Let me just give you an inkling of how my relationship with the Kate Daniels series used to be:
(excerpts taken from my reviews)
Magic Bites #1:
"This series has in this book a very promising start. Kate Daniels is an independent _ by force of the circumstances _ strong and with no regard for diplomacy, kick-ass character (..)"
Magic Burns #2
"Non stop action. That's what you get when you read a Kate Daniels book."
Magic Strikes #3
"Truly and utterly amazing. "
(not trying to be concise here... this was really all I wrote about it..)
Magic Bleeds #4
"If you like great world building, a kick-ass heroine, a stubborn and irascible alpha male, riveting stories, non stop action, with a smouldering romance, then this book is for you."
Magic Slays #5
"As always, loved the story and the characters. However, I still prefer "Magic Strikes" and "Magic Bleeds" to this one. "
Magic Rises #6
"(..) this part really didn't work for me, because it just felt convoluted in a YA Drama Teen Feast kind of WAY!!"
Okay, when this book was released a couple weeks ago, I decided I wasn't going to read it.
This used to be one of my favourite series, and part of me is still dumbfounded _and angry _ with what happened in "Magic Rises". I'm not even talking about the character that dies _although yes, I found that a little too convenient to place "you know whom" on top of that clan's food chain .
I got angry because Magic Rises basically twisted a number of rules that should never ever be altered in a fantasy series setting.
_The characters started behaving as idiots and out of character.
_There was a lot of stupid angst that should only exist in a YA book.
_Which in turn ended up ruining a perfect good plot.
But here we are, more than two months after its release, and I just couldn't help myself:
I had to read it. I missed the characters, and part of me kept hoping _against my better judgement and basically ignoring some "not so stellar reviews" of this story _ that I would love this.
So, this is how things went...
Wow, almost 10% read and I feel as if am reading a Kate Daniels encyclopedia!
What's with the double info-dump?
Forgive me for saying this, but this is the seventh book in a series, if people don't understand what they're reading, that's because they haven't read the previous ones o_O...
So..."newbies" go read the previous ones, and everything will make sense...
The characters of the Kate Daniels world...
Almost all of them are interesting to read about. Of course I have my favourites _ as everyone else does _, but the thing that bothers me, is that the authors seem to have decided to focus on the romantic aspect of the story between Curran and Kate _ even when the guy isn't right next to her, she's pinning for him... which I found really... YA :( and not very Kate Daniels(sy)_ while neglecting the other threads of the Kate Daniels world!
Most of all, I miss the companionship between Andrea and Kate. I miss the relationship between Kate and Julie... I missed the relationship between Kate and Derek! (sorry, but calling him Wonder Boy is just not enough!)
Heck I even missed the dog!!
In fact, where was Grendel throughout all this story? o_O
Where was Saiman? (there is Ice in this cover design... obviously I thought he would enter!)
Where is Dali?? We never heard from her again since... I don't even remember the last time we saw her appear!
Instead we get the boys: Derek and Ascanio, and I am sorry to say this but, Ascanio seems to be taking over Derek's place.
With the boys, we get a lot of: "pretty, pretty"....I mean Ascanio...."he used to be handsome"...Derek.
We get it. I get it.
Having Kate trying to save this and that, mostly accompanied by teenagers, means we get treated to a lot of jokes. Hey, even Desandra delivers some macho crap, and some offensive jokes...
Sorry, but after a while this started sounding a little like stand up comedy. Not my thing.
Also, unlike the plot of Magic Rises, I didn't find this plot all that interesting: There were some convenient developments and people with explanations for things that were happening, that were to say the least... contrived.
Kate in this book acts too much like a damsel in distress. Something that I found extremely "distressing" to read about! :/
There's even one moment in which she manages to diffuse a potential dangerous situation (a rare occurrence in the book), so everything is fine for some milliseconds...
"I had stopped this war from happening."
And then all of a sudden she sees that Curran is arriving, and her mental processes revert to: Oh My God, Curran is coming!
The relief drowned me, turning me weightless, and for a short blissful moment I was completely and utterly happy. Curran!"
Oh My God! I have this image of Kate Daniels in my head and she's giggling and jumping up and down!
WHERE IS KATE? AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER?
She's KATE DANIELS!! SHE IS THE DAUGHTER OF A GOD ( or whatever mad powerful entity!) SHE KNOWS HOW TO DEFEND HERSELF!!
Do not cast her as some helpless maiden :/
At least make her say something along the lines of: About time, you lazy bastard!
Do you remember what happened the last time Kate found herself alone in the Keep?
While Curran was in a coma?
She's not exactly seen as Consort material by all those shape-shifters!
So what does Curran do in this book?
He goes away with the boys _ Raphael and the Kodiac guy _ leaving Kate alone to deal with all the Keep's politics. And this happens after what he did to her in the last book.
So, now he trusts her?
Oh, and does that lovely subject of what happened in the previous book get mentioned as in: "You know, Curran behaved like an ass, so I don't know if I can ever trust him again...". Because I think that would be a logical follow up to what had happened...
But no, it does not.
It is like it never happened.
The thing is: It happened.
And it is still very much alive in my mind, and other readers' minds. And I don't care how many "I love you's" got thrown in the text, _and I am not even counting the "baby's" references, because I don't find that charming, or sweet at all! _ Curran?
You're on my black list.
Well, at least a grey one o_O
Surprisingly enough, towards the end, when the guy deigns himself to speak more than two words, he managed not to be that bad... and okay, there were moments in which he managed to grow a little in my consideration.
Especially what he does in the end... although I think he is going to drive Kate insane.
Now I just need Kate to stop behaving as some sort of Curran wannabe.
And people should tell her that she's not that funny any more...
Bottom Line: Fifty-fifty... there were things that I hated but there were also things that I liked...
So this is mostly a two star rating. The extra half star is given because of characters such as Desandra and Ghastek _loved the fact that we are given some basic insight into what made him who he is.
If you're still on the fence about reading it, why not wait for the paperback edition? :)
It is released February 24th.
Pre-order Magic Breaks (mass market edition):