Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels World #1)

Gunmetal Magic -  Ilona Andrews Andrea’s life recently went through an upheaval; kicked out of the Order of Merciful Aid for being a Bouda, a werehyena, she’s trying to get her life back on track working with Kate in their private detective business – cleaning up the magical messes for people who can’t afford to pay the rates the Mercenary Guild charges, nor wish the Order’s unsubtle approach.But being known as a Bouda means she now has to find her own place within the werehyenas of the pack – being an outsider is not an option. But she has terrible memories of her childhood among another Bouda pack and feels little loyalty or connection to those who would be her people.Then there’s Raphael. They broke up when she disappeared to try and hold her place in the Order. And he’s bitter and angry and getting revenge. And she’s bitter and angry and willing to dish back. And they’re both still madly in lust with each other – it’s ugly, very very ugly. Especially when the carpet is deployed. Normal people would avoid each other – but as part of her duty to the pack she has to solve a murder of several pack members working for… Raphael.That murder leads onto a trail of something far worse – something that goes back to Ancient Egypt and could end up destroying the entire cityThis is an odd book in that it runs parallel to Magic Gift. The events in both books pretty much happen side by side which is something I haven’t seen often before, especially since they cover pretty much separate events.There are several things I love about this. Firstly, I love that it shows that the side characters do have a life of their own. Andrea, Dr. Doolittle, Ascanio et al are not just waiting in a plot box, twiddling their thumbs until Kate and Curran need them. They have their own lives, their own activities; things are happening that are important that do not centre around the protagonists. The protagonists are not the only actors in this world and not the people around which everything else simply must orbit.Another element I loved was that the plot was epic. While Kate and Curran are off doing something relatively small (important certainly, but not world shattering), Andrea is facing off against forces that could devastate Atlanta and more. There’s no assumption that they must get Kate and Curran and when they do get involved it’s just one step along the line, Andrea remains the main actor; she’s still the protagonist. I like that someone else can save the day, the world, other than Kate Daniels, it allows Andrea et al to be truly full characters on par with Kate herself.Besides the epic, it has the same style, the same perfectly balanced pacing, the same excellent level of description, musing and emotional growth, all with enough to give us full impact and experience without descending (at least not too often) into overdramatic monologues. The dialogue is real, the characters are real, the banter is amusing and it all just comes together extremely well.This book also has some excellent recapping. Normally I hate recapping with the fiery passion of a thousand suns – it inevitably causes info dumps and the story to be derailed while the author tries to retell the story they’ve already told in a few paragraphs. It doesn’t work. In this it did, part of it is because the world here is so complex that a revisiting of it really worked well – even more so than in Magic Gift. It truly solidified what happened to the city and the world when the magic hit – and further expanded on that by touching on what happened way back in the veils of history before the technology hit – back when magic ruled and gods and monsters roamed the night. The explanation of deity advances the world extremely well in addition to providing plot hooks not just for Andrea’s story, but also information that gives some very juicy possibilities with Kate and Curran's.Read More