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Kate Daniels #5

Magic Slays

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Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate.

So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price . . .

308 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 31, 2011

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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 3,234 reviews
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16k followers
October 2, 2011
*Before I begin my review, I must take a moment to honour the devastating goddess who made it possible for me to read this book. There are not enough words in the English language to fully capture the incadescents of this magnificent human being. She is beyond reproach, loved by all, exulted in her graciousness. I adore her with the nuclear reactions of a thousand suns. She is worth more to me than all of the precious jewels!*

/Suck up

"The series gets good at book three."

Neil Patrick Harris pretending to shoot himself

If I had a penny for every time I heard something like this about a series then... okay, I'd probably have about a dollar now.

But still, for many avid readers out there, it is the bane of their existence.

No, but really. This series gets GOOD at book three.

Unlike most people though, I didn't mind it at book one. I thought it had a lot of potential. Some people get thrown off of being tossed into an unfamiliar world with little or no hand-holding from the author. Note: Ilona Andrews will never hold your hand. You either keep up or she'll leave you behind.

For me the second book was an improvement but still only representative of a slightly better-than-average series.

Then the third book happened.

huge explosion
It really, really happened...

Ever since then, I've been in love with Kate Daniels, Ilona Andrews, and her Edge series.

Magic Slays lives up to the series fairly well.

It's intelligent, witty, well-paced, fun, easy to read and enjoyable.

The character arcs are all interesting, realistic, involving and enjoyable.

My only complaint with this series is that Andrews is obviously very uncomfortable about any intimate scenes. She has the writer's equivalent of premature ejaculation and at one point I almost wanted to stroke the book and mutter, "It's okay. Really. It is. It happens to everyone."

Andrews, like Neil and unlike most of the Urban Fantasy authors, actually seems to LIKE women. The friendship between Kate and Andrea, her ward Julie and her dealings with the other women in this book is so well treated! It's a breath of fresh air to have a female protagonist who actually gets along with other women.

Over all, if you're a fan of this series, definitely read the latest installment.

If you're not a fan of this series - please don't shoot me but...

It gets good at book three.

September 20, 2022
And the moral of this particular rererererereread is: Jennifer =

And that is all.

👋 Until next time and stuff.

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

And the moral of this particular rererererereread is: I want a multi-purpose pet for Christmas. And if Edvokia's duck-bunny-cat can't be cloned, I'll settle for a barnacle-shrimp-kraken. Or for a mutant hippo-frog.

Err...Then again maybe not. A barnacle-shrimp-kraken it is, then! Pretty sure they look much sexier than mutant hippo-frogs, anyway. Also, it is a truth universally acknowledged that kraken make everything and anything Instantly Very Cool (IVC™) and stuff. Even the lamest subaquatic jokes.

See what I mean?

👋 Until next time and stuff.

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

Presenting Episode 5, or How Kate Daniels Learned that Morgue Steps Can Have Very Entertaining Uses Indeed.

» And the moral of this particular rererereread is:

Mutant attack poodles who chew on plastic guns + 15-year-old sex fiend/pure chick magnet + Roman the hidalgo pirate lookalike (aka Roman the Riveting Russian Rake, aka R⁴) + duck-bunny kitties (or is it bunny-kitty ducks? Or kitty-duck bunnies? I forget) + Chernobog, God of Morning Dew on the Rose Petals (aka The Black Serpent. Koshei. Lord of Darkness and Death. Ruler of Freezing Cold. Master of Destruction. God of Insanity. Embodiment of everything bad. Evil) + Edvokia and her house on chicken legs *waves at Baba Yaga* + His Fussiness' cuddly Tasmanian devil + Osanda, you bitch + playing with other boys' toy cars + making ribbons with intestines + the hand that slapped Aunt B. + having the enemy for lunch + mostest coolest spiky red-haired weremongoose nanny ever = let's dance the night away and stuff.

[July 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™).

Previous rating: 8 stars
New rating: I don't know anymore. Millions of them, probably. Or maybe trillions. Who knows?

» And the moral of this particular rererereread is:

Oh, and also:

Bye now. Things to do, tourists to strangle and all that crap.

[July 2015]

Previous rating: 5 stars
New rating: 8 stars ← What? Were you seriously expecting anything less? Don't you know me at all people?! How many times do I have to tell you?! I want to be Kate Daniels when I grow up.

►► Why do I want to be Kate Daniels when I grow up, you ask? Because being Kate Daniels means:

You kick ass.

You get to sleep in the Beast Lord's four feet high bed (playground slide optional, His Furriness mandatory).

You get to sleep in the Beast Lord's four feet high bed (playground slide optional, His Furriness mandatory).

You get to sleep in the Beast Lord's four feet high bed (playground slide optional, His Furriness mandatory).

►► Oops, I think my brain short circuited right there. Sorry about that. Moving on.

You cut cut cut and slice slice slice. Yum.

You have very cool sidekicks:
✔ An ex Boy Wonder who vomits better than a shaved, mutant attack poodle.
✔ An oversexed 15-year-old bodyguard/intern/chick magnet.
✔ A seventy pound weremongoose nanny with a head on fire.

You can do very cool tricks with your blood. Thanks so much Daddy Dearest!

You get to play in His Overbearance's enormous bathtub (soap optional, His Furriness mandatory).

You get to play in His Overbearance's enormous bathtub (soap optional, His Furriness mandatory).

You get to play in His Overbearance's enormous bathtub (soap optional, His Furriness mandatory).

►► Oops, I think my brain short circuited right there. Sorry about that. Moving on.

You have a very cool family. Well, maybe except from Daddy Dearest. And Auntie Erra. And dear step-daddy. And Mommy Dearest, too? Ugh. Not such a cool family after all. Sonovabitch.

Your best friend is a hyena with a gun fetish. She steals other people's pets, too. But hey, nobody's perfect.

You know how to have fun:
✔ Play with trolls
✔ Attend ant parties
✔ Pet mutant cat-rabbit-ducks
✔ Visit houses on chicken legs
✔ Meet lovely people with supersonic whistles

Roman the Riveting Russian Rake is part of your extended family. It doesn't get much cooler than that.

You get to beat the crap out of the Beast Lord just for kicks. Fun times.

You have the coolest vocabulary: Osanda, Amehe, Ahissa, Dair, Hesaad. The bastards have no idea what they're in for.

You have a very big, possessive, overbearing, hot as hell kitty cat.

You have a very big, possessive, overbearing, hot as hell kitty cat.

You have a very big, possessive, overbearing, hot as hell kitty cat.

You have a very big, possessive, overbearing, hot as hell kitty cat.

►► Need I say more? Didn't think so.

Book 1: Magic Bites ★★★★★
Book 2: Magic Burns ★★★★★
Book 3: Magic Strikes ★★★★★
Book 4: Magic Bleeds ★★★★★
Book 6: Magic Rises ★★★★★
Book 7: Magic Breaks ★★★★★
Book 8: Magic Shifts ★★★★★
Book 9: Magic Binds ★★★★★
Book 10: Magic Triumphs ★★★★
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 10 books7,420 followers
May 13, 2020
Welcome to the Reader’s Court of Literary Grievances

The courtroom was alive with the buzz of conversation. Today’s case had drawn so many spectators that it was standing room only. Behind the judge’s bench, high on the wall, hung an unimposing, standard-issue clock. As its hands ticked down the minutes, the excitement in the room rose and the buzz of the crowd slowly turned into a low level roar.

Fifteen minutes before start-time it was so loud that people had to raise their voices when speaking to their neighbors or risk losing their words to the cacophony that reverberated around them. Every now and then shouting could be heard ringing out over the din, another die-hard fangirl losing their temper in one of the many heated debates that were taking place.

