Kate Daniels, from Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series, exists in a world that has gone through a magic apocalypse. Kate is an agent of the Order of Merciful Aid, a Mercenary Guild member, and a fearless kick-ass woman all around.
The world she lives in is one in which humans have pushed the technological progress too far; magic has returned with a vengeance, and the balance between Magic and Technologic is at best extremely volatile and can be best explained by the creators (Ilona and Andrew Gordon are the writing team behind Ilona Andrews) themselves:
“It comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail.”
It’s an unpredictable, screwed-up world, where unthinking zombie-like Vampires, a wide array of different types of shifters, such as werebears and werehyenas, and many other such supernatural players try to co-exist the best way possible without constantly being at each other’s throats.
Peaceful co-existence is basically an unattainable concept when you have creepy and violent creatures left and right; there’s the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth who pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds, a large variety of shape-shifters, all led by the King of the Beasts, Curran Lennart, who is awfully observant and shrewd and tries to use diplomacy and intimidation, breaking into violence only as last resort or when his patience has run its course. Curran moves quietly and enjoys sneaking up on Kate. Their obvious chemistry is something that grabs readers’ attention from the get-go. I mean, how can you not stop and pay attention when you have Kate fearlessly saying to the Beast Lord, the most powerful shifter and Lion shifter:
”Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...“—Magic Bites
The budding and many times antagonistic relationship between Kate and Curran is definitely one of the main storylines of this action-packed and utterly compelling series.
I turned to leave and paused before the gap in the ruined wall. ”One last thing, Your Majesty. I’d like a name I can put into my report, something shorter than typing out ’The Leader of the Southern Shapechanger Faction.’ What should I call you?“
I rolled my eyes.
He shrugged. ”It’s short.“ —Magic Bites
When talking about the main character and narrator of this story, Ilona and Gordon Andrews put it best when they say:
“Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But sometimes even trained killers make friends and fall in love, and when the universe tries to kick them in the face, they kick back.”
Kate’s Atlanta is full of extraordinary characters, all of which make this incredible world come to life. One of the things that keeps me on my toes and impatiently waiting for the next installment is Ilona and Gordon’s sense of humor, despite the darkest aspects of the novels. I mean, for the most part, Kate’s world is not a rainbow and sunshine one, but a world full of destruction, violence and instability. The authors’ ability to lighten things up with Kate’s sarcasm and attitude along with characters like Jim, Andrea and Julie, who help bring this potentially too somber world into the light, is nothing short of brilliance in my opinion.
I sat at a table in my shadowy kitchen, staring down a bottle of Boone’s Farm
Hard Lemonade, when a magic fluctuation hit. My wards shivered and died, leaving my home stripped of its defenses. The TV flared into life, unnaturally loud in the empty house. I raised my eyebrow at the bottle and bet it that another urgent bulletin was on.
The bottle lost.
”Urgent bulletin!“ Margaret Chang announced. ”The Attorney General advises all citizens that any attempt at summoning or other activities resulting in the appearance of a supernaturally powerful being can be hazardous to yourself and to other citizens.“
”No shit," I told the bottle.—Magic Bites
The authors’ ability to lighten things up with Kate’s sarcasm and attitude with characters like Jim, Andrea and Julie help bring this potentially too somber world into the light—nothing short of brilliant, in my opinion.
A crumbling world stuck between Magic and Technology, a protagonist who lives in battle along with her practically sentient sword, Slayer, amazing secondary characters and adventures that keep you glued to the page from start to finish, what else could you ask for in an Urban Fantasy series?
Next week Magic Slays, the newest installment in the Kate Daniels series, comes out, and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on it and swallow it whole. Especially after the events in the previous book, Magic Bleeds. Kate and Curran’s lives have altered drastically and Magic Slays promises even more changes and more mind-blowing action and adventure.
Larissa Benoliel blogs at Larissa’s Bookish Life and is a Brazilian-Israeli living in Rio de Janeiro. She loves to read Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance. If she’s not online, she’s reading. Usually it’s both.