Genre: Urban Fantasy

Review: Shadow of Doubt by Hailey Edwards

Posted February 15, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Shadow of Doubt by Hailey EdwardsReviewer: Holly
Shadow of Doubt by Hailey Edwards
Series: The Potentate of Atlanta #1
Publisher: Black Dog Books LLC
Publication Date: August 7, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 259
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Hadley Whitaker is a liar, a killer, and a chocoholic, but she’s getting better about the first two. Or maybe she’s just getting better at them.

Some days it’s hard for her to tell fact from fiction, but only one truth matters. Goddess willing, she’s going to be the next Potentate of Atlanta. Even if it means playing nice with Midas Kinase, a shifter whose mysterious past might just be grimmer than her own.

When a bloodthirsty rogue begins hunting the city’s paranormals, Hadley ropes Midas into letting her work the case. But that rope starts to feel more like a noose as they come closer to discovering not only the rogue’s identity, but each other’s darkest secrets.

Hadley Whitaker has been given a second chance at life. She’s hoping to earn her place as the new Potentate of Atlanta. Her mentor, Linus, is staying with his fiancé in Savannah, so Hadley is working her first case alone. The case puts her in the path of Midas Kinase, someone connected to her old life – though he doesn’t realize it. Hadley is determined to keep Midas in the dark, and embrace this new chance at life she’s been given. But between Midas and the watch-dog he put on her, Hadley has a hard time keeping all her secrets safe.

Bent, not broken. That was me. I hoped it was me. I wanted it to be.

We first met Hadley in the previous series, The Beginners Guide to Necromancy. I don’t want to spoil things, so I won’t go into detail about her actions there. I will say, I didn’t love Hadley in the previous series, but I’m coming around. She accepts the mistakes she made and is working to atone. She’s suspicious of the actions of those who know how she came to be in the position she is, and I sympathized with her there. Not knowing if someone is genuinely offering friendship, or just doing so to keep you close and keep an eye on you must weigh on a person.

“You’ve got friends here,” he called to my back. “I’m not as pretty as Ford, but I care.” I didn’t slow to answer, because I wasn’t sure about Bishop either. The POA had stuck us together, much the same as Midas had volunteered Ford. Neither of them had chosen to work with me. They were both doing a job, and I was a part of that.

I really loved Midas here and I can’t wait to learn more about him. There were hints of his backstory that left me wanting more. I enjoyed his protectiveness toward his pack, but he was also a bit of a loner.

Neither Midas nor Hadley are interested in starting anything. Midas has accepted the beta position in his pack after his sister decided to form her own pack and left the city. He never wanted to be Beta and he’s struggling with the role. Hadley is trying to find her feet and get out from under the weight of her past, plus secure the position of Potentate. But they form a sort of friendship here that was touching. I enjoyed how neither of them willingly came to the friendship, but it sort of happened anyway.

Although there are some darker themes here, there was quite a bit of humor. I can’t say this was my favorite novel by Edwards, but I enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to seeing where the series goes.

“Life isn’t black and white, Lee. There’s a whole spectrum. You can’t go through life colorblind.”

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Potentate of Atlanta

three-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Rafael by Laurell K. Hamilton

Posted February 7, 2021 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: Rafael by Laurell K. HamiltonRafael by Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #28
Also in this series: Guilty Pleasures, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of the Damned, The Killing Dance
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 272
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Series Rating: four-stars

Rafael, king of the wererats, must fight to the death to defend his crown. He wants Anita Blake, one of his closest allies, with him as he faces an opponent unlike any he’s faced before. He will ask Anita to risk everything to be at his side.…

But some of the wererats fear that Rafael depends too much on Anita and her ties to the vampires. They believe that there is only room in America for one supernatural king, and Rafael will turn them into nothing more than food for the bloodsuckers.

Among his enemies, a new challenger has arisen who is younger, hungrier, and has dark secrets that could destroy both the wererats and the vampires. Rafael will go into the magical heart of his people to find the power and violence that he needs to save them all or die trying.

Excerpt

Excerpt from RAFAEL by Laurell K. Hamilton.