“How can you even say that?!” one woman screamed. “Anita Blake could wipe the floor with Mercy Thompson.”

“Oh yeah?” another chorused. “Well Rachel Morgan is a demon. She could drag Anita into the ever after and leave her there to rot!”

“She’d just screw her way out!” yet another joined in.

And so it continued. At one point a scuffle even broke out near the rear doors but luckily it was quickly broken up before it could escalate into a full blown brawl. With the energy level of the room hovering around frenetic, all it would take was one stray punch for the crowd to implode.

At precisely three o’clock, a door on the empty side of the bar swung open and those assembled began to fall silent. The first person to appear was the bailiff, a towering man with cold, dark eyes that scanned the crowd as he moved towards his post. Following him were the court clerk, the court reporter and finally, swathed in billowing black robes, the judge. He was not what most of the spectators expected. He was…young. He was handsome too, with broad shoulders, dark hair cut close to his head and gray eyes that seemed to glow with some sort of inner power. Those eyes swept the crowd much as the bailiff’s had and the individuals they fell upon seemed to cower beneath his gaze.

Once he was fully ensconced behind the bench, more people filed in through the side door. These were dressed in expensive looking suits and seemed to wear similar expressions on their faces; a mix of supreme confidence and utter boredom. Only the thin bands of sweat on their upper lips or the nervous twitching of a hand gave away their true feelings. As much as they’d like to pretend otherwise, this was not just another court case.

These new arrivals took their seats behind the two desks that faced the judge and began to open briefcases and shuffle through papers as they talked amongst themselves. Behind them, the crowd was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. It was as though the collective was holding its breath for something.

The last person to enter the room was a woman of medium height and medium build with light brown hair pulled back off her face. This was clearly what the crowd had been waiting for. As soon as they caught sight of her, they erupted, some hurling angry words and threats and others rising up to shout them down in between cheering her as she sauntered over to her seat, a smirk splitting her face.

“Order! Order!” the judge roared, his deep voice echoing throughout the marble and stone room so that it seemed he’d spoken the words three times. Something in his tone brooked no argument and the crowd fell into a low level grumbling and then finally back into silence. Those who snuck glances at him quickly looked away, unnerved by the way his eyes seemed to flash under the electric lights.

Taking advantage of the moment, the bailiff stepped forward and spoke into the hush. “Today we’re here to rule on The People versus Navessa in the Case of the Most Badass Heroine.”

And so it began. It was the trial they’d been waiting for, the one that would decide it all. Navessa's case was a good one and her lawyers well versed in both Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. They knew the standards, knew the tropes and the themes and they’d spent months preparing for this. Preparing to prove, once and for all, that Kate Daniels was the most badass main character to ever grace the pages of a book.

The prosecution was equally stacked. Among their papers were innumerable quotes spoken by the many heroines that made up their client list. They had weapon inventories, outfit inventories and even in one case…a boyfriend inventory. They had pages and pages of descriptive paragraphs detailing fight scenes, magical badassery, heartbreak and heroism. It would be a tough trial.

“Will the prosecution please begin its opening statement,” the bailiff ordered.

In response, a tall man with thinning grey hair moved sinuously up out of his seat and strode towards the center of the room, placing himself in full view of both the judge and the crowd. He turned towards his audience with a smile that could have sold souls to the devil himself.

“My job is not to disprove Kate Daniels being a badass,” he began.

From her seat behind the defense table, Navessa watched him like a hawk. As he continued to speak, his low, soothing voice ringing out through the room, she realized he was good. He was really good. Listening to him wax poetic about the preponderance of evidence and the impossibility of decisively placing a single character above all others would have made almost anyone nervous.

Not her. You see, she knew every single one of his clients. Had known them for years in fact. She knew their dirty little secrets, their hidden agendas and most importantly, their weaknesses. And she and her lawyers were prepared to use it all against them.

When the prosecutor was done with his statement, the head of her defense stood and strode to the same spot that her enemy had just occupied. Navessa knew the speech she was about to deliver by heart, she’d helped write it.

“Kate Daniels, is a badass. This is irrefutable,” her lawyer began. For the next three minutes she laid out their case in broad terms, citing numerous sources to include sales statistics, critical reviews and ratings on book related websites. It was a good speech and the crowd, which had started whispering almost the moment she opened her mouth, slowly fell silent over the course of it. By the end more than a few were nodding along in agreement.

The trial lasted three days. Evidence was submitted and poured over in excruciating detail, experts were brought in followed by critics. At the end of the second day a psychologist even spoke, and he seemed to think everyone involved in the trial was in dire need of his services. On the final day, it was the witnesses’ turns. It was these men and women that made the case electric, emotional and absolutely unpredictable. One woman, called to the stand for the prosecution, broke down in tears halfway through questioning by the defense.

“I just don’t understand why she had to sleep with so many men the way she did. I would have been fine if she had just owned up to her behavior but nooooo, she blamed it on the Ardeur. I hate her now!” she sobbed.

“I understand,” Navessa's lawyer smiled kindly, barely masking the predatory gleam in her eye. And therein lay the genius of their defense. For who hadn’t been irritated at one point or another while reading about their favorite heroines? Who hadn’t thought they’d acted too-stupid-to-live? Who wasn’t still angry about it on some level? What Navessa knew was that the number of times she’d felt this way about Kate Daniels was a fraction of a fraction of the number she had for the prosecution’s clients. She knew that the amount of other readers that felt this same way might very well win them this case and so her lawyers were vicious in their cross examination of the witnesses.

Closing arguments took place at the end of the third day. The same snake of a man that gave the opening statement for the prosecution spoke again, addressing the judge this time, instead of the crowd. There was no jury here today; the decision would come down to the imposing man that had ruled over the past days of proceedings with a solemn face and a quiet dignity.

“Your honor,” he began. “Has the defense proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Kate Daniels is the most badass of the badass?”

Navessa had to stifle her urge to snort. She listened along with the crowd as this man rehashed all the evidence that supported not that one of his clients was more badass than Kate but that the defense had failed to prove that Kate was the most badass.

When he was finished a few people in the crowd even clapped and for the first time Navessa felt a stab of worry. But then her lawyer was standing from her chair, striding confidently to the center of the room. She turned not to face the judge, but the crowd.

“We’ve all been together in this room the last three days. We know what’s taken place. We know that there is one character that reigns supreme over all others and we know that her name is Kate Daniels so in closing I’d like to site just one more quote and it’s the quote heard round the paranormal world. The one that made us arch an eyebrow, crack a smile. It’s the one that alluded to there being a new badass in town and that she was everything we’d been wishing for.” Here she paused for dramatic effect and Navessa's eyes swept out over the crowd. They were on the edge of their seats, their faces rapt as they waited for her lawyer to speak again. Finally she did, whispering in a low, sing song voice “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.”

No sooner had she taken her seat than the javelin dropped. “The court rules in favor of the defendant,” the judge spoke in the same monotone he’d been using the past three days. The courtroom erupted in reaction, the prosecution shooting to their feet to protest, the crowd behind them mostly cheering but with pockets contention erupting here and there.

As her lawyers shook hands and patted each other on the back, Navessa turned away and pretended to pack up some papers, her eyes straying to the judge as he gathered himself to leave. Beneath her breath, so quiet that someone standing next to her wouldn’t even be able to hear the words, she whispered “Nice dye job, Your Majesty.” The judge turned to go as though he had all the time in the world but Navessa could have sworn she caught the hint of a smile playing upon his lips.

