Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Magic Breaks
Author:   Ilona Andrews
Series:  Kate Daniels 7
Publisher:  Ace, July 29, 2014
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:   $25.95 (print)
ISBN:  9780425256220 (print)
Review Copy:   ARC provided by the Publisher

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

**Includes the bonus Kate Daniels story Magic Tests**

Melanie's Thoughts

Magic Breaks is a topsy turvy love story. It's a story of romantic love, parental love, love felt for friends and family but more importantly it is a story of the love of power. Kate finds herself pulled in almost every direction with a killer to track down, the inevitable politics of the pack and Hugh on her doorstep bringing her closer and closer to her overlord of a father, Roland. Curran has left Atlanta on another mission and his absence is felt in almost trial Kate has to face. Her love for him is palatable on every page. Hugh is pursuing Kate for the power she represents and how her capture will demonstrate his value to his boss Roland. The man himself, Roland takes centre stage in this the 7th book of the series. Kate's whole life has been about avoiding her father but that time has ended as she comes face to face with the god-like tyrant who has the ability to destroy everything and everyone Kate has grown to love. It's not all hearts and roses as Kate does have a murder to solve and the Pack to save. Needless to say a lot happens in this book but I don't want to give too much away.

Andrew's has effectively re-booted the Kate Daniels series with book 7, Magic Breaks. The format of the story is different and the plot takes so many unexpected turns it was like wearing a blindfold on a roller coaster. I never knew where Andrews' was going to take Kate next. It made for a very exciting read and has made me start to look forward to book 8, even though it's release is over a year away. In many ways this book seems like the end of series and you could almost be fooled into thinking it was if I didn't already know the authors have been contracted for 3 more books. It is very much a book of endings and new beginnings and not just for the characters. Andrews' also slightly changes the format of the book. They added two features to this book that I have mixed feelings about - one was a diary piece written by Barabas and the other was a 'Who's Who'. The diary I am a bit ambivalent about as I am a loyal fan and didn't need the back story but this gives the opportunity for new readers to catch up on what has been happening over the last few books. I thought the 'Who's Who' gave to much away as then I knew exactly who was going to feature in the plot. Having said that I like the fact that Andrews' decided to keep the format fresh and not stick to a formula.

I felt that Andrews focused much more on characterisation in this instalment of the series. I really liked the further development of Gastek and Kate's relationship and the story of how he became a navigator. More was divulged about Hugh and I think he is one best villains around. He is makes me want to jump inside the page and give him a nice hard slap. Roland almost comes across as a pussy cat in comparison to Hugh but I am sure that Roland is just biding his time before he turns super evil. In fact, this instalment has bad guys galore. I am sure that there was a secret competition happening in Atlanta over who could be the meanest to the feisty heroine, Kate.

I could spend much longer explaining how much I enjoyed Magic Breaks but that would be too spoilery and the one of the best things about this book are all the surprises in store for my favourite characters. This is a great book and yet another in a series that keeps delivering excellent characterisation, exciting action and a plot that keeps you gripped from the first word until the last. A definite must read.


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