Kate Daniels faces her most powerful foe yet in this fourth entry in Ilona Andrews's New York Times bestselling series.
About the Author
Ilona Andrews lives in Pooler, GA.
Read an Excerpt
Forty minutes later Saiman pulled into a parking lot before a large mansion. We’d climbed north, far into the affluent part of Atlanta, but this house made “affluent” sound like an insult. Too large for its lot, the building sprawled, rising two oversized stories into the night and edging its southern neighbors out of the way. When Atlanta’s rich built new houses, they typically imitated antebellum Southern style, but this monster was decidedly English: red brick, huge windows, dark ivy frosted with new snow, and a balcony. All it needed was a fresh-faced English miss in a lacy dress.
“What’s this?” I eyed the windows that spilled yellow electric light onto the snow.
“Bernard’s.” Saiman sank a world of meaning into the word, which whistled happily over my head.
I glanced at him.
“It’s a party house.”
“I hope for your sake it’s a very tame party.” If he had taken me to some sort of sex orgy, he would fly right through one of those pretty windows, headfirst.
“Not that kind,” he assured me. “It’s a place where Atlanta’s rich and influential gather to be seen and to be social. Technically it’s a restaurant, but the patrons are the real draw, not the food. The atmosphere is informal and most people mingle, drink in hand.”
Oh boy. Rich and influential. Precisely the crowd I wanted to avoid. “And you brought me here?”
“I warned you that you would be on display. Please don’t grind your teeth, Kate. It makes your jaw look more square.”
Saiman parked at the end of the lot.
“People who patronize Bernard’s rarely relinquish control of their cars.”
I slid Slayer between the seats and opened my car door. Getting out without catching the heel of my shoe on my hem took a moment, and by the time I had accomplished this feat of dexterity, Saiman was there with his arm and his smile.
Why did I agree to this again? Aaah yes. Because I had no choice.
I let Saiman walk me up the steps. Above us a couple on the balcony laughed at something. The woman’s laughter had a slightly hysterical pitch.
We negotiated a vestibule and a luxurious staircase, and Saiman escorted me to the second floor, where a number of small tables dotted a wide room. A smiling hostess in a tiny black dress led us to a table. I sat so I could see the door and surveyed the crowd. Expensive women and expensive men traded pleasantries. A few glanced at us. No hired help. Odd.
“Where are the bodyguards?” I murmured.
“Bernard’s is a sanctuary,” Saiman said. “Violence is strictly prohibited. Should someone break the rule, the entirety of Atlanta’s elite would rise to bring him down.”
In my experience, when the violence broke out, the entirety of Atlanta’s elite scattered and ran for its life.
Saiman ordered cognac, I ordered water. The drinks arrived almost immediately. Saiman picked up his heavy crystal glass, warming the amber liquid it held with his palm. Déjà vu. We’d done this song and dance at the Midnight Games.
“Just so you know: if a rakshasa shows up, I left my sword in the car.”
Saiman’s affable expression gained an edge. “It was a dreadful affair. Thankfully it’s behind us.”
He drained his glass. In seconds he had another, emptied that one as well in a single swallow, and was brought a fresh one.
I leaned forward and nodded at the cognac about to chase its fellows down Saiman’s throat. “What’s the rush?”
“It’s simply sugar.” He shrugged and emptied the glass. “I exerted myself earlier today and need to replenish my resources.”
The waiter flittered by and deposited a huge square bottle of cognac on the table. “With our compliments, sir.”
Saiman nodded and splashed cognac into his glass. His hand shook slightly. Saiman was nervous. I scrutinized the set of his jaw. Not just nervous, but angry. He was psyching himself up for something and fueling it with liquid courage. Not good.
He noticed me looking. Our eyes met. His lips curved in a smile. Unlike the self-satisfied smile of an expert taking pride in his accomplishment, this was the smile of a man looking at a woman and fantasizing.
I gave him my flat stare. Down, boy.
“You look so surprisingly striking, Kate,” Saiman murmured and gulped cognac down like it was water.
Saiman leaned forward. “I would buy you a new dress every weekend just for the privilege of sliding it off of you.”
Not in this lifetime. “You’re drunk.”
“Nonsense.” He poured more liquor. “It’s my third glass.”
He studied the amber liquid. “Do men often tell you you’re enchanting?”
“No. Men often tell me I hit very hard.” Hint, hint.
“Every woman should be told she’s attractive. Men are seduced by their eyes, women by their ears. I would tell you every night and every morning.”
He was just going and going. “That’s nice.”
“You would like it.” Half of the cognac was already gone. Even with his racehorse-on-crack metabolism, he had to be wasted. “You would like the things I would say. The things I would do.”
