Review & Giveaway: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews (Book Signing)

Posted August 21st, 2013 in book review, Giveaway / 77 comments


Kate Daniels Series #6

by Ilona Andrews

Publisher: Ace (July 30, 2013)
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Adult
Format: Paperback (355 pages)
Source: Purchased
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★★ ★ (6 stars)

Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…

At A Glance
You know that feeling when you finish a f**king amazing book and you just sit there, shivering from your bookgasm, basking in the giddy high of fiction art? Yeah, Magic Rises was better than that.

The Good
If you haven’t read this series by now, something is wrong with you (just kidding *cough* but not really *cough*) But seriously, anyone who knows me, knows that the Kate Daniels series is my FAVORITE series of all time. When I first got into reading, urban fantasy was my choice of drug, and that has never changed. And that’s all because of Ilona Andrews (a married writing duo, but I will refer to them as one person for the sake of this review). Ilona is spot on in everything that makes fiction so damn enjoyable: the humor, the action, and pacing, the detailed plots and storylines, the descriptions, and the supernatural aspects. They are all flawless. And Magic Rises is another example of perfection.

I want to get this out now, even if you are not a huge fan of urban fantasy, please, please try the first two books of this series (some say they really get into it by the second book). Not one person who I have recommended this series to has been disappointed. They have all come back with 4 and 5 star ratings for every book. You cannot go your whole life without at least trying this series out. It would be a travesty.

Okay, okay, on to the review. I couldn’t devour this book fast enough. I had a pit in my stomach the whole time, stressing out that Kate and Curran were walking into a trap, and I loved every minute of it. The frightening parts seem a little more bearable knowing that Kate and Curran are so capable of taking care of themselves and others. And they are smart, they know it’s a trap, they are just that confident. Total badasses, right?

I care about these characters like they are my family. I know it’s weird, but I can’t help it. They feel so real to me. I think it’s the dialogue. Ilona is the all-star in writing dialogue. It flows so naturally and is packed with wit, sarcasm, and sincerity. I dare you to read this book without laughing and cracking a smile every page. I straight up laughed out loud throughout all of Magic Rises. Even during the serious parts, Ilona doesn’t hold back even then.

OMG, the action. I don’t even know what to say. It’s so real, it’s so detailed, it’s so f**king awesome. No one writes action like Ilona does. It’s art the way she does it. You can tell she does extensive research to make sure all the movements, sword swipes, and offensive and defensive strikes are realistic and factual.

The background detail on supernatural creatures is beyond even my expectations. The mythology is so well organized and integrated into Magic Rises I am still speechless. It blows my mind how in-depth Ilona goes when it comes to the history of every creature.

Kate is still the badassiest badass ever made into being. She is really taken on a rollercoaster ride of f**kedupness in Magic Rises. She is hit hard as more shapeshifter children turn loup (crazy, mindless monsters). She can’t help but think that if she ever had children with Curran, this might be their fate. And even though the cure requires Kate, Curran, and the team to walk into a trap, they do it anyway. Kate would do anything for her pack. Even face pure evil. And she does. I love Kate’s commitment and love for Curran and his pack. Even when they don’t always show it back, she takes her responsibilities to keep them safe seriously. But I also love the Kate who needs to fight, to cause pain, to kill. Kate’s vicious side is what makes her so fearless and strong. Without this scary side of her, she would have never survived the world she lives in. We see a lot of different side’s of Kate in Magic Rises, and I loved every one of them. Especially jealous Kate. Oh yeah, that made for so much fun.

Curran scared me a bit in this book. He does some crazy things, but I never really doubted him. He’s still my Beast Lord. Uh, I mean Kate’s Beast Lord. Yeah, that’s what I meant. *looks around for any signs of Kate* Hey, that bitch is scary, don’t judge. The rest of the gang made an appearance and they were all wonderful, just like I remembered them. Derek is walking a fine line though. I am worried for his future. I hope something good happens to him soon. And, I have to warn you guys. An important character dies in Magic Rises. Some of you are going to be mad. Their death will change a lot of things. Personally, I like when authors kill off important characters. I like the change up. I was sad, but honestly, there is no love lost between me and this character. But I know some of you will be devastated.

