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

Grave Peril

This review contains spoilers. 

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

91476

  • Genre : Urban Fantasy
  • Date Started :  July 6, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 9, 2015

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

This book in the Dresden Files series is about the spirit world crossing over into our world, Vampire politics and old enemies. This book is not as exciting as the first two but it’s still enjoyable. I did feel a little out of sorts when the book started though. I felt like I missed a few chapters and kept asking myself, who is this guy with Dresden? Were we supposed to know him or something? The whole book is based of an event that we were not there for. Little hints here and there about a case Dresden, Michael and Murphy and her agents worked. The entire book felt like I had missed out on something important. This really frustrated me.

So quick run down of the book. Susan and Dresden are apparently in a committed relationship. Bad guy breaks part of the spirit world while trying to take out people close to Dresden. Dresden frantically attempts to stop the bad guy before his friends are killed. Dresden goes into the spirit world to chase a ghost and runs into his grandmother/godmother, who wants to turn him into one of her dogs. Dresden attends the Red Courts ball with Michael to see if they can catch the person trying to kill people.  Huge big bad fight happens at the party, Susan shows up and annoys the hell out of me and we meet Thomas. Susan is bitten and then the bad guy makes a Dresden suit and wears it around to terrorize people and cause more problems for Dresden. The bad guy is defeated and Susan moves away.

Another quick and entertaining read. While the story was not the best and hard to follow at times, Butcher writes some fantastic characters and some not so great ones. Michael, a true Man of God, made me uncomfortable. I don’t do well around religious talk and it’s probably just me but his lectures to Dresden made me uncomfortable. If I met this man in real life, I would think he was nuts. Dresden handles him fantastically though. Towards the end of the book, he started to grow on me. Susan who is Dresden’s girlfriend is one of the characters that I can’t stand. I’m totally supportive of ambitious woman. I’m not supportive of woman who seem like they would do anything for a story. Every time Dresden and Susan talked I felt like she just wanted a story and not to mention what an idiot she is. I mean come on, why would you go to a Vampire’s party, uninvited and sneak in? Do you want to get yourself killed? I just don’t get what Dresden sees in her. The “love” they talk about is all talk and no substance. I’m glad she moved away. My last person I want to mention is Thomas and I loved him. Yes he is a vampire and I hope he does not become a totally asshole. I’d like to see and hear more from Thomas in later books.

I enjoyed Dresden in this one. His sense of humor makes me laugh and while his fighting style can sometimes bug me, his personality makes up for it. Attending the Vampire Custom party as a cheesy vampire, that’s pretty great. Overall the story was engaging and entertaining if not a little confusing. I don’t think I’d read this story again but I definitely look forward to reading the next book in the series. I’m giving Grave Peril by Jim Butcher a solid 3 stars.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating  Stars