For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: Kate Daniels Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8) & Magic Stars 8.5 (Grey Wolf #1) by Ilona Andrews



In the latest Kate Daniels novel from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Ilona Andrews, 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, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

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… ~ Goodreads

Source: Purchased

*SPOILER WARNING*  There are no spoilers for this book, but I do refer to the previous books in the series that may be considered spoliery, even though I tried to avoid it.

Review:
I love this series. Really I do. But this installment draaaaaged on and on for me. I set it aside, thinking that I wasn’t in the right frame of mind at the moment but every time I went back to it I still found myself mostly bored.

I always love revisiting this motley crew and no one does world building or side character development as well as Ilona Andrews. But I found there to be too much recapping and useless descriptions this time around. There’s no way you can jump in as a new reader with book #8 so recapping each character & past event slowed the pace down and had me skimming. Then there are all the descriptions of weapons, why Kate chose a certain one, how it was made, how her donkey, Cuddles, moved…zoned out.

To be fair, this is how most of the series is written so it’s not anything new – or anything that really bothered me in the past. That’s Kate’s voice. It’s how she thinks/talks and processes things. I guess after all the upheaval in the last book I expected something different. Something fresh, that showed them from a new perspective. Something that pushed everyone out of their comfort zones or even had them more settled.

Instead, it was the same old. Kate jumps into every single battle without thought to those she might be leaving behind, Curran is basically building himself a new Pack, they get their asses kicked EVERY SINGLE DAY. No – literally – every single day. And that might be the key to my annoyance this time around. I’m getting bored by the constant fighting. Sure they are detailed, thrilling fight scenes but I feel like I need to nap on their behalf.

It’s not like Kate and company can walk away from danger or anything but this book in particular felt like a setup for the future, instead of pivotal, right now. It was just more of the same old – take on a case that only they can solve, more creatures to kill, Roland is evil yada, yada...

There were a lot of big moments. Confrontations and bomb shells that were kind of awesome but never went anywhere. Maybe they’ll come back around in the next book? Despite not loving this one – I’ll be there. I still love the character dynamics and hope that they get to take a breath and think instead of just run around like chickens with their heads cut off, fighting non stop. There was actually a hint of that near the end. Where they mention that they have to fight “smarter”. Yes, you all really do. Because the near death stuff is getting old and doesn’t have the same impact on me as it used to.

 ***
 
From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an original novella, set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring fan-favorites, Derek, and Curran and Kate’s very independent ward, Julie.

Scarred, solitary Derek Gaunt has separated from his Pack, and istruly a lone wolf. With no family he answers to no one; but is fiercely loyal to a chosen few. So, when several of those close to him are murdered, he’ll stop at nothing to hunt their killer through the magic-drenched streets of Atlanta.

Never one to be left on the sidelines, equally determined—some might say stubborn—Julie Lennart-Olsen soon joins in his pursuit; and what began as revenge turns into a race to save the city. Their search pits them against powers they never imagined and magic so old, it predates history. It may cost Derek his life, but there are things for which even he would risk everything. ~
Goodreads

Source: Purchased

Review:
Now this is what I was looking for with Magic Shifts! Magic Stars is a novella set in the Kate Daniels world but from Derek’s POV, featuring him and Julie.

It has the same pulse pounding action and world building as the series but the fresh perspective from Derek is welcome, after only seeing things from Kate’s pov for so long. Especially seeing what it’s truly like being a shifter and the battle Derek constantly fights against loup. Being in Derek’s mind is a dark place to be but also fascinating.

This is not an optional novella IMO. It’s necessary to the series. In fact, I would go so far as say, that it was more revelatory than the full length novel, that proceeds it, Magic Shifts, and pulled me right out of my disappointed feeling after reading that one – I’m all excited for #9 again!

12 comments:

  1. But I haaaaate reading novellas, I forget about them

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    1. I never used to like them but now I LOVE them. The quality has improved so much!

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  2. I kinda skimmed your reviews of #8 and #8.5 of Kate Daniels, but only because I haven't gotten there yet :P but I can understand when a book just drags on and on.

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    1. I guess the non stop action should hook me in but I just get exhausted lol

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  3. I'm behind on the series since my library hasn't gotten in the audio. I might have to read these but I will miss the narration. It is also good to know that I need that novella. I think I would have read it anyway but good to know it is necessary.

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    1. I really think it is. BIG stuff happens. I'm sure they'll recap it in the next book but learning it from the pov of who it's happening to instead of Kate's pov was awesome.

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  4. Hahaha, this is exactly how I felt about Magic Shifts and Magic Stars. The first was a disappointment, but the second totally rocked :)

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    1. Oh really??!! I thought I was the only one. Glad I wasn't the only one :-)

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  5. Another author that I've been meaning to get around to!

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  6. I tried reading this series last year but I didn't like the audiobook narrator, so I gave up on it. I'm really curious to read it though! Everyone I know seems to love these.

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  7. I just looked a little since I wanna read it but dang on it dragging!

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  8. They really did get their asses kicked every day. There's still the omnipresent father...but did they really have to get so badly injured and lose so badly each and every time?

    I liked Magic Stars but that's not actually how I pictured Boy Wonder...odd.

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