Sunday, January 12, 2014

REVIEW: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4)Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Format: Real Live Book
Narrated By: NA
Original Publication Year: 2010
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy
Series: Kate Daniels #4
Awards: A few reader's choice awards and nominations

Recommended Subtitle: How to find domestic bliss while avoiding being killed by your extended family

This book is really a turning point in this series. Kate is forced to confront her biological family for the first time and things go about as well as expected (i.e. not well at all). Meanwhile she and Curran finally give up and agree somewhat petulantly, “Fine, let’s do this thing” with the results being surprisingly sweet and mature. It was important, therefore, given all these portentous happenings for the series that things get done well. Ilona Andrews does not disappoint and I must say it is so great to read a series that just seems to be getting better as it goes.

The introduction of Kate’s much alluded to family was sufficiently bat shit crazy. Considering this wasn’t the main showdown that will undoubtedly be coming, Andrews did a really good job I thought in striking just the right level of threat to make the reader realize what may be coming for Kate. Andrews also takes advantage of the situation to perfectly illustrate how Kate and Curran are better and stronger together while not stripping away any of Kate’s strength and independence. I honestly can’t remember if I have ever read a more authentically strong and individual heroine who retains her awesome even in a romance context. Long story, short: Kate is amazing, well rounded and appears to be staying that way after four books. I appreciate that consistency, so much.

I do have some quibbles. Clich├ęs are used liberally and the narrative structure isn’t going to blow any minds if you’ve ever read urban fantasy before. My reading enjoyment is also impacted by the extensive re-capping Andrews does to bring readers just jumping in on book 4 up to speed. This practice annoys me, and if it’s done at all I think it would be more effective as a stand-alone introduction or the like. It probably wouldn’t be bothering me if I wasn’t devouring the books one right after another.

The quibbles are over shadowed, however, by the aforementioned awesome and also the creatively imagined world. This isn’t just a mildly different version of our world with vampires and were-lions running around. It’s got a very unique feel to it with a post-apocalyptic vibe and cycles of technology and magic. Each book explores the world a little bit more and it only becomes more interesting.

Final Verdict: Yipppeee! That was fun! My favorite installment yet!

Anybody else want to vote Kate and Curran on of the best developed couples in Fictiondom?  What are some of your coupling pet peeves in books?

View all my reviews

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