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Profile Image for Katerina.
420 reviews16.7k followers
March 17, 2016
“Put your badass faces on and follow me.”

Studying Intellectual Property Law or following Kate Daniels' new adventures that include slavic gods,domestic terrorists and my favorite knight in furry armor.Let me think.

“Starting the day with a philosophical debate with a priest of the Embodiment of All Evil.It could only go downhill from here.”

Kate Daniels is now the Beast Lord's mate and she has her own business that investigates paranormal problems and life would be perfect,if only someone hired her.And her ward stopped escaping from her private school.And she wasn't afraid that her father would finally come to kill her.And a device of disastrous potential that threatened Atlanta's citizens was found.And an underground organisation didn't try to murder her.A humble mercenary's life is never perfect after all.

Confessions of a Kate Daniels addict
1.Addicted to action.While reading Magic Slays I wasn't sure whether I would give it 4 or 5 stars.Of course I loved it,but I didn't find it as intense as the previous ones.And then the final pages happened and battles and bombs and ancient rituals and massacres occured and everything fell into place.

2.Addicted to sarcasm.Sarcasm here,sarcasm there,sarcasm everywhere!Kate is the queen but every single character has a witty retort ready to strike and make you snicker until you sound like Squidward Tentacles.It's not pleasant for the people around you but don't be ashamed,things could always get worse! (I can't find an example to support my case but I blame the sleep deprivation,I'm sure you can think of something more embarassing than sounding like a grumpy cartoon)
“What do you mean fainted?
Took a dive, kissed the pavement. Swooned like a southern belle after her first kiss. Had a dreadful case of the vapors.”

3.Addicted to Curran.
“What is wrong with you?
Many, many things.
I love it when you say my name.It sounds so sexy”

Last night I wrote a letter to Santa.I asked him to bring me a possessive,jealous,violent homicidal maniac that behaves like an asshole most of the times and turns into a lion,preferably without any clothes on so I can admire his sculpted abs.No I'm not demented (I think),yes I need a cold shower immediately.

4.Addicted to romance.
“If I fought for them and was crippled, they would all say nice things,and then they would replace me and forget I was ever there. You would stay with me. You would take care of me, because you love me. I love you too, Kate. If you ever became hurt, I would not leave you.
I’ll be there. Wherever you want‘there’ to be.”

Ok I admit,it was this exact scene that convinced me to give the fifth star.Curran and Kate are one of my all time favorite couples,they make me swoon with declarations like this,they have hot sex that makes me blush and then they fight and kick each other in the head without regrets.Kate is still an insubordinate pigheaded ass,Curran is still a manipulative control freak,but they manage to stay together despite their differences because that's what we call love.

The time has come to return to the real world with the exams and the essays,but I can proudly claim that no matter how many times Gandalf said

I ignored him and dedicated a few hours to read Magic Slays.I hope the book gods will help their faithful servant.
Profile Image for  Teodora .
278 reviews1,537 followers
April 27, 2021
4.25/5 ⭐

Wow, these books are getting better and better!

In this one, we got to see Russian paganism and legends brought to the spotlight. The accuracy of everything presented is fabulous and every bit of information is nicely explained.
Also, there are a few surprising mini-plot twists that I haven't exactly foreseen but they were only mildly surprising.

I truly love the characters, it's like I fall in love with them with every book. They are smart, badass, funny and snarky and they are simply loveable.
Kate and Curran's relationship is also #goals

P.S. Curran is a hugger, no way to change my mind

Profile Image for Limonessa.
300 reviews508 followers
June 3, 2011
I would like all authors of urban fantasy and paranormal romance out there to stop for a second their feverish scribbling and take a look at this series. THE proof that YES, series don't necessarily need to go down the drain after 4th installment, that YES, series can STILL be interesting after the two romantic interests in the story "do the deed" and that YES, plots do not need to become unbelievably twisted, punctuated by improbable events and where mythology gets slaughtered just to get out of the bloody unplanned mess that became your story's outline.

Now, instead of giving you a synopsis of the book, I'd rather tell you why this book in particular, but the whole series in general, deserved 5 stars:

- because the plot is interesting, well developed, makes total sense, each book is tied to the other but still stands on its own without painful, mean and useless cliffhangers;

- because romance in this book is not the vital core of the story but rather like a planet orbiting around a much substantial and well-founded plot - so much so that in the first book there is NO romance and we're still all here, inhaling every single word Andrews is writing;

- because vampires, in these books, do not sparkle;

- because the Andrews, when they decided to put mythology into their world, did their homework well and decided to stick with what they knew: in this book, they stuck with Russian mythology and used it in a great, clever way - there is no Russian kid who hasn't heard of Baba Yaga that I'm aware of;

-because Kate is simply and undeniably the baddest UF heroine out there at the moment; she is clever, disillusioned, snarky and she kicks ass so much that I wish I was her;

-because the dialogue is so full of snark, banter, sarcasm and great comebacks that I am SURE everybody has highlighted some part or the other of the book;

Finally, the main reason why I think this series is so fortunate: because the Andrews are two. So what? Even P.C. Cast are two. No. I think the fact that a man and a woman have written this series together has given it a great balance. Thanks to Gordon Andrews being present, the books never get cheesy, overly romantic or dangerously stupid. On the contrary, you can see where he puts in his knowledge of weapons, fighting strategies and so on. He gives the books a masculine angle that only helps making Kate even more of a badass. The fact that the authors are husband and wife shows in the dialogues between Kate and Curran, I think.

In all this awesomeness, I am not saying that the book - or the series - is perfect. There are flaws: some that have to do with proofreading - a "door bursts open" immediately after having fallen into the room - some with the plot - I think there is a certain confusion at times about the form the beasts take, half form, warrior form, full animal. There is a passage where Mahon shouldn't have been able to shift into warrior form yet he does - and some have to do with excessive detailing - those who followed and understood the whole coefficient and proportion thing about probability of loupism please raise your hand. Also, I was pretty sorry that Raphael was not in this book, and I expect him in the next one.
Still, somehow, these imperfections do not detract from the general state of satisfaction I was left in after I read the last page of the book.

Dear Ilona and Gordon Andrews, if you keep on writing like this, I will gladly buy Magic Whatever # 15.

Profile Image for Gordon.
22 reviews247 followers
May 25, 2011
It is not as bad as Ilona thinks, all and all it is not terrible.
Profile Image for Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘.
1,314 reviews2,759 followers
January 26, 2022
Forth-read 26.01.22
Derek and Curran are great characters. I love them. Combined with Kate, they are a great team. Still, this re-read was skimmed a lot.

Third-read 18.07.19
Derek is an awesome character and I want more of him. Curran as well. Seriously, we need more of them. That being said, the story is still good, but not the best in the series.
New Rating: 3.5/3 stars

Second-read 19.09.16
Heh. Still awesome, even the second time around. I love Derek, btw.

Re-read 30.07.14
I need the next one.. NOW!!!! love this series, it's awesome :D And I hate waiting!
Rate: 4 stars.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,878 reviews22.6k followers
April 17, 2018
My massive 2018 overdose of Kate Daniels continues with Magic Slays, the fifth book in the series. Kate is starting up her own private investigation business, which isn’t initially going so great (in fact, they have no clients at all), and she’s trying to come to terms with her relationship with Curran and her new role as the First Lady Mate Consort to the Beast Master.

Kate has some angst about both of those things, but it soon gets overshadowed by a particularly difficult, and dangerous, case that Kate is offered. What do uncontrolled vampires on the loose and a disappearing inventor have to do with each other? And can Kate solve the case and avoid getting herself and her loved ones killed in the process? It's especially difficult when her ward, Julie, absconds from the private school where Kate had sent her and makes her way back to Kate, and danger, and Curran has major issues every time Kate walks into peril … or too close to another man.

