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Magic Strikes Read-Along

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Welcome to this week’s read-along! The book of the week is the third installment – Magic Strikes! In this entry in the series, Kate faces the Midnight Games which is an underground tournament that challenges the allegiances she’s made. A hot tub scene that had the worst timing in smexing. And the introduction of Hugh D’Ambray and the delightful addition of Dali to the cast of characters.

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Blurb

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

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

 

 

 

 

Our impressions:

Has: I think Magic Strikes is one of my all time favourite ever Kate Daniels books, although I think Magic Bleeds is currently on top of the list. I loved the subplot with the Midnight Games, especially with the way Kate has finally realised she made a real connection with her friends and the growing tension with Curran which I think had reached boiling point!

This was also a book which was much darker in tone with the personal stakes especially with Derek and Kate’s past catching up to haunt her. But at the same time it also had some of the funniest and humourous scenes which helped to balance the darker tone. I loved the introduction of Dali and Hugh who both made a real impact and more hints are set in stone which has become a pivotal book that sets up future story threads. While the previous two books built up the world and established the core characters. Magic Strikes culminates what made the ingredients on what made the Kate Daniels series so magical and addictive!

 

MinnChica: Even after my fourth re-read of this book, it is still one of my all time favorites, both in the series and of all the books I’ve ever read. Something about the Midnight Games just pulls me in every single time, and I just devour this book from start to finish. Plus, the relationship between Kate and Curran heats up to some incredibly sexy levels, and the tension between these two is so well done, so intense, and has reached a boiling point. Although we don’t get any naked time in this book, the tension between these two leaves little to the imagination, and a night of passion is imminent and highly anticipated. I loved getting to meet Dali, and see the relationship between Andrea and Raphael take off. Again, I can’t even tell you how much I love this book, how much I adore every word, every action, every single moment of this book!!

 

E: Like both Has and MinnChica I have read and re-read this installment multiple times. In addition to the humor mentioned earlier and meeting some truly memorable characters who continue to play important roles, I thought Magic Strikes really stood out for the characterization. On one hand Kate demonstrated the lengths she was wiling to go to protect people she cared about and on the other she learned that some people were willing to go the same lengths for her. In my opinion, this is the installment, which ended any thought of Kate going after her father lone and afraid. I think she would always be afraid but the fear would be more for others and she would not be facing him alone unless everyone else was already dead. For my romance reader side the relationship between Kate and Curran took a huge leap forward which was a step I certainly enjoyed.

 

Favourite scenes:
MinnChica: While I was going through and reading this book I think I marked about 4-5 scenes that I wanted to share, because there were so many fabulous parts in this book. SO MANY! But I think my all time favorite scene would be right after one of the Midnight Games matches:

Jim waited for us at the Golden Gate. His teeth were bared. “What happened to barely winning?”
“You said sloppy! Look, I didn’t even use my sword; I hit him with my head, like a moron.”
“A man with a sword attacked you and you disarmed him and knocked him out cold in under two seconds.” He turned to Curran.
The Beast Lord shrugged. “It’s not my fault that he didn’t know how to fall.”
Jim’s gaze slid from Curran to Dali. “What the hell was that?”
“Crimson Jaws of Death.”
“And were you planning on letting me know that you can turn people’s elbows backward?”
“I told you I did curses.”
“You said they don’t work!”
“I said they don’t always work. This one worked apparently.” Dali wrinkled her forehead. “It’s not like I ever get to use them against live opponents anyway. It was an accident.”
Jim looked at us. The clipboard snapped in his hands. He turned around and very deliberately walked away.
“I think we hurt his feelings.” Dali looked at his retreating back, sighed, and went after him.
Curran looked at me. “What the hell was I supposed to do catch the werebison as he was falling?”

 

Has: I agree with MinnChica there are way too many scenes to choose from the infamous hot tub scene to the big epic ending at the end. But I think one of my favourite scenes between Curran and Kate is just after one of their matches in the Midnight Games. I think this is when Kate’s walls towards Curran was really starting to crumble. Also it was a bit like foreplay because the tension between them was utterly delicious.

