It seems impossible that Patricia Briggs could surprise me at this point in our relationship as author and reader. It seems impossible!! But, she did it. Spectacularly, brilliantly and amazingly!
Mercy Thompson is known for finding herself in trouble, but this time trouble has found her. On a quick trip to buy eggs, Mercy is injured and taken far away from home. She’s out of reach of her mate bond, the pack magic and her connection to her vampire friend, Stefan. Being held captive by the most powerful vampire in the world, Mercy knows the only way to survive this is to escape. When she does she lands herself in even more trouble and more danger than she can possibly imagine.
I love this book. There is just something magical and perfect about the world of Mercy Thompson. I was very afraid to read this because I tend to dislike all the books that take Mercy away from the tri-cities and a man named Adam, but this book is brilliant. It hits the ground running and never stops.
The separation of Mercy’s POV and an omniscient narrator who follows Adam was very entertaining and while it was hit or miss in previous installments it works really, really well for Silence Fallen. Because the Silence that’s fallen is Mercy and Adam’s bond. Before, Mercy could tap into her bond with Adam and the pack and get an idea of what they’re doing and where they’re going, but our favorite couple is completely separated by space, time and magic.
It’s the first time in years that Mercy has truly been on her own and the result is fun, fascinating and terrifying. The tension in Silence Fallen is through the roof. There’s a lot of the unknown. Mercy and Adam don’t know what the other is dealing with, but their faith in each other keeps the reader grounded. Mercy knows that if she can get herself out of immediate danger Adam will come for her. Adam knows that he must do things in the right order because Mercy can keep herself safe until he gets to her. They have little to no contact in the entire book and yet the love and devotion they have for each other keeps the romance aspect of the series alive.
There is a lot of politics and diplomacy in this book, but it’s supernatural politics which means it’s bananas and insane. The reasons behind the actions of vampire, werewolves, and fae are often so astounding, there’s a reason I don’t believe in immortality or long-lived beings and Patricia Biggs’ books are a part of that.
I really loved meeting the new characters and seeing a new side of old characters. For years I have always found Marsilla to be the worst of the vampires, so imagine my surprise to find a vampire that Marsilla greatly fears. My only true disappointment about the book is that while Stefan is a major player he does very little in the book and since he’s one of my favorites I wanted so much more from him.
Last, but not least…the TWIST. There is a very simple twist that made me literally hold back a scream. It’s something smart and heartfelt and will blow your mind in the way that only Patricia Briggs can.
I adore this book and really tip my hat to Ms. Briggs. It’s a rare series where the tenth installment can be this fun and spark a match under the series making it impossible to quit.
Recommended for Urban Fantasy readers and fans of the Mercy Thompson series.
Favorite Quote: “Like you, I am a killer, and anyone who forgets that deserves what they get.”...more
A fun little book as always and as always everything was easily resolved. If Mary Calmes could work on tension and make her resolutions hard won, herA fun little book as always and as always everything was easily resolved. If Mary Calmes could work on tension and make her resolutions hard won, her books could be amazing and not just entertaining....more
For most of her life, Mercy Thompson has been on her own. Not, because she was alone, but because she was other. Now, with her Alpha werewolf husband and her place as the female Alpha of their pack, Mercy has learned what it means to be a unit and what it means to have people to defend. So, when a boy who has been trapped by the Fae escapes and comes to the pack for help, Mercy knows that there is no choice but to defend him from the Fae even if it means going to war with creatures who have powers that the wolves and Mercy may not be able to combat.
As a long standing fan of the series, Fire Touched was everything that I needed it to be. It was funny, action packed, filled with emotion and of course, lots of Adam Hauptman. There’s always a level of excitement that comes with being in Mercy’s head. She can’t stay out of trouble, she can’t stop herself from helping people and she’s always willing to put herself in danger if it means saving a life. Never a dull moment in the Mercy Thompson series. You know that the Mercy and team are going to go up against powers greater than their own and that they will fight until there is no more fight inside them.
Fire Touched has everything that has made this series great. It’s very rare that Patricia Briggs uses words like evil, or bad. The antagonists are not quite evil, things are not black and white. Everyone has their reasons and sometimes those reasons are not for the greater good. Even as you are always on team Mercy, you usually get where the other side is coming from. This installment of the series is very Fae heavy and the Fae have their own way of thinking and reacting that is not human.
For me this book is kind of a coming out. The Fae continue to come out and show the world their power and how dangerous they can be if the humans continue to make enemies of them. It’s the coming out of Mercy as leader of the pack. No, she is not werewolf, but as Adam’s mate she has power and responsibilities. Her word is law and I feel like for the first time in the series the other characters are finally taking notice of Mercy’s power.
