Title: Magic Rises
Author: Ilona Andrews
Rating: 5 Stars
Synopsis: Kate, Curran and key members of the pack travel to Europe to mediate a dispute between the foreign shapeshifters yet nothing it as it seems and betrayal lurks around every corner.
Review: An intense and emotional ride but worth every minute.
In general, the book is well-written, the pacing flows smoothly and Andrews' trademark action and humor is there in abundance. Moreover, the incorporation of several new characters within the storyline is seamless and never distracts from the continuation of the existing plot arc.
Where Magic Rises digresses from previous installments is in the attention paid to the romance angle, which has a slight tendency to overshadow the mystery and investigation subplots. As someone who enjoys romance in her UF, this didn't bother me one iota although readers who prefer more action than drama might be disappointed.
So lets get down to the nitty gritty: Kate and Curran, who have gone from strength to strength both as individuals and as a team, hit a snag in their relationship and it seems that the Alpha couple still has some trust issues to resolve. Unfortunately, the matter is presented via an annoying and angst ridden plot device that does not necessarily present his Furry Majesty in a good light. Suffice it to say that Curran has several bad kitty moments but he more than makes up for them at the end and is completely redeemed both in Kate's eyes and my own even though his explanation is painfully obvious.
Another issue that comes to the fore is the consolidation of Kate's position within the pack. It has taken time but Kate has carved her own niche and she has her loyal friends in Andrea, Raphael, Derek and Barabas. Things are not as clear with some of the others, and the actions of one character in particular put a damper on my affection for him and troubled me much more than Curran's behavior. There are several more shocking developments but you'll just have to read to find out.
As to the mystery plot, one of the most difficult aspects of the book is keeping the different factions and agendas straight in my head. No one is what they seem and treachery lurks around every corner but the pack politics and machinations make for a compelling story and the ultimate showdown is exciting.
All in all, a gripping addition to my absolute favorite UF series. Ilona and Gordon really know how to shake things up, and Magic Breaks cannot come soon enough.
Tuesday, 10 September 2013
Title: Magic Rises