I’d killed the Mother of All Darkness by absorbing her essence while she tried to take over my body and use it for herself. It had been sort of the immovable object meeting the unstoppable force, and most people had been betting on her. She had been the very first vampire, maybe, so old that her original body had been lost and the last body she’d had had been one that she’d successfully possessed. That body had been blown up by a group of mercenaries hired to assassinate her, but all they’d done was destroy the body that had been trapped for a thousand years. They had freed her from her prison to wander like a nightmare to try and find a new body. She’d wanted mine.

Rafael stroked my hair and murmured, “She is dead and gone, Anita. You do not need to fear her.”

I moved out of the circle of his arms. “You never had her try to take over your dreams, or your body.”

“You are quite right,” he said; his face was closed down, reasonable, and blank, hiding what he was feeling and thinking.

“I feel like I should apologize to you, but I don’t know what for,” I said.

He gave a very small smile, but it left his eyes sad. “If I were truly a gentleman we would shower separately and I would prepare for tonight’s battle, but I want to be with you too much to play such games.”

“I want you, too, Rafael,” I said, because that’s what you’re supposed to say when someone declares that kind of attraction. It’s like when someone says I love you; you’re supposed to say it back if it’s even remotely true, unless you’re willing to have that most awkward of modern dating talks, the one where you try to explain that it’s not about love.

“I can only take your words at face value, search your face to see if it matches them, because I cannot read your mind, feel your emotions.”

“You can smell my emotions on my skin, all shapeshifters can,” I said.

“In this moment I know you are not feeling lust, because you are right, I would smell it on you.”

I fought not to look embarrassed or even uncomfortable. I looked at the floor and then forced myself to look up and meet his gaze. “I can’t smell your emotions, but I can read your face and you’re not feeling very lustful either.”

“I cannot disagree, and if this were any other day I would let you go to shower in the room where you shower with your other men, or perhaps that huge bathtub that Jean-Claude has in his rooms, but it is not any other day. I want you as a man wants a woman, but I also want you to feed the ardeur on me.”

“Won’t that weaken you for the fight tonight?”

“If you fed off only me, perhaps, but you will feed off the strength of all who call me king. If it is to be the last time, I want you to take as much power from us as possible for Jean-Claude to share among your people.”

I touched his arm, studying his face trying to read him. “I asked if you thought you would win tonight, and you said yes. Am I missing something? Am I not asking the right questions?”

“He is me thirty years ago, Anita. He has less to lose and more to gain. I have far more to lose and nothing to gain except his death, which I do not want. I think he believes that you will enslave us all, you and Jean-Claude. He is righteous in his goal to tear me from the throne. I am defending what is mine and I am decades too late for that righteous surety of youth.”

“I don’t understand what that means.”

He smiled down at me, putting his bigger hand along the side of my face so that I could rub my face in against the weight and warmth of his hand. “Of course, you don’t, you still have that righteous surety.”

I moved away from his hand, frowning. “Not as much as I used to have.”

“You are starting to grow into the next stage of your life, Anita. Your job as a vampire executioner and now as a marshal has aged your attitude faster. Hector knows nothing but his clan. He has risen as high as he can within the local clan, so he sets his sight on the highest seat among my kind.”

“You said he’s you thirty years ago.”

“Very much so.”

“So how old is he?”

“Are you asking how old I am?”

I stared up at his raven-black hair, the unlined face. If I hadn’t looked into the wisdom and patience in his eyes, I’d have put him at no more than thirty, but his eyes gave it away almost like some of the vampires did. They were ageless, but their eyes could show an echo of the great weight of all those years, as if there were ways to grow old that had nothing to do with the body.

From RAFAEL published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Laurell K. Hamilton.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: February 2021

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell Kaye Hamilton (born February 19, 1963) is an American multi-genre writer. She is best known as the author of two series of stories, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter and Merry Gentry.

Her New York Times-bestselling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series centers on Anita Blake, a professional zombie raiser, vampire executioner and supernatural consultant for the police, which includes novels, short story collections, and comic books. Six million copies of Anita Blake novels are in print. Her New York Times-bestselling Merry Gentry series centers on Meredith Gentry, Princess of the Unseelie court of Faerie, a private detective facing repeated assassination attempts.

Both fantasy series follow their protagonists as they gain in power and deal with the dangerous “realities” of worlds in which creatures of legend live.

Laurell was born in rural Arkansas but grew up in northern Indiana with her grandmother. Her education includes degrees in English and biology from Marion College (now called Indiana Wesleyan University).