This book is fun and filled with intrigue. We go into new areas that we’ve never explored and get to see new sides of well beloved characters. I really enjoyed this one and highly recommend the Mercy Thompson series. If you have not started this series you are honestly missing out....more
The Hollows was one of the first series I read when I first made the jump into urban fantasy. It’s a flag ship series for me and has literally everything I love about the genre. Shifters, vamps, witches and a slow burn romance books in the making. I have cried with Rachel, laughed with her, rejoiced with her and buried favorite characters with her. Knowing that the series is over fills me with melancholy, because on one hand Ms. Morgan deserves a break, she deserves to be happy and settled, but I am going to miss going on adventures with her. I’ll miss the foul mouth of Jenks, the shifty anti-hero that is Trent, the fierce Ivy (the Ivy from the 1st few books not the annoying emo Ivy we’ve been getting lately) and of course the deliciously demonic Al.
Still, all good things must come to an end and Kim Harrison does a pretty good job of wrapping it up.
I should preface this review by saying that I did not read the end of this book, as the final chapter of the book was cut from the ARC. So, this review is of the book without knowing the actual very end of the story.
The resident vampire master of the hollows wants his soul and he will do anything to get it. Even of it means killing Ivy and forcing Rachel to try and find her friends soul. This storyline has been going on for a few books, but in The Witch with No Name, Rynn Cormel ups the ante. He’s tired of waiting and he wants his soul now!
Due to the vampires forced involvement in Rachel’s life The Witch With No Name hits the ground running and doesn’t stop until the end.
Rachel is a powerful witch/day walking demon. With Trent, her Elf boyfriend beside her, she’s even more powerful. Because he brings his knowledge of wild magic and the history of relationships between the demons and elves into the equation.
Together they figure out a possible solution to getting the vampires their souls back, but that could prove problematic. There is a reason that the soul leaves the body when it becomes the undead. The body might need the soul, but can it withstand the soul? That is the question of the story and it drives a strong message through out. What is a soul? What is it’s purpose and can the soul handle all the evil the undead have done?
The Hollows is once again in uproar. The demons blame the elves, the elves play the vampires against each other and everyone is looking to Rachel to fix it.
Honestly, Rachel Morgan may just be the most exhausted character in literature. People always want these world shattering magic tricks from her without knowing the consequences or the price.
Just about everyone makes an appearance in this book, the good guys and the bad. Her enemies, allies and friends and it was great to see the usual suspects mucking it up one last time. Something should be clear also, Trent is in every scene. Almost, literally. He is entrenched in the story as the new Jenks and Ivy. His devotion to Rachel is really intense. He refuses to leave her side no matter the cost. Which is all good and well, but he has a child and responsibilities. His obsession with Rachel seemed ridiculous, selfish and over the top. I’m not sure how true to his character it was.
But, now here’s my problem with this book, it all seems a bit easy. Rachel spends book after book yelling from the rooftops that she doesn’t know how to capture a soul and affix it to the body. She doesn’t even know how to go about searching for the souls of vampires! She has absolutely no idea where to even start! Then within like 10 pages possible answers all fall into her lap. The answers may not all be out of the blue and even makes sense, but Kim Harrison should have spent more of Ever After and The Undead Pool, setting this up so that I wasn’t so taken aback by how easy it all seemed.
Something that Kim Harrison does really well is ask the question just because you have it, does that mean you should use it? And I kind of want to ask her that question about the finale of this book. Just because you have this cosmic deity, does that mean you should use it?
The final climatic scene happens on a cosmic level and really upset me. I like final books that connect to the first book. Obviously, a series will change and evolve over years and 13 installments, but I wanted the Hollows to return back to it’s roots of being the story of witches, vamps, elves and demons. I wanted it to end in a way where we know things will go back to relative normal. Well, as normal as the Hollows can be, but Harrison brought back the convoluted a bit too big for this one book storyline.
And like I said, Rachel’s final battle isn’t about her skill with the leylines and her spell magic. It’s this up in the stars, power of wills where she simply has to survive or hide or whatever happens in that sort of all over the place battle that ensued.
Then it’s over. Quickly. One of those impromptu actions of one character fixes everything and puts everything in place with literally a half a page, finales.
No, I have not read the final chapter. But the chapter apparently is 10 pages. Which kind of breaks my heart. 10 pages to not only wrap up this book but also wrap up years of story? I don’t have a lot of hope for those final pages.
