Thursday, July 21, 2011

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, Book 3)Third in the Kate Daniels series, this one continues in a fine tradition. Someone or something has the ability to slaughter shifters at will, and Kate, as the representative of the Order, is investigating things right up to her eyebrows. Kate's young protege, Derek, comes down with a major crush on a girl who's involved with the bad guys, but who claims to want out. When he tries to secretly meet with her to effect a rescue, he is attacked and left nearly dead. Unlike in most situations where shifters are wounded, Derek is unable to heal, and so Kate adds another mystery to her plate.

In the meantime, Kate's old acquaintance, information broker Saiman, asks her to accompany him to the Midnight Games, a preternatural version of Ultimate Fighting. He's a part-owner in the concession that runs the games, and a new team, the Reapers, is dominating the fights now, which is bad for Saiman and his business, so he needs Kate to find out how they're cheating.

Curran's security chief, Jim, has been quietly investigating the shifter murders, trying to keep Curran from having to get involved, but when Derek goes down, it's inevitable. When Jim and Kate and Saiman decide to form a fighting team of their own to take on the Reapers, he forces his way on to the team - who's gonna stop a pissed-off werelion?

Once again, it turns out some old deities are involved in the caper, and the Reapers are just minions trying to bring them back into power. There's some fun stuff in the byplay between Curran and Kate, and we learn a bit more about who Saiman really is, as well. I still like the fact that Kate has a bit of self-control left where it comes to her romantic inclinations, and that the books have not yet dissolved into paranormal porn.

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