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Featured Review: Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews

Posted January 11, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Featured Review: Blood Heir by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews
Series: Aurelia Ryder #1
Publisher: NYLA
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Add It: Goodreads
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From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an all-new novel set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring Julie Lennart-Olsen, Kate and Curran's ward.

Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.

If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she'd ever loved could threaten everything.

One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.

Cover Art: Luisa Preissler

Warning: This Review Contains Spoilers

Aurelia Ryder is the beginning of Julie Lennart’s journey. Having Kate as a mother has taught Julie to be tough-as-nails. When an oracle has a vision of Kate, Curran, and Conlan dying, Aurelia immediately plans to change the future. With the help of her grandmother, her mother, and her grandfather, Aurelia has turned into a fierce warrior; just as fierce as Kate. Nothing can stop her from saving her family.

Casee: This is a tough one for me. I thought I would absolutely love this book, but I just really liked it. I felt sort of disconnected for the first half of the book. It was good, but I wasn’t pulled in like I was with the Kate Daniels series. I think it might be because I listened to the whole KD series on audio.

What did you two think?

Holly: I’m so glad to be back in this world. I’ve been dying for Julie/Derek since Magic Stars. I didn’t love the first half of this novel, either. I liked it a lot, but I didn’t love it. Mostly because I was on the edge of my seat waiting for “Darren” to show up, I think.

Casee: I feel the same way. Then he finally showed up. I was on the edge of my seat wondering if he recognized her.

Rowena: Oh yay! I’ve been waiting to discuss this one. Like Holly, I’ve been dying for more Julie and Derek since Magic Stars too. I really liked this one. I didn’t struggle with enjoying this book. I also worried that Derek didn’t recognize Julie because you know they’re endgame so he was supposed to know her with whatever face she had.

Holly:. I was never worried that Derek didn’t recognize her, though I admit I felt Julie’s punch in the gut when she thought he didn’t.

Rowena: I would love more books from Derek’s POV because I didn’t think any of that where Derek’s concerned. I thought exactly what Julie thought. My heart did hurt for her when they meet up again after all this time and he doesn’t recognize her.

Casee: My heart also hurt for Julie when she thought Derek didn’t recognize her. The devastation she felt just came right off the page. Then when he told her he recognized her as soon as he saw her riding Tulip? Holy crap, I was like squeeeeee! I don’t know why I ever doubted that Derek would recognize her. I didn’t read Magic Stars, but now I really want to.

Holly: Oh, I forgot to mention the Kate/Curran thing. JULIE, JUST CALL YOUR PARENTS ALREADY! I understand why she didn’t/couldn’t, but how I wanted her to.

Rowena: I struggled with being okay with her not going to Kate and Curran with the truth and figuring out how to keep everyone she loved safe together. That’s probably the thing that I struggled with the most even though I understood why Julie didn’t call her Mom. My heart hurt for the very real fear she feels for her Mom.

Casee: I also wanted her to go directly to Kate and Curran. When she saw Curran at the Mercenary Guild? Oh, my heart. She wanted to go to him so badly.

Holly: What did you think of the new Julie?

Casee: I loved the new Julie. Aurelia was a combination of herself & Julie. Seeing her fighting to protect her family made me feel we had come full circle.

Holly: I really like Aurelia, too. She’s Julie, but different.

Rowena: I really like the new Julie. She’s not the same girl she was before she left. You can see the changes (both physically and mentally) in her and she’s just as great a character as her Mom is.

Holly: I loved the illustrations that were included in the book. It’s so wonderful to see her like that.

Rowena: Seriously!!! Aurelia Ryder on the cover of this book is GORGEOUS!! She’s exactly how I pictured her while reading this one. I love seeing her kick-ass too. I can’t wait to see her ass-kicking gang as the series continues. You just know that she’s going to get one. She’s already making connections and dude, how cute was the little girl that she picked up off the streets? Ugh, I’m so soft for this kind of shit. Julie is SO her Mom!

Casee: For real, this cover is amazing. I had no problem picturing Julie just as she was on the cover.

Rowena: I didn’t know that Julie and Sienna were good friends but I love it. I love that these side characters that we’ve all known all this time are now coming forward so that we can get to know them better.