All in all, this is not my favorite Hallows book, but it’s not the worst. And, let’s face it you have to read it. Just like I’ll be off to read the final ten pages on Tuesday....more
This series blows me away. Every single book. Every single time. Every single year. It’s always my most anticipated release. ALWAYS. I anticipate the book, then I get the book, read it like I am running out of time and then anticipate the next book. Every. Single. Time. Every year, I open a Kate Daniels book with a frisson of fear. Is this the year that I don’t love it? Is this the book that ruins the series for me? Is this the time when Ilona Andrews makes a misstep from which we can never recover? I’m happy to say that Magic Binds is NOT that book.
Kate and Curran are getting married and lets just say that they suck at this wedding thing. They just want to make it official, the pomp and circumstance? They don’t care about all that. It’s just marriage, not a big deal. But, this is Kate and Curran, of course it’s a big deal. When a witch oracle tells her that marrying Curran is not in the best interest of him or the city, Kate is torn. On one hand, she can’t be happy without him, she knows it, she’s tried. On the other hand, she can’t let Atlanta burn. Not after she claimed it and made it her own. But, once Roland puts his mind to something he can’t be stopped. History proves it.
This book is one of those hold on to your seats boys, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride, type books. You’re on the edge of your seat as Kate makes a move, as Roland counters and as the world as we know it is on the verge of exploding. For the last few installments of the series, I have written “this is a game changer.”
Well, ladies and gents, this is a game changer.
Magic Binds pushes us to the very edge of every fear that Kate has had since book one. It takes characters that we have loved not just separately, but as apart of the family that Kate and Curran has built and put them on opposing sides. Our favorites are at odds with each other, Roland is ever the puppet master and it seems that our heroes are fated for disaster.
Magic Binds holds no punches. It’s emotional, action packed with tension that you need a bulldozer to cut through. This is is probably the most emotional book of the series. Kate is stuck between a rock and a hard place. There are two possible endings to this story and both are heartbreaking, devastating and world destroying.
But, this is Kate. She doesn’t curl into a ball and cry, she decides to change fate. Fate says there has to be 2 possible outcomes? Too bad, she will make herself a third.
The writing team that is Ilona Andrews are masterful world builders. Every single book in the series is a testament to that. Characters you met early on that just seemed like strange side notes, step into the spotlight and are so much more powerful than you could have imagined. But, I believe what they’ve done the best is set up the true meaning of a support system.
In the beginning of the series, Kate is alone. She’s been raised to know that she will always be alone, because she has to be. People, family, love could only be a hinderance. When Roland comes, and she has always known he would come, he would use her loves against her. That is true, but Ilona Andrews takes what could have been Kate’s greatest weakness and makes them her greatest strength. She could survive with Curran. She’s a strong, independent woman with the magic of a man made god flowing through her veins. She could absolutely live without him, but he makes her stronger, keeps her grounded and tears through her enemies like they’re sheets of paper.
The same can be said for Julie and Derek and the rest of the rag tag family that they’ve put together. I love that this series so beautifully balances, magic, action and death with love, family and togetherness.
It all comes to a head in this book. I was on the edge of my seat breathless with anticipation and dread and of course, Ilona Andrews still managed to make me laugh and swoon and just feel so many emotions.
This is my favorite series and with every installment the series gets deeper, darker, crazier and better.
I recommend this series for everyone. If you haven’t read Kate Daniels I don’t know what you’re waiting for!
(Mild-spoilers. I’ll assume you’ve read the rest of the series)
Kate Daniels is my favorite series. I’ve made no secret of this. I wait impatiently all year long for the release of the new book and then I consume it within days when I get it in my hands. Then, I repeat the cycle.
Usually, by book 8 of a series, I get fatigue. I begin to wonder when it will end. How much more I’ll be forced to endure. I’ll ask myself if it’s worth it to continue reading when the series hasn’t been good for years. NOT SO KATE DANIELS!
In fact, if the writing team that is Ilona Andrews writes these books forever, they will always have a reader in me. Magic Shifts is as action packed, funny, emotional and entertaining as any other book in the series. More importantly, with the events of Magic Breaks and Curran’s choice to leave the Pack behind, Magic Shifts felt like a whole new world!
Kate owns of the city of Atlanta. It wasn’t her fault! She didn’t mean to. She had no choice. It was either she claimed it or let her father, the all -powerful and godlike, Roland, claim the city. Not much of a choice. The problem with claiming a city is that when a group of Ghouls enter the city with nefarious intentions, it’s up to Kate to take them down. It doesn’t matter that she’s already worked all day, or that she’s tired. Owning, a city is a 24- hour job. And, so, with a fight against a dozen Ghouls, begins the latest journey in the life of Kate Daniels.