“Sure, I would.” Maybe if Mr. Casanova drank himself under the table, I’d get the waiter to help me carry him down to the parking lot and we’d call it a night.
Worry nagged at me. I’d never seen Saiman drunk. Drinking, yes, but not drunk.
I glanced behind me. At the far wall sat a large table full of hors d’oeuvres. If I couldn’t prevent him from drinking, perhaps I could distract him with food.
“Would you mind if I helped myself to some?”
He rose, as expected. Drunk or not, Saiman’s manners were flawless. “Allow me to escort you.”
We strolled to the appetizers. I positioned myself so I could have a better view of the floor. Saiman loitered next to me.
“Aren’t you hungry?” I asked him.
“What about replenishing your resources?”
“Ah yes! Thank you for reminding me.” He raised his empty glass and within seconds a waiter brought him a full one.
Bertram’s six, Kate zero.
I surveyed the food. Directly in front of me was a silver platter filled with tiny fried squares. Each square supported a cube of minced meat, flecked with tiny pieces of green onion, sesame seeds, and what might have been grated ginger.
“Tuna tartare,” Saiman told me. “It’s delectable.”
I picked up a square and popped it into my mouth. Saiman’s gaze snagged on my lips. A few more drinks and he might strip naked and offer to dance with me in the falling snow outside. How the hell did I get myself into these things?
“Do you like it?” he asked.
Jim walked through the door, wearing a black cloak and a scowl.
He paused in the door, surveying the crowd and radiating menace. In the gathering of Atlanta’s glittering elite, the alpha of Clan Cat stood out like a solid block of darkness. He saw me and reeled back, wide-eyed, looking like a cat who’d been unexpectedly popped on the nose—shocked and indignant at the same time.
I would never live this down.
Behind him, Daniel and Jennifer, the alpha wolf couple, strode through the door. Interesting.
Jim flashed his teeth. A young man quickly detached himself from the opposite end of the room and hurried over.
A bulky form blocked the doorway next. Mahon. The Bear of Atlanta, alpha of Clan Heavy, and the Pack’s executioner. What the hell was going on?
Jim drew the young man aside. Green rolled over his eyes. He said something. The man glanced at me. His eyes widened.
A tall handsome man came through the door, side by side with a leaner, darker man a few years younger and pretty enough to be stunning. Robert and Thomas Lonesco, the alpha rats. More people followed, all with the liquid grace of shapeshifters.
Houston, we have a problem. “We need to leave.”
“Oh no.” Saiman’s eyes flared with a crazy light. “No, we must stay.”
Jim continued his fierce chewing-out. It was a very one-sided conversation.
A plump middle-aged woman stepped through the door next, registered me, and pursed her lips. Aunt B, the alpha of the boudas. Saiman had dragged me into a restaurant where the Pack Council apparently had dinner. Alphas from every clan were in attendance . . .
My ears caught a voice I knew very well. I couldn’t have possibly heard it all the way from across the room, but I sensed it all the same. My fingers turned ice-cold.
A familiar muscular figure walked through the door.
He turned his blond head. Gray eyes looked at me.
The floor dropped down from under my feet and I floated, disconnected, seeing only him. For a second he looked as if he’d been slapped.
He thought I’d rejected him.
Curran’s gaze shifted to Saiman. Molten gold flooded his irises, burning off all reason and turning it into rage. Shit.
Jim said something at Curran’s side, then said something else.
Curran gave no indication he heard him.
He wore khakis, a black turtleneck, and a leather jacket. For him, that was the equivalent of formal wear. He must’ve come here for some special occasion. Maybe he wouldn’t rip Saiman to pieces in public. Maybe pigs would fly.
Next to me, Saiman smiled. “We all want what we can’t have, Kate. I want you, you want love, and he wants to break my neck.”
Dear God. The fool had actually orchestrated the whole thing. I was on display for Curran’s benefit. I opened my mouth but words failed to come out.
“He can do nothing here.” Saiman sipped from his glass. “After the Red Stalker affair, the People and the Pack instituted a monthly rendezvous held here in neutral territory, to keep the lines of communication open and discuss business. Any deviation from the protocol would mean war. He can’t move a finger out of line.”
Jim was still talking, but Curran wasn’t listening. He was looking at us with that unblinking focused stare.
I finally forced my voice to work. “You brought me here to humiliate the Beast Lord? Are you out of your mind?”
An ugly grimace skewed Saiman’s features. The civilized mask slid off his face. His voice was a rough snarl. “Would you like to know what humiliation is? Humiliation is being forced to sit quietly and mind your manners sandwiched between two brutish animals at your own venue. Humiliation is being told when to leave and when to arrive, to be confined to your quarters, and to have claws on your neck at the slightest deviation from your orders. That’s what he did to me at the Midnight Games.”