Holly: I’m glad Julie and Sienna are friends. It makes me happy that she was able to maintain her relationships even when she didn’t see anyone from Atlanta and her old life.

Casee: And when Nick was going to kill her? Oh and Nick is with Desandra? That threw me for a loop, but I still loved it.

Holly: Oh, Nick! I love that he’s with Desandra. I also love that he hasn’t changed much. Uncle Stupid head. Heh

Rowena: For all this Aurelia Ryder this and Darren whatever his last name is there, to me, they were just Julie and Derek. I loved the way that they worked together in the Kate Daniels series so I was looking forward to more of that in this series. They’re both older, they spent time away from each other, and hopefully, Derek will get his head out of his ass and stop seeing Julie as the little girl she isn’t anymore.

HollyI don’t think Derek sees Julie as a child. I don’t think he has in a long time. I think he was waiting for her to grow up and realize she just had a childish crush on him, which is why he never pursued her. He thought she got over him. I guess we’ll find out if I’m right.

Casee: I loved Derek in this book. I don’t feel like we got enough Julie/Derek action, but Derek still made me laugh like nobody’s business.

“What’s your name?”
“Don’t tell her, Cephus,” the girl whispered and clamped her hand over her mouth.
Cephus just looked at her for a second.
“I want to know about Jasper,” I said.
“We don’t know Jasper,” Cephus said.
Derek loomed above him. “Answer her or I’ll put your head in my mouth.”

Casee: I also thought it said a lot about what the murdered pastor did for and meant to Derek that he would risk war with the Pack to go into their territory without showing himself to them. I can’t wait to learn more.

Rowena: I’m so here for more books of her and Derek front and center.

Holly: You know who I didn’t like in this book? Ascanio. I expected better from him. I really did.

Casee: I can’t believe I forgot about Ascanio. I was disappointed in him. He acted like such a spoiled brat, which isn’t something I was expecting.

Holly: I mean, he was always a spoiled brat, but I expected a certain amount of maturity. I thought the way he went about everything was really ham-fisted and not at all in keeping with the way he was growing and maturing in previous books (Especially Iron and Magic).

Casee: I agree that he always has been a spoiled brat. He’s just never been malicious. To me it seemed like he always had a big heart, he was just had a lot of growing up to do. This felt like a huge step backward.

Rowena: I agree that Ascanio was always a bit of a brat but it used to be part of his charm but now? I don’t know what his deal is and I’m not a fan of it either. I hope we get more from him in the next book so that I can understand and I hope he’s not really an asshole.

Casee: I can’t wait to see what happens with the Pack these next few books. I also can’t wait until Julie finally calls Kate & Curran. Oh and Conlan? I adored him. His relationship with Julie was so darn sweet.

Holly: I really liked Julie’s relationship with Conlan. I can’t wait to find out more about him.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4.25 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5

Aurelia Ryder


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Sunday Spotlight: Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews

Posted January 10, 2021 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 7 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

As you know, all of us here at Book Binge are fans of the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. We were all very sad when the series ended, but we held out hope the authors would return to the world some day. That day has arrived. It’s Julie, y’all!! I can’t even tell you how excited we are to be back in this world, and to see more of Derek and Julie.

Sunday Spotlight: Blood Heir by Ilona AndrewsBlood Heir by Ilona Andrews
Series: Aurelia Ryder #1, Kate Daniels #10.5
Also in this series: Blood Heir, Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Tests, Magic Stars, Magic Shifts, Magic Steals, Magic Breaks, Magic Breaks, Iron and Magic, Magic Binds, Magic Triumphs
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 359
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books


From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an all-new novel set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring Julie Lennart-Olsen, Kate and Curran's ward.

Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.
Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.
If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she'd ever loved could threaten everything.
One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.
Cover Art: Luisa Preissler

Excerpt

The moon was full and silver. It peeked at me through tattered clouds as I rode my horse down the old I-20, staying in the center of the highway. Magic had been chewing on the edges of paved roads for decades, and the asphalt near the shoulder often crumbled under the weight of a horse.

Nothing to see here, moon. Just a lone woman in a tattered cloak riding her horse into her home city after being gone for far too long.

Around me dense pines towered on both sides of the once busy highway. Glowing eyes watched Tulip and me from the darkness between the roots and branches, yellow for racoon, white for deer, green for foxes, electric red arranged into a triangle for hell alone knew what. The forest critters gave me the stink eye but kept to themselves.

