*Warning: The are spoilers in this review. Read at your own risk!*
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
published by Berkley (Ace) in May 2010
Kate Daniels cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to deal with-especially if they involve Atlanta's shapeshifting community.
And now there's a new player in town - a foe that may be too much for even Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Kate Daniels, Book #4
The Story: Magic Bleeds picks up a few months after the events of Magic Strikes by Kate being stood up by Curran. Kate is understandably upset and decides to wash her hands from Curran. Whatever they could have had is over; Kate was raised to be a loner and that's how she'll go through her life from now on.
Unfortunately, things don't go as planned for Kate when a new enemy walks into town. The Lord of the Beasts is determined to offer his help to Kate, whether she wants it or not... This foe has the ability to start pandemics, diseases that will even affect shapeshifters. In addition, it seems he is an incredible warrior, has a great deal of powers and is able to males go out of their minds. And oh, it's one of Kate's relative which puts her in a pickle... but not the dilemma anyone would imagine...
Nath: I really enjoyed Magic Bleeds, it was pretty good :D The story was solid and it really delivers :) What did you think, Tabitha?
Tabitha: Yes! I'm so glad you enjoyed Magic Bleeds too. It was pretty great for me as well. Solid, solid read. So much progression in this one book!
Nath: I totally agree with you. I really like the fact that Magic Bleeds moves the plot forward, not only the relationship between Kate and Curran, but also the story surrounding Kate and her origins.
I love that Kate and Curran are together LOL. Finally! It's definitively going to be interesting in the future, to see them interact. The other thing I loved about this book was to find out more about Kate's origins :) The story was also very engaging.
Tabitha: I am really happy Kate and Curran are together. Although I'm surprised that their relationship took on such a deeper level. We saw the two tap dancing around each other in the first three books, and in book four, wow! Their friendship and relationship really expands. I guess it was about time, huh. Same goes for the mystery of Kate's origin. We get so much more background than before.
Nath: It was indeed fast, but like you say, they’ve been dancing around each other since book #1. Also, when you're ready to sacrifice yourself for that person... It’s pretty much a given right? So why continue dancing? In the end though, I believe this is a good decision for the series though. It’ll be much more interesting to see how Kate and Curran will navigate their relationship – and oh gosh, I’m sure it won’t be calm LOL – than a continued courting. Plus, it’ll allow a bit more focus on the plots.
Speaking of plots, I thought the one in Magic Bleeds was solid and enjoyable! I loved how it all came together. There was plenty of action, but you needed to be more than fast on your feet. One of the things that impressed me was the quick thinking that Kate did to hide Jenny. It's smart and quick and it worked!
Tabitha: Kate is definitely clever and very quick on her feet. She impresses me with how well she can adapt to a situation. No matter how scared or nervous she is she can hide it and pretend. Her thoughts always manage to amuse me!
You know, I had expected to see more appearances from Hugh d’Ambray considering the events from the previous book. When the villain was revealed, I was surprised by who it was. I guess I had expected Roland to immediately seek the person who destroyed his sword. But when the connection was revealed, it did put a clever twist in the story.
Nath: I was surprised too at the absence of Hugh d’Ambray in this book, but the explanation is making sense. I wonder if he’s tired of being Roland’s lackey and will prove to be an ally for Kate… Hmmm. You know, I wonder if Roland is aware that someone broke his sword. One part of me feels that it inconceivable that he does not know, but another part of me… It’s just like Kate said, Hugh d’Ambray is going to find as much information as possible on Kate before mentioning her to Roland.
Oh, I loved the villain. I don’t think that she was evil; instead it was really a case of egomaniac! How
power really screws with your mind. I’m not worried that Kate will ever turn like her, but still, it’s a good reminder for her… I wondered though, it was mentioned that Erra just woke up. Why was she asleep in the first place?
What works for me more in this book is that I understand Kate better and I think that knowing more about her background helps. Knowing to which extent she will go to save the people around her… I love that self-sacrifice streak that she has LOL.
Tabitha: Lol. Kate’s loyalty is very admirable. Yet I find it so sad that she has to live in a world of self-preservation. She doesn’t even stop to think about sacrificing her being to save her friends, her defenses on automatic. I guess that’s better than her severing her ties with her friends and hanging alone…that would be even sadder.
Nath: It’s unfortunate that it’s a constant struggle for Kate – her true self and the one her adoptive father wanted her to be :( You know, at the beginning, I wanted Kate to turn really cold in this book and have Curran grovel big time. Sigh.
What did you think about Curran standing Kate up for the dinner? I think Mahon was behind it. He was one of the few who already knew Curran’s intentions towards Kate, plus the shapeshifters that challenged Curran that day were two bears…
Tabitha: I think it was too easy that Curran didn’t further question that one of his people lied about Kate not calling in. I thought he was too accepting to say that there was a miscommunication with his orders and would have at least tried to seek who was undermining his relationship with Kate.
