A word of warning: This is the fifth book in the series, and there are going to be some inherent spoilers in this review as a matter of course. I do apologize, but it's basically unavoidable at this point. Go grab yourself a copy of Magic Bites and discover the crunchy Kate goodness for yourself!
Kate's all set up at Cutting Edge Investigations. She's got an office building, courtesy of the Pack. She's got her trusty attack poodle Grendel at her side. But the population of Atlanta hasn't exactly been knocking down her door lately in need of investigating. Doesn't help that she's an ex-member of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid. Doesn't help that her mate just happens to be the Beast Lord himself. What does help is her friend and fellow ex-Knight Andrea is back in town and looking for something to shoot. Fortunately, the newly minted partners don't have to wait long for a target. Paying work arrives literally on their doorstep in the form of an escaped vampire. Ghastek, Kate's contact and sometime nemesis with the People, enlists Kate's help in rooting out the cause behind the rogue vamp. But before she can get too far on that case, Kate receives a visit from one of the elite Red Guard, a force she reckoned with once before in the course of her role in the Midnight Games. Desperate to locate a kidnapped charge, the Guard offer a sweaty wad of cash in exchange for Kate's services tracking down the missing scientist and the even more mysterious contraption he was working on. Hoping to establish her business and herself independent of the Pack and her high-ranking role in it, Kate takes on both cases and, in true Kate fashion, cuts a swath through magic-torched Atlanta in her quest to solve them.
I was so very happy to have Andrea back in this installment! I love that woman and I love the prickly but deep friendship she shares with Kate. With Andrea's guns and Kate's sword, these two warriors pack a serious punch when it comes to hunting down the bad guys. And, boy, are the bad guys big in this one. Which brings me to the second thing I love about this book (and the series in general). Ilona Andrews continues to play with world mythology in such interesting and fresh ways. The gods and legends from all over the globe, from so many different cultures, come into play in this series and the tradition continues in Magic Slays, with awesome results. We also get more insight than I was expecting into the other side of Kate's heritage--her mother and the man she called father. Not a little of it is painful, sometimes devastating, and I am vastly interested to see how Kate deals with her newfound knowledge. To balance the weighty, there is quite a bit of excellent banter between Kate and the people who love her. A favorite passage between Andrea and Kate:
"This is the hand I slapped Aunt B with."And another between Kate and Curran (taken from one of my very favorite scenes in the book):
"Maybe you should have it gold plated."
"Here, you can touch it, since you're my best friend."
"You can't tell me what to do."Hehe. I could listen to them spar all day long. The relationship between Kate and Curran grows in this book, and interestingly, it's mostly through the conversations they have. Both of their first instincts is to settle arguments with a nice fight until, bruised and bloody, one or the other is forced to call Uncle. But somehow they manage to actually talk here. I love it when they do that. I love the sure sense I get when reading these books that the authors know exactly where it's going. Amid each individual mystery and/or crisis, we never lose sight of the overarching issue, of the inevitable showdown Kate's been preparing for her entire life. This is especially evident in the heart-palpating conclusion. I didn't see it coming. And it has me thirsting for more. Magic Slays is a rocking good time. Crunchy Kate goodness at its best.
"Yes I can. Listen, this is me telling you what you will not do."
I raised the cookbook and tapped him on the nose. Bad cat.
Magic Slays is due out today!
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