‘I stomped into our quarters, straight into Doolittle’s makeshift hospital. Curran followed me, slapping the door closed. I whirled around. The beast melted and Curran stood before me in his human form. Black spots peppered his chest where the spikes had pierced his flesh.
I stared at him for a second and smashed my fist into his midsection, right over the solar plexus. He grunted.
Doolittle took off.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” I looked for something heavy to hit him with, but the room was mostly empty. There were surgical instruments but no heavy, blunt objects capable of causing the kind of pain I wanted.
He straightened.
“He was silver!” I snarled in his face. “I had it under control. What was going through your head? Here’s a toxic silver golem; I think I’ll jump on his back! That’s a damn good idea!”
He scooped me up and suddenly I was pressed against his chest. “Were you worried about me?”
“No, I’m ranting for fun, because I’m a disagreeable bitch!”
He smiled.
“You’re a moron!” I told him.
He just looked at me. Happy golden lights danced in his eyes. I’d learned exactly what those sparks meant. Fury fled, replaced by alarm.
“Kiss me and I’ll kill you,” I warned.
“It might be worth it,” he said softly.
If he held me a moment longer, I’d lose it and kiss him first. I was so damn happy he was alive.
When drowning, grasp at anything in reach. Even a straw will do. “My side is bleeding, Your Majesty.”
He released me and called for Doolittle.’

 

E: A certain MinnChica snagged my favorite fight scene that I was going to pick for today so after flipping several coins I think I will go for a touch of humor this time.

For people who frequently turned into animals and ate their prey raw, they sure were a choosy lot.
“Kate makes good sausage,” Jim said.

Six pairs of eyes stared at me. Thank you, Mr. Wonderful. Just what I needed.

“Oh yeah.” Andrea snapped her fingers. “The links? The ones we had at the beginning of the month? I didn’t know you made those. I thought they were bought. They were so good.” Her smile was positively cherubic. Of all the times not to be able to shoot laser beams out of my eyes…

“What do you put into your sausage, Kate?” Raphael wanted to know, giving me a perfectly innocent look.

Werejaguars with big mouths with a pinch of werehyena thrown in. “Venison and rabbit.”

“That sounds like some fine sausage,” Doolittle said. “Will you share the recipe?”

“Sure.”

“I had no idea you were a sausage expert,” Curran said with a completely straight face.

Die, die, die, die…

Even Derek cracked a smile. Raphael put his head down on the table and jerked a little.

“Is he choking?” Dali asked, wrinkling her forehead.

“No, he just needs a moment,” Curran said. “Young bouda males. Easily excitable.”

Questions

1. What was your favorite scene?
2. What did you think of the Midnight Games as a whole?
3. At this point in the series, what are your thoughts on Kate and Curran’s budding relationship?
4. What do you think about the introduction of Dali and Hugh?

By Has

Has is a voracious reader and a geek at heart! She is a fan of most sub-genres of romance and fantasy, but especially loves fantasy and some sci fi. She's currently looking out for historical romances with unusual settings, and fantasy romance, in the vein of Anne Bishop and Elizabeth Vaughan who are on her list of favourite authors. She's also a fan of authors such as Tamora Pierce, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Ann Aguirre, Lisa Kleypas and Nalini Singh. She is always on the look out for new authors and loves the feeling of discovering a brand new author and books she loves.

19 replies on “Magic Strikes Read-Along”

It’s interesting how all your scenes are from the Midnight Games! My fave scenes are the “Can I kiss your ass?” scene at Parthenon and the scene where Curran breaks into Kate’s house. 😀 Oooh, also the very end with Curran’s note. Let’s face it, the whole book is so quotable!

The Midnight Games were freaking awesome. I’ve always enjoyed reading about gladiator-style games and the amount of varied mythology and weird creatures were spectacular. Plus it showed the group kicking ass together, which is always nice.

My only thoughts on Kate and Curran’s relationship was that they needed to have sex RIGHT NOW. The hot tub was soo disappointing at the end (especially for Curran!). I also thought they were perfect for each other. <3 <3 <3 The part where Curran hugs Kate when she is injured always makes me cry.

Dali is quite possibly one of fave characters ever (in addition to Kate, Curran, Jim, Andrea…etc…). I liked that she wasn't a "normal" shapeshifter (being near blind and a vegetarian!). I'm a vegetarian too, and I always crack up at the part when Jim says she eats grass as a tiger. Plus, when I was kid, we lived a mile from a white tiger reserve in Indonesia and I used spend my weekends visiting the white tigers. 😀 As a bonus, she's Hindu! I love Dali and I wished she and Jim would get a book.

