Story Title: Magic Mourns
Story Author: Ilona Andrews
Story Length: 90 pgs.
Anthology Title: Must Love Hellhounds
Copyright: 2009 (Berkley)
Series: Kate Daniels
Who: Andrea Nash and Raphael
Where: Atlanta (alternate reality)
Can it be read at any point in the series, or as a stand alone? It could, but if you’re new to the series and hadn’t read Magic Burns and/or Magic Strikes, I would consider it a spoiler in regards to Andrea mostly, and Kate (how and why she’s on medical leave). The story takes place after the events in Magic Strikes.
Summary: Kate’s on medical leave, so Andrea takes her place at the Order of Merciful Aid. Since Kate’s cases tend to be either Pack-related or involving the Mercenary Guild, things have been kind of slow. Then she gets a phone call from some guy called Teddy Jo. He informs Andrea that he spotted a shape shifter being chased by a huge dog. A house-sized dog. Andrea’s definitely on the case, especially if it means she gets to shoot something. However, she hopes the shape-shifter in question ISN’T a certain bouda (were-hyena).
Much to her consternation, the shape-shifter in question is in fact Raphael. The house-sized dog? Well, neither knows what it is, requiring a phone call to Kate. Apparently, Andrea and Raphael are not very well read up on Greek mythology. The dog is none other than Fluffy Cerberus. Raphael was tracking whoever had body-napped his recently deceased step-father when he encountered the beast. There is no way Raphael is going to be sidelined on this case, so Andrea has no choice but to allow him to help her investigate. During their investigation, they get the opportunity to discuss his attraction to her and the reasons she is so reluctant to get involved with him.
Comments: This story is told in 1st person, just like the series, except from Andrea’s point of view. It’s a real treat to see the this world through someone else’s eyes. We learn more about Andrea then we probably would have in the series. Andrea tells Raphael about her past and we see a different side of Raphael.
It is interesting to note that Kate and Andrea have much in common: heavily armed, independent women with a big secret that could cause major problems if the wrong parties found about them. Both women are being pursued, romantically, by men who could have any woman they want. Neither women is convinced of the sincerity of the pursuit, believing they are just passing fancies of the men in question. We’ll have to wait for future Kate Daniel books to learn whether or not Curran and Kate have any chance at long term relationship; however, in this short story, we learn that Raphael is honestly attracted to Andrea and he wants a chance at a relationship with her, and her alone:
“Things happened before I met you and before you met me. Those things don’t matter. You had no control over your past, but here, right now, you control the situation and you’re voluntarily giving it up. You’re punishing both of us because of something that happened half a lifetime ago. It makes no sense.”
Raphael’s admission brought up something interesting that I noticed about the boudas. Even though they are sexually adventurous and have no inhibitions, once they find a mate, they seem to be faithful. The idea is re-enforced by Aunt B’s grief over the lose of her mate. He wasn’t bouda and I just can’t imagine…well, you can figure it out for yourselves.
The story has another treat. Andrea and Raphael visit the Casino, headquarters for the vampire-controlling masters of the dead. They go deeper into the place than we’ve seen in the previous books.
I heart Maxine. I just love her to death. And I really loved Teddy Jo. He’s insights at the end were enlightening.
All in all, a fun read and it worked really well as a short story.
Read: 16 September 2009
“You couldn’t detect your way out of a shoe if someone lit the way with neon signs.”
— Andrea expresses her opinion of Kate’s investigative skills (or lack thereof)
Disclaimer: I bought this book.
This is a re-post, due to data loss. (Oct 09)
12 Oct – Amy – “I love Andrews’s books. I’ll need to pick this one up. Thanks for the review!”
12 Oct – Me – “You’re welcome! 🙂 It’s a great read. Definitely not to be missed. :)”