RogerBW's Blog

Magic Slays, Ilona Andrews 08 June 2019

2011 modern fantasy, fifth in the Kate Daniels series. Kate's set up as a freelance magical investigator, though she has no clients yet; when she gets a warning about a loose vampire, she'd have taken the job even without the public-safety angle. But that's just the first sign of a new threat.

And this time it isn't a monster. Well, not exactly. It's an organisation which one could fairly call "terrorist", run by people who are using sensible means in pursuance of their unpleasant goals. (Not that those goals are quite what they claim they are, because, well, humans.)

"I liked you better as a merc."

"I did, too." I could kick people and say what I actually thought without causing a diplomatic disaster. "But we all have to grow up sometime."

Having been dropped into a position of power as the mate of the leader of all the shapeshifters in Atlanta, Kate's negotiating Pack politics (and, like everyone else, chafing at the rules while accepting their necessity), and trying to get the business going, and trying to prepare for a big confrontation that she knows is coming. But of course all that has to be dropped when there's another threat to post-technological Atlanta.

So the basic action and fighting is pretty decent, as it always has been, but if I just wanted action and fighting I'd play a video game. Like it or not, Kate is now embedded in a web of friendships (yeah, female urban fantasy protagonist who actually has some female friends rather than being only about the romance); and she and Curran are working out the terms of their relationship, not just in the usual way but with the specific considerations of their personalities and situations. Both of them are accustomed to throwing themselves into danger for other people; Curran has had to be the point of ultimate appeal from within the Pack for far too long, while Kate, particularly when she learns something more about her family background, has to consider what Curran may have thought about the political implications of their getting together. These are awkward people who are making their romance work by working things out, rather than just smouldering at each other.

"He's just jerking your chain. If you want, I'll get Barabas to draw up a letter with his lawyer credentials on it. We'll send it to the Order and you'll get your weapons back. Shane can't hold your property."

"I know that. I'm still pissed off. It's your duty as my best friend to be outraged with me."

"I'm outraged!" I snarled. "That bastard!"

"Thank you," Andrea said.

That relationship, as well as Kate's with her adopted daughter Julie, makes up the real spine of the book, not the fights or the detection, enjoyable as those are. A hazard to Julie gets as much narrative time as the threat to the city, and that feels right.

And it doesn't hurt that Andrews often gets just the right phrase:

The elevator vomited us up into a hallway lined with criminally luxurious carpet.

Followed by Magic Rises, but there are a bunch of side stories before we get there.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Previous in series: Magic Dreams | Series: Kate Daniels | Next in series: Magic Tests

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1