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Kate Daniels #3

Magic Strikes

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Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games – an invitation only, no holds barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament – she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…

310 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published February 20, 2009

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About the author

Ilona Andrews

112 books29.2k followers
Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,932 reviews
Profile Image for Katerina.
420 reviews16.7k followers
November 13, 2016
The Top 8 Reasons why you should drop everything you're doing and grab the Kate Daniels series ASAP
(focusing on Magic Strikes)

1. The huge variety of mythology: celtic, greek, and now norse and hindu. Honestly, every supernatural creature you've ever heard will make an appearance, preferably soaked in blood and other substances I dare not name, and will deliver you extraordinary threats, unique bloodbath and eventually it will be killed in the most badass way.

2. The Midnight Games. An underground gladiatorial tournament with a magic jewel as a price. We're talking about a massacre of epic proportions that would make George Martin weep with pride. And the participants? Minotaurs, golems, mages and of course our Valiant Knights of the Fur. Prepare for major ass kicking.



3. Kate Daniels.
“I gave him a smile. I was aiming for sweet, but he turned a shade paler and scooted a bit farther from me. Note to self: work more on sweet and less on psycho-killer.”



4. The action. I will admit that while reading the first chapters I thought Magic Strikes would be a 4 stars read, they seemed pretty lame compared to the incredible plotline of the second book. But oh boy I was so wrong! Once the plot thickened with rogue shapeshifters and the kill-or-be-killed tournament, I.couldn't.stop.reading. This series keeps getting better and I have a feeling that sky is the limit!



5. The side characters. Whether they're sexual deviants or uptight cats or pretty werewolves or devastatingly handsome sex addicts, they're a great addition to the story, with their wit and loyalty and friendship.

6. Curran, the Beast Lord of Atlanta, the Leader of the Pack, and Asshole Supreme.
“...you expect me to fall on my back with my legs spread."
"Not necessarily. ... You can fall on your hands and knees if you prefer. Or against the wall. Or on the kitchen counter. I suppose I might let you be on top, if you make it worth my while.”

You get the picture.

7. The romance.
“Kiss me and I'll kill you,”I warned.
“It might be worth it,”he said softly.

The will-or-won't-they status keeps going, and it can be frustrating as hell, but it's the right course. Besides the sizzling tension and their fights, in Magic Strikes we saw how much Curran and Kate care for each other, that despite their differences there is something strong brewing between them, something more than raw attraction. They're falling in love.
“He caressed my cheek.
"You came for me," I whispered.
"Always," he told me.”

8. The.hot.tub.scene.



You're welcome.
Love,
Katerina
December 6, 2022
And the moral of this particular rerererererereread is: Kate Daniels, aka just what the doctor ordered.



👋 Until next time and stuff.



[May 2019]

🐈 The Adventures Of A Brave Little Kitty Buddy Rerererereread (TAOABLKBR™) with the IA Addicts 🐈

And the moral of this particular rererererereread is: tinmen on steroids and overgrown logs are no match for Kate Daniels, sausage expert extraordinaire. Ha. And now let's dance and stuff.



P.S. Nonchalance is the best camouflage for drooling. Just so you know.

👋 Until next time and stuff.



[December 2017]

The Grand IAA™ KD Buddy Rerererereread Extravaganza (GIAAKDBRE™), aka the yellow brick road to Magic Triumphs

Presenting Episode 3, or How Kate Daniels Learned not all Cats Hate Water Hot Tubs.

» And the moral of this particular rererereread is: TWT-IHFB is the best bloody shrimping acronym in the history of bloody shrimping acronyms. Trust me on that one, I practically invented the concept. Of bloody shrimping acronyms, I mean. Not of TWT-IHFBs. I wish I had, though. Because it's, you know, the best acronym in the history of bloody shrimping acronyms and stuff.

» And the other moral of this particular rererereread is:



And who doesn't love aggravating cats sneaky kitties the universe exploding Curran trouble?



[June 2016]

KD is the Cure to All of Life's Problems Buddy Read (KDitCtAoLPBR™) with my dear wife Ange, and the poor IAA souls who have fallen into our deathly KD Surprise Reread Trap (KSRT™).

Original rating: 5 stars
Rating after xxxxxx rereads: boom. The universe exploded. This book is so BLOODY AWESOME, it's bloody unratable.


See? Even my dog decided to do a crazy dance to celebrate the total, utter and complete awesomeness that is this book.

» And the moral of this particular rererereread is: Midnight Games + hot tubs + the Scarlet Star + a flying palace = it doesn't get much better than this. Bye now.



[Original review]

☆☆☆ Post-Shift Productions proudly present ☆☆☆
Just Another Day in the Life of Kate Daniels



8.00 a.m.: roll out of bed after getting 2 hours of sleep. Realize you're hungry. Open the fridge to get some of that leftover apple pie. The plate is empty. Strange.
8.30 a.m.: rescue your teenage werewolf sidekick from Saiman. Watch Saiman change form and throw up in your mouth a little.
9.00 a.m.: find out His Furriness became Beast Lord at the tender age of 15 after chopping Andorf's head off. This is going to be a long day.
9.30 a.m.: your best friend tells you she doesn't want to be Raphael's TWT-IHFB. Oh boy.
10.00 a.m.: have a conversation with His Fussiness about kissing his ass.



10.30 a.m.: hand Saiman a needle so he can pop his head with it. It's obscuring your view of the room.
11.00 a.m.: listen to Jim telling you about a weredingo. Consider yourself lucky he didn't steal your baby.
11.30 a.m.: try to smile. Aim for sweet. End up looking like a psycho-killer.
12.00 a.m.: listen to a lecture about the different shapeshifter courtship customs. Aunt B. A cat on the ceiling. A fan. Mist. That's boudas for you.
12.30 a.m.: go sightseeing with Jim. Visit a jungle and a flying palace. Play with the locals. Chop a few arms off. Things are looking up.
1.00 p.m.: tell His Furriness he's a deadly psychopath with a god complex. Then tell him you're having rough sex with Jim. Bad idea.
1.30 p.m.: temporary insanity. Oh. My. God. The Universe just exploded.



2.00 p.m.: explain to your furry friends why you want Cesare's head. Then proceed to explain how you plan to resurrect it and make it relive its death over and over again. Did you just say all that out loud? Yep. You did.
2.30 p.m.: the Beast Lord asks you why you always attract creeps. Ha! He walked right into that one, yes, he did.
3.00 p.m.: Andrea says M-A-T-E. You curse. Then consider strangling her a little.
3.30 p.m.: fight in the arena. Jim tells you to be sloppy. You try.
4.00 p.m.: have a conversation about sausages with your furry friends. Die, die, die, die.



4.30 p.m.: Raphael hands you a fan in case you get hot. Curran doesn't think you need it. This cat's such a bore.
5.00 p.m.: remember the good old days with daddy Voron back when you were thirteen. Sightseeing in South America. Visiting arenas. Slaughtering things a bit.
5.30 p.m.: another fight in the arena. Blade-sprouting silver golem ✓ Troll (aka the overgrown log) ✓ Ancient vampire ✓ Enjoy seeing them die ✓ This is so much fun.
6.00 p.m.: take a relaxing bath in a hot tub. Try to pretend the Beast Lord isn't in there with you. Oh. My. God. The Universe just exploded again.



6.30 p.m.: yet another fight in the arena. Oh, look, it's the Scarlet Star. "Hessaad." Mine. "Ud." Die. Sorry daddy, I think I just broke your sword.
7.00 p.m.: Oh look, it's the flying palace again. Feeling suddenly very tired. It's been a long day.
7.30 p.m.: Lose a little blood. Cut a head off. Feel much better.
8.00 p.m.: find out cats are suicidal morons. Who would have thought?
8.30 p.m.: try telling the people in your head to shut up. It doesn't work. Oh look, a cat.
9.00 p.m.: go home. Find someone in your kitchen. Wait. What?
9.30 p.m.: read a note reminding you of an upcoming dinner. You're allowed to wear a bra and panties. Oh boy.



· Book 1: Magic Bites ★★★★★
· Book 2: Magic Burns ★★★★★
· Book 4: Magic Bleeds ★★★★★
· Book 5: Magic Slays ★★★★★
· Book 6: Magic Rises ★★★★★
· Book 7: Magic Breaks ★★★★★
· Book 8: Magic Shifts ★★★★★
· Book 9: Magic Binds ★★★★★
· Book 10: Magic Triumphs ★★★★
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,878 reviews22.6k followers
April 11, 2018
All the stars! I enjoyed the first two books in this Kate Daniels series, but Magic Strikes reached new levels of fun and games (of the gladiator death match variety) and just sheer awesomeness.