Hugh…intrigues me. I think he has a very interesting potential to be an evil villain. I have a feeling he and Curran will despise each other when they meet. His sword skills also makes me slightly nervous for our girl Kate! But I have no doubt that she will beat him in a sword fight…hopefully.

1. The phone call with Curran, where they make the bet.
2. Loved it, the whole idea behind it was awesome.
3. That the next has to be the one where they hook up, this was definitely the climax.
4. I didn`t pay much attention to Dali in this book, the apearance of Hugh was very exciting.

1. Raphael and the fan. I think that it is so Raphael and it gets to Curran.(he never forgets it).
2. Its fascinating-the whole secretive fighting event that everyone but Kate seems to know about.
3. The pacing of their relationship has been so great. The hot tub scene was great. I was so thankful Derek was okay but when I first read that scene I disliked his timing.
4. Loved Dali’s intro, she is both unique and relatable. Who would not adore a vegan white tiger that suffers with amnesia and eye issues. Hugh is powerful and mysterious. I know he is dangerous to Kate but I look forward to seeing more of him.

Magic Strikes is probably my favorite UF book, and pretty high up on my fav book of all time list. This one just worked for me on every level: humor, action, romance, tension, world, character progression.

1. I have so many fav scenes from this book, but I think I have to agree with MinnChica on this one.

2. The Midnight Games fit so well in the world. Of course there would be fights pitting diff supernatural creatures, and of course Saiman would be a part of it. 🙂 I also loved how the Games gave us more insight into both Kate’s upbringing as well as her ever progressing relationships. She has come so far since book 1, and from her very messed up childhood.

3. Kate & Curran are one of my fav couplings. I loved the pace of their relationship. The turning points here felt so very right.

4. I love Dali. With so many super-warrior shifters, it was refreshing to have Dali. Hugh is very intriguing. Of course, I am hoping that he gets his ass handed to him in the end, but he isn’t just a mindless minion. I am looking forward to more Hugh.

1. Fav Scene: (continued)

Loved:
-the lunch scene when Kate describes what being a Curran Can-I girl entails – and gets caught by Curran. I fangirl-shouted when Curran openly offered Kate the peaches:)

-the admiration Curran revealed after Kate’s description of the murder scene. It was about time she got credit for her abilities:)

-the intro of Dali 🙂

-when Kate displays her sword skills during the MG – I cheered!

– the hot tub scene (I melted)

– Kate’s use of her (& Roland’s) blood when she was caged by the Rakshasas

– The naked dinner menu scene

2. I thought the MG was a brilliant way to combine:
-revelations of some of Kate’s history & talents;
-to strengthen Kate’s friendships with Derek, Andrea and Jim;
-bring the Kate/Curran relationship over a hurdle;
-clinch the relationship between Kate & the Pack;
-and lead the overall plot into deeper waters with the intro of Hugh and his discovery of Kate’s background.

3. At this point in the series, it was obvious that Kate & Curran were right for each other would eventually be together.

– he openly attempted to hand food to her
– he started respecting her abilities more after she describes the murder scene (which ends without an argument)
– she revealed to him how much she desires him during scene when he broke into her apt
-he couldn’t bear for her to be scared so he deliberately incited her temper just before MG fight no.1
-he reassured her as they watched their friends in the arena for MG fight no.2
-Kate cut short her fun sword fight with the Silver Golem to help Curran
-the very charged scene after MG fight no.3 when Kate took care of Curran
-the HOT hot tub scene
-he rescued Kate from the Rakshasas against nearly impossible odds and the he hugged her and told her that he would always do so. (the response she needed & never dreamed she could have)
-he followed up on his successful “naked dinner” challenge win with a menu request and the date.

4. My impression of Dali: I loved her:) She seemed unusually antagonized by Kate at their 1st meeting which was funny but odd. I figured there was something going on when Jim handed Dali a glass of water. Dali the blood-hating Tigress joined them in the Games to prove herself in Jim’s eyes. Her talents during the Games was fascinating. I couldn’t wait to learn more about her.

