Monday, February 22, 2016

Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels, Book 8
Publisher: Ace
Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9780425270684
Paperback Release Date: February 23, 2016
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Ilona Andrews Reading Order

Magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta—and each crest leaves danger in its wake…

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, Kate and Curran know that separating from the Pack completely is a process that will take time.

But when they learn that their friend Eduardo has gone missing, Kate and Curran shift their focus to investigate his disappearance. As they dig further into the merc’s business, they discover that the Mercenary Guild has gone to hell and that Eduardo’s recent assignments are connected in the most sinister way…

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.

Magic Shifts is a gripping, high-energy, fascinating read the likes of which only the dynamic writing team that is Ilona Andrews can deliver. Fans of the Kate Daniels series have come to expect an exciting, well-crafted, humorous, and unique adventure with each book in the series and Magic Shifts does not disappoint.

In their latest outing, Curran and Kate are adjusting to their new roles in life. No longer the Beast Lord and Consort, they must separate themselves from the Pack, which is easier said than done. While there are definitely some benefits to being civilians, Kate and Curran’s lives have been so wrapped up in the Pack for so long that it’s not always an easy adjustment. It’s interesting to watch them – and their friends – deal with the new order, and between Curran adjusting to life in the suburbs and Pack members circumventing the rules there are plenty of laughs to be found in this story. I can’t count the number of times I grinned at Kate’s one-liners and I am in awe of how seamlessly the authors blend humor and action.

But Magic Shifts isn’t all wry humor and ghoul-slaying. When one of their friends goes missing, Kate and Curran are thrust into the middle of a mystery that involves monsters, mercs, and mayhem. I won’t go into detail for fear of spoiling the story. Suffice it to say that – while the book’s main villain is as interesting and well-researched as one would expect and the stakes are high – the real treat for fans is that we learn new and important information about Kate that moves the overarching story forward. We also get to see how Kate and Curran are likely to find places for themselves on this new path they’ve taken. There is a lot going on in Magic Shifts, but somehow the authors keep the story light on its feet. Every new piece of information we learn is woven perfectly into the fabric of the overall series, making this an incredibly satisfying read on two levels – as an individual book and as a piece of a greater world. Also, don’t get me started on the scenes with Roland. I never expected to love the big bad of the series, but the authors have really outdone themselves in crafting a complex, interesting, shockingly appealing villain.

Magic Shifts is the eighth main novel in the Kate Daniels series. Though the authors do provide a sufficient amount of background information so that you could follow along if you were new to the books, this is unquestionably a series best read in order. Kate, Curran, and the family they’ve made for themselves have all grown and developed in fascinating ways over the course of the series. Every new story adds layers to the overarching plot and these fully-drawn, endearing characters, making it impossible not to care about them. The small moments and the large in this book all have meaning when you follow the series, and truly, there isn’t a dull moment to be found. I simply cannot do this story justice without spoiling the book, so I’ll leave you with this: fans of Kate Daniels, don’t miss Magic Shifts!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.