Kate Daniels and her werewolf, werehyena, and other shapeshifter friends get mixed up with some shady goings-on in connection with the Midnight Games, an underground organization that puts on illegal, to-the-death cage fights of the magical variety. Kate's young werewolf friend Derek decides to get involved in rescuing a lovely young woman from a particularly vicious group. Saiman has a stake in the Midnight Games, but events get personal for him as well.

Meanwhile, Julie, Kate's teenage friend/mentee/adoptive daughter, is having trouble adjusting in school, so Kate decides some impressing of Julie's schoolmates in order, which results in one of the most delightful scenes in the book. I reread that scene probably four times. Curran, with his Beast Lord magnificence, is slowly closing in on Kate. (I hypothetically might have read a certain hot tub scene three or four times as well.) I also LOVE a legal throwdown Kate does when Jim, the Pack's chief of security, tries to stonewall her.
"James Damael Shrapshire, in your capacity as the Pack's chief security officer, you have permitted Pack members under your command to deliberately injure an employee of the Order. At least three individuals involved in the assault word the shapeshifter warrior form. Under the Georgia code, a shapeshifter in a warrior form is equivalent to being armed with a deadly weapon. Therefore, your actions fall under O.C.G.A. Section 16-5-21(c), aggravated assault on a peace officer engaged in the performance of her duties, which is punishable by mandatory imprisonment of no less than five and no more than twenty years. A formal complaint will be filed with the Order within twenty-four hours. I advise you to seek the assistance of counsel."

Jim stared at me. The hardness drained from his eyes, and in their depths I saw astonishment.
Legal prowess FTW!

Characters make mistakes, but they're not idiotic mistakes where you want to slap them upside the head and/or hurl the book against the wall. Magic Strikes weaves in another culture's mythology again, Hindu in this case (who knew about Rakshasas and vimanas before reading this book? Not I). And we start getting some real answers to some of the mysteries about Kate's background and parents that I've wondered about since early in book #1. Total win!

I was originally thinking 4 stars for this book, but then I realized a couple of things: First, I keep going back to the book to reread my favorite scenes. Also, I decided it's not fair to compare this book to Pride and Prejudice or other classic or literary masterpieces. This is urban fantasy. It's meant to be smart (and smartass), enjoyable, fantastical, and sexy. Magic Strikes is all of these things, and I really can't think of a better book in this particular genre. If we're comparing apples to apples, this is like the best UF apple ever.
description
Art credit: http://strikerv2.deviantart.com/art/F...
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,255 reviews8,649 followers
November 20, 2021
Did you guys watch American Gladiators when you were kids? I just looked it up on IMDB, and the show's first run was from 1989-1997.<-----eight years is a LONG time.

Long enough for most of you to have watched it at some point during your childhood. B/c really? What's better than ridiculously muscled men (and women) in red, white, and blue spandex with names like Nitro and Laser . . . and MALIBU (Oh yeaaah):
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GAWD, I love the 80's.

And Malibu could totally be Curran in the middle of the magic flare. I mean, look at that hair. (Don't worry, Curran isn't some gym rat with 80's hair. The magic flare just made it grow REALLY fast. As soon as it was over he hacked it all off, I promise.)

The point is that b/c of my glorious upbringing, I'm predisposed to like anything gladiator related. I could lie and say that I love it b/c of my extensive studies of western civilization, but really it's b/c of this:
description

And this:

description

#sorrynotsorry

Right. So, Kate's having the longest day ever, and is just about ready to finally go home when Maxine asks her to look into a report of a Pack death. But when she gets to the site, Jim is all, "I got this," so Kate goes home.

To her pie. (<-----Ehehehehe)

And almost immediately gets a call from Saiman.

Derek broke into his apartment, you see, and would Kate care to come and get him, or should Saiman contact the police to handle it instead?

Of course Kate goes to get Derek, but she has to agree to accompany Saiman to the MIDNIGHT GAMES in return for his silence. Kate and Boy Wonder hit the road, but before they part ways, Derek gives her a note . . .

For a girl . . . at the MIDNIGHT GAMES.

I wish we had neural implants that were triggered when you read "MIDNIGHT GAMES." It would echo and sound like one of those small car dealership or furniture warehouse "MIDNIGHT MADNESS SALE" commercials. B/c that would be awesome.

Anyway, stuff happens, including, but not limited to Kate telling Jim that he can stick his, "I got this," attitude where the sun don't shine, Kate telling Curran that she's running away with Jim, and Curran losing his mind.

Have I mentioned that this is my FAVORITE book in my FAVORITE series?

'Cause it is.

And not just b/c of the MIDNIGHT GAMES (which is, admittedly, significant). MAGIC STRIKES is just one big mass of awesome. In fact, there is so much awesome that it deserves a list:



This book is everything that Urban Fantasy is supposed to be. It does not get better than this. If you like UF, and you haven't read this series and this book, your opinion on other series and books in this genre isn't going to carry as much weight with me. If you have read and loved it, your recommendations gain credibility. If I find a new person who loves KATE DANIELS, I friend request them. If you friend request me saying that you love Kate too, I accept. That's how fantastic this series and this book are. The end.

My other reviews for this series:

A Questionable Client (Kate Daniels, #0.5)
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2)
Magic Mourns (Kate Daniels, #3.5)
Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4)
Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels, #4.5)
Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5)
Magic Tests (Kate Daniels, #5.3)
Magic Gifts (Kate Daniels, #5.4)
Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels, #5.5)
Retribution Clause (Kate Daniels, #5.6)
An Ill-Advised Rescue (Kate Daniels, #5.8)
Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6)
Magic Steals (Kate Daniels, #6.5)
Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7)
Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8)
Magic Stars (Kate Daniels, #8.5, Grey Wolf, #1)
Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)
Iron and Magic (Kate Daniels, #9.5)
Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels, #10)
Curran POV Collection
Profile Image for Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘.
1,314 reviews2,757 followers
January 16, 2022
Sixth re-read: 16.01.22
I think this is one of my favorite books in the series. I just genuinely enjoy it. That said, I did skim as I know every little thing that happens...
“We have to get the Diamond. And Cesare’s head.”
They looked at me.
“Why the head?” Doolittle asked.
“Because it’s easy to carry and I can torture it for a long time.” And I didn’t just say it out loud, did I? I checked their faces. Yep, I did.
“How do you torture a head?” Dali asked.
“You resurrect it and make it relive its death.”
Jim cleared his throat.

New Rating: 3.5/4 stars

Fifth re-read: 16.07.19
I love the ending of this book. I really do. The last two - or three - chapters are really great. I absolutely adore Curran, and I specially adore his way of courting Kate. On to next re-read.
“I lied. I need your help.”
“Who are we killing?”

New Rating: 3.5 stars

Fourth re-read: 27.04.17
I'm on roll here, as you can see. I've been reading #1-3 really fast just because I needed some Curran. I love the Games part, and I still want to kill everyone for what happened to Derek. I think I'll re-read next one and stop.

Third re-read: 17.09.16
I adore the ending. I want Curran to court me, too! I love the Games. Kate fighting are a turn on. Seriously. I'm completely straight, I lust for Curran damn hard, yet Kate in the Games? Daaaamn. She knows her moves, I'm just saying. And let's not get started on Curran...I'll never stop. I just know I'll read this one again...

Second re-read: 07.08.15
This series gets better and better! :D I still love it!! I have no problem re-reading this again.

Re-read: 28.07.14
Man I love Curran! He is fucking sexy and Kate is just brilliant and those two are perfect for each other!
Profile Image for  Teodora .
279 reviews1,534 followers
April 26, 2021
4.35/5 ⭐

This was definitely better than the first two ones and that says a lot because I really liked those too.
This book is definitely bloodier than the others so far, messier and also, sadder in its cruelty.
My poor baby Derek does not deserve all the things she had to endure in his life! Not at all! He has a pure heart and he just deserves the best!

On the other hand - Curran and Kate's relationship seems to go somewhere? Huh? Huh?? I think so, yes. That ending...that's a promise for the future!