My impression of Hugh: a very determined and dangerous man. He wanted answers about Kate after the first time he saw her. He was more persistent the 2nd time when she was signing up for the Games. I was shocked when he had one of his men surprise-challenge Kate. When he saw her destroy Roland’s blood sword using her own blood took the overall plot forcefully into the next level. His attempted rescue of Kate when she was held captive by the Rakshasas felt more like a threat to me.

To me, “Magic Strikes” is the book that firmly put Ilona Andrews work in my heart. I loved how they seamlessly injected humor into dark scenes without losing momentum. They really kept me guessing throughout the story. And they worked my emotions like a maestro to an orchestra so I was hard-pressed to let go of the book long after it was finished 🙂

I agree with all of the previous commenters, this book has too many great scenes to choose from. I totally love Dali and Andrea. They are very different from each other, but I love their interaction with Kate. One of the things I like about this series is the buildup of sexual tension between Kate and Curran. It’s more natural than just having them fall in love at first sight.

One of my favorite scenes is when Andrea is telling Kate about the massive ass-chewing that Curran gave everyone and referring to Kate as his mate, and talking about how “romantic” the Midnight Games were.

As for being darker, I think the darkness is there from the beginning. The first book had the upir and the ancient vampires, the second book had the Fomorians and Julie’s mother eaten by them. This one probably feels darker because Derek and Kate are both badly injured, and we’ve come to care about them. We didn’t really know Greg or Julie’s mother, except in flashback.

An added bonus to this book is the Curran POVs available – Curran convincing Julie to let him out and the hot tub scene come immediately to mind.

It was so hard to choose just one scene from this book and I definitely had trouble. But I definitely agree that Curran and Kate’s build up of tension was beyond beautiful here even though Derek has the worse timing.

But I do like subplots with gladiator type games and I think Magic Strikes had one of the best takes on this.

You have all mentioned the scenes I was wrestling with as I tried to narrow it down to just one! I will say that was a fun problem to have *grin*. This particular installment was chockfull of memorable scenes.

1. The final match at the Midnight Games where Kate makes that fateful decision. It’s that point where she goes “all in” for her friends and releases Voron’s ghostly advice. It’s where we really start to get the understanding of what being Roland’s daughter actually means. The way she meets Curran’s eyes and they have that moment of contact and still she chooses to give up her life for him. That moment when she impales herself and looks up into Hugh’s shocked face. That is just PRIME. I love it when complex “bad” characters get a comeuppance. Especially cheaters.

2. This was a brilliant concept. Betting and gaming and gladiatorial events have been part and parcel of humanity for a long long time. If you were in an era where there wasn’t the internet, TV was intermittent, and entertainment mean possibly blood sport, the Midnight Games would be a great way to “get ‘er done.” It was also a well thought out plot point, it brought Kate and Curran together in a way that let both of them show their true selves rather than just fight with words.

3. This is one of THE BEST romantic relationships I’ve read in… forever. Both protagonists are brutally honest in a way that’s rarely seen anywhere else, even romance novels. Both aren’t entirely focused on doing the horizontal mambo. Their actual relationship has progressed in an actual natural pattern that could be seen in the real world (sans the shifting and magic and hella creepy stalkers). I feel like, as a reader, I’m being shown (rather than told) each small moment where they move closer to each other, from antagonists to accepted helper, from helper to friend of the pack, from friend to co-hort, from co-hort to caring about what happens to the other. This is the book that really begins to show them actually CARING for each other and in the end Kate willing to make that ultimate sacrifice for Curran.

4. FABULOUS. Dali was intriguing from the get-go. Cleverly written, unique and yet not exactly a “competition” to Kate. Dali holds her own and in her own novella things are even better. I like that she’s not violent or bloodthirsty and her aspect of humor lightens what would otherwise be a horridly dark book.

HUGH! FINALLY! Some kind of contact with THE FAMILY (you have to say it in the Godfather tone). The fact that Hugh tries to be Mr. Smoothpants and winds up being Mr. Cheatypants instead is almost humorous. They do SUCH a good job writing complex characters that those we take as pathetic and wimpy at first (Saiman Hello!) have depths to them that are, as of yet, unrevealed. I think Hugh will become something of a nightmare for Kate. And honestly, I can’t wait for that confrontation. Give me CONFLICT!!!!!!

