Thursday, April 11, 2013

Extracurricular Review: Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews

One week ago, I fell into the world of Kate Daniels. 5 books and 3 novellas later, I'm finally resurfacing -- and only because there aren't any more books until July 30. This series has completely wrapped me up in its magic, its world, and its characters. Kate redefines badass. She is woman, hear her make Curran roar. Smart and smart-ass, this series is everything I could have asked for.

My review for Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) can be found here.

Magic Burns
(Kate Daniels #2)
Read from April 4-5, 2013
Published April 1, 2008 by Ace
Goodreads • Buy at AmazonKindle • Indie Bound

For the first quarter of the book, I thought this was heading toward 3 stars. I liked it and it explained the world much better than Magic Bites, but there were more new characters and creatures when I'd barely managed to wrap my head around the ones already introduced. But then, but then, there was the soup and the please and the thank you and AH. And then Noelle sent me this gif for Curran:
...and well, I was walking around murmuring Curran all day.

Starbucks barista: May I have a name for this drink?
Me: Curran.
Barista: Karen?
Me: CURRAN. Wait, what are we talking about?

I haven't been this wrapped up in a world since last year when I zoomed through all the Mercy Thompson books. Full review to come.

Psych. I'm getting some coffee (coffee) and reading the next book. And if you like The Princess Bride, you need to read this.

Rating: 4 stars.
• • •

Magic Strikes
(Kate Daniels #3)
Read from April 6-7, 2013
Published March 31, 2009 by Ace
Goodreads • Buy at AmazonKindle • Indie Bound


1. That knife you used to butter your toast? It now has a name.

2. You relate everything in the real world back to the Kate Daniels world and start making the cheesiest jokes.

3. You said "Katelanta." Even once.

4. Lions. How hot are they?! --> This is a legitimate thought.

5. You're panicked that your Kindle battery will run out mid book because you usually charge it while sleeping but you haven't been sleeping because of this series!

There is so much MORE in Magic Strikes. We get more of Kate's back story, more of Curran's back story, more of Kate and Curran's present story... Hold on while I go back and reread EVERY scene with them.

Derek has quickly emerged as a favorite character as well. He's like a mix of Warren and Ben from Mercy Thompson wrapped up in a pretty package. And Doolittle! Who doesn't love Doolittle!

As in the previous books, the word/foreplay in this is off the charts. It's a slow, simmering burn and yet the effect is scorching.

Rating: 4.5 stars.

Okay, on to Book 4. Curran is a hell of a drug.

• • •

Magic Bleeds
(Kate Daniels #4)
Read from April 7-8, 2013
Published May 25, 2010 by Ace
Goodreads • Buy at AmazonKindle • Indie Bound

I have zero clue what's been going on in the world the past 3 days. However, I now know the real reason Snoop changed his name from Dogg to Lion. Curran.

How is this series just getting better and better with every book? As if I didn't love Katelanta (Curran County? I need to talk to Jermaine Dupri about this) enough already, Ilona Andrews throws in a POODLE and more Princess Bride. That's in addition to the standard A+ banter and toe curling chemistry.

In this book, we learn more about what motivates Kate and Curran to be who they are -- and why these reasons keep them apart. Someone from Kate's past comes back to wreak havoc and destruction. The shit hits the fan in the Order, the Guild, and the Pack. Kate is as badass as she wants to be.
"But know this: if you come to remove me, come in force because ... I will kill every single one of you. My hand won't shake. My aim won't falter. My face will be the last thing you'll see before you die."
You come at the queen, you best not miss. Bitches.

I'm already mourning the fact that there's only one more after this that I haven't read. I'm going to drown my sorrows at book club tonight while pleading Curran for not having read either book club book. Maybe I'll have some Boone's in Kate's honor (and try not to get laughed out of the bar).

Rating: 5 stars.
• • •

Magic Dreams
(Kate Daniels #4.5)
Read on April 9, 2013
Published June 26, 2012 by Ace
Goodreads • Buy on Kindle

Dali, you adorable scene stealer. In this novella, the half-blind nerd girl gets center stage. Dali, the vegetarian white tiger shapeshifter who crashed into the story in Magic Strikes, is everything Kate Daniels isn't. She doesn't fight, doesn't kill, but that doesn't mean Dali isn't badass in her own right. She can write out a curse in calligraphy like no one else.
Jim: "You want me to go back into that house protected by a magic sticky note?"
We saw a hint of possibly something between Dali and Jim, Alpha of the Cats and Curran's Chief of Security, in Magic Bleeds. Okay, Kate was just mouthing off as per usual but she may have actually touched on something. However, Dali knows she's not that girl. She knows guys see her as a brain with glasses. Now she has to use that brain when something goes wrong in one of the Pack houses and affects Jim.

This was so cute, SO CUTE. You can't not love Dali but throw in her equally feisty mother and hijinks ensue. Who else but an Asian mother could or would greet an Alpha with "He is dark. Very, very dark", and THEN bop him over the head with a rolled up newspaper? But Jim has some tricks of his own and seriously, my heart melted. I won't spoil it even though it's not a huge part of the story but it's a HUGE deal to me! Oh, and there is an appearance by a Korean woman and even though it's only to say hello, it was just icing on an already perfect cake.

Basically, if you haven't read any Kate Daniels yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??

Rating: 5 stars.
• • •

Magic Slays
(Kate Daniels #5)
Read on April 9-10, 2013
Published May 31, 2011 by Ace
Goodreads • Buy at AmazonKindle • Indie Bound

I feel I should warn you: Ilona is actually a power word that means read. After 5 books, 3 novellas and 1000 squeals in 6 days, you would think the novelty would wear off. NOPE. There is still such a freshness to the story and so many more storylines to be explored. Derek? More please. Jim and Dali? More please. Kate and Curran? I WILL SAY PLEASE BEFORE AND THANK YOU AFTER.

Basically, I can't get enough and it's a great feeling. Book slump? What is that?

The stakes are raised even more in this book because as Voron repeatedly told Kate, caring about people makes you vulnerable. And for the first time in her life, Kate has people she truly cares about and vice versa. In Magic Slays, there is a mysterious device that puts them all at risk.

I love that Kate and Curran are so evenly matched. This is one of my favorite quotes from the book:
"You're free to leave. Go home, kiss your wives, hug your children, and put your affairs in order, because tomorrow I will burn your neighborhood to the ground. We will kill you, your families, your neighbors, your pets, and anyone who will stand in our path. An attack on my family will not go unpunished."
It was said by Curran, Beast Lord of Atlanta and BAMF, but it could just as well have been said by Kate, former mercenary and all around BAMF.

In a week, I've gone from silently mocking the cover (a lion?!) to wanting to start a Fuck Yeah Curran tumblr. Yes, it's that serious. Kate Daniels has quickly established itself as one of my favorite series and I can't wait to see what the next book brings.

Rating: 5 stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We've just installed Disqus for comments. If you see this message, it means that Disqus has not loaded properly. BADLY DONE, DISQUS. You can either try refreshing the page to get to the Disqus thread or leave a comment here.