(Book-styled)
Profile Image for Shannon.
3,029 reviews2,344 followers
July 15, 2013
Alright, alright. I am now fully entrenched in the "I Love the Kate Daniels Series" camp. Magic Bites was ok, Magic Burns was better, and Magic Strikes had me grinning from ear to ear at the last page. I'm desperate now to read the next one to see what happens with Kate and Curran. The tension they've built up is absolutely delicious. THIS is how you create a relationship in a series. I hate authors that think throwing the two characters into bed with each other right away is either realistic, plausible, or sexy. Most of the time it makes me roll my eyes. I think the first Mona Lisa book by Sunny had the two main characters jump each others bones within the first 10 pages. Ridiculous and unsatisfying, and it made me think less of her characters and the author for creating it. (I only mention Sunny because I just finished a book by her, trying to giver her a second chance. My advice: don't bother.)

Anyway, getting back to Magic Strikes.

At the start, Kate is extremely tired and overworked. After one too many jobs she gets a call that a shapeshifter has been murdered. She goes to investigate, already exhausted and craving her bed and some pie she left in the fridge, and finds a bunch of shapeshifters at the scene combing for evidence. Before she can even get close though, a shifter walks up to her and tells her they have it under control. And then Jim, Curran's chief of security as well as her friend and fellow mercenary, drops from the shadows and tells her to leave. He won't let her see the body and he doesn't want her help or interference. She leaves, although the situation nags at her. And rightly so, since the creatures that killed the shifter come after her and her friends, and threaten the shifter community like none have done before.

I loved the back stories we were treated to in this one. Finally we learn more about Jim, Derek, Curran, Roland, and Kate and I'm hungry to learn more. The characters are getting fleshed out and the story is getting more complex without being overwhelming. Andrews sticks to a select few of Kate's friends and acquaintances and really develops them and all I want to do is read more and more. This was the type of book where you're almost at the end and you're hoping 20 more pages will magically appear because you don't want it to stop.

Kate has more than just grown on me at this point too; I've got a full blown girl-crush on her now. She's strong, funny, caring, snarky, and just a complete badass. I can't wait to read more of her adventures.

I also like Curran more now since he's slowly progressed from the snarling caveman (cavelion?) from the first book. He's still decidedly alpha and scary, but not to the point where I'm afraid for Kate to be around him. He loves her and cares for her and he's sexy as hell. I honestly couldn't stop smiling after I read the last page and even after I closed the book I had a stupid grin on my face.

This was a fantastic book and May can't come soon enough. Ilona Andrews's books have moved on to my list of automatic buys and if you liked this one as much as I did, check out On the Edge, which was written after. It's a completely different series but the quality of Magic Strikes is also apparent in On the Edge as well.

Check out my reviews of books two and four in this series: Magic Burns and Magic Bleeds.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
828 reviews3,676 followers
August 7, 2021


Reread August, 2021: I loved it even more this time around!! Definitely liked Curran WAY more, too. I don't know what that says about me, but 🤷‍♀️. Quick note though : please don't use food or coffee to describe skin color (only happened once, but ah nope)

Original review :

I, the undersigned, duly authorized representative of my frowning self, hereby state that all my pressuring friends were right when they declared, and I quote them, "it gets better".

This present declaration allows them for expressing their satisfaction at the ruin of my stubbornness, including by using disheartening gloating sayings as, "I told you so".

In addition, to ensure fair and full disclosure, please see the attached terms and conditions of my surrender :

Clause # 1 : I hereby certify that the writing, including the narration, the transitions and the pacing, did get better.

Clause #2 : Albeit unwillingly, I concede that Curran's behavior improved grandly (*) and that the development of his relationship with Kate did get better.

Clause #3 : It doesn't come as a surprise that my complete admiration for Kate didn't waver but on the contrary, tended to increase in full speed.

Clause #4 : I admit that the quality of the plot largely improved, impacting on its addictive, fascinating and compelling factors.

Close # 5 : Last but not least, YES. I did get feels.

(*) Despite these improvements, I am withholding my final judgment until complete disappearance of his stalkerish and aggressive tendencies. If I do realize that Kate has the necessary core abilities to kick his fucking ass for doing so, my inner bitch NO : decent person can't help but snarl at him. I, for one, don't believe in the appeal of an aggressive person. An aggressive person makes you angry, not excited.

With love,

Anna


MY REVIEWS FOR THIS SERIES
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Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,209 followers
June 7, 2016
If you haven't read this series yet, you need to at least read the first three. The first two books were good, but this one is magic! :)



Originally read in February of 2015. Rereading with the Ilona Andrews Addicts group.

Here's my original review:


Best one yet in the series! Have I mentioned how much I love Kate Daniels? Oh yeah, I guess I have, just in every other review of these books. She is so funny and sarcastic. I find myself chuckling while reading.

"What kind of shapeshifter has orange fur anyway?"
"Weredingo."
Now I'd seen everything. Well, at least he didn't steal my baby.
...

I gave him a smile. I was aiming for sweet, but he turned a shade paler and scooted a bit farther from me. Note to self: work more on sweet and less on psycho-killer.


In this book, we get to experience the "Midnight Games", which remind me of some of the video games that my sons play , like League of Legends or TF2. They have gladiator-style fights in an arena one-on-one, but then there is a competition for team fighting for a big prize. Each team has seven members, and each member has to play a certain role. There is the Stone, the Swordsmaster, the Shield, the Shiv, the Spell, the Stratego, and the Sling. There is a lot of fighting and action, but with the usual humor mixed in.

It is also fun to watch Curran and Kate get closer. I like how there is no insta-love in these books at all. As a matter of fact, come on, already!! Sheesh!

Curran looked back at me. "Why is it you always attract creeps?"
"You tell me." Ha! Walked right into that one, yes, he did.


burn photo: BURN BURN.gif
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,574 reviews1,462 followers
June 8, 2015
Yes I'm reading the Kate Daniels Series AGAIN and guess what I love it a little more every time. 3rd read and this is still my favorite of the series. So many great moments. This book gets ALL THE STARS

Kate Daniels Buddy Read/Reread May 25 with the gang at Ilona Andrews Addicts (IAA)

Revised Fangirl Review upon the Re-read of the series before Magic Breaks is Released.

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Magic Strikes has Gladiator style fighting with MAGIC so it is even better, sexual tension so thick you can cut it with a knife, flying palaces in a separate realm and a murder mystery as good as any crime novel.

gladiator photo: Gladiator tumblr_m41l4bcylQ1qmsksao1_500.gif

I loved it even more the second time around. All the quips, the intense and extremely entertaining battles, the budding relationship between Raphael and Andrea, the extreme sexual tension, Curran staking his claim on the ever reluctant Kate:

“Also, when he opened the door to leave, Curran told him very casually that if Jim wanted to pick fights with his future mate, he was welcome to do so, but he should keep in mind that Curran wouldn’t come and rescue him when you beat his ass. You should have seen Jim’s face.”
“His what?”
“His mate, M-A-T-E.”
I cursed.
Andrea grinned. “I thought that would make your day. And now you’re stuck with him in here for three days and you get to fight together in the Arena. It’s so romantic. Like a honeymoon.”


There are so many great moments in this, I loved so many characters. Saiman is slightly creepy with a god complex but turns out he is a quarter God so it is deserved. The shapeshifter equivalent to the Scooby-Doo gang, who pulls together to help Derrek, who has gotten in over his head in attempt to save a pretty girl. Kate’s background and her well-earned daddy issues come more to light in this as well as her reluctance to form attachments. Curran always a favorite proves just how far he is willing to go to save the woman he has decided is his.

”Have you ever seen a lion hunt a herd?”
“No.”
“They are very single-minded. When a loin stalks a herd, he sneaks in close, lies down, and surveys them to choose his victim. He takes his time. The deer or buffalo have no idea he’s near. He finds his prey and then explodes from his hiding place and grabs it. Even if another, perfectly serviceable animal ends up within his reach, he isn’t going to alter his course. He has chosen, and he would rather go hungry than change his mind.”


Kate I don’t think you stand a chance. So much better the second time through and I loved every heart-thumping moment of it.

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Initial Review 9/25/13

Kate Daniels once mercenary and now a semi-member of a Magical Order of Knights never seems to have small problems. She always has if you don’t succeed the world is all doomed problems. This book is no different there are some things that don’t seem all together human and an illegal fight ring going on in Atlanta. Derek is in trouble too and won’t tell Kate what is going on and Jim is hiding things from Curran as well.

