Author: Ilona Andrews
ISBN: 978-0-441-01489-7 (Ace)
Finished 18 October 2007
Summary: When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake. Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles. The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings — and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league — but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Comments: Paranormals/urban fantasies are relatively new to me. Since this is the case, I don’t know how this story compares to other series. It’s not a romance, though there is potential for one. It’s written in first-person and the writer doesn’t reveal all of Kate’s secrets up front.
Kate is determined to find who killed her guardian. She convinces the head of the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid — the people Greg worked for — to let her lead the investigation. The evidence seems to indicate that both a vampire and a shapechanger were somehow involved. This means Kate’s got to talk to the leaders of both factions. Kate has problems with authority and doesn’t always know when to use discretion.
I liked Kate. She’s got powerful magic, but she’s also got a lot of faults. She attracts the attention of a nice, ordinary guy, who seems to want to get to know her and perhaps have a relationship. The problem is, her life isn’t nice or normal. The pair has very little in common and it is a relationship that is doomed to failure.
Then there’s Curran, the lord of the Free Beasts. If you want to know what animal he can change into, just look at the front cover. After all, what else would the king of beasts be? Curran’s first priority is the safety and welfare of the Pack. Several of his Pack have been killed and one of them is even being investigated by Kate for the murder of her guardian. He and Kate butt heads constantly, mostly because Kate’s issues with authority. He even comes close to throttling her for disobeying his orders. Since the book is from her point-of-view, there is no clear indication of him being attracted to her. Kate doesn’t view him in that way either. The one time he seems to being making a pass at her, Kate thinks he may being messing with her mind to throw her off balance.
I thought the identity of the bad guy was obvious, but the how and why were a surprise. And really gross.
Overall, I thought the world building was interesting. I would like to know more about Kate and I would really like to see if there is something more between Curran and Kate. The second book in this series is due in the spring of 2008, and it is something I will definitely read.