Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Also by this author: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
Series: Kate Daniels #5
Source: My shelves
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.
In the interest of transparency … this is like the third time I’ve read this book 🙈 I’ve lost count, so it might be more than that. Ilona Andrews (a husband-and-wife writing duo) were also the first (and only!) author I’ve gone to see specifically. I’ve certainly gone to different book conferences and such where many authors are, but I drove to a different state specifically for them in this case! I would show pictures, but that was several years ago and … let’s just say braces were involved.
* As this is the fourth review in the series, I am not going into super deep detail in explaining things. If you feel confused, please navigate to the other reviews at the bottom of this post (they’re listed in order from one to three). Or you can click the links provided here (or at the bottom of this review): Magic Bites (book one), Magic Burns (book two), Magic Strikes (book three), Magic Bleeds (book four).
I know I keep saying this… but I think I liked this book better than the last one! Oh my gosh, this book was so much fun! If you’ve read my first four reviews, you’ll know this Kate Daniels is a mercenary for hire who cleans up magical problems, now turned Private Investigator of her own firm Cutting Edge, and is the Consort to the Beast Lord. “Consort” isn’t the best title, but admittedly, Beast Lady sounds a bit ridiculous.
Speaking of Curran… CURRAN!! He’s been at the forefront of this slow-burn romance since book one, yes, but I feel like this book was when we finally got really get to know Curran. He’s… kind of hilarious? Who knew?? I definitely fell far more in love with him in this one and honestly, he makes me so happy. Kate and Curran’s relationship is very real and raw, and I know it will never grow stagnant, for a variety of reasons. Kate has too many issues, they bicker too much and Curran loves her far too much, but still has those Alpha feelings, ya know. After the events in the last book, it’s absolutely no guess as to where his new priorities lie. But also… still a complete badass 💕✨
“Go home, kiss your wives, hug your children, and put your affairs in order, because tomorrow I will burn your neighborhood to the ground. We will kill you, your families, your neighbors, your pets, and anyone who will stand in our path.
An attack on my family will not go unpunished.”
What can I say? It doesn’t take much for me.
This is also the first book where Kate is heavily entrenched in the Pack from beginning to end, and watching the interaction was so much fun. Kate definitely has her little crew within the Pack, and even enemies. Suffice it to say, they are a hilarious little problematic family.
One of the best parts of this book is Kate and Andrea. They are great together, and they are friends. Let me say that again: Kate has a friend. The fact that she has a friend, let alone one she cares about so much, hits me right in the feels!! So emotional. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, you probably don’t understand the enormity of what this means. But it was so touching 💕✨ She’s grown so much from the solitary, lonely little merc we found in book one, Magic Bites. It’s so subtle, you almost don’t notice it. But Kate’s growth throughout these books is amazing and shows itself in the smallest things.
This book really showcases Andrews’ skill with creating a fun, dynamic cast of characters. They’re each so individually striking, it’s as if they could just waltz themselves off the page and pop up right in front of me, staring down my barking dog in the face. They truly do a remarkable job with the characters, and with Derek in particular.
Derek is my man. He’s got the loyalty, protective instinct, and the cunning of a future Alpha, and I hope we see it 😈 Talk about a journey, he may ~only~ be a side character, but he’s almost grown the most. He went from an overconfident, cocky teenage wolf who Kate beat in a second, to a man with a bright future in pack leadership. He may only be 19, but already has the skill set of those three times his age. That scene where he beat the shit out of Ascanio for daring to touch Julie??? (Even though Julie kicked his ass.) I was shivering at Derek’s speech. Also… I may sense a little something that may come between him and Julie?
Ascanio hit the hall. The building shook.
“You know who doesn’t heal as well as you do? Humans. They are smaller and weaker than you are, and they break easily and stay broken. THat’s why we don’t put our hands-on humans. Especially girls. And never that girl.”
Hopefully a little something between him and Julie??
If I haven’t convinced you already, BE CONVINCED. These character-driven books are the perfect balance of power and vulnerability. There’s not an overabundance of emotional angsty-angst or unbelievable feats. Instead, you get an action-driven plot with sexual tension, snarky humor, and just everyday life. Kate is a real person in these books, not a superhero. We have an intimate connection with Kate, and her pain, her sadness, and her victories are ours. Her personality really shines through more and more with each book, scared, but learning to trust. The world-building somehow stays fresh and enticing as the series progresses.
I’ve read in reviews that people say that if Magic Bleeds was the turning point for the series, Magic Slays was the necessary comfort and reassurance we needed afterward, which was very true. It’s an emotional, heartfelt book that guarantee’s nothing, but gives us hope for the future. Overall, this book makes me feel proud. Proud of the teenaged wolf who’s earned his place in the pack, proud of the girl who fought more than she should’ve had to, and proud of the boy who took a stand when he needed to. And proud of Kate, who finally owned her legacy.
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Series Reading Order…
Have you read any of Ilona Andrews’ books? What are some of your favorite slow-burn romances? (Aren’t they the best?!) Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!