Joint Review – Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona Andrews

cover_magic_breaks

Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Publish Date: July 29, 2014
How we got this book: eARC from Author

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

*blurb from Goodreads

***NOTE: We have made every attempt to make this review as non-spoilery as possible.***

MiscJoy: I love it when a series just keeps getting better and better. This seventh installment to the Kate Daniels’ series does not disappoint! So often, series begin to stale because the world in which it exists doesn’t expand and grow. Not so here. So many pivotal changes happen in this book including the first meet-and-greet between Kate and Roland. In all the books leading up to this moment, I have been wondering how Andrews would address this critical juncture. Roland is just so huge a presence. I mean, how could Kate possibly confront him without him simply snuffing out her existence with the snap of his fingers? Ahhh!!! I’m not going to spoiler anything, so I’ll just say it was awesome. By the end of Magic Breaks, I felt like the entire trajectory of Kate and Curran’s story changed course, and I’m excited to see where that will lead them in the future. Thankfully, we will have at least three more books after this one to find out.

Cass: I confess I am a terrible reader. I consistently do this thing where I read the first chapter…..and then read the last one. (What? Stop judging me! I can feel your judgement. What if I get run over by a bus before I finish? Huh?)

I did that here – and holy fucking shit. My head exploded. I spent weeks picking my own skull shrapnel out of the wall. MiscJoy is right, no spoilers – but let’s just say there is absolutely no chance you will see any of this coming.

Anyone remember how once upon a time this was intended to make the end of the Magicpocalypse? I probably would have dented my wall if this had been a series ender. Just saying.

MiscJoy: I really enjoyed Barabas’ entry at the start of the novel. Even though I have read all the books in the series, it was great to get another character’s point of view about how things have progressed and the current nature of events. I even learned a few things:-) Kate and Curran just get stronger as a power couple in this story. Their love for each other is epic and I can’t get enough. I have to say my favorite aspect to Kate and Curran’s relationship is that it is a relationship. Issues get discussed, they respect each other, and work together as a team. It’s refreshing to have a mature partnership displayed on the page. As capable and determined as Kate is, Curran always has her back and vice versa. I just love Kate’s fierce protective nature and her ability to love without reservation despite Voron’s attempts to raise her to be a solitary killing machine. She is pragmatic about her upbringing and hasn’t let it scar her from being her true self.

Cass: Barabas! Barabas! Barabas! As an attorney myself, I can’t help but feel strongly about the amazingness of his introduction. We lawyers are so wondrously articulate. You know who else gets some much needed screen time? Christopher. If Christopher could work through his (completely understandable) PTSD I would ship those two so hard. Ahem. Anyways.

Tragically, Hugh was around. I share everyone’s desire that he just DIE ALREADY. Hugh is not a villain I love to hate. I just hate him. I want him to suffer and die a broken man surrounded by his shattered delusions.

“No, I’m just wondering what it is I have to do to kill him.”

Landon raised his eyebrows an eighth of an inch. “I’ve often wondered the same thing. I’m positive that if I set him on fire and spread the ashes into the wind, he wouldn’t regenerate.”

See? That is what I am talking about! It’s so wonderful to see Kate making instant connections with new people. You worry sometimes about your protagonists becoming a bit too insular…..but not Kate. Here she is connecting with new characters that have vision and share the same perfectly attainable goals. I see the beginnings of a beautiful friendship.

MiscJoy: Oh, Hugh. You are such an evil spawn. He does some really f*cked up stuff in Magic Breaks, as one would expect, and I agree. Die already. And then we have Ted Moynohan. What an ass. But we all knew that already. His part in this story is horrific and (mild spoiler)

Spoiler Inside SelectShow
The bastard. And then let’s not forget the continued maneuvering of the pack council. Kate just can’t win with them. It’s so infuriating to see Kate put her life on the line for the pack time and time again, only to have the pack council spit on her efforts. Bunch of ingrates!

I didn’t expect to like Roland. Now don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere on his radar. Ever. *shudders* He’s horrible. But as a character I found him to be quite interesting and multi-dimensional. Sure, the scope of his power is scary as all get out. But he seems interested in life as well. He doesn’t have as single-minded focus on destruction as I’d expected. On the other hand, he’s a meddler and seems to like causing chaos if only to watch how it plays out. If he decides he’s no longer interested in something or someone…well, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near him when he gets bored.

Along those same lines, I really loved Mishmar–in a “what an imaginatively dreadful place that I would never want to be stuck in” kind of way. Who thinks up this stuff? Seriously, what an adventure that was…that I can’t talk about at all because spoilers! Argh! In fact, so much happens in this book that we can’t mention anything about because everything that happens in this story is spoilers!

Cass: As I mentioned above, the supporting characters really shined in Magic Breaks. We got to spend a lot more time with characters we’ve never really interacted with before (both friends and foe), and met plenty of fascinating new people. It was wonderful and I loved every minute of it. The world building was impressive – the Magicpocalypse never felt so big. Sometimes a series gives the impression that nothing happens unless the main character is around to see it. Not so in Magic Breaks–with just a few lines you understand that all kinds of crazy shit happens when Kate isn’t around. Life goes on for other people. Go figure.

I’m really not sure what we can talk about without spoilers. Kate meets some family members. It is EPIC. Roland apparently make cookies. This concerns me. Does he bake as stress relief? Does he use them as a vehicle for poison? Are they the kind of cookies only several thousand years of experience could create?! Inquiring minds want to know!

MiscJoy: The cookies! I loved the cookies!! Who knew? We learn so much in Magic Breaks about so many things. I loved getting another view point of Ghastek, learning an interesting tidbit about Nick, the dressing-down that Kate gives Jennifer (great dialogue is a hallmark of Andrews and that was some of my favorite), and getting to know Desandra (I didn’t like her much in Magic Rises and was surprised to discover what an interesting character she is turning out to be). The story unfolded at a relentless pace and I loved every minute of it.

I give Magic Breaks an A+. It rocks. I can’t wait to see how Kate, Curran, and crew move forward from here. Do yourself a favor and read this book. It will be time well spent!

Cass: I give Magic Breaks an A. All long-time readers of the Magicpocalypse must read this installment. EVERYTHING CHANGES. In fact, why are you even reading this review when you should be reading the book? Go. Read. Now.

(Note: Other reviews have commented about an allegedly explicit sex scene. I didn’t register it as overly explicit. Guess what? Characters in a long-term monogamous relationship have sex. It happens and is unremarkable.)

Comments

  1. Jane C. says

    Fabulous and dynamic review! I have pre-ordered all forms of Magic Breaks – hard back, e-book and audio. Can’t wait for it to be released tomorrow!

    ReplyReply
  2. mel burns says

    @Jane C.: Me too! I am very nervous. I had waited anxiously for my pre-ordered “The Book of Life” in three formats and was severely disppointed, so I’m very edgy about “Magic Breaks”. After “Magic Rises” dramatic death of a main character, anything is possible!

    Not reading reviews, but checked out the grades…..heavy sigh of relief to be sure.

    ReplyReply
  3. cass says

    I don’t think I was clear enough on the MUST READ NOW thing. Because you must. Stay up all night, it’ll be fine.

    ReplyReply

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