As usual with books in the KATE DANIELS series, you get lots of ass-kicking, sarcastic dialogue, conflicts and makeup scenes with His Royal Furriness, and freaky dangers - and this is a good one. The plot was a tense one, even if the ultimate bad guys didn't strike me as particularly believable. But that's really my only major complaint here.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,255 reviews8,650 followers
November 22, 2021
4.5 stars

At the end of Kate #4, Curran sets Kate up in her own business. CALM DOWN. He doesn't just give it to her, it's a business arrangement. One that will ultimately benefit both Kate AND the Pack.

But having her own business does Kate not one bit of good, b/c that bigoted jackhole Ted, her ex-bossman from the Order, tried to blame the epic disaster that his "plan" to take out Erra devolved into on Kate. Anyone with a lick of sense knows that's not true, but come on . . . how much sense does the general population typically have?<-----NOT much.

So Kate sits around in her empty office building, staring at the phone, willing it to ring, and when does, it's Ghastek . . .

One of his journeyman necromancers lost control of a vampire, you see. It's headed towards Kate, and some help, please? ALSO--try not to kill it.

Kate captures the rogue vamp (b/c awesome), but the cops (PAD) show up anyway, and they're feeling trigger happy, which is Bad. B/c Ghastek, who has also shown up and retaken control of the vampire, passes out, loses control of the vamp again, and PAD starts shooting. And they're not shooting handguns with 8 or 12 bullets. NOPE. They are not. They're shooting some kind of machine gun that can (and did) cut a man in half, yes, literally, and can keep shooting a steady stream of ammo for nearly five minutes, by Kate's estimation.

That's a lot of freaking bullets.

So while the cops are distracted by the vamp distracted by the two halves of the formerly whole man, Kate drags Ghastek, a wounded journeyman, and a nearly catatonic third journeyman into her office, behind her very thick steel door.

*bang bang* on the door.

Kate: Yeah, what?

PAD: Lemme in.

Kate: Ha ha, you're funny.

PAD: I'll bust your door down!

Andrea: I don't think you will, and here's why:

"You can either get the paramedics in there or you can let another civilian die of their injuries, break into an office owned by the Pack, assault the Beast Lord's wife, and shoot a knight of the Order. You can do it either way, but I promise that if you somehow survive, twenty years from now, when you're old and broken, you'll look back at this moment and wish you had taken two seconds and thought about what you were doing, because this is the point where it all went very wrong."

*waves at Andrea*

So there's a lot of posturing, but ultimately, PAD backs down, EMTs grab Ghastek, etc., and Kate and Andrea are alone at last. Andrea tells Kate where she's been for the last month, and Kate offers her a job.

One of the best parts of this book is the friendship that is Kate and Andrea. Not only are these two absolutely hilarious together, but the fact that Kate not only has a friend, but a friend she so obviously cares about, who cares about her in return . . . the FEELS, man, the FEELS.

Kate is so far from the solitary merc we first met that you can't help but get a little emotional.

So Kate and Andrea have only just formed their Kate and Andrea team when Rene (of Red Guard fame) shows up and offers them a job.

And it all goes downhill from there. And by "downhill" I mean Very Bad Things are afoot.

This installment of KATE DANIELS is awesome per usual. The only reason I didn't like it quite as much as books 3 and 4 was b/c less Kate History, and the Bad Guy wasn't connected to that history, so it was less personal. The premise though . . . pure awesomeness. And Kate History did play a significant role in resolving a situation that arose as a result of the Bad Guy. This was also a very emotional installment.

Maybe it's b/c I've read these books so many times, but the Andrews have done a remarkable job of creating characters that feel real. This installment shows you what a lot of those characters are made of, and it makes you proud of them. PROUD. Of a fictional teenaged shifter who learns what it means to be part of the Pack. Proud of girl who was betrayed by the person she trusted the most and who dealt with that betrayal by learning to take care of herself. Proud of a woman who lost everything that mattered in her life but keeps on living.

Seriously, if you haven't read these books already, get on that. Best. Series. EVER.

My other reviews for this series:

A Questionable Client (Kate Daniels, #0.5)
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2)
Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3)
Magic Mourns (Kate Daniels, #3.5)
Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4)
Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels, #4.5)
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 Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,428 followers
March 28, 2019
It is time for Kate to put her grown-up pants on and act like an adult. It is essential for her to deal with a number of things that need an adult attitude. So:

1. For the first time, she has a business to run with employees and bills to pay. For a variety of reasons she keeps adding employees to her business and all these people have needs, i.e. better weapons, food, food and more food, extra chairs etc.
She has to be cautious about her budget and her earnings, but I am not sure she is very successful with this matter.

2. She is mated now. She needs to learn how to trust Curran and this is hard. She has learned from a young age that all males will eventually try to manipulate her and take advantage of her. Is Curran going to do the same? She is so suspicious and scared of this possibility, but her heart is telling her otherwise.
Curran is just Curran. Just adorable. There is a scene in which he gets mad and he tears up her cookbook. 5 minutes later, he just goes back to buy her another.

3. As the female Alpha of the Pack: she has to
• obey rules and laws
• follow protocol
• have escorts and bodyguards
• attend formal dinners
• be the judge of conflicts between pack members and answer petitions
• make decisions about other peoples’ lives and
• think about the Pack first, naturally!

Kate feels her choices are being taken from her. She needs to be careful every time in order not to cause a diplomatic episode or not to test Curran’s patient. Additionally, she is not sure if his Furriness is truly worried about her or if he is just a manipulative bastard.

4. She will learn the bitter, ugly, painful truth about her mother Kalina and her stepfather (Hint: Kate’s can also be called Katenga). And she will have to deal with it!

5. She is the guardian of a teenager. Not an easy job. Little Julie does not behave and she does not do what she is told. Kate has to learn to be a parent and to provide parental advice.

6. She has to come to terms with the fact that she will lose someone close to her. This is unacceptable for Kate. And I agree.

7. It is about time to embrace and practice her magic!

A strange machine with unknown use and a secret anti-magic society are going to keep Kate and her friends on their toes and they will add complexity to the book.
Everyone who knows the secret just runs away and you have a constant feeling that the city is doomed.
There will be an excellent, epic battle with all the elite magic beings of Atlanta united against the common enemy. Pure awesomeness.

I truly love how the relationship between Curran and Kate develops, how their emotions deepen and explanations are given about how much they mean to each other.
Kate is gradually maturing and transforming from a warrior girl in the first book to a woman in love who defends what is hers.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,849 followers
February 9, 2017
Okay, this is easy. Since I'm a fanboy, it's super easy to write reviews because I can usually just do a gonzo.

Suffice to say, it's really fun to be getting into the characters. There might have been a little hiccup with Curran in this one... like there ain't hiccups in all of them... but it's nice to see the interplay.

I can't believe that Derek is actually growing on me, at long last. But Julie? Awwwww.... pooooooor kid! This is definitely going to bite everyone in the butt. I know it.

Urban fantasy, when done well like this, is really some of the most effortless reads out there. It gets rather special for me, though, when we get a who's who of mythology showing up, like Greek gods overcharging for body bags and large refrigerated units, or Baba Yaga giving cute little gifts to little girls. Hmmm.. wait... she has a tendency of doing that anyway... oh well. :)

The switchover back to tech comes at a very nice time for me. I really wanted a good return to that world-building quirk, and I couldn't be happier. I love mad geniuses. :)

And as always, great apocalyptic shit for the end. Total popcorn madness. :)
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
843 reviews1,689 followers
August 21, 2018

Again an enjoyable addition to the series. IA certainly knows how to spin a tale. It has its moments of fun and surprises but I think unlike the last this book seriously needed a great villain. IA just threw everything in the mix in this book i.e. vampire and shapeshifters going mad, a secret society who has it's minions in almost every big organisation in Atlanta giving this group all the inside scoop.

