Series-Review: Kate Daniels #6 – #10 by Ilona Andrews

I am usually not good at finishing series – but this one I could not leave alone. I had a rather longer break between the ninth and the tenth book because I wanted to read the spin-off book inbetween but was not all that excited about reading about Hugh d’Ambray. And then I did not want this series to end.

While I think that the first five books were overall stronger, I still enjoyed the second half of the series a whole lot. Ilona Andrews really are one of the high points of my reading year. (I did also read their Hidden Legacy series before finishing this one.) I don’t feel like I can write proper (or even mini-) reviews for this second half of the series as I mostly sped through the books. Also reviews would need to be spoilery and I don’t want to do that. So what I will do is tell you the ratings I gave the books and then gush about what I loved in the series as a whole.

Continue reading “Series-Review: Kate Daniels #6 – #10 by Ilona Andrews”

Wrap Up: July 2018 or that was a binge read.

As you can see below I went a bit over-board with the Kate Daniels books but I could NOT stop reading them. For most of the month I was more or less up to date with my ARCs and as such could just read what I want to read and apparently I wanted to read pretty much a whole series in a month. And then I went on a requesting spree on NetGalley (so my reading will be a bit more balanced next month).

Books read in July:

  1. Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2) by Ilona Andrews: 4 out of 5 stars
  2. Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3) by Ilona Andrews: 4,5 out of 5 stars
  3. Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4) by Ilona Andrews: 4,5 out of 5 stars
  4. Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor: 3 out of 5 stars
  5. Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona Andrews: 4 out of 5 stars
  6. Suicide Club by Rachel Heng: 2 out of 5 stars
  7. Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff: 4,5 out of 5 stars
  8. Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona Andrews: 3 out of 5 stars
  9. Magic Breaks (Kate Daniel #7) by Ilona Andrews: 4 out of 5 stars
  10. Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8) by Ilona Andrews: 4 out of 5 stars
  11. Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires: 4 out of 5 stars
  12. Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss: 3 out of 5 stars
  13. Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race: 3 out of 5 stars

Favourite of the month:

I mean, the obvious answer is all the Kate Daniels books. I had so much fun reading them and I cannot wait to finish the series. It might not be the best thing to have ever been written but I am enjoying it so much and I am so very invested in everybody’s journey. (My mini-reviews for the first five books can be found here.)

I also really enjoyed Lauren Groff’s Delicate Edible Birds; her stories are intricately structured and wonderfully human. I now own all her books and will have to get to her two remaining novels soon.

Stats(ish):

I have read the ridiculous amount of 13 books (with 3916) pages this month, which is the most I have read in I don’t even know how long. Of these 13 books, one was written by a man, five were written by women, and seven were written by a husband and wife team. I read seven fantasy books, three short story collections, one essay collection, one dystopian novel, and one literary fiction novel.

Currently reading:

Books I should get to next:

I have a few ARCs I want to get to this month, most importantly City of Lies by Sam Hawke and Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young. I also hope to read Everything Under as soon as I finish The Mars Room. I also finally caved and bought myself a copy of Red Sister by Mark Lawrence and won’t be able to hold off reading for much longer. The rave reviews for this one are serious.

(Some of the) blog posts I loved:

I adored Teagan and Jess’ review for Dragon Actually.

Zuky’s list of authors whose next book she is impatiently awaiting is a topic I will have to steal – I love it.

I do like it when people talk about the books that did not quite work for them – if you do as well you should check out Ally’s list of books she thought she would like more than she did.

Laila’s review of The Fire This Time (ed. by Jesmyn Ward) reminded me that I really need to get to this book soon.

Alice wrote a great review of My Brilliant Friend, a book I have been wanting to read for ages, and made me even more excited for it. Talking of which, has anybody read the German translation? Is it wort reading or do I better pick up the English version?

Hadeer’s review of Mr. Darcy, Vampire is just beyond brilliant.

If you are as excited about the Man Booker Prize longlist announcement you should check out Rachel’s and Elle’s thoughts on the list. (PS: If you talked about the Prize somewhere, please do let me know, I want to read everybody’s thoughts!)