For Magic Burns, I had so many things I wanted to quote or say that I took too long and missed my chance.

I agree with a lot of what has been said about Magic Strikes.

One of my favorite scenes is when Kate has had time to think about Curran showing up at her place and how he’d behaved, and how she’d kissed him back, big time. She is pissed, and I think scared of the next step in their relationship, and wanting to keep him from having to kill Derek if he goes loup. She calls him from a fried chicken joint. This is long, but too good to cut.

I held up ten bucks.
“You want a five-piece.” Glenda asked.
“Nope. I want to use the phone.” This was a conversation best had out of the office.
Glenda put a phone on the counter, checked it for the dial tone, and grabbed my ten bucks.
I called the Keep, introduced myself to the disembodied female voice on the phone, and asked for the Beast Lord. In less than fifteen seconds Curran came on the line.
“I’m going into hiding with Jim.”
The silence on the other side of the phone had a distinctly sinister undertone. Perhaps he thought that his kissing super-powers had derailed me. Fat chance. I would keep him from having to kill Derek. That was a burden he didn’t need.
“I thought about this morning,” I said, doing my best to sound calm and reasonable. “I’ve instructed the super to change the locks. If I ever catch you in my apartment again, I will file a formal complaint. I’ve taken your food, under duress, but I did take it. You rescued me once or twice, and you’ve seen me near naked. I realize that you’re judging this situation by shapeshifter standards, and you expect me to fall on my back with my legs spread.”
“Not necessarily.” His voice matched mine in calmness. “You can fall on your hands and knees if you prefer. Or against the wall. Or on the kitchen counter. I suppose I might let you be on top, if you make it worth my while.”
I didn’t grind my teeth – he would’ve heard it. I had to be calm and reasonable. “My point is this: no.”
“No?”
“There will be no falling, no sex, no you and me.”
“I wanted to kiss you when we were in your house. In Savannah.”
Why the hell was my heart pounding “And?”
“You looked afraid. That wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for.”
Be calm and reasonable.” [It was supposed to be italics. I don’t know how to do here] “You flatter yourself. You’re not that scary.”
“After I kissed you this morning, you were afraid again. Right after you looked like you were about to melt.”
Melt? [Italics again}
“You’re scared there might be something there, between you and me.”
Wow. I struggled to swallow that little tidbit. “Every time I think you’ve reached the limits of arrogance, you show me new heights. Truly, your egotism is like the Universe – ever expanding.”
“You thought about dragging me into your bed this morning.”
“I thought about stabbing you and running away screaming. You broke into my house without permission and slobbered all over me. You’re a damn lunatic! And don’t give me that line about smelling my desire; I know it’s bullshit.”
“I didn’t need to smell you. I could tell by the dreamy look in your eyes and the way your tongue licked the inside of my mouth.”
“Enjoy the memory,” I ground out. “That’s the last time it will ever happen.”
“Go play your games with Jim. I’ll find you both when I need you.”
Arrogant asshole. “I tell you what, if you find us before those three days run out, I’ll cook you a damn dinner and serve it to you naked.”
“Is that a promise?”
“Yes. Go fuck yourself.”
I slammed the phone down. Well, then. That was perfectly reasonable.
On the other side of the counter an older, heavyset man stared at me like I had sprouted horns.
Glenda handed me the money I’d given her. “That was some conversation. It was worth ten bucks.”
I got up just in time to see Benna ride up, leading an extra horse.

I really enjoy reading this scene. There is serious stuff here and there between the funny stuff. The fact that it works so well is a sample of the Ilona Andrews gift. The threads of humor woven in amongst the serious, sad, and suspenseful threads throughout all of the books, and isn’t Glenda’s reaction to the phone conversation beyond perfect?

3. At this point, it seemed pretty clear that their “budding” relationship was blossoming. Sorry, couldn’t resist. It was definitely moving forward, though I think it was clear that the road forward was not going to be bump free. By the end of Magic Strikes, it seems pretty clear that they are going to be together, but they have some big issues to deal with.

