Looking for Urban Fantasy Recommendations

Ilona and Gordon shirt and Wildfire on Kindle

I’m a huge Ilona Andrews fangirl. I even have the shirt to prove it.😂 I’m looking for urban fantasy recommendations similar to their writing. I’ve already tried Patricia Briggs, Seanan McGuire, Nalini Singh, Eileen Wilks, Stacia Kane, Thea Harrison. But haven’t found any other series that I loved as much as the Hidden Legacy and Kate Daniels series, and the rest of Ilona and Gordon’s books.

I’ve already made this request on Twitter (see tweet below) and Litsy, and of course I had to ask for recs here on the blog too. Plus I can update this post with a list of the recs I receive so it would be easier to keep track of them.

Recommendations from Twitter:
Jenn Bennet’s Arcadia Bell
Lauren Dane’s Goddess with a Blade
Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld (tried her first Darkest Powers book but wasn’t a fan)

Recommendations from Litsy:
Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia (not urban fantasy but similar slow burn romance… tried the first two books and enjoyed them but didn’t feel compelled to continue)
Karen Marie Moning’s Fever
Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams
Blade Song by J.C. Daniels
Written in Red by Anne Bishop

I’ve already sent some samples on my Kindle, but I haven’t started reading any of the titles mentioned yet. Please feel free to suggest titles that you think I’d enjoy! 😀

Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

I have been an Ilona Andrews fan ever since I read the Kate Daniels series in 2010. I think that’s pretty obvious if you take a look at my current blog header because the design was partially inspired by the series. I can still remember devouring the first four books in the series that were out at that time. I read the first two books and thought the story and the characters were interesting. Then I picked up Magic Strikes and BOOM! I fell in love with the series and I haven’t looked back. I’ve tried reading other urban fantasy series and Kate Daniels is still my favorite. There’s just so many things to love in this series – from the flawed characters who are so easy to love and care for to the magic vs. tech world they live in. So of course, I wanted to read Magic Shifts as soon as it was released. Unfortunately, I was swamped with work during the week so I had to wait until the weekend before I can dive back into this world. It’s been a few weeks since I finished reading the book but I haven’t been able to catch up on reviews until now. Spoiler warning: this review will contain spoilers for the earlier books.

Reading order, with the thumbnails linked to my reviews:
Magic BitesMagic BurnsMagic StrikesMagic BleedsMagic SlaysGunmetal MagicMagic RisesMagic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Magic ShiftsHere’s the summary from Goodreads:

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…

Reading a new book in a series that you love is similar to coming home. That’s how it feels like whenever I pick up a Kate Daniels novel. I’m familiar with the world, with the characters and I trust Ilona and Gordon enough to know that I’ll enjoy whatever they write. The main story arc of the previous books was concluded with Magic Breaks, with Kate and Curran giving up the leadership of the Pack. I was curious what direction the story will take after that. In that aspect, I was wholly satisfied with the changes that Kate and Curran have made in their lives because I felt that they remained true to themselves. It felt realistic and in keeping with their personalities. As the series has progressed, the characters and their relationships have also developed. Even though Kate has been with Curran for several books now, their relationship still has its ups and downs and I like seeing them deal with their problems together. I also enjoyed seeing all the other characters I’ve come to love like Julie, Derek, Andrea and Raphael, Dali and Jim, Dolittle, etc. It’s nice that we still got to see Pack members even if Kate and Curran are technically not members of the group anymore. I also liked seeing more of Roland! I think he’s a really good complex character, and it will be very interesting to see what will happen to him in the last two books in the series.

The magic in each Kate Daniels book has been inspired by a different mythology. In Magic Shifts, the focus is Arabian mythology. I really feel like the authors research the subject matter intensively and it shows in their writing. While I didn’t feel like Magic Shifts is one of the stronger books in the series, it was still a lot of fun for me to read it. Like I said earlier, diving into a favorite series is always a good idea. After finishing the book, I immediately wanted the next one in the series. There were hints about what can happen in the near future and I’m really looking forward to finding out more about Kate and Curran. Just two more novels until the whole Kate Daniels series ends! I can’t wait to see how things will unfold. Of course I want these characters to have their happy ending and I will be keeping my fingers crossed for that.