“Just reflecting on the fact that when the Universe punches you in the teeth, it never just lets you fall down. It kicks you in the ribs a couple of times and dumps mud on your head.”

It also seems that Kate has caught the eye of The Beast Lord who may be trying to court her using a few unusual methods involving food and a little breaking and entering. The tension between them is insane and I eat up every moment they are on the page together. I struggle between wanting them to get together and wanting to drag that moment out a little longer.

“Go play your games with Jim. I'll find you both when I need you."
Arrogant asshole. "I tell you what, if you find us before those three days run out, I'll cook you a damn dinner and serve it to you naked."
"Is that a promise?"
"Yes…..”


There is the introduction of a few new characters Dali being one of my favorite new additions. She is a vegetarian Were-tiger that helps the team in the gladiator pit in an interesting and unusual way.

“I do shodo magic,” Dali said. “I curse through calligraphy. I have to write the curse out on a piece of paper and I can’t move while I do it. One smudge, and I might kill the lot of us.”
Oh good.
“But don’t worry.” Dali waved her arms. “It’s so precise, it usually doesn’t work at all.”
Better and better.


Magic Bites was just ok, I liked Magic Burns more but I absolutely loved Magic Strikes. The story arc of the murder mystery, the illegal fighting pit, some more backstory into Kate’s upbringing, Saimion and all his weirdness and the building relationship of Kate and Curran kept me on the edge of my seat. I could not put this book down I literally finished it at 3 am and got up at 6 am to go to work

Well done a fantastic addition to the series and the strongest book so far. The first two books are well worth reading to get to this one. And again the last few pages be still my beating heart. It made me want to jump into the next book as soon as humanly possible.


Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 10 books7,418 followers
October 3, 2015
I promised myself that I would review this book after finishing it the second time around. I took expansive notes, I copied my favorite quotes down in preparation and I even went so far as to try to start writing a review while still reading. I made several attempts actually. The first was a gushing letter to the author. The second was a serious breakdown of the story and characters that just felt all wrong and the third was a half drunken, rambling poem modeled after “There once was a man from Nantucket”. What? I was on vacation.

I’d say it’s pretty obvious that all attempts failed miserably. You know what that means?



I LOVE this frigging book!



I LOVE the murder mystery



I LOVE Curran’s pursuit of Kate



I LOVE Kate’s badassery



I LOVE their non-stop taunting of each other



I LOVE the gladiator style battles



And I even LOVE Saiman’s creep factor.




Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,425 followers
March 18, 2019
She should have seen this coming!

Kate has a number of things which occupy her mind and her life:

1. The wellbeing of her new friends:
-Jim betrays the pack,
-Derek almost gets himself killed,
-Raphael is crazy about Andrea and
-Saiman has new scary enemies. They talk like human, smell like human, behave like human but what are they really?
I am just happy that Kate has true friends finally.

2. The dangers that her real family brings:
We learn who her biological father is and what the consequences of these revelations might be.
Okay, this will definitely make things more complex in the next books.

3. The dangerous, illegal Midnight Games:
Full action, wonderful body conduct scenes in a primitive like arena.
The description of many, strangely magnificent, out of nightmare creatures that are battling together to prove who is the strongest.
For sure, the games in which Kate’s team participate were my favorites – especially the ones that they finish them off in less than a minute.

4. Curran…
…more persistent than ever to have her:
Apparently, he has already decided that she is his mate. He just wants to have her firstly and answer her questions later. Certainly everybody else has realized his intentions except for Kate who does not understand the ways Alpha shifters play and the rules of courtship.
I really enjoy seeing them dancing around each other.

5. Who has eaten her apple pie…
…or has Kate eaten it and she does not remember it?
I cannot believe she was so careless and not paying attention to the details in this book.
Of course she should have seen it coming!

At least the girl knows where she stands:
"I can't let him kiss me again, because if he does, I'll sleep with him."
August 30, 2018
First reread January 2015

Original rating: 5
New rating: 10


☆☆☆ Post-Shift Productions proudly present ☆☆☆
Just Another Day in the Life of Kate Daniels



8.00 a.m.: roll out of bed after getting 2 hours of sleep. Realize you're hungry. Open the fridge to get some of that leftover apple pie. The plate is empty. Strange.
8.30 a.m.: rescue your teenage werewolf sidekick from Saiman. Watch Saiman change form and throw up in your mouth a little.
9.00 a.m.: find out His Furriness became Beast Lord at the tender age of 15 after chopping Andorf's head off. This is going to be a long day.
9.30 a.m.: your best friend tells you she doesn't want to be Raphael's TWT-IHFB. Oh boy.
10.00 a.m.: have a conversation with His Fussiness about kissing his ass.



10.30 a.m.: hand Saiman a needle so he can pop his head with it. It's obscuring your view of the room.
11.00 a.m.: listen to Jim telling you about a weredingo. Consider yourself lucky he didn't steal your baby.
11.30 a.m.: try to smile. Aim for sweet. End up looking like a psycho-killer.
12.00 a.m.: listen to a lecture about the different shapeshifter courtship customs. Aunt B. A cat on the ceiling. A fan. Mist. That's boudas for you.
12.30 a.m.: go sightseeing with Jim. Visit a jungle and a flying palace. Play with the locals. Chop a few arms off. Things are looking up.
1.00 p.m.: tell His Furriness he's a deadly psychopath with a god complex. Then tell him you're having rough sex with Jim. Bad idea.
1.30 p.m.: temporary insanity. Oh. My. God. The Universe just exploded.



2.00 p.m.: explain to your furry friends why you want Cesare's head. Then proceed to explain how you plan to resurrect it and make it relive its death over and over again. Did you just say all that out loud? Yep. You did.
2.30 p.m.: the Beast Lord asks you why you always attract creeps. Ha! He walked right into that one, yes, he did.
3.00 p.m.: Andrea says M-A-T-E. You curse. Then consider strangling her a little.
3.30 p.m.: fight in the arena. Jim tells you to be sloppy. You try.
4.00 p.m.: have a conversation about sausages with your furry friends. Die, die, die, die.



4.30 p.m.: Raphael hands you a fan in case you get hot. Curran doesn't think you need it. This cat's such a bore.
5.00 p.m.: remember the good old days with daddy Voron back when you were thirteen. Sightseeing in South America. Visiting arenas. Slaughtering things a bit.
5.30 p.m.: another fight in the arena. Blade-sprouting silver golem ✓ Troll (aka the overgrown log) ✓ Ancient vampire ✓ Enjoy seeing them die ✓ This is so much fun.
6.00 p.m.: take a relaxing bath in a hot tub. Try to pretend the Beast Lord isn't in there with you. Oh. My. God. The Universe just exploded again.



6.30 p.m.: yet another fight in the arena. Oh, look, it's the Scarlet Star. "Hessaad." Mine. "Ud." Die. Sorry daddy, I think I just broke your sword.
7.00 p.m.: Oh look, it's the flying palace again. Feeling suddenly very tired. It's been a long day.
7.30 p.m.: Lose a little blood. Cut a head off. Feel much better.
8.00 p.m.: find out cats are suicidal morons. Who would have thought?
8.30 p.m.: try telling the people in your head to shut up. It doesn't work. Oh look, a cat.
9.00 p.m.: go home. Find someone in your kitchen. Wait. What?
9.30 p.m.: read a note reminding you of an upcoming dinner. You're allowed to wear a bra and panties. Oh boy.




*********
Original review (June 2014):

How much better can this series get!? I’m seriously being blown away by every new instalment here. KD = pure awesomeness. Fabulous, exciting, memorable, astounding, staggering, wonderful, impressive, breathtaking, and nothing short of downright amazing.



Ever went on a roller coaster ride? Take that feeling, multiply it by 10 and you might get an idea of what this book is like. There is so much to take here that my heart must have stopped beating quite a few times as I was reading devouring Magic Strikes. The world building blew me away (again). It's even richer and more complex than in previous instalments. I didn’t think it was possible but yes, the Andrews got even better at it! This series is probably the better-crafted I have ever read. We had to wait for the third book in the series to find out about Kate’s blood and why she is so special but it was handled very well by the authors. Situations and characters take time to evolve and develop within the series but it doesn’t feel forced as all things are revealed in due time. There is still a lot to figure out about Kate though which leaves room for much more development in instalments to come.

I think what I like most about this series is that it is so well-balanced. The action and battle scenes are mind-blowing (and that’s saying a lot since I usually hate battle scenes), there is emotion, lots of humour, mystery, mythology… Everything really!

