Magic Strikes

This review contains spoilers.

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

 4345498

  • Genre : Urban Fantasy
  • Date Started :  July 22, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 23, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website. This is the 3rd book in the Kate Daniel Series.

I am in love with this series and I’m finding it incredibly hard to not read ahead of my book club. Everything about this series has me hooked and ready for more. I’m usually that person who would skim the fighting scenes but not in this book. There is so much action in this book and it flows well. This book is about Kate getting pulled into a world of underground arena/gladiator style fighting.You read that correctly, gladiator style fighting, and apparently this is not her first time in this style of fight.

Much to Kate’s frustration she finds herself caring for a lot of people. I don’t mean caring for a sickly relative, I mean friends. Kate’s always been told to trust only herself and to not make friends. This is a constant struggle for Kate, especially as her bond grows with Andrea, Derek and the pack. Kate has a big heart, she can’t help it. So when she gets a call to help with a pack death and is told they don’t need her help, she is slightly uneasy. It’s not her job and if they needed help they would ask. After one of the longest days ever, she goes home and is in fairly good spirits because she knows she has 1 slice of pie left. Kate’s super excited about the pie, it’s sort of hilarious.

Kate gets a call from Saiman, informing her that Derek broke into his house. It’s Kate to the rescue and she finds out that Derek is after tickets to the Midnight Games. Kate negotiates Derek’s release but is then pulled into going with Saiman to the games to help him evaluate a team competing. Derek uses this chance to ask Kate to give someone at the games a note, a girl someone. Kate is suspicious but thinks Derek just has a crush on some girl.

During the first night at the games, Kate learns that the girl Derek is looking for wants to leave the cult/group she joined, the same group that Saiman wanted Kate to evaluate. The girl will give the pack information if they help her escape. Kate reads the note after the girl throws it away and discovers that Derek has arranged a spot to meet. Too bad the girl turns on him and Derek is left outside one of the packs properties and is severely beaten. It’s really bad and it made me feel so strongly for this kid and so much anger to the ones who hurt him. Derek may act like a man but before this incident, he was just a teenage smart ass with lots of confidence.

Jim and his group of guards hide Derek and the other bodies from Curran. Derek is in bad shape and they think he might go loup. Kate learns that the pack has been hiding it all from Curran. Turns out that Curran’s rule number 1 is the pack is forbidden from participating in the Midnight games after what happened when he took over. Jim has been investigating and has an inside man in the games and thought Curran would not understand.

Things are super tense and Kate, because she is awesome, makes a comment to Curran telling him that her and Jim are running away together. Of course, Curran gets pissed and it’s hilarious. The tension between Kate and Curran was fantastic in this book. Curran and Kate make a bet, if he can find her and the pack members before the pack grace period is up, she has to cook him dinner, naked. So much tension! Curran does find them, of course but she traps him in a loup cage and tells Julie not to let him out before the hour is up.

The pack wants revenge on the group that has been killing pack members so Jim, a few pack members, Kate and Saiman entering the Midnight Games. Lot of great fighting scenes happen when they are at the games. We discover Saiman’s true form, get to see Jim, Derek, Kate, Andrea, Raphael and Dali (a clumsy partially blind tiger) fight together. Shit hits the fan though when Curran, Mohan and Aunt B. show up at the Games. Curran replaces Saiman on the team and they end up kicking major butt.

We end up learning that they are dealing with mythological figures from India, who somehow have tricked M-scanners to think they are human. The bad guys in this book eat the pack members they take and want to steal the prize gem from the Midnight Games. This gem can cause the shifters to not shift and they want to use it to destroy the pack. We find out a little more about Roland and how he is connected to this group of mythological creatures and how the pack is growing too large for Roland to ignore anymore. We also learn Kate’s big secret and exactly why she is so worried about her blood. She shatters a weapon that can only be destroyed by Roland himself, which basically announces who she is.

Everything that happens to Derek in this book made my heart melt and you know his character has been forever changed. Julie’s school experience and how Kate handles what the kid is going through is completely heart warming. And now we just need to wait to see how Kate and Curran’s naked dinner turns out. Oh wait, I think Curran said she could wear underwear that he picks out.

This book had me hooked. We learned so much and experienced a lot of important story building events.  It was really hard not reading ahead so I’m giving this book 5 stars. I would read it again and again and it only reinforces my love for all things Kate Daniels.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 5 Stars

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Open When Letters

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OPEN WHEN…You miss home – INSIDE : 1. Put on rain boots 2. Pay too much for a chai 3. Find traffic and sit in it. ENJOY!

I’m sure you have heard about Open When letters. If you have not, they are a great low cost going away gift for friends or family members. I found a few pictures on Pinterest about them and thought it would be a great idea for one of my book club friends, S, who is moving away.

