Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Review: Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels, #5.5)

Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels, #5.5)Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels, #5.5
Publication date: July 31st 2012
Publisher: Ace
Mass market paperback, 326pages
Buy: The Book Depository

Gunmetal Magic in numbers:
Number of pages: 326
Number of hilarious sentences per page: Anywhere between  3 and 17
Number of characters I want to be best friends with: 5
Number of raw emotional moments: too many to count

It would appear that, at this point, the husband-and-wife writing team Ilona Andrews can do no wrong. There’s a reason why many people who don’t normally read urban fantasy adore their Kate Daniels series, and people who do read lots of urban fantasy usually single it out as their favorite.
This spin-off of sorts, Andrea’s book, had some pretty big expectations to live up to, but there was never any doubt that they’d succeed, and succeed they did. Fast-paced, emotional, filled with beloved characters and hordes of mythological creatures, Gunmetal Magic is, above all, fun. Mission accomplished, you guys.

Andrea Nash is a person tortured by her past in nightmares. She sleepwalks and wakes up in her closet clutching a knife, but then gets dressed and becomes this unflinching, self-assured heroine you can’t help but admire. Despite many similarities between her and Kate Daniels, the authors never allow you to forget whose eyes you’re seeing through.
They call people like Andrea beastkin, a taboo among the shapewhifters. Her mother was a werehyena and her father a hyenawere, an animal that turned into a human as opposed to the other way around. As a daughter of an animal that occasionally shifted into a mentally challenged human, she suffered abuse and torture that culminated with her being set on fire at the age of eleven. Even though she grew up to be strong and skilled, a knight of the Order of Merciful Aid, the fear and distrust toward her own kind never really left her. Gunmetal Magic explores Andrea’s journey from being completely and utterly broken to having a chance at happiness.

The amount of mythology included in these books is comparable only to Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, but unlike Hearne, Ilona and Gordon never allow themselves to get pulled into a dry lecturing mode. Instead, they mix a massive amount of information with their signature sense of humor – they’ve developed this skill so perfectly, in fact, that you don’t even notice you’re learning something new between bouts of laughter and all the tear wiping.

Smut is the only thing these two don’t do well. It’s no secret that they don’t enjoy writing it – in fact, they’ve explained several times how uncomfortable they are with it. Their books focus on other things and they have different priorities. I actually tend to agree with them up to a point and this never bothered me one bit (you want smut, you read paranormal romance… with UF you get blood and guns), but I feel that it bears mentioning. I’m not saying that there aren’t any sex scenes in their books – there are – I’m just saying they lack heat some other authors accomplish with little to no effort. For some, like me, it’s a good thing, but the others should be warned.

I will say this just one more time because apparently, I haven’t been loud and annoying enough so far: my Kate Daniels books are full of post-it notes and I reread parts of them more often than I care to admit. It is my favorite urban fantasy series by far, and I’m someone who reads a lot of urban fantasy. If you’re still undecided about picking it up, I say go for it as soon as possible. Given the chance, Kate and Andrea will win your heart in an instant.

This book includes Magic Gifts, a hundred pages long Kate Daniels novella, first published in e-format as a Christmas gift to the fans. Yes, they are just that awesome.


  1. Fantastic review, Maja! Your love for this series is infectious. :) I'm glad to hear Gunmetal Magic (great title!) proved to be a good, fun read. I clearly need to get a move on with this series. Wonderful review as always my dear! :)

    Also, I see you're currently reading Foretold! I just started that today myself and I'm really enjoying getting to know Beck a little better. ;) I can't wait to compare thoughts.

  2. This is a wonderful review, Maja! <3 I'm so giddy right now because I can't wait to start this series! Seriously, I must have lived under a rock all this time! x) I love your point about smut - I think the best way to find it is in paranormal romance! I think what I enjoy most about urban fantasy is the amazing world building. :)

    Beautiful review! <3 Now I have to run to the bookstore to buy the first book! x)

  3. I finished that one yesterday night. It was good but not very good - there were infodumps all along and let me just tell you that Raphael behaved in a very cliche mode, a bimbo girlfriend and all. Still there were some good parts in it so overall I don't regret preordering.

  4. Maja you've given me another huge incentive to pick this up asap! I remember reading your update about receiving this just the other day and you've already flown through it and written a fantastic review, I think I may just have to pick the first book up for my read-athon which starts on Saturday! Awesome review hun! :)

  5. This is a series that I've been meaning to pick up but I never got around to it. There are so many books that I want to read that I simply don't have the time to.
    The Kate Daniels series sounds so awesome though since there's lot of bloodshed and all! :) The mythology seems awesome too. :D
    Great review, Maja!

  6. "There’s a reason why many people who don’t normally read urban fantasy adore their Kate Daniels series, and people who do read lots of urban fantasy usually single it out as their favorite."

    Why am I always the last to get a freaking clue?! Good to know that lecturer mode is turned off, but the mythology is still engaging. I am very selective of which UF I take on because I don't read many, but this this series sounds like one I can't ignore for one more second.

  7. Oh, I didn't realize Magic Gifts was included in Gunmetal Magic, that's fantastic! I did know that they took place at the same time, and I did download it at Christmas (even though I hadn't even started the series at that point), but still, they're awesome.

    I'm with you, I actually LIKE that these books aren't more smutty. It's certainly the right amount of heat and fade to black for someone like me who doesn't really love to smut it up. Also, yes, I love their inclusion of mythology and that they explore so many different ones. That was one of my only disappointments in Magic Slays, there wasn't as much of this as there had been in the past (but it was by no means absent).

    I'm so glad this was another winner, though I'll be honest, there was never a doubt in my mind that it would be. After reading Andrea's novella in Must Love Hellhounds, I was really pumped to have a whole book from her PoV. Just finished Magic Slays last night, and I'm so excited for this! I want more from the woman with the hand that slapped Aunt B.

  8. I am getting this book because I have wanted to try this series for ahwile and I just can't find time to work in a series these days so a spin off is the way to go! I am with you, I really don't enjoy reading a lot of smut. I usually skim it and move on. So I for one am happy about that. I also love that it has 3-17 hilarious passages per page!

  9. Great review! I cannot wait to read this one.

  10. I really wish I had some time to read some books of my choice right now because I would go straight for this series because I know how much you love it and it sounds brilliant. I also like that they don't focus on the sex so much, I enjoy it it paranormal romance but it often becomes repetitive and overtakes all of the plot, so I think this could be great

  11. Ahhhhh! I need to read this Maja! I love the Kate Daniels series so much, I can't wait to read Andrea's book! I still need to get caught up on the last KD book though, I'm behind. Fail. Awesome review, I'm so glad to know Andrea and Raphael don't disappoint in the least (except for the minor lack of heat in the sex scenes, but I can overlook that).

  12. Your thoughts pretty much mirrored mine, Maja! I just finished this the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it. Kate Daniels was my first step into the UF world and I'm SO glad that I gave it a chance. It's one of my auto-read and buy series!


Thank you for stopping by and commenting. If you're a fellow blogger, I'll visit and return the favor as soon as possible. If your're using Google+ to comment, please make sure that your blog link is clearly visible on your profile.

Unfortunately, this is now an award and tag free blog, but I do thank you for your consideration.