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

The Kate Daniels series by Ilona and Gordon is my favorite adult urban fantasy (UF) series. That may not be saying much since I currently only follow two adult UF series: Kate Daniels and World of the Lupi by Eileen Wilks. I have, however, tried other series but didn’t feel compelled to continue beyond the first few books. I read more epic fantasy than UF prior to falling in love with the Kate Daniels novels but I’ve been more willing to try UF after that. I can still remember when I was first introduced to the series, there were only four books out at that time. I’ve been eagerly anticipating each new novel every year since then. If you feel like we have similar tastes in books, I think you should give this series a try. Also, see my blog banner with the huge lion and the warrior girl? That was totally inspired by Kate and Curran.

Here’s the reading order:
Magic BitesMagic BurnsMagic StrikesMagic BleedsMagic SlaysGunmetal MagicMagic Rises

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Magic Breaks by Ilona AndrewsAs 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…

It’s always such a comfort to dive into a new installment of a favorite series, books that are set in a familiar world and have characters who feel like old friends. Magic Breaks was one of my most anticipated releases for this year and I was super excited to read it. The authors also announced that this book will conclude the main arc and conflict that has been building up in all the previous books. So I was also a bit nervous going in because I had no idea what would happen. I shouldn’t have worried. Ilona and Gordon are great storytellers and I had so much fun reading Magic Breaks. The humor that I’ve come to love in the series is present in this one. Certain scenes with back and forth banter cracked me up.

I also like seeing how much Kate has changed and matured since the series started. She’s a much better leader now and is more level-headed. I like her development as a character, the way she started as a lone wolf (figuratively speaking since she’s not a shapeshifter) to someone who is now in charge of a huge shapeshifter Pack and has a handful of people she trusts. She’s willing to go through so much to keep these people safe and they are willing to do the same for her. I also liked seeing the growth and transformation of secondary characters – this far into a series, we’re all bound to have our own favorites. Some of the ones I really like are Andrea, Raphael, Jim, Derek, Ascanio and Dolittle. Even the villains have such interesting personalities that it’s hard not to like them even if I know they’re evil, they come in shades of gray and we see the motivations behind the things that they do. I missed seeing certain characters but then it’s expected that not all of them will get page time in each novel. I have always been a big fan of the slow burn romance in the series and I love seeing Kate and Curran’s relationship develop over time. Even after they got together, it wasn’t always smooth sailing for them. As both of them continue to grow, so does their relationship. I’m happy to announce that their romance is on much better footing in Magic Breaks compared to Magic Rises.

It’s difficult to discuss how much I enjoyed Magic Breaks without going into details and spoilers. Let me be vague and just say that I was satisfied with how the main arc was resolved because I found it believable. I was thinking that if it went in a different direction, I might not have felt that it was realistic for the characters. Magic Breaks just really worked for me and I loved it. The Kate Daniels series remains my favorite urban fantasy series and I can’t wait to find out what the last few books will have for its fans. I felt a bit lost after finishing Magic Breaks and kept discussing it with friends who have read the book. I had a book hangover and some of my favorite scenes from the series kept running through my mind. It took a few days for me to start another novel (which is rare for me unless I’m in a slump) since I wasn’t in the mood to leave the series behind. It’s a good thing the authors have another book scheduled for release this year, Burn For Me, so I still have something to look forward to.

Other reviews:
Fantasy Cafe
The Nocturnal Library
Smexy Books

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

I’ve been saying this a lot recently: the Kate Daniels series by Ilona and Gordon is my favorite urban fantasy series. The latest installment, Magic Rises, was one of my most anticipated releases this year. When a title I’m excited about becomes available, I usually read it as soon as I can. But since I haven’t reread this series since I first discovered it, I thought it would be a better idea to reread the earlier books instead of diving right into Magic Rises. I crammed as much reading time as I can during the past few days. I was hoping that I’d have time to catch up on reviews and other blog posts while rereading but no, I was sucked into Kate’s world again and ignored the blog while I was rereading. If you haven’t read the series, then please skip this review because I wouldn’t want you to see any spoilers.