Saiman had spent the tournament sitting between Aunt B and Mahon. So that’s what this was all about. His towering arrogance couldn’t take it. He must’ve seethed for weeks, and I had played right into it. That’s why he’d drunk his weight in booze. Curran was pressurized violence and Saiman had expected a confrontation.
“Of course, you know that he wants you.” Saiman grinned, a savage bearing of teeth.
“He can hear you.” Shapeshifter hearing surpassed human, and Curran had to be straining every nerve to catch our voices.
“I want him to hear. I’m an expert at lust and he lusts after you. He’s possessive. He would’ve tried to claim you and you must’ve rejected him the way you had rejected me; otherwise you wouldn’t be available to join me here. I wanted him to see it. To drink it in. I have you and he doesn’t.”
Idiot. “Saiman, be quiet.”
Curran’s face was unreadable.
Saiman bent toward me. “Let me tell you about love. I once seduced a bride and a groom on their wedding night. I had him before the reception and her afterward. I did it solely for fun, to see if I could do it. Two people at the start of their new life together, having just promised to forsake all others. If that’s not proof of the impermanence of love, what is?”
Curran graduated to a full alpha stare. It was the primeval, merciless glare of a predator sighting his prey. It slammed my senses. I stared right back into the golden irises. Bring it. I have a lot of pent-up aggression I saved just for you.
Aunt B turned to the two rats, said something with a smile, and together they walked into the side room marked PRIVATE PARTY. One by one the alphas followed her.
Saiman laughed softly. “We aren’t without similarities, Curran and I. We both fall prey to lust. We both guard our pride and suffer from jealousy. We both employ our resources to get what we want: I use my wealth and my body and he uses his position of power. You say I want you only because you refused me. He wants you for the same reason. I remember when he became Beast Lord. The boy king, the perpetual adolescent, suddenly at the head of the food chain, granted access to hundreds of women who can’t say no. Do you think he forces them into his bed? He had to have done it at least a few times.”
A muscle jerked in Curran’s face.
At the corner Jim nodded, and a couple on our left and the recipient of Jim’s chewing-out followed the Pack Council. Jim had pulled his people in. They were giving Curran a clean playing field. No Pack witnesses, so no shapeshifter could be forced to testify against the Beast Lord. Nice.
Curran’s eyes promised murder. I could practically see the headline: ORDER’S CONSULTANT TORN APART BY BEAST LORD IN EXCLUSIVE NORTHSIDE RESTAURANT. I had to keep Saiman alive. I needed him to help me with my petition, and I had extended the Order’s protection to him when I agreed to this idiotic date.
I had no sword, no needles, nothing.
Saiman signaled for a new drink. “There is only one difference between us. The Beast Lord will lie to you. He’ll tell you he loves you, that you’ll always be the only one, that he’ll sacrifice everything to be with you and keep you safe. I won’t lie to you. I won’t make promises I can’t keep. Honesty, Kate. I offer honesty.”
How could a man so smart be so stupid? It was like he couldn’t stop himself. He’d gone beyond the point of reason. “Saiman, shut the hell up.”
“You’re all mine tonight. Kiss me, Kate. Let me nuzzle your neck. I bet it would send him over the edge.”
Saiman reached for me. I sidestepped.
Something snapped in Curran’s eyes. He started toward us, moving in an unhurried, deliberate fashion, his gaze fixed on Saiman.
If Curran got his hands on him, he’d kill him. I had seconds to prevent it.
I stepped in front of Saiman. “Stay behind me.”
“He won’t hurt me. Not here. It would mean repercussions.”
“He doesn’t care.” Saiman knew that society operated by certain rules, and as long as he stuck to those rules, he would be safe and respected. No emotion ever touched him deep enough to contemplate breaking those rules. He couldn’t fathom the fact that Curran could throw everything out the window just for the chance to grip Saiman’s throat.
Curran wove his way between the tables. I started toward him. Weapon. I needed a weapon. On my right a couple was laughing at the table, a mostly empty bottle of wine sitting on the white tablecloth next to them. I swiped the bottle and kept moving.
Curran’s eyes shone.
I showed him the bottle. You can’t have Saiman. I’m guarding him.
He picked up speed. I don’t care.
I hefted the bottle and picked a spot between two tables. Fine. Keep coming. You wanted to talk. We’ll talk.