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OPEN WHEN…When you need a vacation – INSIDE : Hop into a dirigible, but don’t forget the chicken.

I’ve been trying to think of a great going away gift for her. She has been with the group for about 3 years and we are sad to see her leave. She’s changing professions and moving to an island so we are not THAT sad for her but I wanted a way to show her we will miss her. We are really going to miss her, she is constantly upbeat and wonderful.

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OPEN WHEN….It’s the first day at your new job – INSIDE: At least you aren’t the Dark Arts teacher, they never last the year…You’ll be great! Have Fun!

I came up with a few ideas for the envelopes and inside but wanted the whole book club to participate. I wanted it to be a group effort and I’m glad I did because I got some great cards out of the group. On Friday during book discussions I handed out note cards, envelopes, and pens. S had to miss the meeting so it was the perfect opportunity to complete this project. We wanted the cards to reflect some of the books we had read and you’ll see examples from Harry Potter (JK Rowling), Finishing School (Gail Carriger), Cat and Bones Night Huntress (Jeaniene Frost), Anita Blake (Laurell K. Hamilton), Kate Daniels (Ilona Andrews), Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs), October Daye (Seanan McGuire), and Chicagoland Vampires (Chloe Neill). Here are some of the ones we came up with, from our book club to her when she moves away.

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S absolutely loved the open when letters and even cried.

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

Now that I’m starting to post my Minimalism changes I’ve added a new page under Projects! Check it out.

Magic Burns

This review contains spoilers. 

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

1811543

  • Genre : Urban Fantasy – Supernatural – Paranormal
  • Date Started :  April 30, 2015
  • Date Finished : April 30, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website.

I’ve read this series before and am even more in love with it the 2nd time around.

This book starts off with Jim asking for back up on a Mercenary Guild gig. Towards the end of this gig, that has spun out of control, Jim gets called away on pack business and their mark is killed. Kate is forced to deal with the body and the object they were supposed to retrieve. She needs both to get the bounty and ends up cutting the head off the guy and grabbing the orb thing. Typical Kate Daniels, fast thinking and resourceful.

After dropping off her bounty, Derek, her amazing sidekick/babysitter makes a pretty simple request from the pack. The pack needs some help retrieving maps that were stolen from them. Sounds pretty simple and straight forward right? If you think about it, not so much. Even Kate questions how something like maps could be stolen from the pack, turns out the thief just disappears. Since Kate has followed in her old guardian Greg’s footsteps and has the honor of being friend of the pack, she feels obligated to help. Regardless of how much she wants to stay away from the pack and their leader Curran, she’s there to help. This straight forward task ends up putting Kate in the middle of a huge battle that could destroy Atlanta and with no one else there to help, it’s up to Kate.

After some investigating and tracking down clues, Kate finds herself tracking the same guy who killed her earlier bounty, a bowman named Bran. Turns out witches who worship Morrigan had their cauldron, a VERY special cauldron stolen from them by Morrigan’s greatest enemy. Bran is there to find the cauldron and while he is a pretty cool character, he’s also pretty secretive for 75% of the book. The enemy that stole the cauldron is also looking for one more thing and Kate keeps getting in their way. Things happen and they find what they are looking for. There is a magical dome over a part of Atlanta and the bad guys are filling it with an army. Kate, the witches and the pack defend the city in a bloody and brutal battle.

A lot happens in this book and we get to meet a few new characters. We learn more about the magic/tech issues going on. We learn that every 7 years there is a flare and that makes things go wonky for a while. I thought it was interesting that during these flares, the people shut down their operations. Learning about how the vampires are navigated was interesting as well. Made me think of a role playing game but way cooler.

We also get to meet Andrea who works for the order and is a beastkin. Her father was a hyenawere. When Andrea is injured we get to meet Clan Hyena. We also meet Red and Julie, Red is a power hungry jerk so I won’t talk about him. He gets what he deserves but you need to read the book to find out more. Julie is essentially an orphan that Kate is forced to take guardianship of. While I found it odd that Kate would form a bond so quickly with the kid, I loved Kate’s protectiveness of Julie. I’m assuming this bond is due to Kate’s own lack of a mother and her ability to be conscious of other people’s feelings. Ok so I just really like Kate Daniels. I love her wit, her bravado, her strength and her attitude. If I had a fictional hero it would be Kate. Speaking of Kate’s attitude, we get more banter, fighting and tension filled goodness from her and Curran. I’m reading this series again for my book club and it’s incredible hard to stop myself from reading the next book.

Overall this series has to be one of the most enjoyable series and author’s I’ve read. You get great characters, a growing and evolving world, plots that engage and an overall story that keeps you hooked.

I’m giving Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews a 5 star.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 5 Stars