Book Review: Magic Bleeds

Title: Magic Bleeds (Book 4 in the Kate Daniels series)
Author: Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Ace Books

My march through the husband-and-wife written duo’s Kate Daniels series continues with the fourth book, Magic Bleeds.  Andrews’ writing improves yet again, with Kate’s character getting fleshed out while still managing to keep her the trash-talking, loveable smartass who I love to read.

There aren’t that many new revalations in Magic Bleeds, though that’s not a slight against the book.  There aren’t really any new characters introduced of note, though all of the old favorites return.  Dali, my personal favorite, the cross-eyed, vegetarian weretiger unfortunately doesn’t get enough time in this book.  But the rest of the crew are well-represented, with a small bonus appearance by Kate’s adopted daughter Julie.

The real relationship focus is the quickly-progressing one between Kate and Curran, The Beast Lord AKA His Fuzziness.  There’s such an amazing, natural chemistry between those two hard-headed characters who can’t help but to love each other when they’re not trying to strangle the other.  Add personal and political struggles into the mix and their new-found romance quickly becomes a challenge.

Kate’s mythological challenge this book is an ancient evil that shows up at public places, freaks out all of the shapeshifters in the area, and murders whoever they see as the strongest.  Unfortunately for Kate, the victims tend to be the, “Hey, they’re strong enough that they shouldn’t have lost” type of people.  To pile on more issues, Kate starts to suspect that the real culprit behind the attacks may be a relative.  The details about Kate’s seemingly very important past are still doled out one drop at a time, but somehow the near-glacial pace isn’t a hindrance.  What information you get is important but you’re never overwhelmed with backstory or pages of personal reflection about Kate’s history.

My main concern in my review of the third book was an escalation of mythological villains after the events of the third book.  Thankfully, the main villain in Magic Bleeds isn’t a huge step up from the foes in previous books; the progression feels natural without feeling like Kate is up against completely impossible odds.  The deck is always stacked against her, but I was rooting for her to win each and every fight.  I never felt like any victories were implausible, a testament to Andrews’ strong writing.

My recommendation for this series gets stronger with each book I read.  I can safely say that the worst thing about this book is that the next one isn’t out yet.

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About Michael Hannon
Podcaster, blogger, writer, geek. Host of That Video Game Podcast (TVGP) and Dynamic Soundtrack. A big fan of stuff.

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