4. Dali is a nice addition to the group. She brings different skills and knowledge to the mix. First she is able to give Kate and crew information about the rakshasas. Then she is able to use her magic in the MG. She fit seamlessly into the storyline, and is a character we would like to see more of. Hugh also fit seamlessly into the storyline, in an ominous way. He is clearly smooth, controlled, very skilled, hardened, and a cold killer. He’s a scary guy. He also does not appear to be a man of honor.To insure victory, Hugh bribed the guards so he could, in violation of the rules, slip one of Roland’s blood weapons to the rakshasas. He and Kate were both trained by Voron. He got a hint of that when Kate used one of Voron’s phrases and told him he was sloppy in letting one of his subordinates attack her. When he sees her take the blood sword and break it, he has to be sure, or pretty sure, he knows who she is. As Curran and the Pack rescue Kate, we see Hugh trying to get to her, but he is prevented from reaching her by the panicked rakshasas stampeding to the exit. He’s going to be back, and it is hard to see how it could be anything but trouble for Kate, whatever he does. I think both characters are good additions.

1. Needless to say I love the aforementioned Kate and Curran scenes. Two other moments that also stood out for me:- first when Kate and Raphael get dressed up all badass and give Julie an awesome moment when they pick her up from school… My inner child was like whoah! Second moment is when Dali is talking about her street car racing and picks up on the fact that Kate gave the same response as Curran about possible consequences. Highlighted to me that they have the same worldview and moral code, plus in the future they could make great sounding boards for each other.

2.Loved the mignight games, one of my fave parts of the series so far.The action and suspense kick up a gear, plus you realise how committed you are to all the characters not just Kate.
3. Think the pace of the relationship is perfect and felt real to the characters.
4. Dali is one of my favourite characters and loved the fact that she really added something relevant to the group. Plus she is funny but also pretty astute…really endearing too. Wish we could have a novel featuring her and Jim! Hugh is deliciously enigmatic with a sinister vibe…looking forward to more of him in books to come.

Thanks Ilona and Gordon for creating such a marvellous world!

It is hard to pick one scene, which might be why I have reread this one so often. But one I really like is when Samien turns into his orginal form. There is something about the way Kate is so mater of fact about it when she sits down next to him juxtaposed to Jim’s startlement at his first sight. It also gives more depth and complexity to Samien.
Dali is a great addition to the cast. There is so much to like about her! Perhaps because we see Voron through Kate’s eyes, but Hugh seems more cautious and less confident than I expected of a student of Voron. I am more interested in how/ why a knightof the Order managed to insert himself into Hugh’s guard detail!

1. I just loved this book so much. I could spend all day quoting. Well of course every scene with Kate and Curran in it was AMAZING in this book.
The scene with Jim where Kate and Jim discuss their parents and how they became the people they are is one of my most read scenes. Not only does it reveal some of Kate’s past but also gives Jim’s character more depth. For all her talk about how she is a trained killer and was trained to be a sociopath, she is extremely empathetic. She may resort to violence often, but she doesn’t kill without guilt.

2. I love the idea of the midnight games (especially that Kate had experience in this type of tournament). We learn a lot more about the world and everyone’s attitude through it.

3. Kate and Curran are an outstanding book couple and this book really highlights this. They trade barbs often but it becomes clear that they understand each other- often when other people cannot. They seem to have a similar moral code. I absolutely love how their connection continued to grow slowly, making their relationship very real.

4. Dali was adorable in this book. She is one of the most intriguing characters in the series.
The introduction of Hugh made the danger from Kate’s father much more real. Also Nick seems to be everywhere. I can’t wait to see why.

@Divya S – The kiss your ass scene was awesome. I loved that Curran was standing right behind Kate. <3

@Stephanie C - The phone call was great, especially since Kate didn't have to give over the $10 because the woman found it so amusing. LOL

@aMANDA - The fan killed me! Killed me!!! I loved that Curran got so annoyed by it.

@kindle-aholic - I think Magic Strikes is my favorite UF book of all time too, possibly just a favorite book period. There was so much to love about this book, so much!

@Lisa/BookWorm33333 - I loved all the Kate/Curran moments you outlined. Please do this for every discussion to come. 😀 <3<3

@Deborah Solomon - The scene with Andrea telling Kate about Curran calling her his future mate was another favorite of mine, one I had bookmarked as a possible!

@Sarah - That last scene in the games with Kate and the sword... Ah, everything you said is so spot on and one of the things I loved most about this book.

@Miriam - I'm so excited to see see where the story goes with Hugh. I think he has some nefarious ideas toward Kate. I'm not so sure that he turn her over to Roland....

