Book Review: Ilona Andrews’ Gunmetal Magic

Posted September 21, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Ilona Andrews’ Gunmetal Magic

Gunmetal Magic


Ilona Andrews

urban fantasy, science fiction that was published by Ace Books on July 31, 2012 and has 448 pages.

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(This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.)

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include On the Edge, Bayou Moon, Must Love Hellhounds, Dark and Stormy Knights, Angels of Darkness, Hexed, Fate's Edge, Hex Appeal, An Apple for the Creature, "Magic Gifts", Innkeeper Chronicles, Steel's Edge, Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays, Magic Rises, Magic Bleeds, Burn For Me, Night Shift, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds

A full length novel and 5.5 in the Kate Daniels urban fantasy series based in Atlanta, Georgia. While Kate and Curran make an appearance, the primary focus is on Andrea Nash and Raphael. Be sure to read Magic Gifts before you read this one! It’s about Kate and Curran and explains what they’re up to that Kate can’t help Andrea during this story.

In 2012, Gunmetal Magic won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Shapeshifter Romance and was nominated for the Goodreads Choice for Paranormal Fantasy.

My Take

We do learn a great deal more about Andrea’s childhood. And the effect it has on her still, sending her scrambling in her nightmares to a closet, clutching a knife for protection.

After Raphael’s nasty actions and comments in Andrea’s office, I loved reading as she got back at him. Time after time. It sure doesn’t seem to take long before all kinds of action starts up. Raphael. Anapa.

Snicker, I do love that Clan Bouda likes to play pranks and Raphael gets Andrea good. She turns it around and gets him even better. The description of the toilet paper roll cracked me up!

The Pack is amazing. They step up for anyone they consider a friend and what they do for Andrea…well, it’s enough to make her think hard.

Interesting idea for how the first shapeshifters came about. As well as how gods came to be. I do love that ambush!

The Story

Four shifters have been murdered and a robbery committed. Kate is caught up in something with Curran and unable to assist (see Magic Gifts), so it’s Andrea who must talk to Raphael. It’s his people who have died and he wants vengeance.

Andrea is hoping to finally meet and talk about what happened after Kate’s Aunt Erra rampaged through Atlanta in Magic Bleeds, 4, but Raphael seems to prefer a different kind of throwdown. More vicious.

It’s nasty enough that good Andrea is gone forever. She figures she has nothing to lose and she just doesn’t care anymore. Only…it throws down a different challenge that I don’t think Andrea expected. It was one thing to hide and politely avoid the truth of Andrea’s shifting ability. But if she is going to flaunt it, Curran can’t ignore it any longer. Nor can Aunt B.

The investigation gets more interesting when one of the possible suspects refuses to see her and it just raises the hairs on the back of Andrea’s neck. There’s more than one way to get info and it seems that Raphael will just have to help Andrea out. If he wants answers…

The crowning touch is the extortive efforts of an Egyptian god who can’t resist playing with lives.

The Characters

Andrea Nash is Beastkin, the wrong kind of shifter and currently employed by Cutting Edge, Kate’s detective agency, after the Order kicked Andrea out.

Raphael Medrano owns Medrano Reclamations and he’s coming up in the world, metaphorically. He’s also the male alpha to his mother’s (Aunt B) alpha for Clan Bouda. Lika is her beta. After events in Magic Bleeds, Andrea and Raphael had a difference of opinion which he refused to understand. They’re no longer together. Rebecca is Raphael’s dim-witted bimbo fiancée. Carrie and Deb are both boudas Aunt B uses for light enforcement jobs. Stefan works for Raphael. Nick Moreau and his baby Rory are devastated.

Kate, a.k.a., the Consort, is mated to Curran Lennart, the Beast Lord. They’re preoccupied by events in Magic Gifts. Julie is her adopted fourteen-year-old daughter. Grendel is her giganto poodle. Ascanio Ferara is a fifteen-year-old intern at Cutting Edge whom Kate had to take on.

Jim Black, a.k.a., James Damael Shrapshire, is a werejaguar and the Pack’s security chief. Doolittle, a were-honeybadger, is the Pack doctor who spends a lot of time patching Kate up. Martina is Ascanio’s mother and so very grateful to have found him at last. She’s also a licensed therapist with a very useful little recording for Andrea. Sandra and Lucrezia are Clan Bouda and both are combat operatives; Russell and Amanda are from Clan Wolf; and, Derek is also an employee at Cutting Edge.

Roman is a volhv, a kind of Russian druid, who worships Chernobog, the god of “Everything Bad and Evil”. He takes an interest in Andrea’s case although whether it’s the case or Andrea… He’s hoping for access to the Library of Alexandria. This world’s answer to the Internet.

Mrs. Haffey and her husband, Darin, are very grateful for Andrea’s existence. Chief is their bulldog who understands gratitude.

Detectives Collins and Tsoi try just about everything and anything to get Andrea to say the wrong thing. Barabas Gilliam is a Pack lawyer and a weremongoose who claims to have been hired by Andrea. Sheriff Beau Clayton from Must Love Hellhounds: Magic Mourns”, 3.5, has arrested some of ’em.

Jamar Groves was a real estate developer who collected art. Gloria is a follower of Apep, and she’s a snake shifter. Anubis is the god of the dead and knowledge with Ammit as a companion. He makes a very bad move. Håkon has become a draugr.

Michelle Carver is the only one still alive from that bouda clan of torturers.

The Atlanta Shapeshifter Pack is the strongest in the nation, and Curran is its leader. The Pack is similar to a Native American tribe in that it is self-governing and -policing. Their headquarters is the Keep just outside of Atlanta.

Kyle Bell of Bell Recovery, Jack Anapa of Input Enterprises, and Garcia Construction were the rival bidders for the building that Raphael’s company is also bidding on.

Vampires are mindless, ravening beasts controlled by navigators, a.k.a., Masters of the Dead, necromancers. Their headquarters is the Casino in downtown Atlanta. They and the Pack have a very careful truce.

The Cover and Title

The background is oranges and browns with the street and low buildings at the base in browns as the lower rooflines narrow in to create a sense of depth. Above, the range of oranges present a golden city of ruined skyscrapers, smoke billowing from their tops. Andrea is determined, facing us with a gun drawn from the thigh holster clinging to her jean-clad leg. a tight-fitting burgundy top barely visible under the black flak vest.

I haven’t a clue as to what inspired the title.

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