Oh and the characters! Kate & Curran are just great (I love that the romance part of the book is only a subplot so far and not taking over the whole series), the Derek situation is , Saiman is a total creep but I love him, Julie & Dali are both welcome additions to the cast of characters, I love Andrea, I love Raphael… As I said in a previous review I think I just love everything single character in this series, even the evil ones!

What else? The quotes! The quotes! Sorry, I can't resist it.
Seven pairs of glowing eyes stared at me: four green, three yellow. Judging by the glow, the shapeshifter crew hovered on the verge of going furry. One of their own was dead and they were out for blood. I kept my tone light. “You fellows ever thought of hiring out as a Christmas lights crew? You’d make a fortune.”
A shadow crossed Andrea’s face. “I don’t want to be his TWT-IHFB” “What does that mean?” “That Weird Thing I Haven’t Fucked Before.” I choked on a bite of gyro.
“His Majesty needs a can-I girl anyway. And I’m not it.” “A can-I girl?” Andrea frowned. I leaned back. “Can I fetch you your food, Your Majesty? Can I tell you how strong and mighty you are, Your Majesty? Can I pick out your fleas, Your Majesty? Can I kiss your ass, Your Majesty? Can I…” It dawned on me that Raphael was sitting very still. Frozen, like a statue, his gaze fixed on the point above my head. “He’s standing behind me, isn’t he?” Andrea nodded slowly. “Technically it should be “may I,” Curran said, his voice deeper than I remembered. “Since you’re asking permission.” Why me? “To answer your question, yes, you may kiss my ass. Normally I prefer to maintain my personal space, but you’re a Friend of the Pack and your services have proven useful once or twice. I strive to accommodate the wishes of persons friendly to my people. My only question is, would your kissing my ass be obeisance, grooming, or foreplay?”
Saiman sighed. “At the risk of sounding crude, wooing you is like playing basketball with a porcupine. No compliment goes unpunished.”
I gave him a smile. I was aiming for sweet, but he turned a shade paler and scooted a bit farther from me. Note to self: work more on sweet and less on psycho-killer.
Curran looked back at me. “Why is it you always attract creeps?”
“You tell me.” Ha! Walked right into that one, yes, he did.
As he passed me, he leaned to Curran and handed him a paper fan folded from some sort of flyer.
Curran looked at the fan. “What?”
“An emergency precaution, Your Majesty. In case the lady faints.”
Curran just stared at him.
Raphael strode toward the Pit, turned, flexed a bit, and winked at me.
“Give me that,” I told Curran. “I need to fan myself.”
“No, you don’t.”
Get me the next instalment! Quick!

Book 1: Magic Bites ★★★★★
Book 2: Magic Burns ★★★★★
Book 4: Magic Bleeds ★★★★★
Book 5: Magic Slays ★★★★★
Book 6: Magic Rises ★★★★★
Book 7: Magic Breaks ★★★★★
Book 8: Magic Shifts ★★★★★
Book 9: Magic Binds ★★★★★
Book 10: Magic Triumphs ★★★★

August 24, 2020

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Urban fantasy was my method of escape in college when I was frequently mentally exhausted from writing ten-page research papers and fatigued from pulling all-nighters. After reading endless books about psychiatric disorders, behaviorism, and the physical structures of the eye, sometimes it's nice to kick it with something that's just pure fun-- and for me, PNRs were always that. I will forever have a soft spot for vampires, shape-shifters, and witches.



The Kate Daniels series is basically the epitome of every book I loved as a woman in my only twenties, only upgraded, and equipped with a fancy sword. It borrows heavily from the folklore and mythology of all cultures (not just Western ones) and features a jaded, quippy heroine who the authors also aren't afraid to portray as emotionally vulnerable. MAGIC STRIKES, in particular, really delves deep into Kate's personal history and what makes her tick.



This book takes on a Hunger Games-like flavor when we learn about an underground fighting league that pits magical creature against magical creature in a high-stakes stadium tournament that frequently results in fights to the death-- only the price of defeat may be higher than anyone thought. Creatures are turning up dead and there's some sinister challengers who read as human but have abilities that no human would have, and things are bad enough that even Curran's Pack members are trying to undermine his authority, out of fear of starting an out-and-out territory war.



So you know, just another day in the world of Kate Daniels.



I didn't like this book quite as much as the previous book because this one was so brutal and violent and cutthroat. The other books in the series aren't exactly free from violence, but I must admit, I'm squeamish and I tend to balk at the presence of too much graphic physical violence. The gladiatorial elements were compelling though, and everything that happened in this book was relevant to the plot, but I was surprised at how much more violent it was than the previous too books. Poor Derek.



That said, I really appreciated how diverse this series was/is. Especially considering that it was published 10 years ago, before that was really the status quo and everything was overwhelmingly white. Andrews really makes an effort to be inclusive and while there are some stereotypes that have since become outmoded, it really stands out from its contemporaries, which tended to be way less diverse and feminist in tone. I love that Kate Daniels doesn't just fall over for a man, and she doesn't eschew femininity like Anita Blake did. I mean, she wears underwear with bows on! Love. Being a strong woman doesn't mean hating on feminine things. I'm glad to see Team Andrews gets that.



Also, Curran! I'm still Team Rogan for life, but this book made me realize why everyone loves him. That cliffhanger ending! I am DECEASED. Thank goodness I have books four and five on standby.



Definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves UF/PNRs but is tired of the same ol' same ol'.



3.5 stars
Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,788 reviews2,131 followers
July 4, 2018
Reread 7/2018

I can't believe I didn't review this book back when I read it for the first time, this is definitely where the series began to pick up for me. This reread of the series has reminded me of why I like this series and this author.

Kate and Curran are the ultimate slow burn and that couple you find yourself shipping. I only made it to book 4 the first time around, and while I am taking a quick break after this one, I fully intend to finally catch up with this series. It's so good! It's reminded me of why I love PNR.

-----------------------------------------------------------
I don't feel like reviewing, so all I'll say is this book was awesome. This series is awesome and you should read it.
The end.
Profile Image for Lora.
186 reviews984 followers
September 12, 2011
I can't believe no one mentioned this series to me, recommended this series to me, or spammed my profile with comments and PMs proclaiming this series' awesomeness. They should have. To everyone that didn't, you're on my shit list.

Luckily for me, I finally made the decision on my own, like a big girl, and decided to give this series a try.
Once I did, it wasn't exactly love at first page, but I've quickly moved into the honeymoon stage. Here's to the honeymoon never ending.
Very rarely do I come across a series that I don't want to end, but the Kate Daniels series is one of those cases.
Every time I start one of these books, I know I won't be disappointed. This series has turned out one thousand times better than I ever imagined it would be.

This series takes time. The first book is good but not great, and it takes time getting used to the world as well as Kate's personality. It is more than worth it, though.
Having not read a lot of UF titles prior to this series, I'm not claiming that my opinion on this genre is reputable. However, based on my meager experience with urban fantasy, I can honestly say that this series is the best for me in terms of characters, writing, pacing, and overall likability. (For a more reputable opinion on UF, please see Maja a.k.a. the Queen of Urban Fantasy's profile.)
I knew when we met Saiman in Magic Bites that he would eventually play a bigger role. And he definitely does in Magic Strikes. In this we find out more about his heritage, his original form, and we learn that there is more to him than just a lot of knowledge and a high sex drive. His character is very unique and refreshing.
Some . . . *clears throat* . . . progress happens between Curran and Kate in this. I like the way their relationship is developing and the rate that it is doing so. Too many series seem to be too focused on the romance aspect too early on in the series. I like the way the authors have teased us thus far, only giving us little hints that there is much more than hostility boiling under the surface of their relationship.

Series like this don't come around for me that often. I've tried the first book in a lot of YA and adult series, and, even though there isn't anything necessarily wrong with them, they've failed to make me want to continue on and see what happens to the characters. A lot of series I've tried just don't seem worth the effort. But lately I've been gobbling up these books like Americans do turkey during Thanksgiving.
Earlier this year I was beginning to feel as if I was loosing my interest in reading. If you're a longtime book reader, you've probably been there. I have a back-up list, though: it is a list of books that I know can always pull me out of my reading slump, should I ever need them. This series will be added to that list.
Right now Kate seems to have a lot of big things coming up in her life.
I'm very interested to see where things go and how some certain things play out.
Easy as it may seem to just let this series go and read one of the many other UF series out there, I think people should at least give this series a try. And just like with any book, there's going to be positive and negative opinions. I almost skipped this series entirely because of some of the negative reviews I've read, and to think how terrible that would've been! I've been having a blast with this series and I implore anyone with even an ounce of interest to go get Magic Bites from their library and simply try it.
Seriously, go start reading this series now.
!