Excerpted from "Magic Bleeds"
Copyright © 2010 Ilona Andrews.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Like other reviewers I happened accross the first book on a recommendation. I read it in one sitting and went to purchase the next two immediately. This series just keeps getting better and better each book. There are so few authors that can maintain this momentum. What I like best is the snippits of humor thrown in. They all flow with the story and never feel forced. It helps build the characters. I also really like the basis of this story with the world fluctuating between technology and magic driven. On to Magic Bleeds - this story was amazing. I really liked how the story progressed and without giving anything away what measures Kate used to overcome her own fears and meet the opponent in this book. While other authors like to cash in on the romantic tension between two main characters and never resolve anything (hello Evanovich), I was glad to see the Andrews team not only gives us some resolution but makes us realize it isn't the end but just a doorway into all new possibilities. The book also met my expectations for the one liners and humor I have come to expect.
Magic Bleeds will blow you away! I had read the first chapters from the book on Ilona Andrew's website and I thought the book was going to go in a different direction than it did but it did not disappoint. I was very pleased with the way the book was because it kept me guessing and worrying about the well-being of my favorite characters! There are some returning characters in this book like Jim, Andrea, Aunt B (just to name a few) and a lot of new characters as well. The emotions displayed between Kate and Curran seem realistic and it was easy to get caught up in their emotional whirlwind. I thought the length of this book was fitting because it was longer than the other Kate Daniels books giving the author time to develop the characters and the plot while tying up some loose ends. The action in this book was awesome and Kate really gets into her history. The book also goes somewhat into Curran's background but it mostly focuses on Kate's family history. I was surprised to read about the family member that presents themselves in this novel because I just assumed it would be Kate's dad. Have a great time reading this book and make sure you give yourself a full day to read it because you won't put it down!
Magic Bleeds opens with what has to be the best prologue of all time - it's that good. There is positively no contest here folks. In the interest of not becoming all spoiler-y, I won't go into details, but just know that after the dust settles, we are left with one mad Kate. Mad with a capital M. And it would be safe to assume that most of that barely controlled animosity is directed firmly at His Fuzziness, The Beast Lord, Curran. Fortunately for us, Kate isn't like the rest of world when she's furious. She's a teeny bit more dangerous since she never goes anywhere without her enchanted sword, Slayer, strapped to her back. That would add a little bit of swagger to any girl's stride. So Kate's already seeing red when the Order calls upon her to investigate a bar fight turned deadly. Upon her arrival, Kate finds not only an entire bar of spent brawlers who have no idea why they began fighting in the first place, but a man staked to a telephone pole, crawling with what appears to be a fast-multiplying, deadly disease. Kate contains the disease (barely) but then finds herself up against all sorts of obstacles upon discovering that the victim was a shapeshifter and therefore part of Curran's territory. Not someone she really wants to deal with at the moment. But as the plague-spreading culprit strikes again and again, Kate realizes she's gonna have to call in every favor and rely upon every weapon in her arsenal before this newest enemy can wreck complete destruction on the city of Atlanta. And that means working together with the Order, the Guild, the People, and most importantly the Pack to control this centuries-old evil from destroying everything Kate holds close. I can feel myself starting to grin like a idiot right now because I've just got to say it: This. Book. Is. Awesome. And then some. Like if Awesome and Mind-Blowing went and had a love child it would be called Magic Bleeds. It's been obvious since day one that husband and wife writer duo Ilona Andrews has had a plan in store for Kate (and us), but "Magic Bleeds" just went and and blew all my expectations right out of the park. Weighing in as one of my top picks of 2009, "Magic Strikes" set the bar pretty dang high as far as impressive books go: we finally got to know Kate's Big Secret and saw some very nice relationship development between her and Curran (roar). I wasn't sure it would be possible but it's like "Magic Bleeds" took those eye-popping elements and then ramped up the intensity, the action, and the sizzle (whoa baby) one-hundred fold. Magic Bleeds simply delivers. And dang it, but every time I'm enjoying watching Kate kick some serious butt, I end up forgetting just how frightfully brilliant she is. The girl is a total sword-swinging killing machine; too often taken for a simple mercenary with nothing much going on upstairs. Not so. Kate is infinitely more capable - and deadly. Sometimes it's hard to remember that not only has Kate been training as a warrior since age two (or earlier), she's also been getting a comprehensive education in mythology, history, and magic at the same time. It's not until she rattles off the minutiae of some obscure, ancient belief system at the drop of a hat to stunned audiences that I remind myself to pick my jaw up off the floor and just turn the page. She's just that good and I cannot even begin to explain how skillfully her story has been crafted. It's okay, we all want to be Kate. Go ahead and adm
I strongly recommend you read the previous books in the series (Magic Bites, Magic Burns and Magic Strikes, short story in the anthology Must Love Hellhounds Magic Mourns ) prior to reading this book. Kate Daniels is sent to a local watering-hole, the Steel Horse, to investigate what she thinks will be a simple conflict but instead stumbles onto a scene that is like no other. Magic is being used to spread festering sickness on the scale of Biblical proportions. For the Kate and Curran fans this is the book we've all been waiting for. This book is pure Kate and Curran candy and I greedily devoured it! The story completely took hold and I hung on to every word. This installment was exciting, fresh and creative and I love the direction the series is heading. Knowing that there might be just a couple more Kate Daniels books has me sad already. I highly recommend this book to fellow dark urban fantasy readers and anxiously await the next book due out in 2011 and the short story in DARK AND STORMY NIGHTS due out 7/20/10. I also recommend- Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between by J.A. Saare, B&N doesn't carry this book, try Amazon for it.