Here’s the reading order:
Magic BitesMagic BurnsMagic StrikesMagic BleedsMagic SlaysGunmetal Magic

Summary from Goodreads:

Magic RisesAtlanta 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…

It feels great to be immersed in a make-believe world that I love, one that is filled with characters I’m fully invested in. When it comes to good storytelling, the authors continue to build upon an established setting as the series progresses and that is exactly what Ilona and Gordon have been doing with the Kate Daniels world. In each book, a different kind of mythology is presented and we get introduced to new (good and bad) characters. What sets Magic Rises apart from the other books in the series is that Kate, Curran and company travel to a different region and the readers get a glimpse of how things are like outside the United States. The beautiful Mediterranean setting was like a breath of fresh air and it was interesting to see how different European shapeshifter packs are compared to the Atlanta Pack that we’re used to. I love how relationships got explored and developed further in this novel. After a couple of books into the series, we already know some of the characters quite well and yet there are some aspects of their personalities that were shown in a different light. I may not have been a fan of the actions of certain individuals in this one but I had a feeling that they were being done for a reason so I didn’t let it bother me. I was just going with the flow, waiting for the story to unfold.

There was one scenario that occurred in the book that I was able to predict beforehand and I had so much fun reading about it. I found it funny, especially because it made things more complicated. Yes, I am being very vague on purpose. I don’t want to ruin the reading experience for those of you who haven’t had a chance to read this yet. Magic Rises managed to surprise me in different ways and as a result, kept me glued to the screen of my Kindle – it is an action packed story peppered with the humor and wit that we’ve come to expect from the series. The fight scenes in this one were made of pure win, I really enjoyed reading them even though I know next to nothing about physical combat. They were the kind of scenes that I would love to see on a movie screen. On the night that I started reading Magic Rises, I stayed up late to go through as many chapters as I can. I would have kept going if I didn’t have to worry about getting up in the morning to go to work. When I got to the office the next day, I couldn’t wait for the work day to end so I could get back to reading this and I was distracted for most of the day, thinking about the book. Definitely one of my favorite reads this year. I can’t wait for the next novel! For some reason, I thought the next one will be the last in the series but apparently we will be getting more Kate Daniels books. I look forward to reading all of them.

Other reviews:
The Nocturnal Library
Ivy Book Bindings
Adina’s Book Blog
Fantasy Cafe
Lurv ala Mode

Kate Daniels: My Favorite Urban Fantasy Series

There was a time when I used to think that the only kind of fantasy that I enjoy reading is epic fantasy. I believed that urban fantasy wasn’t for me. That changed when I was introduced to the Kate Daniels series, written by power couple Ilona and Gordon. I still remember my reading experience – I was interested enough in the first two books, Magic Bites and Magic Burns, but it was Magic Strikes that made me fall in love with the series. There was no looking back after that. There’s so much to love about the series – kickass characters, the worldbuilding including the different types of mythology in each of the novels, the swoon-worthy romances. When my friend Kim Bartolome was working on the design for my current header, I described Kate and Curran as one of my favorite fictional couples and he used that as the basis for his artwork. The huge lion and the lady warrior can represent them, except that the latter is in medieval attire (to also stand for some of the other fictional characters I love).

