Book #5 in the Kate Daniels Series
by Ilona Andrews
Published: June 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 308 (paperback)
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate.
So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price . . .
First, let’s get this straight. If this was any other author or series, this book would have received a five-star rating. But since this is Ilona Andrews, I have to rate her on a higher scale. Based on her usual work, I have to give “Magic Slays” four stars. But, alas, this is the good section. So let’s get to it.
This book had another feel to it compared to the others. Kate steps aside from the physical ringer she so often visits and jumps into an emotional one instead. The person she often relied on growing up was not the man Kate once thought. And his lies are only the beginning of the new revelations Kate is introduced to in Magic Slays.
But on the up-side, Kate and Curran are finally settling down on this whole mate thing. It is not a perfect coupling, but they find ways to make it work, and no one can doubt how much they both love each other. They’re both vulnerable and both are willing to take a chance. They fight with passion, make-up in naughty ways, and still verbally spare with the dry wit we all love. How much Kate’s life has altered since moving into the Keep with her Beast Lord is astounding. She has a new job, a new role, and a new family. But taking care of each one can be tricky.
Kate, of course, is as snarky and out-spoken as ever. She brings comic relief with ease while the world around her is falling apart.
The situation with Julie is heart-breaking, and it gave us a glimpse of Kate’s maternal side. And Kate’s fierce loyalty rears its head again when Andrea returns from a two-month disappearing act.
There were many fun, new characters introduced in this book. Some you fall in love with immediately, other’s you hate just as fast. The plot was interesting and I couldn’t help but sit on the edge of my seat as Kate slowly connects the dots between the strange events occurring in the city with her complicated investigation.
Introduction with new characters is always welcome, but too many just becomes annoying. It was like Magic Slays had a new cast of characters so the old ones got pushed to the side. I missed the secondary characters I have grown to love, and wished they had bigger roles in this book. If Andrews wanted to bring in new blood, she needed to do so gradually, not in one book.
Though the new revelations of Kate’s past were very interesting, I felt like the action got pushed into the last hundred pages of the book because of it. Yes, exposing Kate’s more emotional side and enriching her character is all fine and dandy, but I felt like we lost her for a bit in the middle. Fortunately, her old self was back by the end, and she brought some scary magic with her.
There are definitely intimate moments, and a very short and non-graphic sex scene but no actual detailed sex scenes.
I did enjoy Magic Slays. The new revelations and building relationship between Kate and Curran really made this book. The plot was intriguing and kept me guessing. The bevy of new characters left me wanting to see my old pals from the books before. And though there was action throughout the novel, the truly gritty fighting was saved for the last third of the book. I would still highly recommend both this book and series to lovers of Urban Fantasy.