I bought this book. Kate Daniels #4 Like most books this deep into a series I have to start with a disclaimer: DO NOT start this series here. Magic Bleeds is the fourth in the series, and like most series it has a point where the world and characters are fairly well established and the story start moving on with the readers as friends and close relatives rather than as an audience. For the Kate Daniel series, Magic Bleeds is that book. The Kate books are set in a post apocalyptic-ish Atlanta where tech and magic are at war for dominance over reality. By this point "tech" being up and "magic" being up, as well as the characters and the monster archetypes (such as vampires being "horses" for necromancers and werecritters being unified under one ruler in a feudal-like system of clans) should be familiar for readers because Andrews is moving on to expand, rather than explain. The book opens with Kate following through on a bet she lost (that entails her cooking a meal and serving it in lingerie to the Beast Lord--Curran). Except Curran stands her up, which is a massive blow to Kate, emotionally, since she was raised to never get close to anyone, and had let Curran in anyway. This directly sets up the plot for plenty of angst, however Andrews backs up Kate's fear of trusting people with a big whopping dose of the family from Hell. Formerly Jesse Custer, main character of the Preacher graphic novel series, held the title of worst family ever (in my reading experience). But Kate's family is legendary, as in actual legends, like the kind that have parents swallowing children out of jealousy and full grow adults being born from each others' heads. If Kate's destiny and relatives aren't enough to keep her from getting attached, the fact that someone in Atlanta is targeting the strongest magic users in the city and turning their bodies into sentient, aggressive, living diseases (as in, these disease will literally chase you down to infect you) and appears to be outright after the shapeshifters, making Kate's angst over being attached to the beast clans an even harder decision. Character progression is what this series is about, possibly even more than the mysteries and thrill of each book itself. Kate is the cold, vicious killer that we know isn't as heartless as she seems. It's hard not to get drawn in, especially when on an emotional level we want to see Kate conquer the world by allowing herself to be open and passionate and a real person instead of a flat killer. Engaging, exciting, sensual and darkly hilarious, Magic Bleeds is a wholly satisfying read with a hint of Arthurian legend in a backdrop of murder, magic and werewolves. If you love paranormals and adventure this series is not to be missed.
I totally loved this 4th book in the series. Compared to the others. I thought there was more depth of the characters. You got more of how they each were feeling and a better understanding of them. Kate continues to be sassy, sarcastic, witty and funny. Sometimes all at the same time. There were parts I laughed, some I cried. I love that how supportive some of the other characters were. Curran.... what more is there to say. I love Curran! He is a strong man very masculine but can be open, funny, and merciful. Julie is a character I love. Andrea really surprised me in this book among many other characters. I like the plot of this book it was fast paced with a well mix of action, humor, romance, and suspense.
After reading some snippits of this book I was scared I wouldn't like it. After I started reading I found that I not only liked it but I couldn't put it down. Magic bleeds is a great continuation to the Kate series.
I won't give away any plot details since in most places this book hasn't been released but I can say that this book was worth the wait. I couldn't believe it when I saw that bn.com was shipping it! I immediately ordered it and once it arrived, I devoured it. I'm reading it for the second time right now and plan to re-read the whole series soon! Ilona Andrews, you rock!
Won ARC from Ilona and Gordon's Website. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I'm still sort of reeling at the moment. Magic Bleeds is an awesome addition to the Kate Daniels Series. I am sooo gonna have to read it again in the next few days. There is soooo much that happens!!! The plot was very surprising, and wasn't what I had thought it was going to be at all! I was very impressed with how close to the vest Ilona and Gordon kept the plot from the fans Ilona and Gordon sure know how to bring it! The writing is strong, It is compelling from start to finish. I didn't put it down once I started reading it. (except for a few min at supper time and quite frankly that was torture b/c it was a major part!!!) But a mom has to feed her cubs and mate :D I will write a more in depth review when the release date approaches. I don't want to risk ruining it for anyone. But for sure put this on your must read list for 2010!!!