I really didn’t know what to expect with this book. The first book where Curran, my favorite guy in literature, is no longer the Beast Lord. Who is Curran if he’s not the Beast Lord? The answer is easy. He is Curran.
There is no easy or laid back for the former-Beast Lord and his honey bun. They are constantly in battle, constantly under attack and always have someone to save. People will always be drawn to Curran and he will always ooze power. He will always be in charge. I was relieved and excited to read this new chapter of his life. Though, lets face it, the way I want my heroes to be Princes or Dukes, I am a little devastated that he’s not the Beast Lord and it seems that it’s going to stick. This is just a personal thing. The minute the Pack turned against Kate in Magic Bleeds (book 4), they lost Curran. That’s been clear for several installments now, it’s just strange to realize that it’s over. He’s free and has set his eyes on the next group he will alpha stare into submission.
Magic Shifts brings a new sort of magic into Atlanta. Creatures that when killed, they evolve into yet another creature and humans that transform into empty Giants who leave Godzilla level destruction in their wake. As always, I loved investigating the newest bad to come to town and trying to figure out the who, the why’d and the wheres.
Ilona Andrews is amazing at unique magic. Ghouls aren’t simply undead creatures who eat human body parts. They add their own special flare and do a crazy amount of research into ancient mythology in order to give us something unique. I think what works best for them is that they give us the Eastern spin on magic and not the western been used again and again, magic. It works well and it makes someone like me who is obsessed with mythology and fantasy, feel like I’m experiencing something new!
I love these books. If you read Urban Fantasy and you are not reading these books, you really are doing yourself a disservice by not reading these books!
Recommended for everyone! Especially, fantasy fans. ...more
Spoilers: You should be at least up to River Marked in the Mercy Thompson series.
I notoriously dislike short stories, because when I reach the end I always crave more. I am never satisfied with them, but when Patricia Briggs comes out with a collection of short stories that gives me insight into favorite characters and a glimpse into the epic past of her world, I CANNOT resist. Just can’t. I am only going to review the four new shorts, but I want to go on the record and declare very loudly that I would read a complete novel of every single story in this book. Every story has interesting characters, diabolical villains and the ever consistently talented voice of Patricia Briggs. The stories were creepy, sad and even sexy in the case of Alpha & Omega. I really enjoyed this and very happily could have read a lot more.
For a long time it was understood by readers of the Mercedes Thompson series that Samuel Cornick, loved Mercy. They had a broken love affair in her youth and he came to town in order to rekindle that love. When Mercy fell in love with the alpha (and amazing) Adam, it seemed that Samuel the age old werewolf had finally lost enough. Then out of the shadows, a fae woman named Arina stepped into the light as Adam’s true love.
As a long fan of the series I was like, who the hell is this? Arina seemed like a cop out and easy save for the end of a love triangle. All of a sudden Samuel didn’t really love Mercy and he was pining over this fae woman. Silver gives us the back story into the ill-fated love affair between Samuel and Arina. Probably the most depressing installment in the collection, Silver is the story of hurt, and abuse, captaivity, hope and heartbreak. The happy ending comes centuries later and it really gives us a look into what it means to be a werewolf. They are not immortal, but they might as well be, as they are extremely long lived if they could survive the violence of their lifestyle.
My favorite part of Shiver is the much desired look into who Bran is and history. Bran is one of those characters so engimatic and mysterious, that I just want to crawl inside his head and learn his secrets. I don’t understand him, even as I love him and seeing the history of Bran and how he became a werewolf really is the icing on the cake of this collection.
Roses in Winter
Roses in Winter is the story of two fan favorite werewolves. Kara, the youngest known person (well to me) to survive the change into a werewolf and Asil, a werewolf who is so old he feels he’s lived long enough. He is the legendary Moor and he has come to join Bran’s pack, because Asil feels it’s his time to die and only the Marrock is strong enough to take him out. Really, both Asil and Kara are on the edge. Kara, because she is incapable of controlling her wolf and Asil, because he fears that he will lose all control and succumb to the madness that can only arise with age.
Naturally, Bran decides to throw them together. He tells Asil that the old wolf must help the child, because if Kara cannot control her wolf within weeks, Bran will have no choice but to kill her. It’s the law.