If you haven’t read the series and you feel like we have similar tastes in books, then you must check it out. Here’s the reading order:

Magic BitesMagic BurnsMagic StrikesMagic BleedsMagic SlaysGunmetal Magic

I’ve tried to read other urban fantasy series but aside from the Edge series (also by the same authors), I haven’t found another one to really follow. I started rereading Magic Bites last week because I was hoping to reread all the books that are currently out before the release of the latest one, Magic Rises on the 30th of July. I had a pretty busy weekend so unfortunately, I’m still not done rereading Magic Bites. I’m so excited for the next Kate Daniels novel and I have no idea if I’ll be able to continue with my rereading plans or if I’ll drop everything and just read Magic Rises as soon as it’s available. Let’s just see how it goes. How about the rest of you, what is your favorite urban fantasy series? Are you a fan of Kate Daniels as well? Did you reread the rest of the series in preparation for the next book?

Curran / Lion shirt

I call this my Curran shirt, got it from the Singapore Zoo

Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews

Magic Gifts is a Kate Daniels novella and is Ilona and Gordon’s Christmas gift to their fans. It’s available as a free download for two weeks after they uploaded it on Christmas day. Hurry and grab a copy if you haven’t downloaded it yet! Ilona and Gordon are so generous for giving their fans a freebie like this. I’ve seen some of the snippets for this novella on their blog and it’s great to see all the scenes come together to form a story. Magic Gifts occurs after Magic Slays and at the same as Gunmetal Magic, which is Andrea’s book and will be released next year. The Kate Daniels series is my favorite urban fantasy series and this might contain some spoilery bits for the earlier books. Check out my reviews through these links: Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays

Here’s the premise:

A dinner date after a hard day at work sounds heavenly. Of course, when that date is between the Beast Lord and Kate Daniels, things don’t go as planned. Before you know it, undead are running amok, heads are being chopped off, lawyers are deployed and used with extreme prejudice, and drunk vikings are calling people out.

I think I’ve said it often enough but I have a feeling I will keep saying it over and over again: I will read anything written by Ilona and Gordon. I read this as soon as I downloaded a copy on my Kindle. I love their short stories because they feel like bite size snacks compared to their novels – delicious snacks that readers can gobble up in one sitting. In Magic Gifts, we get a glimpse of how things are between Kate and Curran. I think it’s awesome that their relationship keeps on developing. I like how their romance spans the entire series and even when they’re already together, the banter between them is still funny and sweet at the same time. And yet this novella isn’t just about the two of them. There’s a little bit of Andrea, Kate’s best friend and business partner, as well as their shapeshifter sidekicks: Derek and Ascanio. I can’t wait to read more about Andrea’s story and I’m really interested in seeing where things will go for her. There are also a few scenes with Jim, Kate’s former colleague in the Mercenary Guild and the head of security of the Pack. I thought Jim and Kate’s arguments were hilarious. Aside from the characters, I also like the worldbuilding in the whole series and how each book and novella focuses on a different mythology (and the magic tied to that culture). Magic Gifts is about Norse mythology and Vikings. All in all, a lovely Christmas treat for Kate Daniels fans. Thank you again, Ilona and Gordon!

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews is the fifth installment in the Kate Daniels series and one of my most anticipated reads for this year. I always thought I was more into epic fantasy than anything else but Ilona Andrews changed my mind and this series has become my favorite when it comes to urban fantasy. This review will contain spoilers for the previous books so don’t proceed unless you’ve read the others. Even the book’s summary is spoiler so pick up the other books in the series first before you read this one, I promise, you won’t regret it. Reading order of the books: Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes and Magic Bleeds.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

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…

I devoured the first four books in this series last year and proceeded to read everything that Ilona Andrews has written. I read Magic Slays as soon as I can because it feels good to be back in Kate Daniels’ world. Everything that I loved in the other books is present in this one: the detailed worldbuilding with a different set of villains and mythology in each book (in this one, it’s Russian mythology), the characters who change and develop throughout the course of the series and the witty banter that had me laughing out loud. There’s also the magic vs. technology situation that’s always interesting.

