I can’t believe how fast we’re moving through the Kate Daniel’s saga. Today we’re discussing book 8, Magic Shifts, and there’s only one before before we finally get our hands on the finale.
When we started this buddy reread I felt like there were so many books to read, but it all went so much faster than I anticipated. I’m starting to feel sad, because when it’s over it’s over.
Anyway, before you move on and read below, the first half of our discussion is on Angie’s blog, BaBAMB. You don’t want to miss it, I swear.
*Please be advised that since this is a discussion, there will be spoilers.
Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
Kate Daniels #8
Ace | August 2015
About the Book: In the latest Kate Daniels novel from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Ilona Andrews, magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta—and each crest leaves danger in its wake…
After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.
So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.
An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…
Each individual book in the Kate Daniels series has a new minor villain to battle. What were your thoughts on the ‘big bad’ in Magic Shifts?
Birdie Bookworm: I mentioned it in part 1, but if I were to critique one little thing about the Kate Daniels series, it would be how I usually feel a little bored with the villains. The djinn in Magic Shifts was no different. I thought using him to give backstory to Eduardo was interesting, but the bad guy on his one didn’t blow me away.
Angie Elle: I agree about the djinn. This is the first time I’ve felt it, but I remember you didn’t care for Era either. Usually I find the origin stories interesting, but there were parts of this lore that were over my head, and I think that’s where I lost interest. Magic Shifts felt so info-dumpy that my eyes glazed over at times. I could have done without the long explanations. A concise crash course would have been preferable, and in my opinion, much better for the pacing.
Birdie Bookworm: Yeah, definitely. Sometimes I feel like the mythology gets to be too much. I almost hate saying that, because in some ways I think the research the authors do is also what makes the series special, but sometimes it’s too… I don’t know, lessony or something. It could have been pruned, and I admit to maybe skimming a bit.
There were some very tense arguments between George, Mahon and Curran as a family. How did you feel about what each of them was saying, and particularly how did it affect your opinion of Mahon?
Angie Elle: I think I’ve said it before, but Mahon is a character that doesn’t register for me. I don’t care either way. It’s clear that he was after power, and now that Curran isn’t the Beast Lord and theoretically has no pack power, he’s just not invested except to tell Curran how he went wrong, the same as he was for George, who I obviously felt for. For her sake, I was glad Mahon eventually stepped up, even if it felt forced in the end. The standout part of their interactions for me was Curran laying it all out there and being angry that while he was in a coma, Mahon never once stood up for Kate even though he knew Curran loved her and she was his mate. For me, that was so much of what Curran embodies – he is so precise and so sly about biding his time. He could have mentioned that any time since he came out of his coma, but that he waited until now, the perfect time, was so Curran like. I f’love him.
Birdie Bookworm: I think I feel more strongly about Mahon, probably because something about the father figure is always important to me, and Mahon is a really bad father. You’re right, it’s something we always knew as the reader. It’s in how he treats Kate, and how bigoted and rigid he is, but in Magic Shifts my feelings about him went to a whole new level. It wasn’t only about that one argument, which was horrible. The things he said to Curran were disgusting, especially since he was supposed to be Curran’s ‘adoptive father’, but it was also in Curran telling Kate how he’s known the type of man Mahon was for years. It breaks my heart that Curran grew up that way after losing his family so tragically. He deserved a really fantastic adoptive father, and he was stuck with Mahon.
Angie Elle: I feel like now that it was mentioned here, though, there was a lot of foreshadowing to Curran’s feelings (about Mahon) in previous books that I didn’t see at the time. I feel bad for Curran, but at the same time, everything he’s endured has made him into the strong man and leader he is. The fact that he is so caring in spite of all that makes me love him all the more. I just love that he’s been able to hold onto what he had with his family – that it’s something he longs for again. He and Kate are going to have, together, what they’ve always wanted, and that just melts my romance, happy ending loving heart.
Some of the pack relocated in Magic Shifts. What did you think of their new digs?
Angie Elle: I freaking loved it! And when Derek came in and asked for duct tape and then made a run for it? Gold. That is what makes this series so stellar. There are still surprises around every corner and the comedic relief makes it such a delight to read.
Birdie Bookworm: I literally laughed out loud when Derek ran. It was so brilliant, on multiple levels. (Like Kate telling Ascenio that she didn’t remember him! Hilarious.) I loved that Barabas took Christopher with him and that he said he liked taking care of him. Even more, I loved how everyone secretly moved into the neighborhood. I just love those guys.
Angie Elle: Yes, the whole situation with Ascanio was hysterical. And Barabas – yes. There has been something about him since his character was introduced that I love. He is one of my favorite characters of the series. Understated, but so essential. Even more now that Kate and Curran have left the pack.
Birdie Bookworm: I love Barabas too! The M/M fan in me would love for Ilona Andrews to write a side story about Barabas getting his HEA.
Don’t forget to join us on 6/18 for the final discussion of Magic Binds before Magic Triumphs is released!
Kate Daniels discussion schedule below.