Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

May Contain Spoilers

I have been holding off on reading Magic Shifts and Magic Binds until closer to the release of Magic Triumphs. I was experiencing another pesky reading slump, when nothing was holding my attention other than manga, so I picked this up. It’s been sitting on my Kindle (thanks, Poo Penny!) for a long time, and I figured no time like the present. That leaves one more volume until the final Kate Daniels book is released in August. It will be sad to see the end of this series.

When George’s boyfriend, werebuffalo Eduardo, disappears without a trace, Kate and Curran promise the distraught werebear they will find the missing shifter. Eduardo had taken a job with the Guild and had been working non-stop to finance a life with George. When Kate and Curran go to the Guild to ask questions about his last job, they find the place in shambles. Business has not been good, and the board put a freeze on the budget, leaving the Guild in dire straights.

Just before they arrived at the Guild, Jim, the new Beast Lord, has bad news for Curran. Most of his money is tied up in Pack businesses, and the members can’t afford to buy him out. Instead, the Pack, which owns a large percentage of the Guild, will sign over their shares and call the loans good. Kate and Curran aren’t happy and reject the proposal, but after seeing the chaos at the Guild, Curran starts to change his mind. He lives to bring order to things, so maybe whipping the Guild into shape isn’t such a bad idea…but first they have to find Eduardo and defeat a powerful, ancient being with revenge on his mind.

The fights in this installment were awesome. I love how badass Kate is. She just wades into any fray, with her sword drawn, determined to protect those under her care. And since she has claimed Atlanta as hers, she has a lot of territory to protect, from both her father and from various outside threats. The evil being gathering power to himself is a formidable foe, one that maybe they have no hope of defeating. When a power word backfires and Kate is almost killed, things are put back into perspective for her. All she really wants is to have a happy life with Curran, Julie, and her friends from the pack, but her father and evil villains keep threatening that. After they rescue Eduardo, she is going to figure out a way to destroy Roland before he ruins her life.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but it was the typical twisty, mythology laden scavenger hunt giving them a headache this time around (in Kate’s case, literally). There is a fantastic battle against a giant with the help of Ghastek and his vampires, as well as ghoul battles, carnivorous lizards, and a little family time at the local diner with Roland. I have such a hard time hating the guy because I like him. Argh! Hugh I hate. He’s a jerk with no redeeming qualities. Somehow Roland manages to be a sympathetic character, despite the fact that he murdered Kate’s mother, and wants her dead too. I feel I have been thoroughly manipulated by the authors here.

This was another great installment of the series, and I am chomping at the bit to read Book 9, but I will restrain myself until closer to August. I’m trying to minimize the painful wait until the last book.

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy purchased from Amazon

About the book:

In the latest Kate Daniels novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews, magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta—and each crest leaves danger in its wake…
After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.
So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.
An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…