Sunday, August 17, 2014

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

My Summary: While Curran is away on pack business Kate attends the monthly Conclave meeting with the People. All hell breaks loose when Hugh D'Ambray shows up accusing a shifter of assassinating a key member of the People and declares war on the Pack. A frantic race to discover who committed the murder and to stop the war ensues with pack members suffering terrible wounds, and ends with Kate getting caught and imprisoned by Hugh after the traitor among the pack finally comes to light. Curran comes to the rescue, however, Kate is left with no choice but to finally meet Roland face to face. Is she strong enough to defeat him? If not, what can she do in order to survive and save her friends and loved ones?

Magic Breaks takes this series in a whole new direction. This is a solid transition with a some growing pains. This installment is almost a two-part story with some abrupt transitions along the way -- the biggest one coming out of nowhere at the end. The first part is filled with the unrelenting, fast-paced action we have come to expect from the Kate Daniels series as Kate and her crew battle strange creatures, old frenemies and enemies in order to discover the identity of the assassin. The shifters in their supporting roles are, as always, a fantastic foil for Kate, both as friends and foes. The competitive relationship between Derek and Arcanio as well as the power play taking place between the wolf pack alpha Jennifer and Dessandra are notable. However, also notable in this section is how early in the story the Andrews team begin to tie up old established threads.

In what I think of as the second section, Kate and Ghastek are imprisoned in a grisly tower and Curran's character comes into play. The love between Curran and Kate continues to be beautiful and I believe it doesn't take anything away from either character, on the contrary it makes them both stronger. The action is not as relentless in this section, it is sporadic with moments left for recovery and planning, but of course there are long gruesome battles as well as confrontations with Hugh and Roland.

Hugh's character as one of the villains of this piece is memorable for embodying a few of those gray areas required of villains so they do not become over the top caricatures. He is a compelling character, although not in a sexy way -- at least not to me. Those same gray areas also apply to Roland. Roland, however, is a whole different ball of wax because although we know about his questionable intentions, he is still the big powerful mystery.

What I love most about this urban fantasy series is that Kate's character growth continues, that is most evident in her final acceptance of her true role and self. What I missed most in this installment was the fantastic mythology mystery solving that we usually get with each book. There are bits and pieces intertwined along the way, but those elements are a bit of a rehash this time around. And from the characters, I missed Aunt Bea and especially Kate and Andrea together during the action scenes.

My biggest disappointment has to be Kate's confrontation with Roland in Atlanta, particularly after all the build-up during this series. The resolution to this confrontation is foreshadowed early during the story. And while other installments are memorable for tough, action-packed, grand scale culminations, Magic Breaks ends with an over the top whimper. These observations, however, don't mean that I didn't enjoy this book, I believe Magic Breaks is a solid installment by an Andrews team that has set the bar rather high. Take into consideration that the end with Curran and Kate, yes and Julie too, is abrupt but truly intriguing. I like what it may mean for the future and can't wait to see how it plays out for the characters. Going by past history, it should be spectacular!

Category: Urban Fantasy
Series: Kate Daniels #7
Publisher/Release Date: Penguin Ace/July 29, 2014
Grade: B

Visit Ilona Andrews here.

Series:
Magic Bites, Book 1
Magic Burns, Book 2
Magic Strikes, Book 3
Magic Mourns, Novella (Must Love Hellhounds Anthology)
Magic Bleeds, Book 4
Magic Dreams, Novella (Hexed Anthology)
Magic Slays, Book 5
Magic Rises, Book 6

Related Novels:
Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels World #1) 

6 comments:

  1. I liked this one too...and I wasn't disappointed because the authors said despite this book having been thought to be the last, they have three more to write so...I think we can wait for wonderful things to happen yet.
    I can't help feeling sad over the deaths though... it always gets to me...
    ****

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    1. Hi Sonia,

      Yes, they got that contract extension last year and I'm glad that we get more Kate Daniels. :) I can't wait to find out how they will spin the series. It has taken a curious turn. There are always deaths in this series, but I miss Aunt B's character the most. She was such an integral part of this world.

      Did you read the small novella Magic Tests with Julie? I thought it was really cute and I loved the dragon.

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  2. I love, love, love your recap Hils!! You totally nailed the whole book in a few lines!

    I actually liked how the Andrews blew the storyline wide open. So many directions they can take now, so many new avenues they can explore. In that sense, they did it perfectly.

    I do think the meeting with Roland would have always been sort of anti-climatic. I mean, it's been told over and over how Kate couldn't fight him and win.

    I agree the book read like a two parts story... The transition was quite, well, bad ^_^; I did like the part where Kate and Ghastek were stuck together though. LOL, I always seem to like the characters the Andrews have deemed as bad or not friend.

    In any case, got to say I enjoyed this one better than the last one. Although Hugh is really a psycho...

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    1. Thanks Nath. Maybe I'm getting my mojo back. LOL!

      I agree about all those new possibilities for the storyline. It's exciting. Ilona Andrews can do so much with them! But, I expected more from big, bad Roland. I'm glad we'll get a chance to see more of him. Hugh IS a psycho! It's interesting that he had the same basic training as Kate (with the same person), but he made different choices.

      I did not like the shift in the story, it just did not flow well. But yes on Ghastek! I enjoyed his backstory a lot more than expected. I enjoyed the last one much more than this one, but now I am REALLY looking forward to the next book.

      PS: What did you think of Magic Tests with Julie? I didn't review it or anything but it was cute enough.

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    2. I didn't read Magic Tests because, well, not a fan of Julie. Will probably get back to it eventually.

      Well you know, about Hugh and Kate. Shows that choices and free will are crucial. That's what makes a difference.

      I wonder what the next book will be about.

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    3. Interesting, I'm not a big fan of Julie either. LOL! But, I read the story, it's a cute little piece of Julie playing Kate.

      I agree about Hugh and Kate. And, I have NO clue now as the where this series is going. It's kind of exciting because it's going to be a surprise. :)

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