Series: Kate Daniels #3
on February 20, 2009
Genres: Adult, Dystopia, Romantic, Urban Fantasy
Sexual Content: References to rape, some crude dialogue, a brief scene of semi-graphic sensuality.
Reviewed by: Abigail
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…
Kate Daniels blows me away every time. With each new book in this series I convince myself that it can’t possibly be as good as I remembered, and every time I’m thrilled to be wrong. And Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, book 3) is the best one yet.
The alternate Atlanta that Kate lives in is one of the most fully realized in the genre. Every aspect of society is detailed and nuanced. The swinging pendulum of magic and tech, neither one existing while the other rules, is as fresh and wonderful as it was in the first book:
It was called post-Shift resonance: magic drowned the world in a wave, snuffing out anything complex and technological, smothering car engines, jamming automatic weapons, and eroding tall buildings. Mages fired ice bolts, skyscrapers fell, and wards flared into life, keeping undesirables from my house. And then, just like that, the magic would vanish, leaving monsters in its wake. Nobody could predict when it would reappear and nobody could prevent it. All we could do was cope with an insane tarantella of magic and technology. That’s why I carried a sword. It always worked. –Magic Strikes
Kate Daniels is the epitome of the kick-butt urban fantasy heroine. A mercenary turned liaison for The Order of Merciful Aid, Kate storms sleeping lions and carries a sword. Raised from birth to kill or be killed she has managed to retain her humanity (along with a wicked sense of humor) and even has a small circle of friends that she’d die to protect. When one of those friends turns up savagely beaten and left for dead, all Kate can think about is vengeance. But vengeance has its price.
To further complicate matters, Curran, the Beast Lord of Atlanta, has recently declared himself to Kate, and while he is equal parts terrifying and irresistible, Kate is too independent to submit. But that doesn’t stop Curran from enjoying the pursuit or backing off. And if its a fight he wants, Kate is more than willing to give him one. But going against Curran on a personal level is nothing compared to violating The Beast Lord. The Beast Lord has laid down certain rules for the shapeshifters under his command. And if Kate wants to save Derek, she’ll have to break every single one.
We get to learn a lot about not just Kate in this book, but also Curran, Derek, and Jim too. Oh and did I mention we finally learn what Saiman is? In previous books, we’ve gotten a general sketch of Kate’s backstory, but in Magic Strikes that sketch is much more detailed and filled in. The ultimate goal in Kate’s life, the one she has spend a lifetime preparing for is much more a part of this story, instead of being a problem for ‘future Kate.’ Magic Bleeds will no doubt bring that showdown to the forefront even more. I can’t wait.