Besides, giving us a sweet and action packed story of a old man who thought he was beyond caring, love a child who needs all the caring she can get, Roses in Winter gives us another look at the brutality of the pack. Sometimes, with Adam being so dreamy and Charles being so protective and the Vampires being so crazy, it’s easy to forget how incredibly brutal and violent the werewolves are. Here is this kid, who was brutally attacked and turned into a werewolf. She does the impossible and survives the change and grown ups are calling for her death just, because that’s the way things are.
It’s really frustrating an rage inducing, but Patricia Briggs is a master of giving us a well rounded and entertaining story that stays within the realm of the world she’s built. It was short, but it left me at the edge of my seat and it was sweet.
I love Ben, which is why Redemption is the most disappointing story in the collection. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. But, when I heard that women hating, foul mouthed, can’t help but be a hero, Ben, was getting a story I was threw the roof! When I interviewed Ms. Briggs on my blog, the one thing I begged her for was more info on Asil, Bran and Ben. When she mentioned this collection, I thought that the heaven’s had opened up to give me my biggest wish. My problem with Redepemption is that as fun as it is, I don’t really know that much more about Ben. A lot of his back story has been hinted about through out the series and I got it. I put 2 and 2 together and unerstood all that he has survived and faced.
I expected to get more than confirmation of my assumptions. I expected a new and unique look at this character who understood Mercy so beautifully after her attack.
Still, it was funny and getting a glimpse of Mercy through Ben’s eyes was a lot of fun. It was also fun to see him be a hero in a realm that was completely outside of the pack. We see Ben in the human world and as you can guess, he absolutely hates it.
Can there be a Mercy Thompson universe story collection without a Mercy Thompson story? I think not!
Hollow is a short version of everything I expect from a Mercy book. Our favorite Cayote shifter, stumbles into a paranormal situation that is over her head and that she didn’t ask for. There’s supernatural bad guys, a mystery, comedic moments, danger and of course, Adam coming in at exactly the right moment. It really was the cherry on top.
I really enjoyed this anthology and wish I had some kind of power over time so that I could gift Ms. Briggs with the time to expand every single pone of these stories.
I highly recommend this for Mercy fans it will hold us over until Dead Head (Alpha & Omega #4) and the yet to be titled Mercy #9
Forever Evermore is a series packed with entertainment. It’s funny and sexy with unique magical sequences and lore. King Tomb has all that, but it some how drops the ball.
Lily is the Queen of the Shifters, she’s in the midst of a war and she’s pregnant. That alone would be enough to make any woman stress, but Lily doesn’t know who her child’s father is. His identity and their time together has been completely wiped out. All she has is a blank memory, a mans t-shirt, a ring and a pregnant belly to tell her that she loved and had been loved by a man from another mystic fraction.
The premise of King Tomb is interesting, because it’s new for me. I’ve started a series where two people learn that they have a past they can’t remember, but I have never watched two people fall in love only to be physically and mentally ripped away from each other. It was entertaining but painful to watch Ezra and Lilly maneuver around each other without knowing or understanding what they meant to each other. That was all fun and well done.
What wasn’t fun? Everything else. These characters are in the middle of the war which they forget about for 90% of the book. Scarlett Dawn is just not very good at balancing her story lines. There’s just a lack of tension that should come with being at war and being the leaders of a war. Their subjects are barely ever seen and the characters don’t do a single kingly or queenly act. The kings and queens are like children and the elders are like parents running after them to stop them from dirtying their hands.
King Hall and King Cave have a similar “in a bubble” tone, but in those books the characters are supposed to be isolated, hiding or learning. In King Tomb, they are supposed to be in the thick of it. But they are still in this weird cocoon surrounded by only the same few characters.
All of that was manageable until the end, because Lily and Ezra’s chemistry is so fun even when they are strangers or hate each other. But then in the final act new characters are introduced and Ezra and Lily go on this whirlwind trip through time. It’s ridiculous, it is literally only a few pages and had no basis in the world that was set up in the first two books and 75% of King Tomb. Literally out of nowhere the genre changed and I was suddenly on a trip through time and one of the side characters I can’t remember from earlier books is pushed up to be like this grand master strategist who can see the future and arranges people like pawns on a chessboard.
As a fan of the series I can’t say that I hated all of it. I enjoyed the character dynamics and the few romantic surprises and twists, but as a whole this wasn’t a very good book and the ending is supposed to wrap up Lilly’s story but it doesn’t. I’m disappointed.
