Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Magic Slays
Ilona Andrews
I pre-ordered the signed edition of this book from Powell’s ages ago but it took me some time to get to it once I got the book. I just didn’t want to make the experience go too soon! This is one of my favorite UF series and is book 5. If you haven’t started this yet, I highly recommend that you do (read at least the first two books):
Book 1: Magic Bites – Goodreads
Book 2: Magic Burns –
Book 3: Magic Strikes –
Novella – Magic Mourns in Must Love Hellhounds anthology –
Book 4: Magic Bleeds
***** This review has spoilers for earlier books, read at your own peril!  *****
The Premise:  Kate Daniels has quit the Order and gone into business on her own, backed by Atlanta’s shapeshifter Pride.  Unfortunately she didn’t leave the Order on good terms and they’ve done all they can to sully her reputation. Business is so slow it’s non-existent, and Kate has been twiddling her thumbs for months. Then two things happen. First, a vampire escapes the control of its navigator, and Ghastek asks for Kate’s help to contain it. Then a member of the Red Guard hires her to look into the disappearance of an engineer and applied magic-theorist along with the project he was working on. These are both simple enough assignments on the surface, but much more rides on Kate understanding whats really going on.
My Thoughts: Whenever I start a Kate Daniels story, I expect to be pulled into a high action melee spiced up with a bit of romance courtesy of the Beast Lord. In this aspect, Magic Slays delivers exactly as promised. Once chapter one begins, Kate is back to business. Disaster strikes when a vampire gets loose and then Kate finally gets a job, but it seems too simple a job for the Red Guard to be paying her to do it. Of course it isn’t long at all until Kate is up to her elbows in trouble, but the difference here is that this job requires more finesse than Kate has shown in the past. Magic Slays has a more restrained Kate, who tries to use more investigation than muscle.
The story is also a little different because Kate’s life is different. This book has the same Kate, but she’s no longer with the Order nor does she live alone in her Atlanta apartment. Now she lives in the Pack stronghold, and her day-to-day frustrations include her status within the Pack, trying to start up a business, and mentoring a group of teenaged misfits, including her own ward, Julie. This makes Magic Slays the first book in probably the next chapter in Kate’s life, and for that reason I found it very different from the rest of the series, but in a good way. This feels like a “turning point” book. It feels like Kate finally has self-made family around her, and I also felt like Kate is beginning to make concrete plans for the final confrontation she’s been heading towards throughout the series.
In the romance front, things are also different. For the longest time, Kate has been dancing around a romantic entanglement with Curran, but now they’re in a committed relationship. Things aren’t completely stable however. Usually when there is a slow burning romance over a series of books, the magic can disappear once a couple finally gets together, but that isn’t the case here. I thought that the way Curran and Kate’s relationship progressed in Magic Slays made it one of the best books I’ve read with a couple after they finally hooked up. I loved that things were still being ironed out, that they were still learning how to live with each other, and that they both still had insecurities. They’re happy, but at the same time, they’re human and this book reflects that. I loved that they’re both essentially the same characters and being together doesn’t change who they are. They still have the same back-and-forth relationship after they’re together but we know that they love each other.
Overall: Another great installment. I don’t know how many ways I can say the same thing after I read one of these books, so just imagine me pressing this book into your hands, nodding enthusiastically. If you haven’t read this series…seriously, read it will you? I think the last one I read always ends up being my favorite.  The great draw for me is the mix of great worldbuilding (a post-apocalyptic Atlanta, flooded by waves of magic and technology), action, and romance, but what elevates it even beyond that is a snarky brand of humor that’s used judiciously. Smiling because of Kate’s exchanges with Curran or best friend Andrea? Now that’s real chicken soup for the soul.
Buy: Amazon | Powell’s | The Book Depository
Other reviews:
Chachic’s Book Nook – positive
Angieville – positive (“Crunchy Kate goodness at its best”)
One More Page – positive
SFF Chat – positive
Calico reaction – 8 (Excellent)
Fantasy Book Cafe – 8/10
Smexy Books – A
Lurv a la Mode – Four scoops (out of 5)
One More Page – positive
Fiction Vixen – A
Babbling about Books, and More – B+

15 thoughts on “Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

  1. Great review, Janicu! Glad you got your signed copy this time. 🙂
    It is quite astonishing that they managed to keep Kate and Curran interesting even though they are together now. And that ending… Gah, need next book now!

    • Thanks. I know, I loved Kate and Curran together in this book. No lowering of that volatile chemistry between them. I was really pleased by how that was done. Yes, that ending! *rubs hands*. Next one is going to be good (but then, every one is good).

  2. I am finally getting around to reading this now but I’m not very far in yet. I’m glad to know that their relationship is still as interesting now that they’re together.

    You’re so right on about the snarky humor. It’s one of my favorite things about Ilona’s books. She just has flawless timing with her sarcasm and irony.

    • Hope you enjoy. I love sarcasm when it’s done right, and it’s done soo right in this series. I’m pretty happy that Andrea is back in this book too, because how she and Kate interact with each other is pretty fun. I really like their friendship.

  3. I enjoyed Magic Slays so much too, just the right follow-up to the series. And I absolutely loved Gasthek here, especially his quips during the final battle. So fun. 🙂

    • I think the relationship with Ghastek will be interesting – because Kate considers him to be representative of her enemy. Right now they have a semi-truce but I am not sure if that will last or not. Not sure at all where that’s going to go!

  4. Love love love this series! It’s the only urban fantasy series that I’m in love with. 😛 Magic Slays felt different from all the other books, right? I like the changes though because it feels like the story grows as Kate develops relationships with the people around her. And I think it’s awesome that she still has to work on what she has with Curran even though it’s pretty obvious that they love each other.

    • Only one? Hmmm. I think that maybe I need to get you reading Seanan McGuire’s Toby Daye series too.. I think you’ll like it!

      Yes, it feels different and I had a hard time saying that it feels different yet the characters are still themselves! Right, she has to work on what she has with Curran (and others). I’m also loving her small army of teens that she’s the unofficial mother of. New ones every book!

      • I’ve had that on my list for a while, I think it was Chelle who originally recommended the series. But I haven’t had the chance to start on a new urban fantasy series lately.

        Yes, exactly! I love how said it – the characters feel different but they’re still themselves. LOL me too, I’m looking forward to seeing who ends up with Julie. 😛

        • Ah. Well, an urban fantasy series means committing to multiple books, so that’s understandable. It’s a lot of time.

          I’m very much shipping Julie and Derek. J+D 4EVER!!!

  5. Pingback: Review: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews « Bunbury in the Stacks

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