Rummanah Aasi
  I'm pretty new to the urban fantasy genre. I don't know why I didn't read from this genre before, but I'm glad that I started to dip my feet in it. I am absolutely loving the Ilona Andrew's Kate Daniel series. Every time I finish a book, I'm sad that I have to leave Kate's Atlanta and the characters I met along the way. I'm glad that I started reading the series when there is already four book out so I can take my time reading them back to back. I just finished the third book in the series called Magic Strikes.

Description: Kate can never catch a break, especially in her hometown of Atlanta where magic and technology are constantly battling one another. When one of her close friends is attacked by a mysterious group and left for dead, Kate is geared up for payback. No one messes with her friends. Allied with the Pack and the infuriating Lord Beast Curran, she knows it is not going to be easy and it could be her greatest challenge yet.

Review: The Kate Daniels series gets better and better with each new installment. Magic Strikes is no exception. With strong characters, excellent world building, and a great balance of magic, romance, mystery, and mythology, this series soars. Magic Strikes doesn't pick right up where Magic Burns left off. Time has passed for Kate. Thankfully, the author didn't bore her readers with all the minute details of what happened since between these books. Kate is again lured into conflicts where her loyalty to friends is threatened and fears of her past are about to surface. This tension is what drives the book and makes it so much fun to read and experience.
  An underground gladiatorial games of sorts, which reminded me much of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy provides the backdrop for the story as new villains emerge and looming threats from previous novels begin to take shape. You don't necessarily have to read the first two books, but being familiar with the characters and Kate's world will help. Each book is made to stand alone, but I'm sure you wouldn't want to miss the character development and world building.
  I love Kate. She is strong heroine who doesn't take flack from anyone, yet under all of her bravado she is vulnerable. Whether it is her conflicting feelings with Curran or her own value system, Kate knows she has limits and she is willing to lose. It the balance of her strength, witty attitude, and her uncertainties is what sets Kate apart and makes her appealing.
  There is plenty of humor to diffuse the tension in the book and actually make me laugh out loud. The flirtatious dance between Kate and Curran is always a pleasure to witness. Their chemistry simmers in the first two books, but definitely sizzles in this installment. I wanted to share with you a passage from Magic Strikes that illustrates their relationship, but unfortunately they were a bit too spoilery. So instead, I will share with you one of my favorite passages from Magic Burns that perfectly describes their banter. This is the last scene in Magic Burns where Kate finds Curran reading Princess Bride in her apartment:
"You're an interesting woman," he said.
"Your interest has been duly noted." I pointed to the door.
He put down the book. "As you wish." He rose and walked past me. I lowered my sword, expecting him to pass,but suddenly he stepped in dangerously close. "Welcome home. I'm glad you made it. There is coffee in the kitchen for you."
My mouth gaped open. He inhaled my scent, bent close, about to kiss me.....
I just stood there like an idiot.
Curran smirked and whispered in my ear instead. "Psych."
And just like that, he was out the door and gone.
Oh boy.

Although they don't like to admit it, Kate and Curran are very similar in their personalities and life experiences, which is becoming more apparent with each book that I read. What I think sets book three apart from the previous two books is that we are seeing more of Kate and her relationships. We learn more information and back stories about her as well as key characters. We also see that Kate is willing to open up to people around her. She fights not only to protect people who are dear to her, but also for her place in their lives. We now finally understand why Kate shuts down and puts up her walls when she refuses to be emotional.
  Unlike many books where secondary characters are just there in the background, the secondary characters in the Kate Daniel series are integral to the story arc just as much as Kate is. Though Curran lights up the page and makes my heart beat faster, he does not overshadow the other characters. Each friend that Kate makes has a strong presence in the book, which is quite refreshing to read. I can't wait to read more!

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong language throughout the book. The violence is definitely gory in this third installment. If the book were a movie, I would rate it as rated "R". I can see teen appeal with this series, but I would be a bit reluctant to have it my high school library.

If you like this book try: Magic Bleeds (Book 4) by Ilona Andrews, Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, Paranormalcy by Kristen White, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Fray by Joss Whedon
3 Responses
  1. This does sound very interesting. I want to read more adult fantasy/paranormal. I've heard good things about Ilona Andrews.
    Interesting that this reminds you of The Hunger Games. Sounds exciting.

  2. Jenny Says:

    Yay Rummanah! I'm so glad you're enjoying this series, I adore Kate and Curran. And you're right, they are very similar though they would never admit it. They're antics never fail to make me laugh, can't wait to see what you think of the next books, they're the best yet I think!

  3. I'm told these books get better and better, Jenny. I can't read fast enough!

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