magic strikes by ilona andrews

Posted on July 26, 2009


Dear Ilona Andrews, by now you will have realized from my posts that I am a BIG fan of your urban fantasy series that began with Magic Bites. I enjoyed reading the previous two volumes so much that I was willing to read them several times even if the Monster TBR by my bedside is growing big enough to devour me and my bookbuds are killing me with more book recommendations.

magic strikesBut I really just loved the ideas you put together. Your premise of an alternate world that’s experiencing another great shift, where magic replaces technology as the law of the universe, is interesting. That it does not do so right away, but works through waves of magical energy that weakens or shuts down anything that works on technology, simply thickens the brew that our intrepid heroes and heroines have to work with or around of as they fight off all sorts of paranormal creatures hell-bent on world domination.

In the first book, you made crime-solving the active ingredient, to get Kate Daniels to fill in bigger shoes than mercenary gigs could never hope to be, with her guardian killed by a sex-ravenous Russian ghoul. In the sequel, gods make a play for ‘reality,’ fed up as they are with a limited existence in our world during magical flares. In this third continuation, Kate’s werewolf friend is discovered nearly dead, mauled by creatures that could, apparently, kick powerful shapeshifter butt with ease.

To get to the bottom of the latest killing spree inside Atlanta’s decaying urbanscape, Kate and Beast Lord Curran (shapeshifter pack leader who made her coffee in book 2—what this means, I have no intention of spoiling for anyone ditzy enough to have stumbled into my blog) must investigate, and join, the Midnight Games, an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament.

They uncover a plot that links to Kate’s heritage, and her mission in life. It seems the most powerful man on Earth is busy with his own agenda, and that he may just catch up to Kate’s existence if she isn’t careful—but, for Kate, this time, careful won’t cut it if it means letting friends die. Over several battles together, saving the world twice over, I guess, even the most paranoid person would eventually have to open up emotionally.

As usual, the fight scenes were awesome. I loved how you drew on elements from Dungeons & Dragons, Western gun slinging face-offs, and Brave Heart to give these confrontations each a different feel and drama. For Magic Strikes, you gave us extreme battle action between humans and various magical creatures. Man, the arena fights were epic…

I have to say, though, that I am getting a mite suspicious of Kate’s revenge-obsession. Seems to me she was conditioned from birth to hate her real dad—I don’t know about you, but I doubt that the complex universe you created would give something so laid out as a neat as-you-please one-dimensional villain. I feel as if Kate—as if we are being set up! Can’t you hurry your writing along so I can confirm my suspicions?

Besides having to wait months! for the fourth book, my only other trouble with this series is I can’t help skipping to the parts with Curran in them. He’s so damned se—I mean, I so enjoy how you engage the romance-enthusiasts among your readers with romantic tension as opposed to sex romps. The balance between toughness and vulnerability and between age-old secrets and present predicaments, presented in a quick, no fuss narrative, sure racks up the series’s pogi-points to maximum.

So, I see you guys (you are a husband and wife team, aren’t you?) decided to rest from Kate Daniels by writing another book, On the Edge, the start of another series, I gather. Well, good luck, it has much to live up to.

Posted in: fantastic