P.S. I thought chapter 15 was good, but that was before I read chapter 28. Yowzah.

***********************************************

My reviews of other titles in this series:

Book #1 - Magic Bites
Book #2 - Magic Burns
Book #4 - Magic Bleeds
Profile Image for Melissa.
355 reviews613 followers
July 18, 2018
3.75

Well thank God everyone was right!

While the first two were intriguing, this one blew them out of the water.

Where they sluggishly built up to a semblance of a plot, this one made it clear from the start.
Where they were slow with more descriptions than action, this one was a non-stop Rambo movie-with better CGI.
Where they had characters and, at times, scenes that just didn't make sense, this one read with perfect clarity leading us down a very dangerous rabbit hole.

Again I say cause you might have missed it the first time:
Magic Strikes blew the previous two out of the water


From the characters, to the plot, to the world, to the freaking sexual tension-that is driving me insane, if you must know-it's just...

There are no words.

Every single person who said I would enjoy this and motivated me to keep going...
I send you hugs!
I send you kisses!
I send you fangirling!
I'd send you money but I'm one hell on a cheapstake #sorrynotsorry

Back to the point...

From beginning to end this book whisks you into one hell of a bumpy ride, delving deeper into the lives of these characters, from the Lord King to the determined warrior, from the chief security to the boy wonder, from the lost girl to the one who's found herself. We see sides that weren't there before, we see meaning behind the words never spoken, and we start to comprehend every action that's been taken.

I don't even know what to say...I'm just excited as heck to see what's to come.
Am I right or am I right?
Profile Image for Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀.
247 reviews851 followers
May 16, 2022
How would I describe this series?
Paranormal mystery solver? Check!
Tough-talking super bravado? Check!
Intriguing plot? Check!

description

Everyone knows I love Kate Daniels, a snarky paranormal detective just trying her fucking best. I love this world, this writing, and these characters!!

Curran and Kate's dynamic has PEAKED in this book

“He lay still. “I give up,” he said and smiled. “Your move.”
Er. I was sitting atop the Beast Lord in my underwear, holding a knife to his throat. What the hell was my next move?”


description

The teasing. The banter. The support that we’ve come to expect and crave between the two continues with the two ---fighting and flirting had the chemistry pouring off each page

“He’s Roland’s Warlord. He’s here for me.” He was here for the woman who had broken his master’s blade.
“Tough luck. You’re mine.” Curran replied.”


This series continues to have each book with a unique mystery while developing the characters. This book especially shown with its witty one-liners that I struggled to pick which ones to include in the review and plot UNIQUE as FUCK

I mean the Midnight Games of an underground fighting ring for supernatural creatures? Bloody brilliant!!

“His teeth were bared. “What happened to barely winning?”
“You said sloppy! Look, I didn’t even use my sword; I hit him with my head, like a moron.”
“Curran looked at me. “What the hell was I supposed to do, catch the werebison as he was falling?”


It's both totally realistic for the world while simultaneously creating these engaging, hilarious, dangerous situations that Kate throws herself into to save people!

The action just beautiful creative tension with building up of important key characters and events combined with that *iconic* Kate Daniels sass

“Roland possessed immense power. He was also the man I had been training all my life to kill.”

You know it’s good to have goals and aspirations in life but calm the fuck down Kate

description

The secondary characters were all great - I loved Aunt B, Doolittle, Derek, George, Barbaras, and especially the sexually deviant bouda Raphael hilariously trying to push Curran's buttons

“Curran looked at the fan. “What?”
“An emergency precaution, Your Majesty. In case the lady faints.”
Curran just stared at him.
Raphael strode toward the Pit, turned, flexed a bit, and winked at me.
“Give me that,” I told Curran. “I need to fan myself.”
“No, you don’t.”


If you like paranormal detectives, read this book
if you like sass, read this book
if you like tough alphas that are sweet to their mates, read this book
If you worried there too much hype about this book that not gonna pay off, shut up and read this goddamn book

description

I love paranormal detectives. I love the twisted plots, the dangerous characters, the desperate situations…it provides a rush that few other genres can match. This is one of those series that gets just better with each book cuz each book BUILDS off each other like there some PLOT TWISTS from the 1st book that will blow your everloving mind in this one!

And this is a fucking BRILLIANT example of how great this genre can be. Honestly this series is one of my favorite re-read series and the third book is where everything especially has built up to show ....

this a STRONG worldbuilding, character developing, son of a bitch series that I adore and think others should give a try too!

description
Profile Image for Ginger.
721 reviews316 followers
July 8, 2019
5 STARS!!

I’ve finally figured out what rates a 5 STAR book from me.
When I stay up all night to finish it and suffer the next day at work!

Wow, I’m so glad I stuck with this urban fantasy series. I really loved Magic Strikes! It was a fun, entertaining and addicting book to read.

Magic Strikes is the 3rd book in the Kate Daniels series.
Ilona Andrews really brought her A game with this edition. The 1st two books in the series were okay but Magic Strikes took this series to a whole new level.

The book starts off with Kate’s shapeshifter friend Derek getting caught at Saiman’s home. Derek is trying to steal tickets from Saiman for the Midnight games. This is a fighting tournament that is by invitation only and it’s a tournament that fights to the death. Kate must figure out why Derek is involved in this and why he’s going against his alpha, Curran.

Curran, the Lord of the Beasts has forbidden all shapeshifters to compete in this tournament. It’s a threat to the shapeshifting community and is punishable by death. Why would Derek get caught up in going against his alpha and possibly causing himself to die in the process?

This is only the beginning of this awesome plot. It’s so complex and really takes the series forward in a great way.

We have recurring characters in this from Derek, Jim, Julie to many more. If you’ve read the 1st two books of the series, you’ll know who some of these characters are.
I suggest you start at the beginning with book 1, Magic Bites to get the full affect of all the recurring characters. I don't think this should be read as a stand alone and I believe you will like this book even more!

Yes, the 1st book is decent and I enjoyed it. It didn't blow me away but I'm so glad I stuck with the series.
It finally paid off! It’s so much better by this point!
It could be that I'm invested in the much loved characters at this point? But I think it’s more then that. Some of the plot questions of Kate and her past is answered in Magic Strikes and I can’t wait to see where this series is going to go!!

Highly recommended to urban fantasy lovers. This series has been fun and this latest addition, Magic Strikes has made it one of my favorite urban fantasy series so far!
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
263 reviews764 followers
December 17, 2017
Holy mother of cliffhangers, I hate it when they do that!!

Okay, you got me. I totally adore Ilona Andrews and wouldn’t fault them for a thing.

Part of a Kate Daniels full BR with the IAA, Magic Strikes is the best KD novel yet. Seriously, better than book 2 and WAY better than book 1. There is so much Curran in this book and it is a feast for the mind and soul. There’s enough humor to fill the pages just based on Kate’s reaction to his name.
”So, how are things with you and Curran?”

There were times in life when I wished for supreme mental powers. Like telekinesis. Mostly, I wanted them to crush my opponents. But right now I wanted them so I could pull the chair out from under Andrea and maker her fall on her butt.

I settled for spitting three times over my left shoulder.

There is also plenty of focus on Julie, Derek, Jim, and the ever-mysterious Roland, but those pale in comparison to the developing shitshow between Kate and Curran. She inadvertently let Curran wedge his foot in the door in Magic Burns when she ate food Curran offered her, which apparently is code for “You’re the big strong lion-man I’ve chosen to protect me and rock my world” in Curran-speak. Hilarity ensues as Kate continues to fend off his advances and fails spectacularly. I cannot wait to see where this goes.

Magic Mourns is next on my tbr, hope it measures up.
Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 28 books128k followers
April 2, 2009
I love love this series. I'm getting tired of a lot of this paranormal stuff, so many iterations, but this is a GREAT world, GREAT characters, good plotting. The writing is really good, I feel like the hardest thing to do is be SIMPLE, and this author's style is so concise and honest and believable. I really really love this series and would recommend it to anyone, men or women!
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
710 reviews1,148 followers
February 2, 2017
Kate Daniels is making a strong case to claim the spot as my favorite urban fantasy (to even be in contention is saying something – this genre is filled with authors that I absolutely love). I can’t believe how much better the second and third books have been. If it hadn’t been for my amazing Goodreads friends urging me to continue, it might have been years before I picked them up again.

