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review 2013-12-26 01:27
Another Strike For Team Ilona Andrews!
Magic Strikes - Ilona Andrews

Book three is nearly as good as the first two.  The stakes -- in all ways -- seem to be rising dramatically and I'm wondering if the series is going to take us there or if it's one of those things that needs to be held off until the end of the series.  I'm kind of hoping for the former -- a big arc for a few books, they relieve that tension, and then we move on to a new arc.  We'll see.  I just think their world is big enough for other grave threats, you know?


Kate Daniels continues to be a character I really enjoy, and I love most of her friends.  However, this book didn't sit quite as well with me.  There were perhaps a few too many things that didn't sit well with me -- ethics-wise.  I get it, I really do, but I don't have to like it, right?  Here's hoping book four doesn't go further down that path...  (though there's a short story to read first!).


I find the mix of moods in these books really interesting.  On the one hand, there's a lot of humor, there's a little fluff.  On the other other hand, there's deep world building and all the seriousness of an apocalypse.  And on a third hand (hey, it works for the series -- you never know what is going to pop up!) there's a bit of grim darkness.  Luckily, not enough darkness to turn me off -- the really grim stuff tends to.

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review 2013-12-24 19:55
Second Bite, Nice Burn
Magic Burns - Ilona Andrews

Book two of this series was a really strong entry for me, as well.  It has all the things I loved in the first book -- the interesting characters, the world building, the mythology, and a protagonist I really like -- and it also just feels very real in some ways.  Sure, there are werewolves and fishy smelling evil spirits with poisonous claws and plenty of amazing heroics and so on, but the people are...  just people, inside.  When they make poor decisions it doesn't feel like it's just to advance the plot or that we're supposed to ignore plot holes or that the characters just aren't allowed to make good decisions because then things would go too smoothly.  Rather, we always get at least a little of an explanation -- enough to say, okay, I can see why that happened.  This goes for the magic, too.  Instead of leaving the reader to wonder why Kate can't waggle her fingers and make everything work, she thinks about how much easier it would be if she could except that it wouldn't work because...  I like that.  The author duo seems very aware of how their world works.


I also really love the cast of characters and was glad that so many people from the first book showed up again -- in larger or smaller roles -- and how they all felt consistent.  I'm wondering if, as I continue through this series (and I did buy book three right away and am considering starting it immediately) if I'll basically be entering a whole community each time I start one of the novels.  What I mean is, a lot of times you follow a protagonist and maybe a love interest or a sidekick, and that's the one anchor between you and the story.  But if these novels continue as the first two, each time I come into the book, I'm going to be surrounded by a whole group of people that I'm interested in knowing about and I understand how they all fit together...  This obviously isn't the only series that does this, but it does it better than most books I've read in a while.


I'm not entirely sure why I am loving this series so much at the moment.  Usually that happens when I really identify with the protagonist, but I can't say that I feel very much like Kate Daniels at all!

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