What I really liked about Magic Slays is how the authors keep building on the world that they created, slowly revealing information to move the story along. We get to know more about Kate’s past but there’s still enough mystery to make readers speculate. I’m sure there will be more (and probably bigger) revelations in the next book. I also really enjoyed seeing the development in Kate and Curran’s relationship. Yes, it’s been established that they’re mated and we all know that they’re meant to be together but I loved seeing them work through the problems that rise up because they’re both complicated people with a lot of issues. Just when you think you couldn’t love Curran more, he goes off to do and say things that are unexpectedly sweet. Kate’s tendency to be a lone wolf makes it difficult for her to connect with anyone – her mate, her best friend, her ward and friends from the pack – and even though she’s mellowed out in this installment, it’s still not easy for her. Add to all that the usual amount of butt-kicking action than can be expected from someone like Kate Daniels and her circle of friends and you’re in for a book that you wouldn’t be able to put down.

The other day, I was telling friends who are also fans of the series that maybe it would have been a good idea to wait for all of the books to be out before I started reading them. But then I realized that I wouldn’t want to miss out on all the fun and I enjoy discussing these books too much not to read them as they’re released. I just need to learn to be patient and wait for the next installment after reading this. At this point, if you’re an Ilona Andrews fan then there’s nothing more that I can say because you probably have this book in your TBR pile already. If you’ve never heard of the series or you’re thinking of reading it (boo, you’ve seen the spoilers!), I hope you get to do so soon because the Kate Daniels books are awesome. I gobbled up Magic Slays and it still left me hungry for more. I think the stage is nicely set for the next two books in the series and as always, I can’t wait to read them.

Other reviews:
Lurv a la Mode
Angieville

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This book is one of my entries in the Once Upon a Time challenge.

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bleeds is the latest installment in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. It comes after Magic Bites, Magic Burns and Magic Strikes. This came out just this May and I’m so glad I got to read all of the four books together.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it rose.

Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle — especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years — and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…

Kate’s adventures continue in this latest installment in the wonderful series created by husband and wife tandem Ilona Andrews. I already mentioned that Magic Strikes clinched the deal to make this series my favorite in the urban fantasy genre. Because of this, I had high expectations when I started to read Magic Bleeds. No worries though because it went beyond what I expected. It’s pretty hard to go into details about the book without giving away spoilers. I can just say that Kate was her usual snarky and kick*ss self. She had to make some pretty though choices in this one. With her background (and we learn so much more about her family history), she comes with a lot of baggage and she can’t make decisions based on just what she wants. I love where the authors decided to take the story, it really was time for Kate to make these big decisions. I’m also glad that there’s a LOT of Curran in this one. ♥

Instead of giving away the story, I’d rather talk about how wonderful this book was. I had to catch up on lost sleep because of Magic Strikes so I decided to bring Magic Bleeds along on our company outing to the beach. I then proceeded to read during every available moment: under the sun while everyone else was swimming and on a shaded balcony overlooking the beach after lunch while everyone else was taking a nap. I wanted to read as much of the book as fast as I can yet at the same time, I wanted to savor every scene. As with the rest of the Kate Daniels books, there were several scenes in this book that made me smile and chuckle quietly to myself. There were scenes that me sigh and think “Aww how sweet!” and there were scenes that made me fear for Kate and her friends’ safety. Magic Bleeds had everything – jampacked action, solid worldbuilding supported by the setting’s history, lots of humor and a love-hate relationship between two fantastic individuals. Isn’t this enough to convince you to read this series? 🙂

In the authors’ website, there are snippets from Kate 5 that can be found here. I can’t wait for this book to come out! I’m not sure when it’ll happen though since there still isn’t a title for it. There are also some snippets from Curran’s point of view here. These snippets are great because the books are told from Kate’s point of view so it’s interesting to see inside Curran’s head.

I still can’t stop thinking about this book. In the meantime, I wonder where I can grab a copy of On the Edge?