Why do I now love it so much, you ask? Well, for one thing, the love story turned into a slowly developing segment that practically sizzles with romantic tension. It’s showcasing a fun dynamic between the characters that has me laughing out loud at every turn. I found this book in particular downright hysterical. Kate might be even funnier than Harry Dresden, if you can imagine. But the story also had a compelling mystery, which gave it the perfect balance of light and dark.

Magic Strikes contained an arena-style competition (and if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time you probably know how much I LOVE books with featured competitions) which sent the book from great all the way to the stratosphere as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been really stingy with solid 5-star ratings lately, even going so far as to re-rate a bunch of 5-star titles down to a 4 or 4.5. I decided it has more of an impact to only give 5 stars to books that make my all-time favorites list. And you know what? Magic Strikes made the cut – I am already itching to go back and reread it!

Other books you might like:

Skinwalker – Faith Hunter
Storm Front – Jim Butcher
Moon Called – Patricia Briggs
Dark Currents – Jacqueline Carey
Stray – Rachel Vincent

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikiahawkes.com
Profile Image for Haïfa.
185 reviews177 followers
September 4, 2022
5th read! :D
Favorite installment of the series.
Full audiobook experience this time around.

Original, a bit rearranged, spoiler-free review below.
___________________________________

I loved this book so much. It was near perfection!

And it took me 2 months to review... I don't even know where to start. I had a lot of fangirling thoughts and things to say about this one when I turned the last page. But I forgot it all.

What I know for sure is that it made me embark in an emotional roller-coaster ride and I don't remember the last time I cared this much about fictional characters. It made me want to huddle under my blankets, drink hot chocolate and spend all day reading and re-reading it. And it made me laugh so hard.

"His Majesty needs a can-I girl anyway and I'm not it."
"A can-I girl?" Andrea frowned.
"Can I fetch you your food, Your Majesty? Can I tell you how strong and mighty you are, Your Majesty? Can I pick out your fleas, Your Majesty? Can I kiss your ass, Your Majesty? Can I ..."
It dawned on me that Raphael was sitting very still. Frozen, like a statue, his gaze fixed on the point above my head.
"He’s standing behind me, isn’t he?"


The story was exciting and the plot fast-paced. New enemies threaten the Pack's (the Atlanta shapeshifters' pack) safety and once more, Kate gets entangled in the mess when Derek, her teenage shapeshifter sidekick, is badly injured. In order to save his life, she will have to juggle her position as the Order's representative, Curran (Beast lord, aka head of the Pack), the Midnight Games (an underground fighting tournament) and the mysterious forces that threaten the shapeshifters of Atlanta.

The Andrews have created such an amazing panoply of great characters in the last 2 books. And what I absolutely love about Magic Strikes is that these characters are all but frozen. We see them evolve, we see them learn, suffer, show a lot of potential and open up about their histories and luggage. In each book, we discover new facets of Kate, Curran, Derek, Jim, Andrea, Doolitle... while new characters appear and seamlessly find their spot in the big picture... and the result is so coherent it makes them look larger than life. It's just so freaking amazing.

Kate is a fantastic character. When I started this series, I was afraid she would turn out to be a stereotype of the genre: badass, big-mouthed and acting all tough and scary and pushing people away. And in a way, she was all that at the beginning. But not only!

It was a matter of principle. If somebody sniped Saiman while I sat two feet away, I would have to pack up my knives and take up farming instead.


I love the fact that she is scarred, that she drags a difficult and heavy background. I love the fact that she's always questioning things, that she feels guilt, doubts, fear. I love the fact that she is cynical, self-mocking and so damn funny! I also love the fact that she is a bit insane and scary.

"And did you have to hack his arms off?"
"Yes, I did. He wouldn't go through the door."
"You say it like you're proud of it."
I was proud of it. It was an example of quick thinking in a difficult situation.


Again, the Andrews did their homework and again we have a new mythology inspired by the Indian folklore this time. This is very refreshing because as much as I'm familiar with, and love the Greek/Roman and Egyptian mythologies, most fictional works in the genre usually focus on them and it is always interesting to explore new cultures.


Gorgeous new french cover

But my true weak spot for these books (and this one in particular) is the romance in it. To be honest, I don't read romance. It's a genre that never appealed to me... And yet, I find myself thrilled and dreamy and moved by the romance in this series. The building tension made me turn the pages at an alarmingly fast rate and feel like a teenager who had been asked for her first date. The dialogues are hilarious and we get to discover a funny, even childish at times, Beast Lord in this book. Kate's reaction to the weird shapeshifters' romantic standards, especially the breaking and entering, was priceless and, let's be honest, healthy. Yes, I'm looking at you, Bella Swan!

The only stain on this almost perfect book is the recurrent reminders and "re-explanations". I guess they're supposed to help a new reader, who starts in the middle of the series, understand the context and the background (how the magic works, the different factions of Atlanta, the functioning of the Pack, the shapeshifters' characteristics...). But for someone who devours the books in order, it gets tedious, slows the pace and makes me wanna turn the pages faster, but not for the good reasons... But it's a minor con for me to be honest. I just feel it's important to mention for future readers' sake.

Conclusion
This book was so freaking good I already re-read my favorite parts 5 times (it's been only 2 months since I first read it...). Fast-paced, thrilling, funny, intense and very gory in places as well. No wonder this installment seems to be, by consensus, the best book of the series.
Profile Image for Maria V. Snyder.
Author 64 books16.8k followers
October 5, 2015
Love this series - I finished this last night and am trying not to buy the next one right now! You're not going to get a detailed review from me on this one - if you're not loving these by now, then there's nothing I could say to convince you! :)
Profile Image for Simona B.
883 reviews2,950 followers
April 26, 2022
"I gave him a smile. I was aiming for sweet, but he turned a shade paler and scooted a bit farther from me. Note to self: work more on sweet and less on psycho-killer."

This is the first book in this series that actually, truly struck me. The previous two were undeniably funny and enjoyable (I read each of them in one sitting), but this one is on another level.

•First of all, finally, finally I'm beginning to perceive these characters as real people instead of just lifeless fictional doodles. In the previous book, I had been able to grow attached only to Kate and Curran, but the rest of the cast remained kind of a problem for me. I wasn't invested in them, whether because I didn't know enough about them or because the way they were introduced and acted seemed unremarkable to me, I can't tell. With this book, instead, things changed. I genuinely cared for everyone. Derek, Julie, Jim, Andrea, Raphael, Dali. It didn't matter if they appeared just in a few scenes, or if they said just a couple of lines, this time I was feeling them. I could connect with them, which was lovely.

• Even the plot gets better, becoming not only more interesting, but also more fluid and enthralling, and it won't let you pause for breath.

•Last but not least, Kate and Curran. I adored their interactions in this book. I adore their relationship. I adored that we actually get to see, step by step, how it develops, why it develops, what makes it develop. It's slow, but we wouldn't love them were they not as stubborn as they happen to be.
Profile Image for Angela.
3,195 reviews367 followers
March 23, 2021
13 April 2020: $1.99 on Kindle - I don't recommend reading this series out of order, but this book is my FAVORITE in the series (though honestly, it is hard to rank them because the entire series is amazing and awesome).

June 2016 Re-read.
July 2015 re-read: I love this book so much.
August 2014 Re-read:

Apparently, I've never written a review of this book - though I've read it at least a couple dozen times. In fact, I distinctly remember the last re-read I did I had plans to review ALL the books in the series.

Then I hit this book, with its humor that keeps me laughing all the damn time, and the suspense that keeps me on the edge of my seat, biting my nails. And that ending! Good lord. *fans self* How could I be expected to write a review??

But I'm going to try. I don't want to spoil anything so I'm pretty much going to devolve into fangirl squealing from here on out. Fair warning.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, this book is absolutely, mind-blowingly ... PERFECT. Every time I read it I can't stop. The humor that's on nearly every page makes me struggle against updating all the time, quoting it all. I laugh and grin like an idiot throughout damn near this entire book. You should see the looks I've gotten from perfect strangers. There are the moments when I'm ready to break into tears though. The struggle and dangers are very real in this world, and sometimes not everyone makes it.