Despite my grumblings about the story, I loved Kate and Curran in this book. The things she came to know about her past, her doubts about her future, and how Curran reacted to all that, that alone made this book worth reading.

Now on to book 6.
Profile Image for Anzû.
550 reviews1,106 followers
May 28, 2022
Ugh Ilona Andrews, you need a new cover artist. Your books are too good for these corny covers.

I want to start my review with a message for Ilona Andrews. Mrs. Andrews, are you with me? Yes? Ok.

I LOOOOVEEE YOU SO MUCH! SOOOOOOOO MUCH!!! You are my most favorite person ever!!!! Ever!!! I want to put you in a plush cage (I care about your comfort, I would never hurt you!) next to my bed so that I can look at you day and night and make you write amazing stories just for me. Forever! And I won’t share! No no no. Never! All mine!!

Wouldn’t that be great? WOULDN’T IT???

I know it would.

Oh yes. Soon. As in next year soon.

WTF? Can someone tell me why the next Kate Daniels book is coming ONLY next year?? Why?? You there! Tell me why!!

I’m so sad right now. And angry. I just want to punch someone in the face.

And the ending. Oh the ending. Such a tease.

:clears throat:

I apologize. I know this was supposed to be a review and not transcript my current breakdown.

Ooook my kids, let’s start.

I have no idea what to write. It was amazing, as always. But I guess I already said that. Uhm… oh yeah, I think I got something.

I am so grateful for not having another Cat and Bones (Night Huntress) book. Yes, I like couples fighting crime together but it all has a limit. I want independent characters not a freaky Siamese-like couple talking eating sleeping and shitting at the same time. Yes, I used to love Cat and Bones a lot. Now they’re boring, a thing of the past. I didn’t want this to happen to Kate and Curran.

Curran’s absence from Kate’s little adventure is a breath of fresh air in the world of urban fantasy couples. But eventually Curran was replaced by Andrea. At first I wasn’t sure if this is better or not but eventually all was well. Andrea makes a good Watson to Kate’s Holmes.

I’m so curious about Andrea, Roman and Raphael. I usually hate love triangles but this one seems to be so much fun. I am sure we’ll get to see Roman again. Hell, I want to see Roman again. I loved the guy! I actually would like Andrea to dump Raphael’s ass (for good – I know she still has perverted thoughts towards his furry behind) and go for Roman. But I don’t think it’ll happen. What do you guys think? Is she better with Raphael or should she go for the evil-hottie-that-is-actually-not-so-evil-but-kind-of-cute Roman?
He heaved a dramatic sigh. “We could do this like civilized people. But no, now I’ll have to go to your office and unleash plagues on things, and set things on fire, and condemn things. Nobody wants that. Just give me the staff and we’ll call it even. I am trying not to be a bad guy here.”

See how awesome he is??

Do. You. See??

Oh, you do? Good. That’s good. :puts her huge knife away:
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,871 followers
June 2, 2011
4.5 stars.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe we have a winner! Ilona and Andrew have done it again.

I have a plan to save urban fantasy. I’m not a megalomaniac or anything, I just think that UF needs saving and I care enough to try. Therefore, I’ve developed a cunning plan: I’m going to buy four more copies of this book. The first I’ll send to Jeanine Frost because she was the first of my favorite UF authors to disappoint me this year. I’ll send the second book to Chloe Neill, though I’m afraid she may already be beyond all hope. The remaining two copies have to be sent to the queen bee herself, our very own Charlaine Harris. She needs to read one and swallow the other like a medicine. Hell, I might even go wild and send a fifth copy to Patricia Briggs, because let’s face it, River Marked really wasn’t all that!

Amazing, amazing, amazing! That’s pretty much all I can say about this book. I especially love that there’s some Slavic mythology thrown into the mix.

Kate aka bunnycakes and her sugar woogums, His Furriness (hey, her words, not mine) are in a world of trouble… again! A secret society known as the Lighthouse Keepers hired a crazy scientist. He's building a device that can wipe out all magic within a four-mile radius. Life without magic isn’t easy for most of our characters, but the much bigger problem is that the device also kills every single magical person. That means the Pack, the People, witches, mages and just about everybody else. It’s basically an atomic bomb for the magical community.
In addition to that, the Beast Lord and his Consort (who hates to be called Mate) have other problems: Kate finds out the truth about her mother, which brings out a series of very difficult questions regarding her relationship with Curran, Andrea’s retired and not at all herself, a very important person gets mortally wounded, the boudas are creating more trouble than they’re worth and there’s even a pregnant Alpha in the Keep.

Favorite quote:
I could've fallen for someone steady. Dependable. Well-grounded. But nooo, I had to lose my head over this idiot.

After all that, the only thing left to say is: Go read this book. Now!
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,575 reviews1,464 followers
July 14, 2015
Yes I am reading this again....3rd time is a charm. I even found some lovely people to read it with me at Ilona Andrews Addicts (IAA)

I always find something in these books that I missed or forgot in-between reads that makes them great and new again. Always a fun time reading the banter, the story and just the feel of IA's worlds are fantastic.

Read #2 review Sept 2014

4.5 stars.

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I love re-reading this series. I’m having so much fun the second time through. My real review is below this is just me fangirling.

“I've been assigned to bodyguard you."
You've got to be kidding me.
Derek snorted.
Ascanio pretended not to hear it. "The Beast Lord spoke to me this morning. I'm responsible for your well-being, and if you get injured, I'll answer to him personally."
Oh, that bastard. Found the kid an impossible job, did he?
Derek laughed quietly.
Ascanio finally deemed it necessary to acknowledge Derek's existence. "Is something funny?"
"I don't even know you, and I feel sorry for you.”

Kate you are the freaking best. You and your crazy mutant attack poodle.

“I came to the table, pulled up a chair, and sat.
“Everyone brought a pet. I feel left out.”
An enthusiastic howl broke the silence, and Grendel bounded through the doorway. He galloped through the steak house, skidded on the floor, smashed into my chair, and dropped a dead rat on my lap.

 photo rainunicglit_zpsde253119.jpg

It’s all rainbows, unicorns and glitter.

“Andrea raised her hand. “This is the hand that slapped Aunt B.”
“Maybe you should have it gold-plated.”
“Here, you can touch it, since you’re my best friend.”

I forgot how freaking hilarious Saiman is.

“Did he just rip out the engine?" I asked.
"Yes", Saiman said. "And now he is demolishing the Maserati with it."
Ten seconds later Curran hurled the twisted wreck of black and orange that used to be the Maserati into the wall.
The first melodic notes of an old song came from the computer. I glanced at Saiman.
He shrugged. "It begged for a soundtrack.”

 photo sunshine_zps14ebbbed.jpg

^ Me the rest of the day.

And finally my favorite scene was…..

Real Coherent Review from Sept 29 2013

Possible minor spoilers books 1-4

Kate and Curran are finally together as a couple and that means she is struggling to learn what it is to be not only a member of a pack but also half in charge of it. Kate is also trying to get her business that the pack fronted the money for up and going. So far it isn’t going well until a case lands in her lap.

“Rene, you want us to find you-don't-know-who and to retrieve his you-don't-know-what for you-won't-tell-me-whom?”

