Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book review: Magic Breaks, by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7)
Author: Ilona Andrews
Release date: July 2014
Publisher: Ace
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Bought

Description: As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear...

My thoughts: I was a bit nervous starting this Ilona Andrews book. After the previous one, Magic Rises, it seemed inevitable that the story was reaching the point where Kate would have to face her father. And I couldn't imagine that happening without things going really badly for Kate and her allies, the way things did in Magic Rises. I don't want to spoil everything, but it wasn't the bloodbath I worried it might be.

I love this book. However, it's hard to say that I love it on it's own merits, or to review it on it's own merits. Magic Breaks works, for me, because of the series as a whole. It's the little bits and pieces from the earlier books starting to really pull together and reach a head that makes me appreciate it so much. It's seeing Kate stand up and do things that are a world away from what readers might have expected from her in the first few books. The characters and situations are meaningful because we got to know these characters, like Derek, Ascanio, and Barabas, to pick out just a few.

There are some acceptances and realisations in Magic Breaks for Kate and others that come out of just the events of this book. But overall, I felt like it was a culmination of things that came before. It's the proof that events in the previous books are still affecting Kate and Curran. The events of Magic Rises in particular are very much still felt.

I'm not saying that I think it wouldn't be a good book without the rest of the series. It's a great book. But it's hard at this stage in the series, with such a strong link of the story arc going between them, to take it as a stand-alone. It's not. It's the next chapter, and that took it from being a great book in a great series, to being one of my favourite reads this year.

With Magic Breaks, Ilona Andrews has a story with character development, romance, revelations, tough decisions, and unexpected twists. I can only hope that the remaining couple of books in the series live up to this. 10/10.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: series I want to start

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's question is 'New series' you want to start'. Since I'm not so up-to-date on this year's new releases, I'm going to do this as any series I haven't started yet but want to. This was actually quite hard for me, because most of my wishlist consists of second, third etc books in series I've already started. I've linked to the first book of each series on goodreads.

1) The Twilight Reign series, by Tom Lloyd. This series has been on my radar for a while, and after briefly meeting Tom last year at WFC '13, I've really been thinking about buying the first one, Stormcaller. Fantasy series.

2) The Throne Of Glass series, by Sarah J. Maas. Another fantasy series, I've heard so many good things about them and I'd love to read it.

3) The Paranormalcy series, by Kiersten White. Again, I've heard many many good things about this series, and haven't had a chance to read it yet.

4) The Grisha Trilogy, by Leigh Bardugo. I'm sure this doesn't need explaining.

5) The Charley Davidson series, by Darynda Jones. I don't know so much about this series, but I keep seeing recommendations for the later books in the series, and I think I'd like to check it out.

6) The Curse Worker's series, by Holly Black. I love the sound of these books, and Holly Black seems kind of awesome. I love her Spiderwick series and I've read some of her other books, so I've been hoping to read these ones for a while.

7) The Shadow Police books by Paul Cornell, which start with London Falling. Magic in London. Always a fun thing to read about.

That's all I've got... so if anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them! Particularly if there are new steampunk novels that have come out this year! :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Stacking the Shelves/Letterbox Love



Letterbox Love (from Narratively Speaking) and Stacking the Shelves (from Tynga's Reviews) are memes to share the books you've received this week.

Busy times here, as per usual. I'm in Texas for a few weeks visiting a friend, and the library here is brilliant, they have so many books I want to read! Here are the three I got to start me off. (Links go to Goodreads.)

The Undead Pool, by Kim Harrison. The penultimate book in the hollows series. I've been looking forward to reading this for a while, can't wait to see how it goes, and of course I'm looking forward to seeing how things go between Rachel & Trent in this book. Reading it at the moment, review coming soon.

Black Arts, by Faith Hunter. (#7 in the Jane Yellowrock series.) Evan Trueblood comes to New Orleans looking for his wife. I started reading this on the bus yesterday, and I'm excited to see how it goes. Getting to see more of the Trueblood family? Yes, please, I love seeing Jane with her 'pack' and it looks like this book might see the mending of some bridges between them.

Fortune's Pawn, by Rachel Bach. 1st in the series. I first heard of this book when I think Ilona Andrews reviewed it on her blog, and I've noticed it in a couple of places since then. Something a little different for me, but I think it'll be interesting.

What books did you get this week? Leave your links in the comments and I'll check them out, and let me know if you've read any of these three!