Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Filed in 4 1/2 Stars , Draconismoi , featured , Ilona Andrews , Review Posted on August 6, 2013 @ 12:00 pm 9 comments

Magic RisesFormat read: ebook
Series: Kate Daniels #6/Magicpocalypse #7
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Number of pages: 327
Publisher: Ace
Formats available: ebook, paperback
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s Website, Book Depository, Indiebound.

Book Blurb:

Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap.

My Thoughts:

Do you ever have that moment where you finally get a book that you’ve been salivating over for years… and then can’t quite bring yourself to open it? Because right now it is all potential and built-up expectations, but once you read it there is a chance for devastation and crushing disappointment.

This Book Lover has been eagerly anticipating this release since finishing the bizarrely boobtastic Magic Slays back in 2011. But Ilona and Gordon have been very, shall we say, ominous, in their descriptions. Lots of “we took big risks” floating around their blog. Along with candid admissions of impending epic turmoil and tragic death.

I was, ergo, a little nervous to dive into this. So nervous that I managed to put off reading it for 12 whole hours.

Time to start bidding on the Death Pool. Joining Kate and Curran on their exciting Overseas-TrapAdventure are:

  • Barabas (My favorite attorney ever! Oh god, Ilona wouldn’t kill him, would she? She was just in our comments a few weeks ago casually chatting about his awesomeness and lovelife. Was that nothing more than an unknowing Memorial Service?!)
  • Derek (Nah, he’s already had his ass handed to him Magic Strikes. He’s going to be FINE. DO YOU HEAR ME?!)
  • Mahon (Ugh, he gets more condescending all the time. He can die.)
  • Aunt B (Hah! Like anything short of a nuclear missile could take out Aunt B.)
  • Doolittle (His death would start a cataclysmic death-domino effect as no other Pack personage seems to have any idea how to handle even basic injuries. This is getting to a not-good place.)
  • Andrea (Practically a main character. She has Protagonist Immunity. I think. Is there another Andrea book planned? Shit. Must verify….)
  • Raphael (The only way he dies is if Andrea is pregnant.)
  • George (Is she as much of asshole as her father? Her impending potential death doesn’t bother me.)
  • Keira (Jim’s sister. New character. I smell a redshirt.)
  • Eduardo (Introducing Redshirt #2, the delicious buffalo-man.)
  • Saiman (Hahahahah! He’ll outlive us all. Also, this is going to be fucking hilarious.)

Established fans of the series will love this little outing to Europe. We get to meet some exciting new creatures, (were-dolphins WHATTHEFUCK THIS IS AWESOME. Bring on the were-orcas. Who would be total assholes), see new places, and make new friends. Or enemies. Which is not important. What is important is that this is now tied with Magic Bleeds as my favorite Kate-book.

Magic Bites(Note: BEST COVER OF THE SERIES. Kate looks about 10 years too young. But other than that? Fucking perfect. Look, she’s not a ginger with breast implants! Much closer to my mental image of her. Now I don’t need to consider buying chinese editions of each book to cannibalize for their far superior cover art.)

Alas, nothing is perfect. Curran is a high-handed asshole. Kate forgives him too easily. And what is with this on-going thing about Kate being a terrible liar? They’ve brought it up before and it never quite meshes for me. By definition Kate lies all the bloody time. About everything in her past and her future. The Pack just seems to think it’s some kind of moral failing that she’s not a compulsive or casual liar. Bite me people!

All in all, I give Magic Rises 4.5 stars!

4-one-half-starsEstablished fans of the series will clearly be reading this. However, it would not be a good book for newcomers to the Magicpocalypse. This is a overarching-plot heavy book. Too much that is going on relies on your knowledge of previous events.

(Note the second: You don’t need to have read Gunmetal Magic to follow the events here. But it will help explain Andrea’s new pack-centric disposition.)

Who do you think will die? Who would you miss the most? Or, if you’ve already finished reading it, who DID you think would die? Sound off in the comments!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Draconismoi

Draconismoi is a Legal Aid Attorney out on the frozen tundra. After two weeks of -30F, she started telling people she moved to Alaska because she loves the indoors. Right now you'll find her curled up under all the blankets she owns, surrounded by a pile of books. Every so often she emerges from her cave (when there is food) and wonders how she'll justify prolonging this behavior once the temperature rises and the sun returns.

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  • Susan August 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    YES to just about everything here. I didn’t wait to start this book–I called in sick on Tuesday to read it. And then I felt as if a bomb had fallen on me. I knew I needed time to digest it, so I waited ’til this weekend to read it again. And now I’m listening to the audiobook.

    I had read that there were some difficulties in the relationship part, but I really wasn’t ready for what transpired. On the first reading, I was all “oh no, oh no, oh no” to really take it in and think about it. It got better the second time around, but still falls into the asshat/doormat scenario for me.

