Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m reviewing this only a few hours after finishing this book in audiobook format so I’m probably a little closer to this one than my usual review. That being said – damn! You always know that these books make no guarantees that everyone ends the book in good shape (or even alive) but I’m pretty beat up here.
This book is another road trip-type. Kate and a select few from the pack end up making a trip across the ocean into what everyone agrees is a big trap. Everyone knows that there can be no good reason that Curran was selected to negotiate and protect a disputed pregnant woman. Everyone knows that they will walk right into this trap with the promise of a magical lupism cure at the end of it. How can they not? At the same time, soon after arriving, it’s like everyone forgot. People are playing their own secret games hidden within games, but (again) it’s like nobody remembers that this is a gigantic trap.
I’m not even really sure what of the plot I can talk about without getting into some serious spoilers, but overall, this trip to a castle ends up being (shockingly) a bad idea. Yes, they might come out slightly ahead (definitely stronger) but there are some big checks in the “loss” column that some might argue outweigh the wins. That being said, Kate is still… Kate. There is a lot of unbearable girlishness thrown in here, but she’s still the non-stop killing machine we’ve come to know and love. This book also gave us some good, in-depth time with some of the more supporting characters. At one point I even found myself appreciating how much more I know and love a certain character because of the actions of this book. This was a bad omen.
So what happens that I can talk about? Kate’s secret is a big player in this book. What starts as a book that seems about Curran ends up (of course) actually being about Kate really. All of her work has been leading up to a big confrontation in this book (no, not *the* big one, but still, a pretty epic battle). While I’m happy where we end up here, at least as far as Kate and Curran go, I spent most of the time in this book dreading coming back to it. The relationship drama was so unbearable, but eventually works itself out (thank god). I look forward to a book where everyone is back at home and the Kate/Curran team can be strong again.
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