Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

magic shiftsReviewed by Jen

Nothing compares to the charm, wit, action, and emotion of the Kate Daniels series. Nothing. Simply put, if you aren’t reading these books, you are missing the very best that Urban Fantasy has to offer. I think I say this every time I sit down to review a new installment, but it bears repeating.

The last story was epic and left us in a very different place. Kate and Curran have left the Pack. She has claimed Atlanta and her father has gone from a distant idea of Something Scary to a flesh and blood reality intruding on Kate’s life.  The evolution into these new circumstances feels as smooth as silk.  Despite the fact that everything is different, everything I love about Kate Daniels remains the same. Her loyalty; her fire; her determination, doggedness, resourcefulness. All topped off with a wry sense of humor and deep appreciation for the family she has created over the course of the series.

As the book begins, Kate and Curran are living in their new home with Julie, and they have just one month left until their separation from the Pack is complete. But life is never boring.  Between fighting off ghouls and searching for a missing shifter, they have their hands full. I love how, with each book, Ilona Andrews really goes out of the way to give Kate an adversary that is markedly different from the one before. It’s cool because it continues to add layers to the already vast worldbuilding; it gives the reader new puzzles that don’t have obvious solutions; and it gives realism to Kate’s struggles. I mean, let’s face it. She is crazy-powerful. She needs a real challenge to give us emotional investment. In this case, we delve into the realm of Arabic mythology and a powerful djinn.

The plot is great. I love how Andrews artfully ties the ghouls to the Big Bad and back around to Kate’s missing friend. The pacing is spot on. The laughs are pitch perfect. (I laughed out loud as Ghastek tried to draw an apple.) But, as always, what really takes the book to the next level is the emotional component.  Kate’s best battles are ones that are directly connected to her. Saving a friend.  Keeping a promise. Protecting her family. That’s here and that’s great. Andrews takes it a step beyond though… showing Kate’s fragility… putting her in real peril. You can really see what her mortality means to the people who love her. It brings home just how loved she really is. It carves out more depth for Curran and Julie. It gives great feels.

And did I mention I cried at the end? In the big battle, when Kate must face her innermost fears? I’m not going to spoil it, but there was a person there with grey eyes and the stage is set with potential for so much heartache — it totally got me.  The bottom line is that Andrews successfully combines the otherworldness of Kate’s environment with emotions that any of us can relate to. We could never be Kate, but we can all relate to the things she feels. We feel them with her.

I could go on and on, but how much gushing can I do before it gets a little embarrassing? I will say that I beta-read for this book, but almost all of the magic in the final product was already there in its earlier incarnation. Fans of the series shouldn’t miss this one. And if you’re new to Kate’s world, what are you waiting for?  Start from the beginning with Magic Bites and get ready for a great ride.

Rating: A

*ARC provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon

Magic Shifts
by Ilona Andrews
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Ace


  1. oh this sounds fantastic…I can’t wait to read it.

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