I could go on and on about this book. But I think you got the hint. Read this series, read this book, become obsessed with Ilona Andrews like the rest of us.

The Bad
That’s blasphemy just hinting anything was wrong with this book.

The Snuggly
Oh jeeze, Curran and Kate are put through the ringer in this book. It was so hard for me to watch Kate struggle with what was going on with Curran. She reminds me a lot of myself, by shutting down emotionally when people mess or play with her feelings. So I totally got where she was coming from, her reactions made perfect sense to me. But no matter what, I will always love Kate and Curran because I know that they will always end up together. There is literally no better “made for each other” couple out there in the world of fiction. They are soulmates in ever sense of the word.

There is a pretty hot sex scene or two that will get your blood boiling. Nothing over the top though. Personally, I want more details, but that’s because I have no limits when it comes to Curran. He should be mine. I want to know every inch of his body.

Final Thoughts
I gave Magic Rises my special 6 stars because it was perfection from beginning to end. Which reminds me, the ending was perfect, a little sad, but mostly happy. In my eyes, Ilona Andrews can do no wrong because she is consistent in her awesomeness. You can tell this author never gets tired of her work. She has found her calling. If that doesn’t make you want to read this book, I don’t know what will. Extremely recommended.

“You’re taking a nap? Come on, Kate, I need you for this fight. Stop lying around.”
“You must think you’re funny.”
“Just saying, you have to pull your own weight. A hot body and flirting will only get you so far.”
“Everything I do, I learned from you, boy toy.”
“Boy toy?” Curran asked.
“Would you prefer man candy?”

“Aha! So I’m not crazy.”
“You are most definitely crazy,” Derek said. “But in a deranged, endearing way.”

“Five minutes later, we were rolling around on the helipad as he tried to muscle his way out of my armlock, after slamming me onto the helipad.
“I finally realized the source of your mutual attraction,” Saiman said, his voice dry.
I looked up. He was standing a few feet away.
“Do enlighten us.” Curran tried to roll into me to break the lock. Oh no you don’t.
“You both think violence is foreplay.”  

“One time I was dying in a cage inside a palace that was flying over a magic jungle. And some idiot went in there, chased the palace down, fought his way through hundreds of rakshasas, and rescued me.”
“I remember,” he said.
“That’s when I realized you loved me,” I said. “I was in the cage and I heard you roar.”

“Are you hungry, baby?” Curran asked.
“I think we should go to dinner.”
“Great idea.”
“What are you going to wear?”
“My badass face.”
“Good choice,” he said.” 

“Outside the windows the day was bright: golden sunshine, blue sky, pleasant wind … I wanted to punch the happy day in the face, grab it by the hair, and beat it until it told me what the hell it was so happy about.”  

Kate Daniels Series (My Reviews):
Book #1: Magic Bites
Book #2: Magic Burns
Book #3: Magic Strikes
Book #4: Magic Bleeds
Book #5: Magic Slays
Book #6: Magic Rises

Book Signing & Giveaway

I went to the Ilona Andrews book signing on August 3rd at San Diego’s Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Ilona Andrews, who’s really Ilona and Gordon, a married writing duo, were the most kind, hilarious, and honest authors I have ever met. There was nonstop laughter during the whole Q&A. I got all 13 books from them signed.


While I was at the book signing, I bought an extra copy of Magic Rises and got it signed for a very lucky winner. So enter below for a chance to win this awesome prize. Open internationally. Details on the rafflecopter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

book review, Giveaway

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77 Responses to “Review & Giveaway: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews (Book Signing)”

  1. miki

    I absolutely love this series and you are so lucky to have met Ilona and Gordon ( i hope they come in europe one day but since the french publisher wants to stop the translation it’s not likely ç_ç)

    a signed copy would be fabulous thank you!!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Oh no, well I hope they come anyway. You never know. I thought they would never come to where I live because I haven’t ever seem them schedule a tour down here. But they did. 🙂

  2. Trakena Prevost

    Wow…this is the first I’ve heard of this series, so forgive my ignorance. I’ll pick it up right this minute via B&N online =). This was a really great review. I can definitely feel your passion for this story and these characters fly at me, which prompted me to give the series a shot. I’ll let you know what I think!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      🙂 So happy to hear it. I don’t think it’s possible for you to be disappointed. I can’t wait to see what you think though. I hope you find the same passion for this series.