Liked a lot about it, but there is a 10 page adventure wity new characters that makes very little sense to me. Very little sense. Brought the book down. Also, the absence of Jack and Pearl. Besides that, entertaining and fun as ever. Review to come. ...more
While interesting with a strong start, there is a lack of action in this book. Charles being the hitman for the Marrock should have a lot more action in his life. Instead, 75% is an investigation. The kind of investigation that goes from house to school to house to talk to various suspects and victims. Sure, the people being interviewed are 10x’s more interesting and magical than anything seen on Law & Order, but still…. I wanted more. But, still I consider this slow. A slow burn if you will. A very slow burn.
It’s nice getting a glimpse of Charles’ past. I have a clearer view of what his life is like. A glimpse of what it’s like to be old, but never age. To be practically immortal while everyone around you dies. I also have a much clearer view of why Anna is a blessing to his life. Not just someone for him to love, but his savior, because she loves him. I doubt that Charles could have been alone for much longer without falling into despair.
I am always a fan of reading about the impact of Fae’s choice to come out and reveal themselves to humans. What’s interesting about this book is that suddenly twenty year old incidents that no one believed are suddenly possible. Perhaps the five year old kid did see a 10-foot green man, perhaps the old woman did see unicorns in her garden. The world is suddenly open to a million possibilities and unfortunately most of those possibilities are not safe for humans specifically the children.
The villain in this book is a nasty bugger, truly disgusting, awful and evil. I wanted him caught and put to Charles’ special brand of justice, but that’s all that kept my attention.
Like every other book in this series, DEAD HEAT contains the following:
Anna and Charles figuring out their Mate bond and what makes the other tick.
Cantrip agents who aren’t sure how to deal with werewolves or the Fae.
A villain who enjoys heinous actions.
Charles lamenting his hitman status and Anna attempting to make his actions look like a positive thing.
Bran being too cool and too school for fool.
Random Mercy Thompson references.
Rehash of Anna’s change and the nightmare she lived through.
Ohh and waaaaay too much horse talk. Way too much!!! I have a healthy respect for horses, but if I wanted Horses for Dummies, I would have just gotten a copy from the closest book store.
Not horrible. Really nasty villain and an insane crime to investigate. But…more of the same....more
Originality. That Ilona Andrews humor. Fantasy men who are rugged without stomping out the women's strength. For characters who areFor many reasons...
Originality. That Ilona Andrews humor. Fantasy men who are rugged without stomping out the women's strength. For characters who are deliciously bad and for inspiring me to resume work on my own serial novel.
I enjoyed this, but as always Calmes made things too easy. Characters barely work for things to happen. They forgive or are forgiven too easily. LoveI enjoyed this, but as always Calmes made things too easy. Characters barely work for things to happen. They forgive or are forgiven too easily. Love comes too quickly and her books lack true tension.
Arguments last a paragraph and then all is well and ready for the next conflict.
still, I enjoyed the book, one of the authors best....more
Rachel Morgan is at it again! Or, in it again would be more accurate. There’s strange magic at play in the Hollows that is causing magic, spells to backfire and supernaturals to act extremely strangely. The Master Vamps are asleep, the Elf’s are in a religious crisis and our favorite witch turned day-walking demon is in the midst of it all, because the same magic that is being pulled through Cincinnati is coming from Rachel’s personal ley-line.
THE UNDEAD POOL is the best Hollows book we have had in awhile and is without a doubt one of my favorites in the series. It is action packed, funny, filled with those fantasy elements that we all love and to top it off it is romantic. It’s truly amazing how Kim Harrison has been able to keep this series, entertaining and fun for a decade. Usually, I’ve given up by book 12, but not THE HOLLOWS. Never the Hollows, because Kim Harrison keeps me coming back and emotionally entrenched in her characters and in the story.
The story and action in this installment packs a powerful punch, as always. I couldn’t put it down. I had to know who was behind the magic, what it had to do with Rachel’s ley-line. In the midst of all that we get to see how the wild magic effects the vampires, the witches an the shifters. More excitingly, there’s new lore connected to the Elves that we’ve always got a glimpse of, but we finally get to really experience. In THE UNDEAD POOL, we really get to see into Trent’s world. What he’s trying to save and ultimately what he is trying to fight against.
From the moment the cover was revealed fans of the series have been in a tizzy. Why? Trent was on the cover. I picked up the novel with frightful anticipation. After ten years of being enemies then friends, then enemies and friends, it was finally here! Finally, Trent and Rachel were going to be a thing. This could either go one way. This new couple could either destroy the series or make it all the more interesting.
I don’t want to give anything away, but I really want to address the people who have doubts about reading this book, because of rumors or a dislike of Trent. This is not a paranormal romance! This book is as Urban Fantasy as ever. Filled with magic, adventure, fighting and snarky inappropriate comments from one sassy pixy.