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Magic Strikes is the third installment in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I started reading this series at the start of the week and I’ve been reading the books one right after the other. Click here to see my reviews of Magic Bites and Magic Burns.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games — an invitation only, no holds barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament — she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…

It’s official. The Kate Daniels series is now my favorite urban fantasy series. Magic Strikes sealed the deal. I LOVED this book! Want proof? I was out the whole day yesterday so I didn’t get to read. I got home late at night and I only wanted to read a couple of chapters before sleeping. I ended up finishing the whole book, I just couldn’t put it down. I’m functioning on two hours of sleep right now and I can’t say I regret reading last night (or early this morning if you want to be technical about it). I still can’t stop thinking about the book. This is such a great book! There were a lot of scenes that I had to re-read over and over again because they had me laughing out loud. I also love the character development, how Kate changed from being an isolated person to having a few people close to her heart. It’s amazing how much Kate is willing to sacrifice for these people. She has her reasons for trying to keep everyone at arm’s length but when she starts to care, she’s fully committed. She’s such an awesome character.

Just like the first two books, the worldbuilding in this one is brilliant. I love how the story can delve into different mythologies with Magic Strikes concentrating on Hindu folklore. There’s also a touch of Roman influence embodied in the Midnight Games, where gladiators form teams and fight to the death. It’s a bloodthirsty practice and the characters’ fighting skills are put to the test.

On one hand, I’m happy that I found out about this series when four books have already been released because I get to read the books one right after the other. On the other hand, I feel like I want to let the story of Magic Strikes settle first before I dive into Magic Bleeds. But since I already have a copy of Magic Bleeds, I’m going to read it as soon as I can. All of the reviews that I’ve seen are positive so I have high hopes for that one. I hope it’s just as good, if not better than, Magic Strikes. Do you guys know when the next book will come out? 🙂

I know I always try to have spoiler-free reviews so minor spoiler warning here. If you haven’t read any of the books, please don’t read this paragraph. Kate and Curran! ♥ The scenes between the two of them in this book… AHHHH. They are simply wonderful. I love both of them. I really want things to work out for them and I’m scared that something bad will happen and it’ll be a long journey before they can ever be together. You know the feeling when you’re invested in certain characters, you feel like you know them as real people? That’s how I feel about these two. I will be devastated if either one of them gets hurt.

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Edited to add: I saw in the official Ilona Andrews website that there will be seven books in the series. Seven books! I don’t know if it’s a good thing that we still have three more books to look forward to or if it’ll be a long wait for those books.

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Lovely Wednesday morning to all of you! Today is the inauguration of our new president so it’s a holiday over here. To all the Filipinos out there, I hope this signals a better time for all of us. 🙂 On to the review!

Magic Burns is the second installment in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I finished Magic Bites a couple of days ago and decided to read this right after that one.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic goes wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale; a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more is at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…

As I said in my review of Magic Bites, I really liked the worldbuilding in this series and Kate is one heck of a main character, tough but with the right amount of humor. She has to deal with another magical conflict, this time involving the effects of a flare – a time when magic is at its peak. Curran sums up Kate quite nicely:

You don’t cause problems. You cause catastrophes.

Oh Curran, I have a feeling I’ll develop a crush on you before I finish reading this series. As it is, I wait with bated breath for every scene that has you in it. In this installment, some details come to light. How the world came to be occupied by magic is explained and more is revealed about Kate’s history. I already had an inkling of who her father is but I’m glad to get confirmation. Also, a warmer side of Kate is shown as she does her best to take care of a young girl, Julie. This book explores Kate’s interactions with the people around her and paints a picture of how lonely her life must be. But Kate is very matter of fact about things and she accepts her fate. She’s not just strong physically but emotionally as well. The ending of this book gives me hope that eventually, Kate will get the happiness that she deserves. Also, can I just say that I loved the battle scene? I don’t know why, maybe that says something about me. I’m a war freak when it comes to the books that I read? Hmm.

So, so, so. Is this what I’ve been missing, urban fantasy-lovers? Are there any other books out there that you’d like to recommend so I can catch up on lost time and explore more of this wonderful genre? 🙂 Also, do you guys have any idea how many books are there going to be in this series? I’m just curious, so I know how many more books I have to wait for.