By now, I've come to love not only Kate and Curran, but everyone else in this messed up Post-Shift Atlanta. Derek, Julie, Jim, Raphael, Andrea and even Saiman. Then there's the new characters we meet, some that made me laugh, and one that made me freeze up in fear. I still get shivers when I read his entrance and introduction to Kate. The point is that I'm totally invested in these people, I feel like I'm fighting right there alongside them, struggling to survive - and more, fighting to live.

The plot in Magic Strikes is one of the most interesting, tightly written, and beautifully executed I've seen. Every single thing has significance - you may not realize it at the time, but it's there. Each moment leading to a shattering conclusion where my heart's in my throat and I cheer when it's all over.

I've thought about including some of my favorite quotes, but we'd be here all day.

You know those things where people want you to name five desert-island-keepers? You know, the five books that you'd take with you to read and re-read with no other books available? I can never pick. Asking me to pick favorite books - narrowing them down - is so hard it's painful to me. But I can easily say that Magic Strikes would be one of them.

20 July 2014: $1.99 on Kindle

This is my favorite series ever!!! The entire series is on sale!!!
Profile Image for ȷαεlα.
644 reviews
May 7, 2016
First read July 2014 -4 stars
Second read May 2016 - 5 *****
(what the hell was I thinking when I gave only 4 stars to this book) stars

THIS WAS AWESOME!! But Really, I must have been out of my mind when I first rated this. This book had everything. Everything.

Chemistry between Kate and Curran was:



"You're scared there might be something there, between you and me."

And the humor is exceptional:

"To answer your question, yes, you may kiss my ass.
My only question is, would your kissing my ass be obeisance, grooming, or foreplay?"
[Curran to Kate]
................................................................

Julie caught on. "Yes ma'am."
She called me "ma'am". I waited for the sky to split and belch forth the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, but for some reason they failed to appear.


Those midnight Games were so great. It was nice looking them working as a team. I loved Dali and Raphael, such interesting characters.

"If the lot of you survives, Curran will flay the skin off your backs," Doolittle said.
"That's what I always love about you, Doctor." Raphael grinned. "You're a cup-halfway-full kind of guy. All flowers and sunshine."


And there is HUGH!! Damn you, Hugh. I was shipping you and Kate so badly!



I just loved him, not only in this book. I wanted them so badly to be together. :D He is the ultimate sophisticated and SOB villain.



I felt so sorry for what happened to Derek. From this:

It was a wonder he could go out into the daylight at all. I could never understand why the cops didn't arrest him for causing an epidemic of swooning among females eighteen and under.

to being someone completely different, in and out. That's horrible. It's gonna be such a long journey.

This book had action, angst, pain, love, humor, everything! It has never happened to me to raise my rating after a reread. I may have lowered it sometimes. I'm so happy this happened. :)




Profile Image for carol..
1,504 reviews7,554 followers
April 17, 2013

Remember when I said I loved Magic Burns? I might just love this book a little more. Just how good is it? Enough that it was my go-to when I was recently recovering from a headache--I wanted a dependable, awesome read and didn't want to start anything new that I'd end up hating.

Magic Strikes is the third book in one of the best urban fantasy series out there. It maintains a very fast-moving plot with nicely developed characterization, has an unusual magic-technology premise, and stars a woman who is by far my favorite heroine.

Kate's rescuing a banshee grandma for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid when she's called to a shapeshifter murder. Security chief Jim tells her to butt out, but she accidentally spills the news to Curran the next day when she and Andrea, her best friend, are out at lunch. Once Curran the shapeshifter king is involved, events spiral fast and draw in a large cast of characters, including Saiman in his real form, Derek and an attractive female, and Raphael and Andrea in their elaborate mating dance. Jim has gotten himself and his security team in hot water. Kate joins with them to save the girl, the Pack, and their reputations in a secret underground fight club. A couple sections of this book were an emotional challenge, but in the end, I loved that Andrews aren't afraid to play rough with their characters. It's a risky move that adds tension to the story.

The plot is non-stop action, but leavened with Andrews' trademark humor. I love the balance they achieve. Kate's humor is sometimes only for herself, sometimes for friends, but when faced with a serious situation, she is all business and no laughs.

As usual, characterization is a standout. I love Kate's intensity as she fights in the parking lot, and as she stands up to Jim's stonewalling. In one, she uses her amazing fight skills, in the other, hard-won legal knowledge, shocking Jim. The character Dali is introduced in a way that would be comical if it wasn't so plausible and her other form so beautiful. Julie returns in a moving scene. This book contains some of my favorite scenes, including the scene with Rene the guard, the scene with Jim where Kate quotes the law, the bit with Raphael and the fan that makes me laugh every time, and several fight scenes. The antagonists are unusual characters in UF, believable in their level of ferociousness and able to provide formidable foes for the crew.

Kate continues to be my favorite heroine.

There's Kate and her feelings on vampires:

"Part cult, part research institute, part corporation, all vomit inducing."


There's her opinion on inappropriate displays of emotion:

"Saiman picked up a coffee mug, stared at it, and hurled it against the wall. It shattered into a dozen pieces. We looked at him.
'Your date appears to be hysterical,' Rene told me.
'You think I should slap some man into him?'
Saiman stared at me, speechless. I had to give it to Rene--she didn't laugh. But she really wanted to."


Then there's her friendships:

"'Kate?'
I have a superior reaction time. That was why although I shot out of my chair, jumped onto my desk, and attempted to stab the intruder into my office in the throat, I stopped the blade two inches before it touched Andrea's neck. Because she was my best friend, and sticking knives into your best friend's windpipe was generally considered to be a social faux pas.
Andrea stared at the black blade of the throwing dagger. 'That was great,' she said. 'What will you do for a dollar?'
I scowled.
'Scary but not work a buck.'"


Love it.


Cross posted at http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2013/0...

Profile Image for Anne.
3,786 reviews69k followers
February 15, 2017
4.5 stars

I'm getting seriously attached to this crazy world!
This is such a great urban fantasy series, and I can't believe I put off reading it for so long.
What the hell was wrong with me?!
Doesn't matter. I'm officially part of the Kate for President movement now.
*Warning: The remainder of the review will probably be nothing more than me doing some squealy fangirling.*

Kate & Curran!
Love them! LOOOOOVE them! Why can't more urban fantasy give us a slow burn like these two have? I'm more than willing to read about couples who aren't jumping immediately into the sack, even if it means waiting it out book-wise.

World-building!
This is one of the more unique settings I've run across in terms of the actual world they live in. Magic flares and technology crashes?
Veryvery cool.

Villians!
I love that the Big Bad is still out there waiting for a Reveal. The baddies in this were amazing, and totally took my mind off of this Roland character, and then BAM! right toward the end you get another snippit of information!
OhMyGodITotallyForgotAboutHimWhatWillKateDo?!

Side Characters!
It seems like every new book adds another pal (or three) to Kate's growing list of amigos. Each of them are well-defined enough to make you care about what happens to them.

Coolest Aunt EVAH!
Ok, that scene where she rides into Julie's school?
I wanted to stand up and cheer!
If you don't know what I'm talking about, go read the book. It's worth it just to see what she does.

So many reviewers have detailed the plot better than I ever could, so I'm just going to have to settle for telling you guys this:
KATE DANIELS IS A MUST-READ UF SERIES!
Do NOT let the first book scare you off. I thought it was only so-so, and it kept me from continuing the series.
Bad Anne! BAD!
Go read these suckers. You won't be sorry.
Profile Image for Antonella.
3,091 reviews417 followers
January 3, 2023
it is so beautiful discovering new things I enjoy about this series as I reread it like Kate developing friendships along the way..

-----------------------------------
*After rereading it, yes it's still amazing.
I love Kate. She is the ultimate heroine!

First, I have to give a huge shout-out to my friend Andrea who said I would like this series and especially the heroine. YOU WERE RIGHT. Thanks, pal!!!!




People listen to your booklover friends, they know their stuff.


So I'm deeply in addiction mode here. I love Kate. And her smart mouth. And then finally some action and chemistry with Curran. Sure there is always some fight to be and a lot of characters and mythologies, and at times things make little sense but you know what- I don't care.

If you love badass and smartass heroine in a fantasy world, look no more... This is an amazing read. This was so much fun. I really needed it.

I love the development of Kate & Curran's relationship throughout the series.
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