Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review: Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6)


Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6)Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels, #6
Release date: July 30th 2013
Publisher: Ace
Mass Market Paperback, 337 pg
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.
Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.
Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…
After no less than 26 agonizing months, Magic Rises, the long-awaited sixth installment in the Kate Daniels series is finally here. Breaths are being held, bets are being placed, hearts are beating faster all over the world. Fans of the series are both numerous and ridiculously loyal, but will they be disappointed, whether they voice it or not?

Honestly, I’d have to judge that on a case-by-case basis. Early reactions have been very enthusiastic. Most reviewers have nothing but high praise to share, and for the most part, I happen to agree with them. But a small part of me is also just a tad disappointed, and I’m finding it difficult to pinpoint why.

I’ll start with the good, though. There’s nothing worse in this world than an enemy who treats you like a friend. You can be fully aware of the danger and the plotting, but an occasional act of kindness can make his teeth seem not quite so big. Although she may claim otherwise, as a general rule, Kate Daniels trusts people until they prove her wrong, but when faced with the only person who is her equal, similar to her in more ways than one, drawing the line suddenly doesn’t seem so easy. Hugh D’Ambray is the closest thing to Kate’s mirror image – he has all her skills and stubbornness, but none of that pesky thing called conscience. She hates him, there is no doubt, but a part of her can’t deny the connection, the same upbringing and abuse they had to endure. This conflict is undoubtedly the highlight of this book. It’s where Gordon and Ilona showed their superior skill and insight and I hope they’ll keep it alive one way or another in books to come.

Magic Rises is not a merry adventure. It is angsty and painful, filled with conflicts and miscommunications. Characters are quick to jump to conclusions, take matters into their own hands, make a mess of things and stop talking altogether. The latter, more than anything else, drove me out of my mind. I am not fond of such situations, especially when they involve characters I think highly of, and they always leave me feeling disenchanted and sad.

At this point in the series, one expects the authors to make some hard decisions and put their readers through unexpected and difficult situations. It’s only understandable, otherwise the series would go stale and we’d all end up reading something else. But it makes no sense to decide on such a move, a very emotional, gut-punch move, and then fail to use it to its full potential. A potentially devastating event towards the end of the book was neatly swept under the rug. It happened, I was shocked, and then it was just never properly addressed, never dealt with in any way. We did not get to see the consequences or the suffering. Maybe the next book will deal with it more, but it will be too late for the full emotional impact.

Not that I wrote it all down, it seems I was a bit more disappointed about all this than I first thought. Objectively, Magic Rises is a three-star read, but I’m giving it a four for old times’ sake. Let’s hope the next one clears the air.

19 comments:

  1. Uh-oh, it was objectively three stars? Characters stop talking to each other and resort to drama? Kate's depth seems to have improved but you didn't even mention my swoon-worthy man-candy Curran? I AM WORRYING NOW MAJA! Admittedly, I'm still going to read this as soon as my grubby hands happen to land on it in the bookstore, and I'm certainly glad to see you enjoyed this title and that Ilona and Gordon manage to keep the series alive, not stale, but I'm a little worried too. I'm hoping that with altered expectations I can manage to love this...we'll see. Thanks for such a helpful (and anticipated!) review, Maja!(:

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  2. I loved this book but I can totally understand where your disappointment comes in. Curran was being kind of a secretive dick throughout much of the book and, yeah, people jumped to conclusions and did a lot of stupid stuff, especially considering what was at stake and who was present in that castle! Can't wait to see what happens next, though!

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  3. I feel like I'm the only person who hasn't heard of this series before! Hmmm...I must stalk the previous books on GR :) I'm sorry this was a bit of a disappointment for you :( I hate it when a sequel I've been highly anticipating for a long time ends up being a let-down :( Fingers crossed the next book will be much better <3

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  4. Angst and miscommunication can easily frustrate me, even if it's just a small part of the book. I tend to want to strangle the characters, and that doesn't particularly feel great when I'm usually fond of them. Sorry to hear that a part of you was a little disappointed with this one - but I'm glad you liked it one the whole. I do hope the next book will restore all the magic. Lovely review, Maja!

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  5. Great review! I haven't heard of this one, I'll have to add it to my wishlist. I'm glad you enjoyed it, books with magic are brilliant. It's a shame that the miscommunication let you down and I can understand why. It is so frustrating when characters stop talking to each other over something petty. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Maja! :)

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  6. Eeep I briefly skimmed over your review only because I'm a complete failure when it comes to reading this series, I have only read the first book. But your four stars have me very excited, I have only heard the series gets so much better as the series progresses. So I can't wait to finally discuss this with you!

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  7. I am not sure what to think of this review, I feel a little sad that this wasn't all that I was hoping it would be. It kind of bites when you are anxious for a book in a beloved series to come out and then...well, it sort of falls flat and changes everything.

    Great review though, this is one of my favs and I know I will read it, maybe I will wait until the next one is closer to being released though.

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  8. Sorry it wasn't all you wanted it to be but enjoyed spending time with the old characters

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  9. I always find that once I get past book 4 in a series I get bored. I think it's because I am expecting the big shocking moments but to drag out the series I never actually get them. I stopped reading Jessica Shirvington's The Violet Eden Chapters for this reason exactly. Too bad.

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  10. I have been saying I am going to start this series time and time again and just never had the time. I still want to check it out but I am a tad bit disappointed to hear that this had one of those dramatic gut punching things and not having it dealt with properly, I am guessing someone important dies, I hate that!

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  11. Oh that kind of thing bugs me too. A great gut punch that is all but forgotten. We are left with "huh?" and that usually bugs me. I can forgive it and move on with the series, but I always think that is a missed opportunity. Still this series sounds perfect for me and I still don't know why I haven't started it yet. :P

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  12. I'm afraid to pick this up now, Maja! I'm in love with the series and I didn't mind the way things were left in book 5. I think I'll let this one sit until the next one is out and see the general consensus. Wonderful review! :)

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  13. I haven't started this series yet, though I have the first book (at least) and I read the spin off (one of them, I'm not sure if there's more yet) and I really like this world! I jut skimmed your review. But I think that any book in a series you love and have been waiting for (for years!) is going to be hard to live up to expectations. That's how it tends to be for me. I'm glad you really liked it for the most part!

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  14. I know. When a heart-wrenching event occurs, I also immediately want to live through the results before wanting many months for the next book where the intense feelings subside. Wonderful review Maja! I love the intro, very creative way to share your feelings of how long the book released after the previous.

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  15. I have the first 3 books sitting on my shelf waiting for me! I just skimmed this, but I'm glad that this one is consistently strong overall.

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  16. Miscommunication between characters would really bother me. This one of the series that I have to have read sometime along with Nalini Singh's Psy-changeling. I've heard great things about Kate & Curran, so it's really sad to see that they stopped talking to each other. In a long series, there is always that one book that isn't up to par and this one sounds like that. Though I still can't wait to start this series. Lovely review, Maja!

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  17. I'm so behind in this series, but now I'm dying to know what this gut punch move is! I agree, it makes no sense to put readers through something emotionally jarring and not see it through. Perhaps it's a blessing that I have three books to read until I get to this, so maybe by the time I'm caught up, the next book will have resolved matters. Wonderful balanced review Maja!

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  18. Oh, I'll be starting this one very very soon. :D I can't wait!

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  19. This book was effing awesome. I don't know if my nerves can take waiting for the next one. The ante has been upped sooo much. It is only a matter if time until Roland discovers Kate's existence and I'll need to create a whole new award for when that happens.

    Marlene
    View this site for Alaska Fishing Lodge

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