Friday, August 10, 2012

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

So, this novel is a move to the POV of a secondary character in the Kate Daniels universe, Andrea, Kate's best friend, who is a former Knight of the Order, and a beastkin, often looked down upon by "normal" weres and plain vanilla humans. She is a partner in Kate's private investigations business, and gets the chance dropped in her lap to have her own adventure.

True to form with this series, an old god from a forgotten pantheon rears its ugly head, trying to gain power in the new world after the Change. This time around it's an Egyptian serpent god, and Andrea and her friends must ally with its enemy, another jackal-headed former god Anapa, or Anubis.  We get to know Roman, the Volhv (priest) of the Russian mythos gods, a bit better in this novel, which is fun. An evil priest, but really a nice guy, ya know?

Andrea is also having a relationship crisis, as she has been estranged from her lover, Raphael, who is alpha of the were hyena pack, the boudas. It was outside of her control, as she was arrested and interrogated by the Order when she revealed her furry nature, and she didn't dare to involve him in her troubles at that point - she left her best friend, Kate, ignorant of her situation, too, after all. There's some pretty good dialogue, and of course you know at some point they'll quit yelling at each other and have wild were-creature sex, after all.

The problem I had with this story is that I really couldn't tell, aside from some of the background, situational information shared about Andrea vs. Kate, any real difference between them, as far as the story line was concerned. Kate attacks and kills all the bad guys with magic; Andrea uses guns and bows and swords. They both have bad attitudes and trust issues with other people in their lives. They're both pair-bonded with a leader of a were pack. Neither has any respect for authority. Maybe I'm missing the subtleties, but there's not a lot to differentiate whether you're reading a Kate adventure or an Andi adventure. Both good mind candy to while away an hour or two, but...

One fun passage:

"Unlike several other Scandinavian organizations, the Norse Heritage wasn't interested in the preservation of Scandinavian culture. They were interested in perpetuating the Viking myth: they wore furs, braided their hair, waved around oversized weapons, started fights with wild abandon, and generally acted in a manner appropriate to people embracing the spirit of a pirating and pillaging barbarian horde. They took in anyone and everyone, regardless of ancestry and criminal history, as long as they demonstrated the 'Viking Spirit,' which apparently amounted to liking violent brawls and drinking lots and lots of beer."


Rachel said...

This review is particularly appreciated, because I read the Kate Daniels series up until the last one which I didn't. (I preferred the romantic tension to simple romance.) I was wondering if this series would be better or similar.

That and it's always nice to see negative reviews, because far too few bloggers are willing to do them.

Jon said...

Thanks for the kind words, G.