Magic Gifts (Kate Daniels, #5.4)

Magic Gifts (Kate Daniels, #5.4) - Ilona Andrews Curran and Kate just want to have a date – especially since Kate has just had a difficult day hunting slimy flying octopus things. A simple date at a simple restaurantBut in post-magic shift Atlanta, nothing is simple. First someone dies over dinner, then there’s rampaging vampires – then there’s a child with a deadly cursed artefact around his neck. And only a limited time to find a way to remove it before it kills him as wellSuch knowledge isn’t easily found – and Curran and Kate embark on a rapid race involving dwarfs, Vikings and draugr to save the kid’s life.When I got this book, I expected it to be a short story. And in some ways it was – except for the lengthAt which point you all roll your eyes and assume that Sparky has been drinking early today – but no, hear me outTo me, in a long series like this one, a short story is one that doesn’t advance the metaplot a great deal. It provides a more day-in-the-live look at the lives of the main characters. It expands the world a little, but more likely reinforces it and it provides a book that new comers to the series could technically pick up and enjoy.By most of those accounts, this book fits. It focuses on Kate and Curran, but is less about various big epic battles they fight. You could probably skip this book and not miss anything of their story (though the side characters may become rather confusing). This is showing Kate and Curran getting on with – well, I hesitate to say their daily lives because it’s probably a bit more adventurous than that – but then, with the chaotic world that Atlanta has become it might very well be! We get to see them working together, not focusing on their relationship or developing their relationship – but just living their relationship with each other. It shows what they have to deal with - the Pack, the Mercenaries Guild and we get a better sense of their place in the world as well, what they mean to the city and why they matter.I think we’d had a sense of this, obviously, throughout the books – but the story is so complex and the world is so completely unique that this is an excellent book just to reinforce all the things you kind of knew or assumed or expected, without the grand epic mega story to focus on. It also gets to plant some interesting plot hooks for future books – like Kate taking an active role in the Mercenary guild while also showing off her expertise and why she is an asset beyond just her magic and her power. I think that is one of the things I love most about this book is that it emphasises her extensive knowledge, her investigative skills and her wide range of experience and good strong common sense to make her far more than just Kate with the shiny sword and really really shiny magic.Though she knows several power words – including ones for kill and, as I recall, control – so why she continually uses “kneel” I don’t know.Read More