  3. Elisa

    I just finished Magic Rises last night – I agree with everything you said and everyone should read these books, especially anyone who says they like urban fantasy!
    I had a feeling someone died in this book, and I think Ilona said that on her blog, but I thought it would be someone else. It will definitely shift things around for the next one.
    I am so jealous you met Ilona and Gordon, I was coming home from vacation that day or I would have been there too! They will hopefully make it to Mysterious Galaxy again, I know they have been there in the past. Awesome review and super wonderful giveaway!!!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Have they been there before? I can’t believe I missed them. I will probably go again when they come out again. I just love them too much. So happy you loved this one. I actually saw the death coming a mile away, which is weird since I am usually oblivious to those things, lol. Were you upset by it?

  4. Stephanie Fredrick

    I am so jealous right now. I want to meet the two of them badly. Such a great couple that compliment each other. Love the series it’s in my top 3 favorites. I agree with the review. Everyone should read this series, I don’t care what type of books you like. Great review and giveaway as always. 🙂

    • Jennifer Bielman

      hehe, right?? Doesn’t matter if you are a romance lover or sc-fi lover, read this series and you will love urban fantasy. So happy to find another obsessed fan.

  5. Missdevora

    I loved your review, and I agree with you: everyone should read the KD series! I live in Spain and it’s very difficult to meet ones fav author(s)…I’m glad you did and you thought about us with such a great gift for your super awesome giveaway 😀

  6. Irene Jackson

    You are so lucky to have gone to a signing and met them , they sound so nice. If they ever come over to the UK I will be over the moon. I love this series and it just keeps getting better.

  7. Eva Millien

    I love this series and your review! Kate Daniels is awesome. And you are AWESOME! Thanks for sharing your bounty. evamillien at gmail dot com

  8. Book Swoon

    Okay-I can totally tell you’re a Kate Daniels and Curran (the Beast Lord) fan. I LOVE this series, and I agree with all the great things you have to say about it. I’m a little behind in the series, book four, but can’t wait to get caught up. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Jennifer Bielman

      OMG, in a way you are lucky because you get to experience so much book goodness by catching up.

      And yeah, I am a huge fan of Kate and Curran. I want to get a tattoo with the words Beast Lord on me. lol

  9. Jaclyn Canada

    Yes, yes, yes. I can’t wait to get to this one. Totally and completely excited for it now, especially after your 6 star review, and those excerpts are spectacular! I am wondering who bites the dust though. I don’t think I’ve wanted to win a giveaway this badly! Thank you so much for sharing the love of your awesome book signing. Love the pics and so thrilled you got to meet them. Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      LOL. You are going to die as you read this book. So much happens I am still stunned!!! I added so many quotes because I couldn’t even pick just a couple lol. That’s how awesome this book was.

  10. Miss. Lucinda Fountain

    I have herd so much about Ilona Andrews and how popular the books are, for this genre they stand-out a mile. I am hence really keen to discover this work, and so thank you for the book giveaway oportunity above. x

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Sometimes I still think they are small time and I am like the only one who loves them, but I forget how much popularity they have gained over the years.

  11. Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    Oh what a fabulous opportunity since I can’t imagine the authors will ever make it to Australia so I can get my own copies signed. Thanks for the giveaway and your review.

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

  12. Priscilla Pomeroy

    Love the quotes you gathered! I have been trying to get my library to get the rest of these books, they only have #1! Sad, I know, but hopefully they will see the light!