 

Series Review: Kate Daniels #1 – #5 by Ilona Andrews

I cannot remember the last time I binge-read a series in the way I am binge-reading the Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews. I started with the first book a few weeks ago and as of now have read the first eight books and am only holding off reading the ninth book so that I won’t have to wait too long before the finale.

When I finished Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse last month, I felt the overwhelming need to read some more Urban Fantasy – but it is a genre I have been struggling with (sometimes – or actually quite often I find the love interest to be unbearable). I knew I wanted something with a female protagonist and a series that is quite advanced in case I wanted to keep reading. The Kate Daniels series fit the bill – plus it comes highly recommend by quite a few people whose tastes align with mine.

I sped through the series too much to be able to write proper reviews for the books, so here are my mini-reviews for the first five books.

Book 1: Magic Bites

7940930I had a whole lot of fun reading this – it is not a perfect book but it made me want to keep reading – and I am chronically bad at continuing with series, so this in itself means something.

Kate is a brilliant protagonist and her inner monologue is the perfect combination of kickass and lonely. I love how strong she is and that she can kick ass while still staying human and vulnerable. I also love her snarky one-liners (what can I say, I am a huge Buffy fan). The world building is the biggest strength of this otherwise uneven book; the idea of technology and magic coming and going in waves just adds something to the genre that I never knew I needed. I love how the Andrews explored this new world and how you get the impression that there is so much more to discover. Curran is ok as well I guess – he is fairly stereotypical but at least he is not a total ass (my expectations for male love interests in UF are really low…). In general though, I prefer most of the side cast to him.

3 out of 5 stars

Book 2: Magic Burns

8166133… And I am in love. This book was better than the first. Kate is still the best, her snarky one-liners are on point, but she also tries to just be a good person and I love that in books. She is not perfect but damn close to it and she is self-aware enough to know her limitations. I LOVE her evolving friendships with Derek and Andrea and I adore how she just takes on Julie. The world building is still impressive and I love how we are slowly told about Kate’s origins and what that might mean. Also, I am a huge fan of overpowered heroines, so the final showdown was right up my alley.

4 out of 5 stars

Book 3: Magic Strikes

11055258This might be my favourite of the eight books I have read so far. The plot is perfectly done, the world building is awesome as ever, we see Kate not only kicking butt but also using what she has learned for her advantage (that smackdown she delivers on Jim was SO satisfying to read) and I think I am finally on board with Curran. The slow burn of their relationship really works for me and while I do think that he can be an ass, he at least tries. I still love Kate’s relationships with her friends more: Andrea is brilliant, Derek breaks my heart, and Raphael is way too funny.

4,5 out of 5 stars

Book 4: Magic Bleeds

6479550Be still my shipper heart. I am so involved. The advantage of series is that you spend so much time with the people in it that you become so very involved – and the Andrews do this so very skillfully. Because I have already spent pages upon pages in Kate’s head, the first chapter broke my heart so thoroughly that I then just needed to keep reading until the very wee hours of the morning. While I am usually not that much of a fan of the angst that can come with relationship focused books, here I just lived for it. I did not quite recognize myself, but man, did I LOVE this reading experience.

I don’t think this book is quite as well constructed as the third one, and I do think those two idiots should have just used their words instead of assuming the worst of each other (to be fair, that is in line with their characterization and their backstory), I cannot remember the last time a book made me feel this many feelings. I don’t think I can be objective about this series anymore.

4,5 out of 5 stars

Book 5: Magic Slays

11055258After the relationship rollercoaster that was the fourth book, this one feels closer in tone to the earlier books. Kate is back at kicking ass with her own private investigation firm, or she would be if any customers would appear. So she jumps at the chance to take a case from Rene (one of the Red Guards from book 3), even if she maybe bit of more than she can chew. I love how this book focusses on Kate’s friendship with Andrea, who might just be my favourite side character (or maybe Barabas is? I don’t know, I love the character cast a whole lot). Curran is a bit of an ass this book and I do not know how Kate deals with him. But then again, she does not have a point of reference with regards to what a normal relationship is.

The pacing here is a bit uneven, but I forgive this for the seriously amazing antagonists. They feel different to the antagonists in the earlier books in a way that I thought opened up the world building even more.

4 out of 5 stars