Well at least it is a job. With the help of Andrea and Derek, Kate is off and running with it. But it seems the you-don’t-know-what part of the job might just in fact destroy the magical community. There are brand new witches and warlocks, more unusual mythology along with revelations from Kate’s past that lead her to question everything about the man she thought of as her father.

Many of our favorite characters are back, the boy wonder Derek, Julie, Saiman, Aunt B and Andrea of course as well as one of my new favorites Barabas the were-mongoose. Nanny/adviser to Kate he is trying to help her become more like the alpha for the pack she needs to be.

“I know it's late, but could you find a book for me? It's called The Slavs: Study of Pagan Tradition by Osvintsev."
Barabas sighed dramatically. "Kate, you make me despair. Let's try that again from the top, except this time pretend you are an alpha."
"I don't need a lecture. I just need the book."
"Much better. Little more growl in the voice?"
"And we're there. Congratulations!”

There are again some heart wrenching choices to be made and humungous obstacles to overcome. I really liked the plot of this book and the interactions of course between Curran and Kate. Both are so broken in some respects but always fiercely loyal and overprotective of one another.

“Yes I can,” Curran snarled. “Listen: this is me telling you what you will not do.”
I raised the cookbook and tapped him on the nose. ”Bad cat.”

Kate really comes into her own in some respects in this book. She takes charge and doesn’t back down from a fight no matter if it is in the council room, with Curran or against her newest enemy. She has to deal with some of her insecurities steeping from being alone for so long and not knowing how to depend on and trust others around her.

Magic Slays is another good book in the series showing Kate getting stronger so that ultimately she can face her biological father. In each book she has picked up another piece of her power and that is true of this one too. But it seems that the odds will still be insurmountable if she ever comes face to face with the man who gave her life. It will be interesting to see how the authors come up with a believable ending to the series but I’m sure with everything they have put into this it will be fantastic.

Sept 29, 2013

But just a quick question for the other Kate Daniels lovers. In the first few books Kate is supposed to be careful who she has sex with because there can be some sort of transference of power through sex

But that doesn't appear to be happening. Unless now it has just changed to someone using her power because she loves them. Or are they still using protection and so condoms also protect against magical transfers as well.

Anyone else get caught up on that or just me?
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
710 reviews1,151 followers
June 23, 2017
I now count myself among the Kate Daniels super fandom. Magic Slays was another great installment on what is shaping up to be an awesome series. Since I’ve gushed about it enough in other reviews, I’ll stick to specifics for this title. I especially loved how authentic the relationship was between the main character and her bff. They argued like real people, and it’s the kind of back-and-forth bickering that’s fun to read about. In fact, all the relationships are great, and I especially love how many interesting side characters get their own spotlights in some of the short stories (yup – it’s good enough to read all of the extra novellas that go along with it!). I’ll probably be doing a Kate Daniels short story blitz once I get through them all.

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikihawkes.com
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books694 followers
May 23, 2011
Coming off the high of the spectacular ending of Magic Slays, I've been staring at the computer for 10 minutes, trying to figure out why it took me a little while to really get into this book. And I think I've finally come up with the answer.

As the story begins, Kate is running the new agency that Curran set up for her since she has left the Order. But despite her competence and reputation, she doesn't have any clients. But just as her best friend Andrea returns from a two month absence, Kate is hired to find a missing man and the mysterious device he has built. She investigates; she is snarky; she is magic and bad-ass. But (insert light bulb here) I wasn't very invested in any of it, because Kate seemed to have no stake in it all, beyond completing a job. No justice mission like she had when searching for Greg's killer; no revenge for a brutal attack on a friend; no saving the world from a deranged aunt. Just a job.

It was when Kate realized what the device could do and what it would mean to her world, that I began to perk up. And then we were off and running. Without spoiling too much, I'll say that the device could have huge ramifications on Kate and all those she loves, if it is activated. And as we get into the second half of the book, Kate encounters a personal crisis, that makes her willing to risk everything to fix it. It's when Kate is desperate and loyal and determined that she is at her best. And here she shines, a heroine in the greatest sense.

Curran is back as Kate's mate, and I was worried that some of the spark would be missing from their relationship, now that it's more permanent. But Kate's paranoia keeps them from falling into the old-married couple routine. She still has questions about whether things can work for them long-term. But as the story progresses, he proves himself to be an utterly worthy hero. And I still enjoyed the fire between them.

For the last third of the book, I was completely unable to put it down. The ending was fantastic and sets up even more drama for the next installment. I can't imagine that Kate will be able to keep her secret for much longer. 4 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by Penguin Group USA
Profile Image for Antonella.
3,099 reviews418 followers
January 8, 2023
favorite series ever

*Re-reading...yeah, it is still that good..5+ stars

Addicting series with an amazing cast of characters and a badass heroine.

There is never a dull moment in these books. It's packed with action and witty banter.
I'm having so much fun reading these books, and I'm so grateful for reading them now when all but the last book is out(that will be out this year 2019).

Kate Daniels is amazing. And her world is inviting. And I can't and won't stop reading it. It's out of my hands.

Well-paced and well-written books. They suck me in.
And I'm having sweet problems with navigating through all these sequels and novellas and Curran POV's.

I love music and obviously; I love books, so those two love often come together.
Reading this series, I was listening to a lot of Evanescence.

Books one and two are very confusing, and books three and four love it...this one still good, still riding that wave....of awesomeness.

Bring on all the rest of the books! I'm ready..
Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,790 reviews2,132 followers
July 8, 2018
4.25 stars!

“Shapeshifter parenting motto—if your kid slits somebody's throat, always have a backup plan to make the body disappear.”

Book 5 in the Kate Daniels series and I'm still loving it! This was the book I never made it to the first time I was reading the series, so I'm glad I got to it and finished it! In this installment, Kate must find a missing scientist who has created a new device that has the potential to do massive harm. It becomes a race against time to save thousands of lives and Kate has the help of the pack.

“Did he just rip out the engine?" I asked.
"Yes", Saiman said. "And now he is demolishing the Maserati with it."
Ten seconds later Curran hurled the twisted wreck of black and orange that used to be the Maserati into the wall.
The first melodic notes of an old song came from the computer. I glanced at Saiman.
He shrugged. "It begged for a soundtrack.”

One of the best things about this series is the sense of humor surrounding it. Yes there are serious parts, but the quips thrown in just make it so so good. As always, I love Kate and Curran. I loved seeing all my favorite characters return and some new ones thrown in. A truly wonderful PNR series, and urban fantasy series. I highly recommend you start reading them asap!

“Yes I can,” Curran snarled. “Listen: this is me telling you what you will not do.”
I raised the cookbook and tapped him on the nose. Bad cat.”

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Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books306 followers
September 28, 2020
I am continually amazed by how this series just gets better and better with every book. Illona Andrews is a fantastic writing team. In this Kate DAniels adventure, something is causing various players in the magical world to act weird all of a sudden, and no one can figure out why. Of course, Kate is hired to source out the problem and the complications that ensue are some of the most exciting so far.

I love the relationships in these books, and those were featured here. Curran and Kate are absolutely my favorites, but I also love the friendships that exist, and getting those Derek, Andrea, Dolittle, Jim, etc moments really make the books for me.

