Thursday, 28 October 2010

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bleeds is the fourh book in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. And I would suggest starting at the beginning of the series and reading the previous books before you check this one out (if you haven't done so already). Mainly because so much of what is here builds on what has happened before. And whilst you could probably work out what's happening from the backstory I really think you'd be missing out on so many layers and subtle little things.

Book 4 could be subtitled - Magic Bleeds - The Book Where the Shit Really Hits the Fan and Everything Changes. In some ways it's a bridging book because at the end of this one Kate's situation is totally different from what it was at page 1. But it's such a well written story as well, not always the case with a bridging book. Some major plot threads are tied up, whilst at the same time a whole new bag of worms is opened. (lol sorry for the mixed metaphors).

It starts off simply enough, Kate goes to investigate a fight at a bar and things rapidly spiral into chaos from there. Kate will be up against the biggest bad she's had to face yet and if that weren't enough her relationship with Curran has hit breaking point.

If you like urban fantasy and you're not reading this series, I urge you to give it a try. It's definitely in my top five favourites and Kate Daniel's is in my top five UF heroines. It's all to do with the character of Kate. At turns vulnerable, tough, sarcastic, best friend and worst enemy.

I think one of the things I like most about this book is that so many things are resolved. Often when you read series, you can end up feeling like things are being dragged out for the sake of it. But that is not the case here. Two major plot arcs are - resolved is perhaps the wrong word - dealt with, but both of them will have repercussions.

The dialogue as always is brilliantly written and incredibly quotable. Most especially the banter between Curran and Kate. Their courtship has to be read to be believed.
His face was peaceful. I've never seen him so relaxed. It was as if someone had lifted a huge weight off those muscled shoulders.
And dumped all of it on me.
I made a comment in my review of the first book in the series about Curran being a bit of a git. He blamed Kate for something that in fact he had done. And this - I'm never wrong - attitude of his is actually addressed in this book. I really liked that. I like it when authors can keep all of their metaphorical balls in the air and know exactly where they are. I like it when things are not forgotten.

Speaking of which p.126 Saiman's comment to Kate. I can't wait to find out what that means. It's almost like it's mentioned in passing. But it feels important and hopefully will be cropping up in a future book.

There is one more character introduced here - the attack poodle. Usually (as you know) I'm not a huge fan of animal companions in urban fantasy. But the poodle has a couple of things going for him - 1) he's not a ferret 2) he's not anthropomorphized but still has a character all of his own 3) he reminds me a little bit of my dog (the attack shih tzu).

Kate Daniel's fans probably already have this one on their book shelves. But for anyone who hasn't read the series and who likes urban fantasy with a kick ass heroine, I highly recommend starting with Magic Bites and not stopping until you've caught up with the rest of us.


Christine said...

Thanks for this thorough review, Lesley. I like when authors remember to address "loose ends" or "character errors" or whatever you want to call them from earlier books, too.

I'm up to this one in the series, but haven't gotten the chance to pick it up yet. Now that I've been seeing the cover for the next one around the blogosphere and reading this review... I'm feeling inspired to pick it up.

LesleyW said...

Christine - you're welcome. Pick it up, pick it up! lol. I kind of thought Curran being an ass in book1 had been forgotten about, but I'm very glad it was mentioned in this book.