The trees stopped abruptly, replaced by fields wrapped in razor wire. A sign loomed ahead.

WELCOME TO ATLANTA

We’re Glad Georgia Is on Your Mind

A bit optimistic of them.

Below someone had scribbled in white ink.

“Praise the Lord and get the fireballs ready.”

That was more like it.

A dark shape swooped above my head. The moonlight slipped over it, dancing on its feathers, and then it soared into the endless indigo of the sky. Like most eagles, Turgan didn’t like to fly at night, but something must’ve unsettled my raptor. He’d taken off the moment we left the ley line and refused to land on his perch on my shoulder.

Another sign jutted into the night.

ALL VISITING SHAPESHIFTERS

Present to the Pack in 24 hours

Take I-85, head northeast, follow your nose.

Twenty-four hours? When I left eight years ago, foreign shapeshifters had three days to introduce themselves to the Pack. Times had changed.

A high, eerie howl floated up to the clouds on the night breeze. Not a shapeshifter. Just some garden-variety monstrosity venting to the moon. Too far to worry about. Tulip flicked her ears and kept going.

Shapeshifters were a paranoid, suspicious breed. Lyc-V, the symbiotic virus that gave them the ability to change into animals, came bearing many gifts. Some, like enhanced strength, speed, and senses, were beneficial. Others, not so much.

Those who changed shape lived lives of discipline and self-control. The other way lay loupism, a catastrophic plunge into hormone-addled hell that turned shapeshifters into sadistic spree killers. Loupism had no cure, except for a blade to the neck or a bullet to the brain.

Shapeshifters required the kind of structure that regular society could no longer deliver. They set themselves apart in packs, and the rest of the population, acutely aware that each shapeshifter was a spree killer in waiting, was happy to let them govern themselves.

Of all the shapeshifter packs active in the continental US, Atlanta’s Free People of the Code were the largest and by far the strongest. Most packs rarely reached over a hundred members. Atlanta’s Pack counted nearly three thousand shapeshifters and seven different clans, defined by their animal forms and unified under the rule of a Beast Lord. It was so large, that it was known simply as the Pack. Only the Ice Fury Pack in Alaska was larger.

A long time ago, I was one of the rare humans who were considered members of the Pack. I had lived in the Keep, the massive shapeshifter fortress northeast of the city. All my friends had grown fur and claws. Back then, the Pack had had a different Beast Lord, and he’d treated me like his younger sister.

The fields ended, and ruins began. I adjusted the weight of the spear in the sheath on my back, nudged Tulip, and she picked up speed. I had a morning appointment to keep on short notice.

The highway narrowed. We took an exit to the left onto Basilisk Road and followed it as it looped northeast, climbing through the exposed corpses of once tall apartment high-rises.

Magic hated technology. It came in waves, flooding the world, snuffing out electric lights and gasoline engines, chewing on skyscrapers, and spawning monsters. Then, as unpredictably as it appeared, the wave would wane, and technology once again came out on top. Spells fizzled, and guns once again spat bullets.

The taller the building, the harder magic gnawed on it. Most skyscrapers and office towers had fallen long ago. A lot of the overpasses had crumbled to dust or collapsed. The old skyline was but a distant memory.

In its wake, new buildings sprung up, built by craftsmen mostly by hand to minimize magic erosion. Here and there, the new structures hugged the road, solid homes and offices with thick walls, strong doors, and narrow windows guarded by steel bars. The soft yellow glow of electric lights fought with the gloom. The magic was down now. If it had been up, some of the grates on the windows would shine with silver and the blue radiance of fey lanterns would replace the electric bulbs.

The city looked the same as when I left it. It felt the same too, dangerous, indifferent, watchful, yet somehow still achingly familiar. Home, despite all the years I’d been gone. I’d been almost eighteen when I left. I was twenty-six now. It felt like a lifetime ago.

I never meant to be gone this long, and this wasn’t how I wanted to come back to Atlanta. My biological family was dead, but my found family was alive and well, and they’d wanted me back for a long time. In my mind, I would’ve called ahead, and they would meet me at the ley line, mob me, hug me, and we would all go home. That was the original plan.