Please excuse typos. Entered on screen reader/
Profile Image for Emma.
2,385 reviews811 followers
March 30, 2017
Another thumping good read, but that is not what impressed me most because I expect no less from this series. No, what impressed me was the development of the world building as the series progresses: how the long term effects of the magic and tech shifts continue to break the remains of the old world apart. In this volume, all the magical elements- witches, shapeshifter, mages, vampires have to team up to beat a common enemy. We see how Kate will sacrifice everything for Julie and how Curran would give everything up for Kate. We learn more about Kate's mother and backstory with Roland and watch Kate struggle with all her insecurities. Fab read!
Profile Image for carol..
1,504 reviews7,571 followers
June 6, 2013
I'm a fan of the Kate Daniels series, and recently I was looking for a guaranteed re-read. It wasn't too long before Magic Slays caught my eye, especially as the next book in the series is coming out at the end of July (and probably because I shelve my books alphabetically). Now past the giddy first and second reads, it is time for a thorough review. Fans of the series won't be disappointed by its action-packed story, continued world-building, and trademark humor, but I miss the finesse of earlier books.

For me and my sketchy memory, its always worth noting when the jacket blurb gets it wrong--this time by essentially summarizing the first twenty pages. My own non-spoiler synopsis would be a little more comprehensive: "Andrea returns after a two month disappearance, and before long, she and Kate are investigating a kidnapping for Rene of the Red Guard. A successful case for the Guards could make Kate's career. However, the investigation is complicated by several seemingly random instances of magic disappearing. Tracking the solution down will take require connecting the Russian volhvs, who seem to be involved, and with Atlanta's witches. At the same time, Kate is struggling with negotiating her relationship to Curran, her role in the Pack, and how to safely raise Julie in an unsafe world. Kate and her loved ones are about to face one of the greatest threats to their existence."

Now, the analysis. It took me until the third read to analyze it, but this book feels lacking in the finesse of the earlier ones. I know, I know; subtle may not be the term you think of with UF, but this one felt more extreme, the kickbocking version versus fencing. The emotions are dynamic. The conflict is extreme, and written in a way that starts to feel a little like sermonizing The relationship dramas are bold. . The reveals for Kate fundamentally alter her concept of her own history. Certain events are life-shattering. While some of these concerns are plotting and others characterization, I feel like Andrews usually smooths them better, with appropriate transitions applied and maybe a shade less drama.

I also have to admit that Curran is fairly close to insufferable in this book. Again, I understand; he's the leader of a group of shapeshifters, he has to control his own enormous power, etc. However, he's very controlling of Kate's behavior, manipulative and conditional. What do I mean? Just when it seems Kate has stood her ground, he changes his mind after extensive healthy discussion If that isn't a hallmark statement of an controlling partner, then I don't know what is. That final scene pushed my sense of balance between them over the edge.

From my behind the scenes readings of the Andrews blog, they intended to write a book that ramps up both action and consequences. I can commend that as a series arc, and think they manage to do that well while still resolving major plot arcs within each book. However, some of it felt a little forced, a little contrived and didn't quite work for me. One of the obvious oddities was Andrea leaving the kids. A small point that to me illustrates the extremism: all the males are physically enormously attractive--Rapheal, Ascanio, Barabas, the Russian mage. Its an example of the concept of exceptionalism of all the characters, the larger-than-life perspective of the soap opera mentality. Oh, and one more small oddity--Kate is told that the Pack has a library-- "both paper and digital." Um? Is it me, or is that incongruent?

As usual, there were a few marvelously absurd laughs including knitting vampires and pretty much all the encounters with the Russian mages:
"'Oh, Is that so?' He raised his hand to his goatee.
That does it. 'Yeah. And what's with the beard and the horse mane? You look like Rent-a-Villain.'
The volhv's eyes widened. He waved his hand at me. 'Well you don't look... female... in your pants.'
"That''s a hell of an insult. Did you think of it all by yourself or did you have to ask your god for help?"

Don't get me wrong, it's an action packed book that kept me planted on the couch, reading until I reached the end. The mystery Kate begins investigating with Andrea is an interesting puzzle. Once again, it was fun meeting new magical types and having them re-interpreted. I did appreciate that the relationship between Kate and Curran avoided the stereotypical "hothead" reaction of the misunderstanding and stomp-off until dramatic reconciliation (although they are doing that with Andrea and Rapheal). Overall, although it isn't my favorite in the series, its still far more entertaining than most of the female UF out there.

Cross-posted at http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2013/0...
Profile Image for Adina.
780 reviews2,955 followers
February 14, 2018
Last review of a Kate Daniels book for this year.

By the time I reached the middle of this book I already began to get a bit bored of Kate Daniels as it was the 5th book in a row that I read from this series. I still enjoyed it but I started to feel the need for a break.

What is this book about? Kidnapping, witches, Russian volhvs, power play between Curran and Kate, fights, love.

Profile Image for Mariya.
567 reviews245 followers
September 28, 2013
The fifth book in the Kate Daniels Series, MAGIC SLAYS is just as AMAZING as all the rest. Ilona Andrews is one of my all-time favorite authors and I am so amazed at how with each book in the Kate Daniels series I grow closer and closer to these characters that I have so much emotion welled up in me. Yes. I cried like a big baby. That is how great and close you come to love these characters. You think of them as real and you adore each and everyone of them.

MAGIC SLAYS is the book! Yes, the book where we get to see how Kate and Curran are as a couple, not just as a couple, but as Beast Lord and Consort. Kate and Curran were just as wonderful in this book as they were in the others. And yes, for those who will be begging to know, there is more Kate and Curran in MAGIC SLAYS and all I have to say is after this book, I want to steal Curran for myself. He makes my heart beat like crazy.

""Laugh while you can. You have to sleep eventually, and then I'll take my revenge." "You're such a violent woman. Always with the threats. You should look into some meditation techniques..."

I had to stop myself from skimming through the book for all of the Kate and Curran scenes. I have a serious Kate and Curran addiction and I don't want help. Their scenes together were absolute perfection. And we really do see how much Curran cares about Kate. Aww...ummm..Kate do you mind if I steal him away from you? I love him.

"Jealous of the actors now, are we?"
"What, of some fancy boy on the screen? Inconceivable."
Oh, this was going to be good.

So Kate is Consort to the Beast Lord and I bet you are all wondering how she is doing at that. She is so bad ass. Even though Curran tells Kate what to do she won't take any of that shit. haha. Just the way I like Kate. I adored Kate in this book. There are some things that we get to learn about Kate's past that she didn't even know and it made me tear up a bit, but that's because I love her.

As Consort, Kate does have a little power and there's this one scene in MAGIC SLAYS where I am like "Best Kate Daniels Showdown EVER! You Go, Girl!" We do get some surprises along the way that I will not spill, but it made me go WHAT?! HUH?! and YEAH! A lot of crazy emotions all at once. Characters that I worried about, laughed and cried with and you will too.

