. Her loyalty to the Order is unflinching and it costs her in Magic Bleeds. She lives by a code that revolves around the Order first, herself second, her beastly self last -- at all costs last. Who she is without the Order?

Girl. You slapped Aunt B once and survived. You're an ass kicker!

I felt for Andrea so much in this because after learning more about her childhood, I understood how much the badge meant to her. For a girl who was abused by people bigger and stronger than her for the first 11 years of her life, the Order badge was a sign that declared, "You will not fuck with me. You will not touch me." The badge was a symbol that demanded respect. The Order was also a place she could feel at home. It was her pack, no boudas allowed. She always knew the Order was only her home so long as she hid who she really was, but it still hurts to be proven right.

I liked this book a lot but some of the Andrea-Raphael scenes reminded me of the Alpha & Omega series, ie super romancey and drawn out. And I hate, HATE to say this, but the Kate and Curran scenes made me think of Anna and Etienne in Lola and the Boy Next Door. Perfect couple is perfect! Kate would GAG at that. I missed hearing Kate gag at that or mentally threatening to punch Curran in the face. I loved Andrea's scenes with Ascanio the teenage heartthrob, and Ascanio and Julie. Ascanio and Julie -- I'm calling it now! I loved seeing a more serious side to Raphael, although he most definitely could've used a punch in the face too. The characters in this more than held their own without Kate calling the shots... but I can't wait until Kate is back.

Rating: 3.5 stars.

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