Magic Bleeds is yet another example in this series of how fun it can be to read an extremely well written urban fantasy. There's so much right with this novel. It's possible to read these novels out of order, but you'll get the full effect of all the different plots and sub plots if you read them as they were written - in order. We get to see a bit of Kate's awkwardly evolving friendships - she never did learn how to have friends, and doesn't know how a friendship really works. Her relationship with Curran remains explosively satisfying to read. Kate Daniels also remains satisfyingly assertive and aggressive. While each of the books in the Kate Daniels series seems to be better than the last book, I don't think that I would be able to pick a favorite out of them all. There's not many series that I can say I absolutely enjoyed every aspect of each book. There's always at least one book that I don't like as much as the others, but not so with this series.
It took everything I had not to call in sick so I could finish reading. If this is you first book in this series, do yourself a favor and start from the beginning. The character development through out the series should not be missed. I love Kate, and how much more maturity, and restraint she develops in each new book. I also love that she gives her all to every fight she has emotional and physical, and deals with the broken bones later. Ilona Andrews is an amazing writer both series she has are amazing. And though it killing me not to beg for the next book to come quicker, i'd rather wait and have it live up to my growing expectation. I would love to see this in a tv series only if they don't lose Kate's inner voice.
My fave series, hands down. I dragged my feet finishing it, just because I didn't want to see it end. Well, they're half done with writing the next one...here's to another year of waiting. :)
I was not initially a huge fan of this series, but this is my favorite book so far. It took me awhile to warm up to Kate, she was wonderfully kick-ass, but not emotionally interesting enough for me.Now that I've finished Magic Bleeds, I'm a pretty big fan. A lot of that is probably that the Kate/Curran storyline finally takes up a little more page time (and I love a love/hate relationship - or a love/practical joke relationship). But also by this time, the world makes sense. Kate makes sense. Her relationships with the people around her are developed enough to have an interesting emotional landscape.
I enjoyed this book immensely. It¿s like a summer action movie: fast-paced, humorous, sexy, over the top, a little stupid... but a heck of a lot of fun. If you¿re in the mood for a book with some good old fashioned butt kicking, cool sword fights, a tough as nails heroine, and a magical showdown of epic proportions, with an awesome steamy scene thrown into the mix, then Magic Bleeds fits the bill. This fourth installment in the Kate Daniels series can be read on its own, but I recommend reading the books in order because it builds on events and characterization of the previous three novels. Despite my analogy to a summer action movie, this book actually has a fair amount of drama as well, especially surrounding the romantic subplot and the protagonist¿s family issues. The last couple of chapters are surprisingly emotional and heartfelt, while somehow managing to avoid coming off as stupid or melodramatic. It¿s not the greatest book of all time, but it's so fun and entertaining that I can gladly overlook its flaws and just let myself have a good time reading it.
I really enjoyed this book and found it very... satisfying.Magic Bleeds starts with a prologue of the Naked Dinner that Kate owes Curran. It doesn't quite go as planned and it seems that Kate has been stood up. There she is in her kitchen, surrounded by cold food, in her underwear and makeup, no Curran, no phone call, and no idea what is going on. She calls The Keep and is told that all future inquiries need to go through Pack security. She believes that Curran set the whole thing up to humiliate her and of course her first instinct is to go to the keep and punch him. She realizes that in a fight with Curran, she would lose and the public would see it as The Pack assaulting a member of the Order. Kate decides to be responsible and not get The Pack in trouble because she still has shifter friends. This is a lesson learned, friends make you weak and she cannot afford to be weak.Chapter 1 then picks up with Kate taking a call on a bar fight that ended with a patron pinned to a telephone pole and infected with a magically strengthened disease. Kate is on the Mary's (plague carrier) trail and beginning to discover that the shapeshifters are in trouble, she can't isolate herself, and she might be outgrowing her position at the Order.The book was fast paced, full of action, witty dialogue, and peppered with laugh-out-loud bits - a typical Kate Daniels book. While Andrews stated on her blog that Kate "loses everything" in this book, I have to disagree. Yes, at one point Kate loses every material thing that connected her to her dead guardian and family. This is a huge emotional loss, but it forces her to make a choice: does she continue down her original path of loneliness and an early death or does she make a life and connections for herself? The world building, rules, different groups, etc. were all explained smoothly without being tedious. Instead of Kate coming off as the angry badass heroine, her anger, attitude, and actions are nicely explained by her friend Andrea. Andrea realizes that this is the first timeKate has had friends or fell in love. She didn't know how to handle the disappointment or broken heart. This made Kate a much more sympathetic character. Readers and other characters also get a chance to see sharp, smart tactician and fighter that she hides behind her me-kill-you-dead persona that she presents to the world.Kate and Curran's relationship also takes a decisive step. I really liked that both characters didn't just storm around angrily (though they did do that) but they also *gasp* talked to each other about what happened. Honesty, articulation, smex, it was great!As I said above, this is a very satisfying read. If I didn't know that Kate 5 was currently being written, I'd be worried that this was a series ending book. Things are kind of wrapped up neatly with a new life and future are ahead of Kate. I'll be interested to see how her character deals with new responsibilities, no longer being on her own, a relationship, shifter politics, happiness, and the need to attend formal events.VERDICTIf you've been reading the previous Kate Daniels books, how could you not pick this up? While not probably not my favorite Kate book, I enjoyed it for what it gave me, especially the forward momentum... and Curran.
