Release Day Group Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

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We’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the next installment of the Kate Daniels series, and it’s a Badass consensus – Magic Binds was worth the wait! There’s just something about getting lost in this world that’s irresistible, and it’s not just the thought of Curran bursting out of his sweats. We’re sad to see this series nearing its end, but we are thrilled to find out what’s in store!

Magic BindsMagic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Book #9 in Kate Daniels
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016
ARC Provided by Netgalley and ACE

Synopsis from Goodreads: Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Our Review

Slight spoilers ahead

Wendy: For some reason this book took me so long to read.  It may have been because I started it over my vacation, and I had a lot going on, but it took me eleven days to read!  That’s crazy!  It wasn’t even that it was bad, it was just… slower.

Angie: Not me. I whizzed right through it! But I started this series about six weeks ago (for the first time,) so I’ve been on a bit of a Kate Daniels high. I didn’t think it was slow at all – a lot went down in this book.

AH: I agree with Angie. While I did try to savor the book and make it last as long as possible, I did manage to read it in a few days.

Wendy: Maybe part of the problem was that I don’t like where the Kate Daniels character is going.  I knew that this was always a possibility, but I never thought it would happen.  I like my Kate just a little less borderline evil.

Angie: That’s interesting, because I didn’t think she was borderline evil in this one. She had a few moments, but since claiming Atlanta, she is fighting magic she’s never had to fight before, and I think she’s doing a decent job holding it at bay most of the time. I mean, she does have the fate of the entire city on her shoulders. That can’t be easy. And everyone has an eagle eye on her, like they’re waiting for a misstep. Feelings toward her feel so conditional. I feel like she’s lacking a solid support system right now.  She’s also reached a place where she finally realizes that if she’s going to defeat Roland, she is going to have to fight fire with fire. I can see why she’s torn, and in fact, I’d like to see more evil moments from Kate. Give me an anti-heroine! 😉

AH: I like the conflict that she is feeling about her role and her powers. She realizes the potential of her powers and what it could mean to those around her.

Wendy: I think she’s doing a decent job, too.  I don’t mean to say she’s not.  She is just fighting the darker side of Roland’s magic, and everyone can see it affecting her badly.  Even Kate is worried she won’t be able to hold the darkness back.  There’s a part of her that wants to rule, and I liked that there wasn’t anything like that in her before.

Angie: I think it’s always been inside her just waiting to come out. She’s mentioned several times throughout the series how she was trained to kill, how she enjoys killing, and she wouldn’t know what she’d do if she couldn’t kill.

AH: It kind of reminds me of that line in Spiderman:  “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Angie: The only thing that bothered me about this book was the cover. Stunning? Hell yes! But ummmm…did we forget that Kate’s hair burned off in the last installment, and she even laments that fact in this one?

Wendy: I didn’t even pick up on that in the cover!  You are so right!  Now it’s going to bother me too, lol!

AH: I forgot about that. I guess a bald Kate on the cover wouldn’t sell as many books?

Wendy: I always love seeing this cast of characters though.  I love seeing where Andrea and Raphael are, or Jim and Dali.  I especially loved Magic Stars, so I enjoyed the little tidbits of Julie and Derrick.  This is probably one of my favorite family groups.  (Though, I did remember how much Jim frustrates me.)

Angie: Jim was pissing me off in this one. Curran dedicated his life to the pack for how long, and it’s as if it means nothing now that he’s not alpha. Not cool, Jim. Not cool. I understand where everyone is coming from – they all have their own battles to fight. But this is the time to set emotions aside and realize no one is going to do any damage to Roland if they don’t band together. Get it together pack and others of Atlanta! But I love that Curran still professed his loyalty to his friend. Just when I think I couldn’t love that beast any more…

Wendy: There were a lot of little surprises in this one.  Specifically it took one newer character in a direction I didn’t anticipate at all.  And I really loved it!  (Hint, it has to do with Barabas.)  I also love any time Roman is involved in the story.  I wouldn’t mind a one book Roman side story.

I get the feeling that this series is wrapping up, and I’m already feeling the sadness.  I hate when series go on too long, but it’s so hard to say goodbye.  While Magic Binds may have taken me longer to read, it was still a solid installment and I really enjoyed it.  It’s hard to imagine a future where I don’t have these books to look forward to.

Angie: I’m getting that feeling, too, and it’s devastating, because there is still so much I want to know about everybody! I always say I’d rather be left wanting more than feeling overwhelmed with details and information I don’t need. I just don’t know how they’re going to fit everything I want to know in one more teeny tiny book. I think I might be a greedy reader! On that note, can I just say how glad I am that I didn’t start this series until so many books were out? The wait for the next one is going to be excruciating!

Wendy: It is killer.  Though, I’m also sad we’re nearing the end and there won’t be more waiting.  It’s a double edged sword.

AH: I’ll be sad to see the series ending, too. I just can’t imagine a time when there won’t be a new Kate Daniels book to look forward to.  Fantastic series.

Our Rating: 5 Stars

Series Reading Order:

Currently, there are ten books planned for the Kate Daniels series, and it should be read in order. There are also a lot of short stories and novellas that fit in between each book. You can find a full listing of those on Goodreads and the author’s web site.

  1. Magic Bites
  2. Magic Burns
  3. Magic Strikes
  4. Magic Bleeds
  5. Magic Slays
  6. Magic Rises
  7. Magic Breaks
  8. Magic Shifts

Series Overview

Thank you to ACE and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

© 2016, Badass Book Reviews. All rights reserved.

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