Nath: Curran is the Lord of Beast. I don’t think he was totally surprised at the behaviors of his people. I mean, the ending proves it when they voted about Kate being his mate. Personally, I think that Curran didn’t want to acknowledge that his people could be so selfish… but he didn’t have the choice at the end.
Tabitha: Before and during the voting scene was awesome for me. Kate really kicked their deserving ass. I literally clapped my hands and cheered when Curran used his lion’s roar to announce his appearance and express his displeasure. It was a good scene. Lol.
There are many funny and sweet moments in this book. I was LOL'g like crazy when Curran asked Kate why she wouldn't speak to him directly.
Nath: Nod nod, loved the voting scene. So like Kate to discard advice and do as she likes or thinks best :) LOL, I admit, didn't realize why she was doing it at first LOL.
The funny and cute scenes were definitively the highlights of Magic Bleeds. Yes, the story was good and Kate and Curran finally got together! However, it wouldn’t have been as good if it wasn’t for these cute scenes :)
Tabitha: I didn't either! haha. Until she explained, then I went DURH. It makes sense. haha. Curran's response to when Kate said "Hi" through Jim was so funny that I actually pictured Curran's facial expression.
Nath: LOL, Jim is such a sport...to a certain degree :P I loved the part where Jim walked out while they argued LOL.
Tabitha: Yep. That scene was so clear in mind -- Jim looks at Curran, then Kate, then Curran. haha. Or was it Kate, Curran, then Kate? I forgot. But it was too cute and amusing. Did you find the scene in the bedroom when Curran stormed in hilarious? What Kate said about Saiman having the best equipment? It was LMAO moment for me. Kate and Curran are so cute together in this book. Each really went out of the way for the other.
Nath: LOL, Curran is definitively a man thinking that way! There were so many good moments in Magic Bleeds… My favorite is probably when Kate welded the bench-press chair together, shut the bimbo room and the catnip - especially the catnip :)
Tabitha: Haha, yes, Curran's reaction phone call to Kate following her break-in and then his retaliation just is another crack me up moment.
Nath: Okay, just out of curiosity... What do you think of Saiman? So he's a pervert and has a huge ego... but he helps out and he's knowledgeable. I kind of like him... and I'm sad that Kate doesn't :(
Tabitha: I really like him too. I think he's sincere with Kate and not just because she's a challenge. Maybe her feelings for him will change in the future, hmm? He seems to be portrayed as a nicer guy in each book.
Nath: Well I feel that if her feelings haven't improved after Magic Strikes, I doubts that it'll get better :(
While Magic Bleeds was an excellent book, I was a bit disappointed that the secondary characters didn't play a more important role :( That would be my only complaint of the book… although it was understandable as it really focused on Kate and Curran.
Tabitha: Magic Bleeds is all about Kate and Curran, especially Kate so it’s not surprising to me that the secondary characters’ roles were very small. I thought Saiman was there more to push Curran along since he sort of disappeared after he helped her with the mystery of the villain.
Did you get that something happened to Andrea? Kate said at the end that her best friend wasn't talking to her when she needed her. Where did she go? The last we saw of Andrea was the big fighting scene.
Nath: I think Andrea is not communicating with Kate because Kate is now Pack... so she keeps her distance. Sad :(
Tabitha: You're right, Andrea most likely stayed away from Kate because Kate is more entrenched with Curran and the Pack. Although earlier we saw how Andrea risked her secret and changed to save Kate's life. It was good to see that the friendship wasn’t just all giving on one side from Kate.
What do you think of the scene where Raphael walked out on Andrea?
Nath: But Andrea owes Kate. She doesn’t have any links with the Pack except for Raphael. It’s very small-mind thinking and the reason why Andrea is not the heroine ^_^;
As for Raphael walking out on Andrea. Yes, it’s very immature of him and not really the way to work out things… At the same time though, I think it will force Andrea to reconsider things. She has to start to be a bit more flexible and let bygones be bygones. The Pack wasn’t there for her, but it’s because they weren’t aware of her, not because they ignore her. There’s a difference… The Pack is not omniscient.
What I didn't like though is Kate opening her own PI office at the end. How many H/H have PI office in PNR and urban fantasy novel?
Tabitha: I didn’t get that either. The epilogue threw me off...but what Curran said at the end about her checking in was sooo sweet. It was an "aww" moment for me. lol
Nath: LOL, it is sweet... but I don't know if Kate is going to be able to stick to it. Ah well, they have to learn to compromise and live with each other :D
My grade for Magic Bleeds is A. Good book all around :) Can't wait for the next installment!
Tabitha: Same for me. I also give Magic Bleeds an A. Lots of action, romance, and questions answered. Very satisfying read.