Kate Daniels #1
By Ilona Andrew
Penguin Random House | Ace
Category: Urban Fantasy | Paranormal Fiction | Paranormal Romance
Hardcover & Ebook: Aug 28, 2018 | 336 Pages
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
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 their 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 the world.
Every now and then there is a series that captures its audience and makes totally loyal readers. After the first book in this series I was disappointed and reluctant to continue, but I heeded my friends’ advice and dug in to much of the remaining books. I was caught, and have sadly missed a couple of volumes in the series but will eventually catch-up. This is the end of this particular story line; but there’s a lot of material left for the husband/wife writing team known as “Ilona Andrews” in continuing the world. There’s a cryptic epilogue worthy of the mid-credits Easter egg scenes in a Marvel Universe movie.
Going from a young mercenary with magic she was not supposed to use and always leery of the next blow to a powerful leader who doesn’t want to be a leader, Kate Daniels is everything power can be in a female character. She isn’t seduced by a billionaire, or a knight in the shiny stuff; she is the knight. And her reluctance to have the power, willingness to sacrifice and understanding of, well of so much, makes her a true leader. She even gets respect from those she kills. Here, Kate has the weight of the world on her shoulders — a female Atlas.
This story has the ultimate, lose-lose-lose situation with not one, but at least two, bad guys. These bad guys are so bad that her prior nemeses join the fight.
In an unwinnable situation, Daniels and her team of friends and loved ones, need to pull on out of their giant hat. It’s a huge learning experience either way. They have a lot of know how and come up with some truly inventive strategies. Andrews has built an incredibly complex world and I am not knowledgeable enough in it to say whether it is consistent, but it’s a thrilling backdrop so I haven’t really cared. For a detail-oriented reader like me, that says a lot.
There are big themes in this book — in the series; some are a bit generic, but aren’t all human themes a bit generic. It’s how “Ilona Andrews” presents them and makes the very human themes — family, loyalty, parental roles — important to people who are not human that really makes this series. After all, Curran, Kate, and pretty much everyone is a supernatural, mythological, or magical being and yet these human themes are important to the good guys. the other themes — greed, power, superiority — are shown up as not desirable. But, thank goodness not in an after-school-special way: there are definite and dire consequences for making the choice to be evil. And, in this story, at least, reform is a return to the bosom of the family.
This book is the last, say the authors, in its story line; and it is mist definitely the place to start. The world-building, back story and relationships will be nearly impossible to suss out without reading at least some of the rest of the series. But, be assured you will not be wasting your time. And, if you have read the series, I very much doubt you need me to tell you to read this one — you probably pre-ordered it as soon as it showed up. also probably don;t needy this book gets a thumbs-up and lots of stars.