Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Review: Magic Shifts

Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8)Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels, #8
Released: August 4th 2015
Publisher: Ace
Length: 400 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

In the latest Kate Daniels novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews, magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta—and each crest leaves danger in its wake…
After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.
So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.
An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…
After the pivotal 7th installment, I spent about 0.236 seconds worrying about this book and wondering whether the series would successfully find a new direction. It didn’t take me long to remember who I was dealing with – Ilona and Gordon have never failed me before, and they keep proving themselves over and over again. No downturns for Kate, and certainly none for this fabulous husband-and-wife writing team.

Magic Shifts opens up a new chapter for Kate and Curran. It’s a different one, but no less scary and adventure-filled. Some of the dangers they face are the same, and some are completely new and challenging. We see them in a completely different situation, removed from everything we used to take for granted, but the newness of it all isn’t uncomfortable. In fact, only thirty pages in, it was time to recognize that Ilona and Gordon made the right choice for their characters and the series.

Stepping away from the Pack doesn’t necessarily mean losing some of our favorite secondary characters, which was my biggest fear going in. Kate and Curran might be magnets for trouble, but they are also magnets for violent, deranged and insanely loyal shapeshifters. Most of the usual suspects are back in full force, and the humor they bring with them is stronger than ever.

As usual, Gordon and Ilona don’t recycle their mythology. It’s my very favorite thing about Kate Daniels – the opportunity to learn something new and admire the amount of research each and every time. This time, the story is centered around lesser known Islamic myths and as usual, it is accurate, precise and done tastefully. These two always do their homework very thoroughly, and it’s what makes their series the very best urban fantasy has to offer.

Surprisingly, aside from being a constant rollercoaster of action and banter, this book pushes the limits of emotionality by giving us moments of profound sadness and genuine fear, unlike anything we’ve seen before. The messes Kate tends to find herself in are always challenging and alarming to a point, but up until now, we’ve always known that things would turn out well in the end. In Magic Shifts, that certainty is finally removed and we’re left with this heavy feeling in our chests that refuses to go away. There were parts of this book that were heartbreaking for me, more so because they were unexpected, and in the end, with some distance, I concluded that these authors keep growing and taking us in unexpected directions, and instead of going stale, they just keep getting better every single time.

By now, Ilona Andrews spoiled us for all other urban fantasy author. We’ve learned to expect perfection because it’s pretty much what we always get from them and we won’t settle for anything less. But it’s all right. They write, we read, and the world keeps spinning.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I'm so excited for this and even more excited now that I know I have nothing to worry about! You just never know, even when it does come to the greatness that are the Andrews. ;)

  2. I promise I'm going to read this series some day. I really really promise!

  3. Oh boy, I really NEED to finally start some UF by the Andrews! It's like a massive oversee of mine!!
    Fantastic review Maja!

  4. So happy to see that you loved this installment, Maja! I'm still on book 6, but I'm loving this series so hard. I understand why you were hesitant, but it looks like I have nothing to worry about.
    Wonderful review, Maja! I can't wait to be reunited with the gang.

  5. YES MAJA!!!! I just finished this one and absolutely loved it - this series just keeps getting better. I think it's hard to keep a series featuring the same characters fresh and interesting over the course of a long series, but Ilona Andrews does it so well.

  6. The emotions, combined with the banter sounds great

  7. Five stars? On an 8th book? Wow. I'm pretty much speechless, my lovely... But so glad you're still loving it fiercely :)

  8. Like you, I definitely had some fears about this novel but I'm glad to hear that we still see our favorite secondary characters and that this new direction is the right one for Kate and Curran. I'm truly excited about this one, now, despite not loving the last two novels in this series, but as you said, Ilona Andrews never disappoints; not truly. Gorgeous review, Maja--so glad you loved this one! :)

  9. Love seeing your 5 stars. I agree, not many do UF as well as Ilona Andrews. I'm a little concerned when you say that the certainty that everything will work out is no longer there. Is that how the story ended or just an overall feeling throughout? I just got my audio copy today and I'll be listening soon. Wonderful review, Maja! :)

  10. I am excited to read this one. I pre-order so I've got it. Now I just have to get time to read, but it is high on my list. This series does not get old and I love Kate, Curren and all the characters. Thank you for the review. I just skimmed because I don't want to spoil anything for myself. Big fan of the Andrews team.

  11. Oh oh, not thirlled to hear about the profound sadness. That makes me worry a bit, but I know the authors will come through. I still haven't caught up on this series, I am in the middle of six right now and I downloaded my audiobook copy this morning of this one. Cant wait to get all caught up, but then I will be waiting a whole year.

  12. Just skimmed your review because I don't want to be spoiled but so glad you liked this one. I can't wait to get my copy!

  13. I need a buddy to read this series with me. And at book 8 and still going strong? That's awesome!

  14. I love this series - and I agree with Jenny on keeping it fresh. Gah, I need to catch up on this series. Here's to much more Kate and Curran :)

  15. I've mean meaning to get into this series, it sounds so fantastic and I love the sound of the kick ass characters! Thanks for the wonderful review!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  16. I think I may have accidentally just spoiled book 7 for myself...... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEK

    I know a lot of people weren't as happy with book 7 but I've been hearing a lot of good things about this instalments and that makes me happy!

    I am really sad about the fact we won't get as much of the pack anymore because one of my favorite things about this series was the pack dynamics :( I loved seeing Curran's interactions with the pack and also Kate's.

    I hope I can still get over this and continue to read the series because I've had so much fun with the books :(

    Lovely review, Maja!

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  17. I adore this series - Ilona Andrews keep going from strength to strength. And while I have yet to read this instalment, it's fantastic to know that the story remains fresh and interesting.

  18. I JUST FINISHED THIS ONE AND OMG. So. Good. And now I want to reread the entire series. Your review is spot-on! I love how they don't use the same, tired (though I do still love them) mythologies AND how they keep the relationship btw Kate and Curran dynamic and make it work so very well. *swoon*

  19. Oh yes I really enjoyed this one as well! SO curious for more again!


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