I’m going to try my best to write a serious review with a minimum amount of gushing, but it will be hard, because I absolutely loved this book.
It was just every single thing I love about urban fantasy. Action packed with magic and magical creatures. It was funny and sad and filled with romance. A roller coaster of emotions that took me on a wild ride, so, yes I am going to attempt not to gush, but guys it’s going to be hard.
Kate Daniels is an investigator by day, consort to the Beast Lord by night and magic user extraordinaire at every other available moment, at least she’s trying to be. Her merc status is in jeopardy as her company Cutting Edge is struggling, the pack is always in constant drama and her magic doesn’t seem to be progressing as quickly as she would like. Add to that the knowledge that her father undoubtedly knows of her existence and you have one stressed out Beast Lady.
Magic Breaks begins very much business as usual. Kate is on yet another ridiculous mission, and the pack has yet another problem that needs Curran’s attention. I have to say that the entire set up of the beginning worried me. First, there’s a letter from the authors promising that this is not the end of the story(like whoa why did we need that stress), then a trope is used that I very much hate, because it separates me from beloved characters…
But, then it happens. In the middle of the conclave between the Pack and the People, all hell breaks loose. Literally, the character that I would akin to the devil walks in and brings hell with him! Then the plot does not stop. I would call this probably the most action packed of the entire series. It just doesn’t stop or slow down. Our heroes are in constant danger and battle. They face impossible odds and still somehow keep swinging.
Exhilarating. Magic Breaks is exhilarating.
Kate Daniels is a series which means the authors are taking us on a journey. One of the things that this novel does beautifully is remind us how far Kate has come on the journey. Not, just magically or in her relationships, but also emotionally. Kate, the character has fought for her life, killed, sacrificed, loved and lost. She is not the same character we met in Magic Bites. She is braver, stronger, more skilled and she has a lot more to loose.
Lots of names from the past, enemies from prior books and even locations are visited from earlier installments. We are reminded how and why she met Curran, her Merc past with Jim and even easier days with Derek. These blasts from the past are important to the journey and makes the way that she needs Curran even more beautiful.
I love Kate and Curran’s relationship. Sure, all the getting together, cook for me in your underwear stuff was hilarious and fun, but them as a couple have a certain kind of magic. I don’t give a damn what happened in Magic Rises, Kate and Curran are the bees knees and I love them together. I love that they understand each other’s violence. I love that they don’t shy from a fight and that they don’t back down. I love that they both know that the other would tear the world apart in search of them. I love their unwavering faith and loyalty to each other that they have in this installment. It was hard won and even harder fought, but they have reached a place of absolute trust that is startlingly beautiful.
I also love that no matter how badass Kate is, she needs him. I love that it doesn’t weaken her or push any kind of anti-feminist ideal, because we all need someone and also, Curran needs her, too.
They are so fantastic together and honestly if after this installment you refuse to forgive him for Magic Rises…then I shall simply ignore you and assume you are fool. (Yup, I said it) I love this book. I love it and I love Kate and Curran.
Besides the action and the drama, you will also get to know Ghastek better which is fun. We also spend a roller coaster ride with the alphas of clan rat, which is great because we know literally nothing about clan rat. We get to see magic work in new and wondrous ways and we get to really glimpse into the magical world outside of the norm. Basically, we get to see the world Kate has been preparing to face.
Every single fan of this series has been waiting for the moment where Kate looks into the face of her father, the all powerful Roland. Don’t you worry, I won’t tell you the hows, where’s or why’s. What I will say is that I was not disappointed. In fact, I truly commend Ilona Andrews for the work they did in building up to Roland over the entire series and somehow making him everything one would expect and yet so much more.
Kate Daniels has been training her entire life in order to kill her father. Roland is so powerful he has been considered a god and he is the force behind the People, aka the humans who pilot vampires like they are vehicles. The question has always been…is she powerful enough to defeat him?We get the answer in Magic Breaks and it is as terrifying as it is interesting. I am obsessed with getting my hands on the next book, because really the conclusion of this book is brilliant.
It sets up everything that we love about the series and yet it’s a whole new world. I am always apprehensive when a series goes beyond five books. It always stretches the story and is filled with fillers. In order to prevent that, Ilona Andrews blew the Kate Daniels world as we know it, wide open.
It honestly astounds me that the authors that are Ilona Andrews can pack so much intensity into a book and still have time for humor. Honestly, I am stunned. I was emotional. Heartbroken, stressed, fearful and on the edge of my seat…and still, I laughed. Or smiled. This one book encompasses why I love fantasy. You get transported into a world beyond your greatest dreams and yet you get to feel every single human emotional, possible.
