Book Review: Ilona Andrews’ Magic Strikes

Posted July 3, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from my own shelves 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’ Magic Strikes

Magic Strikes


Ilona Andrews

urban fantasy that was published by Ace Books on March 31, 2009 and has 322 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
(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", Gunmetal Magic, Innkeeper Chronicles, Steel's Edge, Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays, Magic Rises, Magic Bleeds, Burn For Me, Night Shift, Magic Shifts, Burn for Me, Magic Binds

Third in the Kate Daniels urban fantasy set in an alternate universe Atlanta, Georgia.

My Take

Andrews drives me mad with her tiptoeing around about Kate’s true background, although we finally do learn who Kate’s father is and how Kate’s existence and training occurred.

Oh, man, the courtship ritual Curran embarks on cracks me up — and drives Kate mad, wondering if she’s losing her mind. Oh, clever how Curran manipulates Kate into providing the “info dump”! Nicely done.

I do love how Curran chases Kate, and her responses back to him.

“‘Yep.’ Eloquence ‘R’ Us. When in trouble, keep it monosyllabic — safer that way.”

Little did Kate (or Saiman) realize how much more she would learn about this egotistical shapechanger/god when she stuns him with her observations.

Whoaaaa, Jim really screwed this one up. And he really should know better. He knows Kate! And I absolutely adored Kate’s response. Cracked me up when she laid down the letter of the law and told him official channels only, buddy!

“‘I drive you mad and you want to strangle me.’

‘Once! I did it once!'”

We get Derek’s back history — and the reason why it would devastate Curran to have to kill him. And we have Curran’s interest laid out. An interest Kate doesn’t believe and is terrified of, so frightened of her own reactions that she lays down that naked dinner challenge… A dinner that makes more sense when Raphael explains how the courtship basics work for shifters using Robert, the rat alpha’s pursuit of Thomas, and Daniel, the wolf alpha’s pursuit of Jennifer.

I do love how Kate forces Saiman into letting their team enter the Games! Then that fight…the one where they’re supposed to hide how good they are…crack me up!

“What the hell was I supposed to do, catch the werebison as he was falling?”

I swear, this must be my favorite of the Kate Daniels stories, if only for the impressive showing Kate and Raphael make to boost Julie’s street cred at school, LMAO…

“It doesn’t matter what she does. It only matters what I do.”

The Story

Oops, seems Derek’s been sneaking where he shouldn’t be, and it’s gonna cost Kate: a night with Saiman, in his Thomas Durand persona, as his arm candy for the illegal Midnight Games. A double negative for Derek as he’s doing this on his own and the Games are forbidden to all shifters.

This night excursion also lands Kate in a controversial issue between Jim and Curran, and Curran knows just how to take advantage of this! Meanwhile, Derek is dying…

…and Kate wants revenge.

The Characters

Kate Daniels, a Friend of the Pack, is still associated with the Order as the liaison between the Guild and the Order. Slayer is the name of her almost-sentient saber. Julie, a human m-scanner, is now her ward. Marigold is her mule. Voron is her stepfather and once Roland’s Warlord.

Knights of the Order
Andrea Nash is a knight but has been sidelined by Ted; she’s also beastkin, the product of a union between a werehyena and a hyenawere. Maxine is the telepathic secretary. Ted Monahan is the knight-protector and the definition of bigoted jerk. Nick, the knight crusader from Magic Bites, 1, is undercover with the Games.

The three legal enforcement divisions are the Paranormal Activity Police Division (PAD), which is like a magic SWAT unit; the Military Supernatural Defense Units (MSDU); and, the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid will help you and only charge what you can afford. Hopefully you can also afford to lose.

The Pack
The Pack is all the shapechangers in the Atlanta area and a bit beyond. It includes the bouda, wolves, bears, cats, rats, you name it. It’s led by the strongest among them: the Beast Lord, Curran. The Pack’s central headquarters is the Keep. The Lycos Virus, a.k.a., Lyc-V for short, changes a human into a shapechanger, leading to the individual’s battle between mind and body. If the mind wins, they join the Pack. A loner is a shapechanger who chooses not to join the Pack; a loup is a shapechanger who allows their body to control their actions, and they’re killed on sight.

Jim Shrapshire is a shapechanger, a Jaguar in charge of the Pack’s security, and he is the closest to being a friend as Kate can get. The one absolute Kate can always count on with him is that the Pack will always come first. Jim is colluding with Brenna and George. Derek Gaunt, a gorgeous killer wolf shapechanger who works directly for Curran, has his own agenda in this. Dr. Doolittle, a medmage badger, allows himself to be kidnapped. Dali is a half-blind, driving-mad Indonesian shapechanger, a vegetarian tiger.

Aunt B is the hyenas’ alpha. Raphael is Aunt B’s beyond gorgeous son who, after events in Magic Burns, 2, has been stalking Andrea for two months.

Saiman, a different kind of shapechanger—we see him in his true form, part Aesir and part Loki, as the grandson of two Viking gods—in this story. He is Kate’s resource for truly mystifying questions of magic, specializing in information. Arsen is a minotaur, and Saiman’s personal fighter. Sophia is the producer for the Games. Mrs. McSweeney is one of Kate’s neighbors and a banshee.

The Red Guard is a more elite security service, but duller. Rene, the head of security, uses a rapier. Cilalli is Julie’s counselor a school.

The People
The People are necromancers who navigate the vampires; the Casino is their headquarters. Nataraja leads the People in Atlanta. Rowena is a Master whom Kate tolerates best. Roland is a legendary head of all the People.

The Reapers are the team to beat in the Games: Cesare, Mart, and Livie is the girl Derek is fixated on. Hugh d’Ambray, Roland’s current Warlord, shows up to recruit fighters at the Games.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a collage of events with the fight ring in the background and an almost-nude appearing Kate wields Slayer while Curran, in his lion form, stands protectively in front of her.

The title is no-nonsense as Magic Strikes hard at anyone the raksashas hate.