Magic Stars (Kate Daniels #8.5 Grey Wolf #1) by Ilona Andrews

Magic Stars - Ilona Andrews

Derek has separated from the pack, the werewolf is one of those who have now joined with Kate and Curran and their independent organisation. An organisation – and business – that doesn’t tolerate the slaughter of families


Julie, Kate’s ward, is certainly not going to stay out of the action either – even as their investigation reveals horrors they never expected, backing down is never an option.



A spin off series in the Kate Daniels universe? Give give give give! *grabby hands*


It can be said I did not react to this news with particular grace and maturity.


In the past I’ve been wary of spin off series because they don’t always work – the main characters are such a major part of the world that without them it falls flat. This world has carried the different spin off stories so well because, even while Kate and Curran are the most amazing, epic characters imaginable, the other characters in the series are fleshed out enough, developed enough and interesting enough to easily carry their own stories


Still, I was surprised that this series follows Julie – Kate’s magic-sensitive ward/sort-of-foster-daughter – and Derrick, the werewolf who has entered Kate’s shadow for a long time now


Like most of the characters in the main series, they have been developed, they have had their own storylines, they have their own histories which are quite involved. But for so much of the books these two have been very much extensions of Kate and Curran. Which makes it interesting that these were the ones chosen to expansion – I feel almost like the author has decided that they need more attention to show that these characters are just as awesome as everyone else.

And this book does an excellent job of taking both characters and establishing them as individuals. We have Derek’s history, how his path has changed so much with him being involved with Kate (but also, just as important, with his life before Kate) and how his face being scarred changed his life again (we also have an excellent look at the ableism Derek faces – with a woman assuming he will be grateful and servile towards her because his scars mean he should consider himself “lucky” that she’s paying attention to him at all). Woven into the story is Derek’s history, nicely setting him up as his own character and co-protagonist in this series as well as being a lethal fighter who has been forged through terrible experience



Derek’s story is very much a disability narrative. Even though he is physically very capable still, his entire life has been changed by his facial injuries; the way people treat him has changed a lot, his old career has ended and he now finds that career path completely closed to him. His whole identity changed from the man he used to be to the Man With Scars which affects so much of his life. His professional life, family life, home life and romantic life have all been vastly derailed by the scarring to his face and voice.



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