I want more. I want it all. And I want it now.
I highly recommend this book and I scream from the rooftops that you should be reading the Kate Daniels series. (I readily admit that I am not a fan of book 1, but the rest of the series is gold…noo! Platinum!)...more
There is nothing really wrong with this book, it’s just boring. Boring, because it’s more of the same. The City of Chicago are still bullies, Merit and gang stumble upon yet another magical mystery that only they can solve and nothing much else happens. Lots of series have formulas and monster of the week type formats, but in my opinion Chicagoland suffers for it. There just isn’t much holding me to the series beyond the fact that I love Ethan Sullivan, but even he fell flat for me in WILD THINGS.
We finally learn the meaning behind Gabriel’s infamous prophecy and I kind of guessed it years ago. But! But after years of reading this series, the prophecy seems illogical and against the lore Chloe Neill has spent years setting up. More, Merit has been taken from normal girl to Ms. chosen one, special, first of her kind, McAwesome. Completely against the premise that a grad student becomes a vampire. All of a sudden she’s something more, which isn’t what I signed up for. I’m kind of tired of the “chosen one” angle, no matter how simple or intimate the anomaly is.
Then there is the mystery. I have often felt that Merit and team were weak detectives, and they are, but for some reason the characters in this particular installment seem to think that they are getting better or accomplishing feats, when really they are just bumbling around in the dark. They stumble across leads without any real deductions or investigative prowess. Everything is solved with a single phrase or action. Too easily wrapped up with not enough tension or resolution. In fact, I could care less about the villain.
The ending was intriguing and I’ll no doubt read the next book without such high hopes, but interest non the less.
I am really disappointed and underwhelmed by this book,
Recommended for fans of the Chicagoland Vampires series.
Skulk is original. I'll give it that. It has a heroine who is a slightly overweight graffiti artist from England with parents who are abusive2.5 Stars
Skulk is original. I'll give it that. It has a heroine who is a slightly overweight graffiti artist from England with parents who are abusive and absent in completely different ways than the average YA. SKULK is also an utterly unique view on shape shifter. No wolves, Lions or panthers here. Nope, these shifters are foxes, crows and spiders. Yes! SPIDERS of all things.
Unfortunately, this was not enough to keep me interested. After the initial novelty of it all I quickly become numb to the style. A good chunk of this book is people finding Meg or running into her randomly and imparting vital information. There were times where someone would appear and it was just too contrived.
Contrived is the word that best describes this book for me. Nothing felt organic. Things didn't seem to happen, because that is the way things should unfold in the world that the author sets up. It feels like it's happening just because. The author wants Meg to bump into a fox on her first night of transition, so she does. It doesn't matter if it seems a bit convenient or a little too lucky that he would just happen to be there.
That's how this book plays out. Everyone just happens to be there. The Spider just happens to know that Meg is a member of the Skulk and so he should follow her, etc etc. No real explanations, no real attempt to have the story flow naturally.
This book was not for me. I really give the author a lot of praise for giving us a truly unique look at shifters, the story in itself just doesn't work for me. ...more
This is really bad. Honestly, this short is beneath the entertaining and humorous work that I am used to from Ms. Madison. This is the thing the romanThis is really bad. Honestly, this short is beneath the entertaining and humorous work that I am used to from Ms. Madison. This is the thing the romance between Emma and Kyle is nonexistent. I get that these two are in love and they were seperated, because people in romance books are not very good at communicating with each other. Here's the thing, it's too short. Way too short for the reader to really care.
I didn't care, because I don't know Emma and Kyle. I understand that lots of drama went down and Kyle was forced to leave his pack, but honestly it made no sense. If his opponent crushed his leg the night before, how the hell was he ok enough to stand up, let alone fight. How was it that the pack doctor didn't cry fowl and say this fight is going to have to wait until later. How did the pack follow such a weak person? Shifters are followers, but they're not stupid. They have instincts that make them smell a weak link among them. Then, explain to me how this man ruins the guy she loves and then Emma stays behind. Don't give me some B.S about her sister, because it sounds like Emma has no control over her sister in the first place.
Ok, this is sounding more like a rant than a review, so here is my critique. I did not believe this story. It is not well developed or executed. The love story is weak. I only know it's a love story, because the author keeps telling me they love each other. The idea of this virus, spreading through due to the help of a witch is really interesting, but is not enough to keep this short going.
I wish it were a longer detailed, flushed out book with characterization where I can see an actual love story developed. It's not. ...more