This urban fantasy world has waves of magic enveloping the world, alternating with waves of tech, or no magic. So sometimes the phone works, and sometimes it doesn't. Our protagonist, Kate Daniels, is an investigator for the Order, and is being wooed by the King of Beasts, Curran the Beast Lord. The action sequences are fun, but her stubborn insistence on misreading Curran's intentions are sometimes infuriating. More is revealed about her mysterious family history, and an apocalypse is averted. She also acquires an attack poodle as a pet. What's not to like?
Warning!!! This review will contain spoilers!! Don't read unless you have finished the book or don't care if you know some things going in.OK. had to get that out of the way, as I couldn't see a way to review this book without spoiling the ending for some readers. I love, love Ilona Andrews (more accurately Team Andrews with her husband and co-writer) and her Kate Daniels series. This fourth book only confirms my great love and I can't wait for more. Kate and Curran finally consummate their relationship, which complicates things for Kate, especially Curran's need to protect her from everything. Meanwhile new bad guys enter the scene, creating the expected and unexpected chaos (or at least unexpected chaos for the characters). Each book in this series ups the ante in terms of bad guys and this newest is no exception. I truly thought for awhile that Kate wasn't going to make it and that Team Andrews was setting things up for maybe a spin-off, but somehow she makes it through. And Kate and Curran get to have a "we're happy right now" ending for this book, as most if not all of Kate's secrets are revealed and the time for confronting her father is fast approaching. Looking forward to seeing where Team Andrews goes with this, including if that were-croc survives to help Kate survive the next book.
The wait is actually (almost) worth it for the books in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Although the world is so complex, some details from the previous books were a little fuzzy when I read "Magic Bleeds", Andrews did such an incredible job with the writing that I didn't feel lost or confused. In this story, Kate is stood up by Curran, the beast lord, for dinner and won't speak with him. Her job with the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid still has her working jobs others don't want. Now a man has walked into a bar and scared away many shapeshifters, and left a dead and diseased body in his wake. What this leads to takes Kate to her worse foe yet, and thats saying something. Others have said more about the plot, so I won't rehash too much of that. I want to comment on the unbelievably well drawn and consistent characters Andrews has introduced us to. Kate is the most human of any of urban fantasy's many heroines today. She is tough as nails and she can get the nastiest, scariest jobs done, but she is still a woman. She still can be hurt, not just physically but emotionally as well. Curran standing her up hurt Kate worse than anything we've seen since her mentor Greg died in the first book. She is sarcastic but not overly so...its enjoyable without ever being annoying. The relationship between Kate and Curran is probably the best I've read. I don't mind paranormal romances for the most part, but I just love a story where that isn't the focus. I don't love pages and pages of overdone emotional musings. The way Curran and Kate play off each other is amusing and endearing. This is a couple that I believe could stay interesting and strong even if/when they ever come to be truly together. I love the side characters and I absolutely adore this book's new addition. I hope he sticks around for a long while. Its fun watching Kate who has for some long kept relationships away, gaining more and more all the time. I came to this series for the action promised on the back cover, but I stay for the enjoyment I get out of spending time with Kate and the other characters. Still surprisingly stellar after four books, but if you haven't picked these up yet, please start with the first!
Won ARC from Ilona and Gordon's Website. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I'm still sort of reeling at the moment. Magic Bleeds is an awesome addition to the Kate Daniels Series. I am sooo gonna have to read it again in the next few days. There is soooo much that happens!!! Ilona and Gordon sure know how to bring it! The writing is strong, It is compelling from start to finish. I didn't put it down once I started reading it. (except for a few min at supper time and quite frankly that was torture b/c it was a major part!!!) But a mom has to feed her cubs and mate :D I will write a more in depth review when the release date approaches. I don't want to risk ruining it for anyone. But for sure put this on your must read list for 2010!!!
