Geri’s Review: Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3) by Ilona Andrews

MAGIC STRIKES
Series: Kate Daniels #3
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Author: Ilona Andrews
Release Date: February 20, 2009

When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it’s a job for Kate Daniels…

Drafted to work for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems these days than she knows what to do with.

And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet.

As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…

 

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I was conceived, born, raised and trained with one purpose in mind: to become the best killer I could be. It’s what I do.”

There are two things that I was curious about coming into this series. One, I wanted to know why Kate Daniels is so universally beloved by readers. Two, I wanted to know why the Curran-and-Kate pairing was deemed the OTP by so many who loved the series.

It becomes readily apparent why Kate and Curran are so loved by so many as the series progress. By the third book, I’m now a certified Kate Daniels evangelist.
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Yes! I love Kate’s character. She is one of my favorite heroines ever, if not my ultimate favorite. You just can’t help but love her character! If you look up “badass” in the dictionary, her picture would be in there. She’s brave, resourceful, and so hilarious. She’s also very relatable.

I had imagined our encounter a dozen times. I had constructed long conversations in my head, full of barbs and witty comebacks.
The bastard didn’t show.

And Curran is just the perfect scary, alpha, beast Lord who matches Kate perfectly. They infuriate each other and their interaction and dialogue are so hilarious and scary cute, I can’t help but fall in love with them more and more. I really get why there are so many Tumblr posts dedicated to this couple. They are amazing as individuals and as a couple.

Every time, I think you’ve reached the limit of your arrogance, you show me new heights. Truly, your egotism is like the Universe—ever expanding.”

You sure you don’t want to kiss me goodbye, baby?”
“How about a goodbye kick to the throat?”

Magic Strikes is a high-quality adult UF. It’s not just tightly plotted, with twists and turns, and enormous stakes, it’s also very character driven. Kate Daniels, our titular heroine who now works for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid is working against the clock to find the people who attacked one of her friends. Her investigation led her to the Midnight Games, an illegal fight-to-death tournament attended and participated by powerful and magical beings. And one of them are out to annihilate Kate and the people she’s come to recognize as her friends.

From the gladiator arena type battles to the intriguing and sinister plot, Magic Strikes is a book that once you start, you can’t put down until you’ve finished it. It will consume you. I was so invested in these characters and the story that I couldn’t possibly leave them while their lives hang in a balance!

I think you’re confused as to the nature of our relationship. You and I, we don’t get along. You’re a psychopathic control freak. You order me around and I want to kill you.”

 

I love how heroine-centric this series is. And it’s not just Kate, by the way. One of the things that used to frustrate me with UF is that its heroines tend to be so special that they can’t have any other female characters in the story that might take away from the specialness of the heroine. Every guy has to be in love with her, etc. etc.

Not so with Kate Daniels. There are other female characters that are as beautiful, (if not more so), intelligent and as skillful as Kate. It makes me so happy to see female characters of color in all shapes and sizes having and exercising their agency.

We need a team name.”
“Hunters,” Raphael said.
“Valiant Knights of the Fur,” Dali said.
“Justice Group.” Jim said. “Since Justice League is taken.”

I can’t say enough about this series. If you’re a fan of urban fantasy, I highly recommend you guys read this. Even if you haven’t tried UF before, this series is definitely a great way to immerse yourself in this genre. Yes, the romance may not be central but it still very strong and swoony.

His Majesty needs a can-I girl anyway. And I’m not it.”
“A can-I girl?” Andrea frowned.
I leaned back. “ ‘ Can I fetch you your food, Your Majesty? Can I tell you how strong and mighty you are, Your Majesty? Can I pick out your fleas, Your Majesty? Can I kiss your ass, Your Majesty? Can I…”
It dawned on me that Raphael was sitting very still. Frozen, like a statue, his gaze fixed on the point above my head.
“He’s standing behind me, isn’t he?”
Andrea nodded slowly.
“Technically it should be ‘may I,’” Curran said, his voice deeper than I remembered. “Since you’re asking permission.”

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Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army.

Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.

 

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