    I really like your rundown of the potential whack list. When I heard that not everyone would make it out, I was thinking more along the lines of mass carnage. Since I didn’t know in advance who was going on the road trip, I was thinking all kinds of bad stuff–but agree that some characters seem to be immune to being written out, at least at this point. I was a bit surprised at who drew the short straw, but not overly devastated. Looking back, I can totally see the setup for it. (I was sad that it wasn’t Julie, even tho I know Julie also probably has immunity. I don’t know why, but Julie just irritates the snot out of me.)

    A lot of ground got covered in this book. It really moved the story arc forward, and introduced some interesting new characters. I agree with your assessment and rating.

    “Do you ever have that moment where you finally get a book that you’ve been salivating over for years… and then can’t quite bring yourself to open it?” For me, this is the last Sirantha Jax book. Could not wait to get it on release day, and still can’t bear to read it. Just can’t.

    • draconismoi August 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      This is not the first time you have expressed an anti-Julie sentiment. I suspect you do not spend much time with teenagers. She seems like a pretty average teen. No more deserving of death than any other.

      Which, on second thought, may make her extremely deserving of death….

      You COULD have been right you know. There could have been some massive carnage happening back in Atlanta while Kate & Co. were pissing about in Europe.

      YES CURRAN WAS A FUCKING ASSHOLE. I love that you agree with me on this. SOME people are all blah blah Kate shoulda been more understanding. Um, no.

      Have you read the FAQ responses Ilona posted? I suspect there will be epic carnage in the next book:

      • Susan August 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm

        I hated myself as teen, so I’m not likely to be very forgiving of flawed fictional ones. Julie can live, but she can’t have Derek. She doesn’t deserve him. I think she should spend time with Ascanio

        I didn’t even think about Atlanta being seriously vulnerable while the others were gone.

        Not knowing who’d go on the road trip, I was trying to think who was likely to be safe. I thought Saiman, Derek, Andrea, Raphael, Julie, Jim, and Dali were safe, but that was speculation. I did know from snippets that Jennifer and the rats would be around for a later book. Anyone and everyone else was wearing a big ole target in my mind. It could have been a bloodbath.

        Epic carnage in Breaks? I missed that bit. Unless it’s implied by the family reunion thing.

        What I DID miss the first time reading the FAQs was the possibility of an appearance by Jack & George in the Kateverse. I trust the Andrewses to handle it better than Harris did when she had Lily Bard visit Sookie/Bon Temps.

        Even Curran admitted he was an asshat (which kinda surprised me).

        • draconismoi August 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm

          WHY would I want Julie with Derek when she’s going to school with a damaged sexy teenage dragon?

          • Ailsa September 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm

            Damaged sexy teenage dragons? I feel like I’ve missed a good story, and I want to find it 🙂

            I love your list of people to worry about. I’m sad about who did die, and I think it’ll (obviously) leave a big hole in Kate and others’ lives, but I think it fit in to the story. It wouldn’t have felt right if everyone kept being saved. I also thought Kate forgave Curran way too easily. Sure, she loves him, and he did it to protect her in his eyes, but jkl;jl;jfda! He was such an ass!
            I did like a lot of things in this book (more Barabas! I want to hear more about his love life) but after one read, with all the relationship downs, I don’t think it can be a favourite book in the series for me. I can’t wait to see what happens next for everyone, so I guess it’s back to counting down the months.

          • Draconismoi September 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm

            We meet the sexy dragon in Jim and Dali’s short story…..then find out he’s going to school with julie in her short story in An Apple for Creature. I spy a romance in the making 🙂

  • Anne August 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Second favorite after Magic Strikes. I thought Maddie would die causing all sorts of angst, we’ll see more upheaval from who did die in the next book I bet. I thought Curran’s reason for the discord with Kate to be reasonable because his explanation of why he did it was really valid. They were in a snake pit and it gave them a slight edge.

    I just wish that while Derek was there, that we got more of a feel for him and how he was feeling about the whole situation. He was very one dimensional in this book.

    Nice to see what was happening outside of Atlanta and another side to Saiman. It amused me to no end that someone scared of pain would consider being lashed to a boat wheel as a good time. Looking forward to finding out more about his seaman days. This is one series where I LOVE the short stories which show up in anthologies. I have so much background info. from the series that the short stories on the different secondary characters are rich enough to satisfy me.

    • draconismoi August 8, 2013 at 3:39 pm

      I accepted PART of Curran’s explanation. The relationship-y part. Because he had a good point. I did not accept the other part. The absolute-secrecy-no-one-but-Saiman-knows-about-the-contract thing. Because UM HELLO it would have been helpful for, oh, I don’t know, ANYONE else to know there was a serious issue to be concerned about.

      Very hard to do without epic spoilers. GAH!. Anyways. Those of you who have read it, will totally understand. Right? Right.

      What is the BLI policy on spoilery comments? I probably should know this…..

  • Ailsa September 19, 2013 at 9:48 am

    We meet the sexy dragon in Jim and Dali’s short story…..then find out he’s going to school with julie in her short story in An Apple for Creature. I spy a romance in the making

    Ah, I’ve missed both of them! I’ll have to go and have a look 🙂

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