This is the 4th book in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Right now there are seven books contracted for this series. Believe it or not, this book was even better than Magic Strikes, book 3. These books keep getting better and better...I mean just wow! I absolutely loved this book. I listened to this on audio book and the audio books are very, very well done.Kate gets a call for help from a bar. She arrives to find that there a shapeshifter dead and infected with a virulent disease. As she tries to track down the magic user spreading the disease she finds out that this is no ordinary bad person. Someone from Kate's family is in town and they want to bring down Kate and all of Atlanta with her. Kate's position in the Order becomes shaky as the lead Knight of the Order forces Kate to choose between saving lives and following protocol. Things are also especially tense between Kate and Curran; especially when Curran fails to show for a special dinner date.This was an awesome book. The Andrews (husband and wife writing team) do an excellent job with characterization, action scenes, and plot. The writing is darkly humorous, sardonic, engaging, and just all out fun to read. There are some pretty steamy scenes in this book and the Andrews do an excellent job capturing characters' vulnerable sides as well as their kick-ass attitudes.So what was the most awesome part of the story? Well basically all of it. We learn a ton about Kate's family and past. Kate's new enemy is unbelievably powerful and brings along four excellent sidekicks in a mission to destroy Kate. It was wonderful to learn more details about Kate's childhood and crazy past. We also learn a lot about Curran's past; where he came from and what made him who he is.The action scenes are spectacular and creative. The undead mages that Kate fights, fight dirty and Kate uses a lot of creative techniques to deal with them. This book helped fill out the world as a whole and tied a lot of things together.Of course I have to mention the relationship between Kate and Curran. There relationship...matures a lot in this story. They still drive each other nuts, but I was happy to see how realistically and practically they dealt with the problems their relationship (or lack of one at points) causes. It was so nice to have two great characters compromise in ways that leads to a solid, if troublesome, relationship.At the end of the book the main storyline in nicely wrapped up. There is still the overlying story-arc of Roland and what he will do if/when he discovers Kate is alive. I have been very happy with how these novels are done. They are well done, well planned, and have excellent characters. I enjoy the humor, action, and engaging plot. If I have one small complaint it is that Kate can get a bit melodramatic at times and approaches fights with a kind of "OMG we are all going to die attitude." She does this quite often and, being how many fights she's survived, I wish she had a bit more confidence in herself :-)Overall loved this book. It is perfect. Can these books keep getting better and better? Well I will have to wait for book 5 to find out and I am eagerly,desperately waiting for book 5. Meanwhile I will have to settle with reading the Edge book, Bayou Moon, which is out in September. Also check out Silent Blade if you haven't. It is more of a romance than the Kate Daniels series but still an awesome story.
It's all about family - the family we choose and the family we're born to. After her naked date with Curran is a no-go, Kate decides her best course of action is to write the relationship off. But fate has other plans - a plague-bearing, undead-mage-riding power is attacking Atlanta and Kate's in the hot seat. If she can't uncover the reason why the Pack's being targeted and stop the carnage in time, Atlanta's doomed. And there's an attack poodle... Need I say more?As always I stayed up way too late and finished it way too quickly.
The 4th installment in the Kate Daniels series is the best one yet. Don't get me wrong; all previous three books are great, but this one manages to surpass them (which is NOT an easy task to accomplish), presenting a close-to-perfect blend of fantasy, mystery, action-adventure, dark humor, and romance. The heart of the series is its wonderful characters, with Kate in the lead...characters who mature and develop, whose relationships go though significant changes, whose lives take twists and turns. You want to read on, you can't put the book down, and you're damn sorry when it's over. The Andrews' style is deliberate, precise and a joy to read. Being neat-picky, I did have minor issues, one of them being the Kate/Curran fight in the first half of the book hovering on the verge of The Big Misunderstanding. I dislike big misunderstandings. BUT...the Andrews save the day big time. In short: It's a 5-star book, get it. But be sure to read the first three books first or you'll miss out on a wonderful series.
The best of the series so far, in this entry we find Kate facing different concepts of family, both the ones you do and do not choose. I enjoyed her much more here, I think her character has softened a little bit which makes her a more likeable protagonist to me.As always there is plenty of action along with some blood spattering and a few cringe worthy scenes. We also get to see a bit more progress in the Curran/Kate relationship which I felt was very rewarding.Overall quite a good series that seems to get stronger and more fluid as it goes along.
Kate Daniels is back! And while the cover has the requisite arched-back cleavage, the expression on Kate¿s face is exactly the kind of I¿ll-fuck-you-up I imagine for her. She¿s struggling with teenage bull over her relationship with the shapeshifter Curran, but fortunately that¿s mostly a sideshow of fighting and sex as her aunt comes to town. Given that her aunt is thousands of years old, a psychopath, and capable of exposing her to the murderous intentions of her father, that¿s a bigger problem. If you¿ve enjoyed the series so far, as I have, I expect this book will deliver.