Monday, October 17, 2011


If there is one thing that truly drives me insane in the literary world, it's when authors decide that they don't need to develop a relationship and it's okay to just throw two characters together and say they are in love. That was an issue that I had with Twilight. It drove me nuts to see these two characters that seemed to just randomly fall for one another in a day or when their eyes met. While I get the whole "love at first sight" phenomena, I don't think that excuses an author from developing their relationship and why they love each other. Don't get me wrong, I do like the Twilight books. I like the idea of love conquering all and family and all that but in the same sense, don't write down to me. Make me read up to you, as an author.

I am the first to admit that I almost didn't give Ilona Andrews the time of day because for some reason it took me over half the first books in her series to actually pay attention to what was going on. Once I was about halfway through, I started seeing promise in the premise of the story and started connecting with the characters. I loved that in the first book, she didn't automatically set up Kate and Curran or Kate and Crest. I liked that she held to the fact that Kate was a loner and she was terrible at starting any kind of relationships. Once I finished that story though, I absolutely had to start the next. That's how I mark a great series in my head. When I finish the first book in the series and I'm excited to get the next book to see how things progress. Each of the books has been like this for me, including the first one. 

Magic Bites was an interesting read for me. I don't mind urban fantasy and I've read a couple of shape-shifting and magical novels but Ilona Andrews really came up with a unique premise in her story. The way magic and technology don't do well side by side in her series gave me pause but really outlined how much her story tended to be different from the rest. It gave a lot of back story (which I tend to get impatient with) since I'm of the mind of show me, don't tell me. I don't need a bunch of lines about the bookshelves in the library that are full of books, I need something that tells me why that's significant and how it affects the character. Maybe that's just me...However, I do like some history with the story that helps to explain just what I'm reading and why it's a big deal that Kate's got someone chasing her for a relationship in which she's running for her life from. Both of those sentences probably contradict each other but oh well to each their own.

Magic Burns was a lot easier for me to read. I think it might have something to do with in my head, I already had the world built from the first book. What fascinated me what how strongly Kate ended up feeling about the people around her. Throughout this particular book, it was clear that Kate was growing as she progressed. Fighting the villain, crying when certain people died (even though she'd only known them a short while), her ability to actually feel was aptly present in this book. Bringing Julie into the picture really outlined what kind of character Kate was. She picked up a stray girl similiar to herself when she was young and became the crazy aunt. That's the kind of person I want to read about. Yes, she's tough and hard and fights like an insane wombat woman but she also has a heart and doesn't forget where she came from. Now, where she came from was really starting to piss me off because I just couldn't figure out the dynamic. I got that Roland was important but I didn't understand why. This book and the next one fixed that issue for me. Curran also became a bigger role in this book as well. This was where you really got to see his interest in Kate but it didn't turn Kate into a sniveling twit Barbie that needed a man in her life. She railed against anymore closeness. I loved every second of it while I also hated that Curran wasn't in it more (mmmm, Lions!)

Magic Strikes quickly became my favorite of the series so far. The gladiator ring concept might have been played out except for the way it was set up and the idea of the team. Curran was at first absent throughout this story but, in the end, played a  huge role in the story. You could tell the minute he fell in love with Kate. Derek also was a huge role in this story but I liked that the side characters are getting depth too and a little more of the Pack's politics show up in this one. Now, back to Curran...the hot tub scene was just...yum. Seriously, there was so much sexual tension in that I refused to do the whole spoiler thing but for me the end was what tied the story together. It didn't end with a neat little package, but it did really outline that there could be something there with Kate and Curran. Kate still had her issues to work out but there was a definite shift in the relationship. I really like how Roland is ever so slowly becoming a larger presence in each book. I thought having the main villain dragged out through the entire series would get a bit tiresome but Ilona Andrews does an magnificent job of keeping me entertained. 

Magic Bleeds is next on my list. By far, this is my favorite. I still have one more to go but this one stands out from the rest and I think a lot of it has to do with the depth of the characters and their relationships. Yes, there was a villain but you got to see a lot more of Curran, Kate, and Andrea. I loved Andrea and she's a hell of a best friend. She's not perfect, nor does she claim to be but she keeps Kate in check. Curran and Kate together in this one made me actually laugh out loud a couple of times. This isn't usually good for me because mah babeh tends to make fun of me when I try to explain why I'm laughing. He usually doesn't get it. The glue in the seat, the workout bench and catnip. I loved it. I like that Kate really put herself out there for Curran. The beginning did piss me off though. I was probably about as mad as Kate herself! Seriously?! Who does that?! UGH! All is well in the world of Kate Daniels now. Though, I absolutely love the addition of Grendel too! The end about made me cry and that's not a common thing for me. I understand why it happened but I'm so glad about the way it ended. This series does a great job of relationship building and character building. It gives me hope that authors aren't just getting lazy and saying "And so the lion fell in love with the lamp lamb" (Though I quite like the lamp mistake).

Tonight, I will most likely begin reading Magic Slays and I'm quite looking forward to it. I'll be the first to admit that I'm pleasantly surprised by this series and I will probably pick up another of Ilona Andrews' series after I've read some of my To-Reads. I was able to get in some good reading time this weekend where I knocked back Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, and Magic Bleeds and I'm quite pleased at my progress. This blog is pretty good for me in that sense because I kept thinking about what I would write here when I was done with the books. Not necessarily book reviews but at least if I liked them and my favorite parts.

"Just wait until he figures out I shut him out of his slut hut." - Kate Daniels
Magic Bleeds, Ilona Andrews

1 comment:

  1. glad to see the series picked up for you. i dont really have the discipline that you do. when a book doesnt catch my attention. it doesnt get least these ones didnt disappoint once you pushed through the beginning. i pretty much agree with you on the relationship point. love at first site is a nice concept but one must realize that when you love somebody, its because you can accept their flaws. love cant be explained as "just because".