  13. Holly Bryan

    OH MY GOD I had this super long comment all typed out and was about to hit “publish” but clicked some other keys instead, ARGH!! And there it went. Sigh. Well, you might appreciate not having to read it after all since it was so long! 🙂

    Basically, I said that I love your passion for this series, and it clearly comes across that you love the books and that you’re genuine about it (as opposed to some reviews you read that claim to love a book and gush about it but you can kind of feel it’s just not quite “right”…). I LOVE that you got ALL 13 books signed by them!! Did they say anything about that?! Not that I think they would care, based on how you’ve described them, just curious if they were flattered that you brought your entire collection with you 😉 I love being around funny people, and I bet it was a blast to meet them. It was so generous of you to get an extra copy of Magic Rises, and get it signed!

    They sound like a very dynamic duo! I find it interesting that they are a team yet write under her name only, as opposed to choosing some pen name that is a combination of their names or else completely made up (thinking of, eg, Andre and Ann Aguirre writing together as A.A. Aguirre, etc).

    I am DEFINITELY going to pick up the first book from my library ASAP!! I have been meaning to start this series for some time, since it sounds exactly like the kind of books I love, and your review has provided that kick in the tush that I needed to just do it! I love urban fantasy, too, for the reasons you’ve already stated, mainly the mix of such great elements as kick-ass heroines (and heroes, but I mostly like the heroines in these books ;)), magical elements within our not-so-magical reality, action, HUMOR, etc. That’s one reason I love Suzanne Johnson’s Sentinels of New Orleans series, about which we’ve chatted a bit here on your blog. I’m interested to see if I end up being even MORE over the top on this series, since you started of kind of “meh” on Suzanne’s but ended up giving 4 stars on the 3rd book… if you’re giving this one SIX stars, who knows how many *I’d* end up giving it! 😀 Another series I wonder if you’ve read (indie/self-published but, IMHO, also tons of fun) is Shannon Mayer’s Rylee Adamson series. Have you read any of those? I admit I’ve only read the first, but I loved it so much I have paid full price for the next three books sight unseen! Pre-ordered, even! 🙂 It won’t have the… I don’t know how to put it, other than “professional quality,” though that’s not exactly right because it sounds mean or harsh, but hopefully you understand what I mean… anyway it won’t be quite on the same level for you as the Ilona Andrews books, I think, since they have high-level editors and publishers, BUT, I hope you’ll give them a try if you haven’t read them and see what you think. The first one is PRICELESS; there are 4 out now, and they are each only $3.

    Anyway, sorry that this ended up being a crazy-long comment after all!! I just can’t help myself, it seems 😉 Thanks again for reminding me I need to read this series ASAP!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      LOL I have had my long comment deleted so many times. Drives me crazy.

      Ilona and Gordon were totally cool. They have a policy that if you bring more than one book, you have to wait all the way in the back of the line to get the rest signed. Only because they want to get at least one book from everyone signed. I was first in line, so they said, the hell with it, and signed all my books anyways. I thought that was so cool.

      yeah, if you liked the Sentinel series, you are going to love this series. It’s 100 times better.

      I haven’t read that series you mentioned but I will for sure look it up. Love hearing about new amazing series.

      Love your long comments. 🙂

    • Holly Bryan

      Jennifer, I have another recommendation for you, if you haven’t already read it. I am almost done with the newest from Kelley Armstrong, OMENS, which is the first in a new series called The Cainsville Chronicles (or something like that). It’s set in the fictional – and very peculiar – town of Cainsville, Illinois, outside of Chicago. And it. is. AWESOME. I am having such a good time reading it. Check it out if you haven’t already!! It’s actually my first encounter with Armstrong’s writing, which I know is crazy, but if her other work is anything like this, I’m all in!

  14. Erika R

    Series are wonderful they make it where you can evolve along with the characters.. so I admit that I’m not great with cliffhangers cause well then I have to wait forrrever for another book to come out.. lol but alas I’m hooked.

  15. Denise Z

    I really like this series even though I have only read a couple of installments. I am so glad that you enjoyed it and that the quality of the story continues on. Thank you for sharing with us.

  16. Marcia

    Totally agree with your review. This book was by far the best one in a great series. Curran with his mane in a twist was one of the best roaring, raging, rock-smashing, boulder-throwing scenes ever!

  17. Lauren B

    Absolutely love this series and this book. I can’t believe how much retraint Kate showed throughout the book.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

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