Joint Review with @soulswallo: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Posted 21 May, 2012 by Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal / 13 Comments

(Kate Daniels, #5)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: paperback
Read: 4/15/2012
In Six Words: Keeps you on the seat’s edge.


Ilona Andrews — Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Amazon — Paperback | Kindle
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Book Order

1. Magic Bites
2. Magic Burns
3. Magic Strikes
4. Magic Bleeds
5. Magic Slays
6. Untitled (Feb. 2013)
7. Untitled (2013)

Why We Started (and Continue) Reading This Series

Kelly and I have roared through this series like a werelion after his mate.  I don’t think that it should be any surprise that we have continued on with this series after our blatant fan girling and swooning over the last few books.  We loved this fifth installment, and we are beside ourselves in grief that the next planned Kate/Curran book is MONTHS away.  Months!  We may not last that long.

You Might Enjoy This Series If…

You like shapeshifters. Or kick ass heroines. Or if you sometimes type “loins” when you mean to type “lions”. Mostly, though, you’ll enjoy this series if fast-paced, high octane adventure with a fair amount of blood are your thing. Or if you like things that growl. And purr. And … to be honest, I’m convinced everyone should read this series. Go. GO!


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 . . .
-from Goodreads

Thoughts on Book 5

Kelly: I didn’t want to punch Curran at the beginning of this book (unlike the beginning of book 4) which is a plus since he’s, like, 900 times bigger than me. In fact, I kinda sorta possibly found myself lurving him even more than I did before because he was so obviously trying to give Kate her space when she got in a pickle. *pets Curran*

Amanda: Is it possible to love Curran even more?

Kelly: Umm… yes. Yes, it is.

Amanda: Because I find that hard to believe.  There is a lot of love for Curran and his lion loins here on this blog.

Kelly: I’m not pointing any fingers here *holds up seven fingers behind Amanda’s back* but there’s a lot of love for Curran’s lion loins on Twitter, too.

Amanda: That’s because our love for Curran’s lion loins is so large…

Kelly: *snickers*

Amanda: …that it cannot be contained by this blog or even Twitter.  I suspect the lion loin love is going to spread to Tumblr soon.


Amanda: Mark my words.  As much as I liked the evolving nature of Kate’s relationship with Curran, Magic Slays seemed absent of the tension that I’ve come to love between these two.  In fact, it kind of reminded me of what happened in the later Night Huntress books.  I liked book 5, but books 3 and 4 were definitely better, I thought.

Kelly: I like that we’re seeing them at different stages of their relationship. They had the seething hatred, the grudging attraction, the all night marathon sexin’ *holds up seven fingers again with a laugh* and now we’re seeing them attempt to make a go at the give and take of a long-term committed relationship. Considering how hard headed those two can be, I can’t imagine things are going to always go smoothly.

Amanda:  True.  I think I just miss the “will they or won’t they?” tension.  Everything got sooooo heated.  And it added another layer to the story arc.  Now I just get sad when they fight because there aren’t more sexy times.

Kelly: I need to talk about Andrea and her craziness. I was appalled by the stance she took at the end of book 4, but I do understand her reasoning. I don’t agree with it, but I can see how she’d be looking to make changes to the Order from within. Of course, it ended up backfiring in her face and it broke her on several emotional levels but I think that’s only going to make her a more interesting character down the line. I’m really looking forward to her book now!

Amanda:  Yes.  You know we’re going to have to jointly review Andrea’s book, too.

Kelly: *nods enthusiastically*

Amanda: I am actually quite interested in her perspective.  Like you, I understand Andrea’s reasoning for what she did, though I don’t necessarily like it.  Kate voiced her reservations about it, and it was easy to see the utter futility in it.  I am actually interested in the whole shifter/magical being versus humans dynamic.  It really came to a head in Magic Slays.

Kelly:  I know you had some big questions about how the tech/magic waves came about in the earlier books. After 5 books, are you happy with the answers we’ve been given or are you still waiting for more?

Amanda:  Yes and no.  I don’t think think the tech and magic waves have ever been fully explained (or if they were, I skimmed over it and missed it), but part of my desire for those answers was mainly to orient myself in Kate’s world.  After five books, I have a good grasp on the world.  It is almost as though they simply are.  No explanation; they just are there.  I can see that now, but the first couple books drove me a little crazy.  Now I just enjoy “watching” how the characters deal with the unpredictably of the waves.