But if I went home now, I’d be signing their death warrants. I had to stay off the radar, and I couldn’t afford to be recognized.

Not that I would be recognized. When most people came home after a long absence, their family said things like “You lost weight” and “Is that a new hair cut?” If I went home, my family would ask, “Who the hell are you?” Nothing about me was the same. Not my body, not my face, not my voice, or my scent.

A hint of movement on the left jerked me right out of my memories and into the present.

I was several blocks deep into a deserted street. On the left, a ruined heap of a building crouched, still steeped in night shadows. On the right, a wall rose, new construction, solid, thick, and topped with razor wire. Ahead, the street ended, as if sheared with a giant’s knife. A chasm gaped, dropping a full fifty feet down below, about a third of a mile across.

The chasm was new, but not surprising. Magic waves didn’t just birth monsters; they produced new rivers, raised hills, and split the ground. Atlanta had dealt with the chasm, as was evidenced by a single-lane wooden bridge spanning it.

The bridge wasn’t the issue. The three shapeshifters that moved out of the shadows to block it were.

There was absolutely no reason for a Pack patrol to be here at this hour. Their territory was all the way on the other side of the city. The timing wasn’t right either, just before dawn, when they should’ve been returning to the Keep, to perform their morning meditation and curl up for a nap like well-behaved monsters. Yet here they were, dressed in matching Pack sweats and blocking my way.

Atlanta was a bitch of a city.

Aurelia Ryder

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: January 2021

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Ilona Andrews

“Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

They have co-authored four NYT and USAT bestselling series, the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels, rustic fantasy of the Edge, paranormal romance of Hidden Legacy, and Innkeeper Chronicles, which they post as a free weekly serial. For complete list of their books, fun extras, and Innkeeper installments, please visit their website at Ilona-andrews.com.


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Review: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Posted January 6, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Triumphs by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #10
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic, Magic Gifts, Magic Rises, Magic Tests, Magic Stars, Magic Shifts, Magic Steals, Magic Breaks, Magic Breaks, Iron and Magic, Magic Binds
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 328
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

Mercenary Kate Daniels must risk all to protect everything she holds dear in this epic, can't-miss entry in the thrilling #1 New York Times bestselling urban-fantasy series.

Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She's made friends and enemies. She's found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be.

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate's doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows her time is up.

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.

Magic Triumphs is the final chapter of the Kate Daniels series and it was so good that I had a moment after I finished where I let myself be sad that I’m done with these books. I’m so glad that we’re not done with the world though. I’m looking forward to reading the Iron Covenant series and the Aurelia Ryder series. There’s still so much to look forward to and man does that make me happy.

So this book is one helluva book. This was a really emotional read for me. I cried a lot. Lots of stuff happened and seeing Kate struggle to keep it together while bringing everyone together was a lot. She needed everyone to come together to defeat Roland and by some miracle she made it happen. Friends, family, enemies, they all came together to fight for Atlanta, and Kate was right there in the center of it all. Goodness, seeing Kate in this book and remembering Kate from the beginning of this series is pretty incredible. When we first met her, she was so closed off to relationships and people in general but to see her in this last book, you wouldn’t have guessed it. She is the driving force for so many people and she’s loved by so many people that only Kate could unite an entire city against a common enemy. Only Kate can make people set aside their differences and their issues to fight together.

There were so many characters that have come such a long way from the beginning of this series. Curran, Derek, Julie, hell even Gastek and Mahon. Goodness, Derek, and Julie were babies when we first met them and now they’ve grown and they’re fighting the bad guys along with the people that raised them. Julie is a big sister and Derek is a man who is loyal and ready to take on the world.

I feel like I keep saying the same thing over and over again in my reviews of the books in this series but I promise they’re true in every case. This book was filled with everything that makes a story great. The growth of the characters that we have all come to know and love is fantastic and the humor is present at every turn, despite the seriousness of their situation. Ilona Andrews writes incredible stories of good vs. evil and this is one of my top favorites of all the books that I’ve read by them. This book has is an emotional finale that will be hard to beat. I loved everything about this book and I highly recommend it. Read Iron and Magic first though because that story leads into this one. It’s another good one so it’s worth the wait to read this one.

Final Grade

4.5 out of 5

Kate Daniels

The Iron Covenant

four-half-stars


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