MAGIC SLAYS does not disappoint. Look forward to having your butt glued to your seat(like Curran glued Kate's butt to her chair in Magic Bleeds LOL) all day while enjoying yet another astounding book in the Kate Daniels Series
Profile Image for Aoife - Bookish_Babbling.
275 reviews297 followers
August 23, 2022
Once again I appear to have left a book so long on my CR Shelf “pending review” that I have now potentially forgotten a lot of what I may have once said about it – probably a good thing for anyone subjecting themselves to reading this tho 😅 🤦

My overriding memory seems to be slight *cough* annoyance at the somewhat domineering “alpha male” tendencies surrounding Kate effectively being “queen of the Beasts” or whatever her title is now. Curran practically pees a circle around her and plants a stake saying MINE which was more than mildly irksome – however his possessiveness, ok no let’s be generous protectiveness did bring moments of levity in the form of the “babysitting” pups which in itself led to some of the best lines (see 55% reader update) & of course “bad cat” + the cook book was #priceless 🤣
The relationship evolves as the book progresses, Kate does call him on his BS which is great - this gives me hope and I am beginning to see why so many love his furryness...but I'm not all in yet, we shall have to see if I get there 😬

Andrea’s return scene was very well timed for some bants – but cannot pretend I love how her storyline is developing, more of that if/when I finish her novella 🙈
I did enjoy the introduction of the Russian connection and absolutely want to see more from those breadcrumbs...#TeamRoman - I can deffo get behind more page time for his irreverent snark to add to the mix 😈

As perhaps evidenced by this tardy review, the rest of the storyline has been somewhat forgettable – it could have been good…I was hopeful when Rene was brought back in from the gladiatorial games book, but sadly they didn’t play as large a role as I'd have liked and the “big bad” while awful in what they were doing culminated in a pretty meh ending/fight scene. But my opinion of this is most likely highly coloured by the inappropriately timed make out session which rivals from Blood & Ash book2 (was it?) carriage scene - if you know you know 🙄 🤷


Thanks as always to @Kim for putting up with my nonsensical ramblings as we make our way through this series. I promise to finish Gunmetal soon so we can get back on track!
Profile Image for ȷαεlα.
644 reviews
May 13, 2016
First read July 2014
Second read May 2016

This time this book was even better. There were so many things I had forgotten, I didn't remember all the vohlv/witches/Adam situations.

But as you know, I have real issues with the relationship between Kate and Curran. Many of my questions were answered. But before that, these were the hints that made me doubt all the feelings between them. When I say between, I mean on Curran's part, because I know Kate adores him.

“All those years, all those women, and you are the one he mated with. He was interested in more than your bed, I can tell you that.”


“-that you’ve chained yourself to this man who seeks only to further his own interests at the expense of your feelings and safety, and that his careless use of your power has drawn the attention of your father.”


“One way or the other, the clash between Roland and the Pack was coming. What did Curran have to lose by mating with me?”

You see, with all these, how can I believe in Curran's honesty? I see the things as they are. A war is coming and Curran has the best weapon to confront Roland.

I got my answers about this. I get to see what Curran thinks about the pack and the war, and I liked him for what he said, but then BOOK #6 happened and I was back to disliking him.

This book was more about Kate and her relationships with the people who helped her growing up. I felt so sorry for her and all the things that her stepfather made her do.

“My whole childhood was a lie. Even Voron’s thirst for vengeance wasn’t real. It was implanted in him when my mother’s magic had seared his brain."


“All of it was so when my father and I met, we could kill each other, and Voron would have the last laugh.”


“I was the biological by-product of a megalomaniac and a woman who magically brainwashed others into doing her will, and I was raised by a man who reveled in the knowledge that my biological father would one day kill me.”

Of course I would like things to have been different, but all those made her powerful and fearless. Kate is a very special woman who deserves the best. ( cough *Hugh* cough) :P

The book felt a bit dark, so many deaths. My heart broke for Julie. The scenes where Derek stands by her are so beautiful. Kate's thoughts and feelings for her made me cry. That's pure love.

Despite this, the humour is never absent. The confrontation between Evdokia and Gregorii is priceless.

This book has the best ending. * swoons *
If that is not romantic, then I don't know what romance is.

I'm not ready for book #6, I'll never be. :(
Profile Image for Deborah Obida.
673 reviews583 followers
December 19, 2018

"Emotional scars never heal completely. You’ll never recover.”

I once mentioned that UF reviews is the hardest for me, so far things haven't changed. I have no idea why I find it hard to review them, this is the best I could come up with at the moment, I know it definitely won't do justice to this book.

“Put your badass faces on and follow me.”

The one thing that this book lack is romance, it didn't get enough page space as I wanted, given the fact that the ship has finally sailed. Apart from that everything in this book is superb.

We got non stop action, a plot to die for and characters to kill for.

All the old gang are back with one additional Ascanio a teenage bouda, he is a worse, more reckless, and handsome version of Raphael, I loved his character development so much.

Derek, Jim, Julie, Andrea and Curran were all in this. I loved that Andrea and Kate are together once again, but I hate the circumstance that made it happened.

Curran is a better mate than I anticipated, I was expecting a control and over protective freak but got a loving and compromising Curran, what could be more better than this.

Kate is the same but somehow better, been with Curran didn't make her dependent, she is still independent but now she accepts helps, she so deserve him and all her friends.
Profile Image for Angela.
3,196 reviews367 followers
March 23, 2021
February 2018 Reread.
August 2016 re-read: JFC. This book - had me on the edge of tears for nearly 60% of it (possibly more). I love this series. I love the humor and how the stakes are high - and not everyone always makes it, so you learn to cherish the moments as they happen. But damn. It rips my heart out sometimes.

And that ending. The note. The flowers! O_o

September 2015 re-read: This book easily ties for my favorite of the series - but with so many excellent books in this series it's still hard to choose. I love it.

20 July 2014: $1.99 on Kindle

Review (sort of):
I plan to do a full review of this later - these are just my quick thoughts.

I loved it!! Ilona Andrews just continues to blow me away with their stories. It's such a deep, vivid, layered world with complex characters around every corner.

I liked the reality of Kate starting her own business. Of having partners/employees. The difficulties and issues that come with that and how she handled them.

The growth and development in Kate and Curran's relationship is fantastic. This isn't just an HEA, ride off into the sunset; this is an HEA in progress (to steal Ilona's words). There are hurdles still to be overcome, trust still to be issues, secrets still to be discussed, and compromises to be made. I'm confident in their HEA, I know they'll never falter, never give up on one another and never let each other go...but it still takes effort for both of them at times. I like that we see that. Also the issues with Kate being the other half of the Alpha pair. There's some politics that take place in this book, and all I can say is I was cheering for Kate when she was done. Loved the way she handled a very tense situation.

The action of the storyline is intense. What starts as a job quickly becomes possibly the biggest threat that Kate has faced yet.

There are some mind-blowing bits of Kate's history revealed in this book. I'm still trying to wrap my head around them, and decide what to take at face value and what to dig a little deeper on.

In addition to this, there's the trademark humor, smart-assedness and absolutely heart-wrenching moments. I laughed out loud more times than I can count, and teared up just as often.

The last few chapters of the book are a wild roller-coaster of a ride, that I'm going to be reading again right now for what I'm sure I missed.

All in all, great book, great story. Must read and I highly recommend this series.
January 21, 2017
3.5 Stars

(Am I ever going to get tired of posting Kraft Dinner images in these reviews you may be asking???….. probably, but not quite yet.)

In Kate’s Atlanta, much to my fang-gritting annoyance, vampires are vessels of pure bloodlust without any sentience of their own, they require ‘handlers’ to move about with any agenda other than ripping their fangs through everything that finds itself in their path. Imagine the horror if one of those mindless monsters were to break free of their handler’s mind control? Utter chaos.

So begins Magic Slays. ..

There is a lot of change going on in Kate’s life in this one; navigating a new relationship, trying to rein in her street-savvy teenage ward, the start-up of her new business. There’s lots happening here, guys and ghouls, even outside of the actual mystery itself.

We get to see some of Kate’s insecurities in this one (which is a refreshing change) as well as learning a little bit more about why you don’t want to fuck around with the Beast Lord. There’s lots of snark on display, as per usual, but there is quite a bit more camaraderie and politics going on than in previous books. I still found the actual language used in this story questionable but the meat of the story more than made up for it this time around.

The Big Bads in Magic Slays are of an entirely different nature, one that is more feasibly horrifying to me. We get introduced to a new teenaged bouda who’s libido gets him in some trouble but whom I think I am going to grow to like quite a bit.

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