@Rif - I LOVED when Raphael and Kate went to go and get Julie from school. That was quite an impression they left, and I loved how Kate was willing to do anything for her girl.

@Claire - Learning more about Samain's true parentage was AWESOME!

@Ash - I love getting the little snippets into Kate's past, especially the other games she participated in. So insightful!

As everyone has said, this book is full of priceless moments. My favorite, though, it when Curran and “the gang” come to save Kate from the rakshasas. First off, it’s s watershed moment for Kate because it tells her that she really is connected to these people and they to her. But EVERY TIME I read “Stay with me, baby” I cry. Everything else is stripped away and we just have a man who’s terrified of losing the one he loves. Love this book!

1. What was your favorite scene?
This is my favorite Kate Daniels book tied in first place with Magic Bleeds so i have too many scenes going through my head,im listening to the audio book for the re-read i luv Rene’s voice for Kate.Ok my fav scenes:
1. Curran over hears Kate talking about him,can i girl.

“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.To answer your question, yes, you may kiss my ass. Normally I prefer to maintain my personal space, but you’re a Friend of the Pack and your services have proven useful once or twice. I strive to accommodate the wishes of persons friendly to my people. My only question is, would your kissing my ass be obeisance, grooming, or foreplay?”

2.Kate tells Curran she’s going into hiding with Jim

“I thought about this morning,” I said, doing my best to sound calm and reasonable. “I’ve instructed the super to change the locks. If I ever catch you in my apartment again, I will file a formal complaint. I’ve taken your food, under duress, but I did take it. You rescued me once or twice, and you’ve seen me near naked. I realize that you’re judging this situation by shapeshifter standards “and you expect me to fall on my back with my legs spread.”

“Not necessarily.” His voice matched mine in calmness. “You can fall on your hands and knees if you prefer. Or against the wall. Or on the kitchen counter. I suppose I might let you be on top, if you make it worth my while.”

I didn’t grind my teeth—he would’ve heard it.

Okay, I know I’m late on convo. But I just finish Magic Strikes and very love it (will start Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays and Gunmetal Magic soon, but still wait for my copy of Magic Rises). I’m not too fond of Magic Bites and think that Magic Burns was good but not enough to hold my interest. So, I’m glad to give a chance to read Magic Strikes, because I really love it! I’m now an officially devoted Kate Daniels fans :).

To answer the question :

1. What was your favorite scene?
So many to choose. The Kate-Andrea-Raphael scene always crack me up. Especially Raphael’s. The scene with Lorna Sterling pirate books are pure genius, lol! The tub scene, dayum! Like I had waiting for Kate and Curran to make a move, just a small step, but Ilona Andrews give us a very satisfied scene for my poor smutty heart.
But, the most favorite scene is when Kate face Derek, when he had healed. How Ilona Andrews write that scene, to show Kate’s strength, love and loyalty to Derek is beyond me. It’s so powerful. No tears and words needed, I like it more than when Kate discover Curran jump into the golem.

2. What did you think of the Midnight Games as a whole?

Midnight Games kinda remind me of some manga I read once when I’m in high school. The idea or tournament are interesting and well done. I like the idea behind Saiman’s true identity in Midnight Games.

3. At this point in the series, what are your thoughts on Kate and Curran’s budding relationship?
Well, it’s begin more steady and finally light come in the darkness path that is Kate and Curran’s relationship, lol! I love their witty banter and to see even Kate’s heart go badump-badump wherever Curran near, she not intimidated by him. Go, Kate!

4. What do you think about the introduction of Dali and Hugh?

Maybe readers don’t care about Dali. But, I CARE! I’m almost squeal when Dali said she is Indonesian, because I’m also Indonesian. It’s so rare to see Indonesian characters in any books written from other country. Usually they just mention there and there, never become an important character. Dali sure is badass and also an unique were-tiger. Although,I’m a little bit frowned when read about her appearance. Maybe for Caucasian people, our skin look dark? Also, she’s so petite (just 5′ tall). Other than that, she kick ass, and her shodo magic is intriguing. More Dali for the next book, please.

Hugh D’Ambray, alas, I’m not pay more attention to him. But, it’s interesting how his appearance will make Kate finally confront Roland

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