Kelly: Fair enough. I actually enjoyed not knowing *anything* in the early books. It made everything feel so much more unpredictable and deadly.

Amanda: Sometimes I’m okay with that and sometimes I’m not.  Usually I’m not.  Hello?  Information whore here.  *points to self*   Can we also talk about how utterly terrifying this book/bad guy(s) was?

Kelly: OMG! Right? I kept imagining the worst case scenario with this and it was BAD.

Amanda: I think the only times I ever put Magic Slays down were when I had to pee.  I was very resentful of my bladder pulling me away from my book.

Kelly: Ugh. I know! Except mine was more along the lines of eating.

Amanda: I don’t remember if it was this book or book 4, but I hadn’t even realized I was hungry until I finished the book and my stomach let out a huge growl.  That’s what this series does to me.  I had to read to find out exactly what happened.  Because the synopsis doesn’t lie — Kate and everyone she loves were in danger of “paying the ultimate price” right up until the very end, we really didn’t know how it would end.

Kelly: I think I might be quietly hyperventilating at the realization that we’ve come to the end of the published Kate Daniels books and won’t get another Kate/Curran-centric one for many, many months. *goes off in search of something vaguely paper-like and possibly bag shaped to breathe heavily into*

Amanda: *hands you a paper bag* *pets you*  It’ll be okay.  Now, rather than ending on a panicky and sad note, let me share with you one of my favorite passages from Magic Slays.

I rose.  “Your way of doing things isn’t working.  Time for a new strategy.  The only difference between you and Derek is discipline and training.  Either you can work on both, or you can keep thinking with your balls.  It’s your choice.  Say ‘pop.’ ”
“That was the sound of me pulling your head out of your ass.  If you stick it back up there again, there is nothing I can do about it.  This is the only lecture you’ll ever get from me.”

Amanda: After I finished laughing out loud at that, I immediately filed that line away for future use.  And I think that’s the moment that Kate officially became my hero.

Kelly: Awww. Kate’s giving life lessons. I’m going to use this one on my son. Although I don’t exactly have the presence Kate has. Oh, well. I’ll still try it. We’ll see how it turns out. *cheeky grin*

Filed under: ESR: 8, Review: Amanda, Review: Kelly, Urban Fantasy, ,


13 Responses to “Joint Review with @soulswallo: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews”

  1. LOVE y’alls reviews!

    Is it weird that I read them even though I plan on reading the books?

    Kelly it is ok to hyperventilate I feel the same way when I get to the end of the already published books in a series. It is that loss of control LOL

    • No, it’s not weird! We try to keep them spoiler free so that all our favorite people can read them whether they’ve read the books or not!

      I’m keeping the panic at bay by slowly working my way through some of the short stories. So far, I am LOVING the little slices of life we’re getting. <3 <3 <3 Knowing that Andrea's book is just around the corner helps, also.

  2. Ahhhhh! CAN’T WAIT TO READ THIS!!! I don’t know why I haven’t yet, my love for Curran is epic. I’ve just been distracted by so many other books (don’t tell Curran) and I need to get back to this series, especially with Andrea’s book coming up and all. I know I’ll miss some of the sexual tension too, but I think seeing these guys moving forward with their relationship will be really nice as well. Fantastic review ladies!

  3. So glad you both enjoyed this book as well. Sad to hear that it went a little downhill from the previous books but it still sounds well worth reading. I think I’m dreading when it goes downhill in the Night Huntress Series and that is why I have only read books 1-3 so far. I just can rush myself to being let down I guess.

    Well enough rambling from me. I have the first book on my June tbr and I’m going to make time for it even if I have to lose some sleep lol.

    Thanks for another great review!

    • Actually, as much as I missed the tension in this book, I think that Kate and Curran are so much more strong minded and more likely to clash, and I think this may prevent the series from going downhill like the Night Huntress series did.

  4. I totally had to skim through your discussion b/c Magic Bites is sitting on my shelf waiting anxiously for me (uuuuggghhhh!!) and I didn’t want to spoil anything but I love that you guys are huge fans and totally spelled out who these books are for (yep, they’re for me, me, me!!)

    I love your joint review and the format ~ totally rocks!!!