Saturday, August 15, 2015

"Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8)" by Ilona Andrews

This review features a book that is the eighth in the Kate Daniels series, and may have spoilers for those who have not read the first seven books of the series. My review of the first book can be found here.

I spoiled myself and bought Magic Shifts on its release day, since I haven't bought any fresh-off-the-presses books this year. It actually took me by surprise that it was available because I hadn't quite left my 'it's July' state of mind.

First off, I was trying to make this last, because the next Kate Daniels book is roughly a year away, but my book appetite had other ideas. I gobbled it up in two days, not even trying to stop after each chapter and read another book. Obviously this means it's as well paced as previous books, which also didn't stay me very long. It's difficult to pace yourself when the lives of the characters you love are at stake.

The Plot (As Seen on Goodreads):
'After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.
'So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.
'An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…'

We get to see a little more of one of my favorite characters, Saiman, in this book but his scenes are shorter than I wanted. The Pack is also now behind the scenes- since Kate and Curran left the throne (as it were) in the previous book. This changes a lot of the elements in the series- previously all their actions had to be approved by the Pack before they could actually act. Now they can do whatever they want- but still reap the consequences for themselves.

Kate, Curran, Julie, and Roland all naturally steal the show in this book. Kate has a natural distrust of her father due to all his actions have put her through, though he acts every bit the kindly old man in his appearance. To be honest, he gives me the creeps, but he still brings a lot of fun moments to this book. Curran is surprisingly the same, even without his title to back him, but he's more invested in Kate than he's ever been before. And Julie- you see more of her than Saiman or my other favorites, but she's growing on me. I love that she still plays a role in the series- a lot of authors discard the helpless orphans on someone else, noting that their hero/heroine is too 'dangerous' to have a kid. Yeah, well things happen, authors. And sometimes you can't just conveniently pass them off to Aunt Suzie.

One of my favorite quotes:

"Okay," Juke said. "Your horse is a donkey, your poodle is a giant wolf breed, and your boyfriend is whatever the hell he is. You have problems."
               ~Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews, 48% Kindle edition

Magic Shifts was an exceptional addition to the series- but it didn't hit me quite as hard as Magic Rises or Magic Breaks, despite lots of drama still going on. Yes, I still love the characters (perhaps even more) and the action was well-packed, but I always need an emotional punch in the gut to tip it up to five stars, and this one just didn't quite do it. I obviously still recommend it, although you may want to pace yourself on this one better than I was able to, as I have a long wait ahead of me.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars for an exceptional book that didn't quite hit me as hard as the previous two.

Content: Ages 18+ for the usual suspects in the Kate Daniels series.

Page Count: 342 pages

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