Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with.
And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that's saying a lot. But when Kate's werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet.
As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games---an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament---she and Curran, the Beast Lord, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta's shapeshifting community.
Audiobook, Unabridged, 10 hrs 50 mins
Published August 6th 2009 by Tantor Audio
Four and a half Stars: The action rocks, the story takes off and we get some answers.
Kate has enjoyed a temporary reprieve from all the craziness in her life, but unfortunately, it doesn't last long. Trouble quickly finds Kate when Derek asks her to deliver a note to a girl who is participating in the illegal Midnight Games. Kate immediately knows that Derek is asking for trouble, and sure enough it finds them. Derek is beaten and attacked, and Kate is left to find his attackers. That all leads to a deadly gladiatorial confrontation in the Midnight Games where if you lose, you are likely dead. Will Kate and Crew survive the Midnight Games?
What I Liked:
- At last, this series takes off, and I don't think it will look back. While I liked the first two books well enough, this book cements my love for this series. I so appreciated that this time around, we get more solid world building, answers regarding Kate and her heritage, her past and her magic, and lots of action and some more antagonistic romance. What's not to like?
- Kate continues to grow and mature into a wonderful, well rounded, kick butt, female character. I like that she is confident, but not to the point of being cocky, and that she is skilled and able to hold her own even in the most deadliest of situations. Seriously, she is awesome in the Midnight Games! I also love that she stands on her own. Kate is not to be missed.
- What would a Kate Daniels book be without Curran the Beast Lord? Curran continues to be awesome and swoon worthy and so funny. Not to mention he is a bad ass! I adore Curran, and I love the way he handles Kate. His note at the end left me giggling. I can't wait to see how their bet plays out in the next book.
- The romance keeps getting better and better, even though it is still developing and most of the time remains antagonistic. I love the banter between the two as Kate continually tries to deny her feelings. However, this time there are more looks and touches and a romantic scene in a hot tub that is so hot and steamy without being more than kissing. I love a good, long, slow building romance, and this one is playing out just perfectly. It is the kind where it takes time and patient, and you look forward to each and every meeting, wondering if this will be the time.....Excellent romance!
- The secondary characters shine in this series. I liked that they are all continuing to be developed, and that we are getting more and more back story on each character. In this book, I learned about Derek's past, what Dr. Doolittle's shapeshifting form is, interesting details about Saiman, (that was a shocker), and I got to watch a developing romance with Andrea and Raphael. I honestly can't pick a favorite secondary character because they are all so darn good.
- The action in this one is the best yet as it is centered around gladiatorial type fights. They are scary and exciting all in one.
- I love that with each and every installment, you get a full story and there aren't ridiculous cliffhangers and irritating loose ends. It is so nice to be able to pick up a series and enjoy it from beginning to end without having to worry about cliffhangers and lots of unresolved issues. Sure there are big questions that are being followed up on in the overall story arc, but that is what keeps me reading.
- The audiobooks are getting better and better. Renee Raudman does an excellent job with Kate's voice, and her male voices are improving. I am settled in with her and loving her work.
And The Not So Much:
- I felt the transitions with this one were a bit choppy between chapters. There was one incidence where one of the big fights in the gladiator arena was glossed over and I didn't get to see or hear rather, it all play out. It flashes forward and I didn't like that.
- This book was a bit more violent than its predecessors and there were a few dark and disturbing things mentioned that were unsettling.
- The ending, though not a cliffhanger, left me wanting so much more. I loved it and then I hated that it stopped right at the point where Curran was calling in his bet. I want to know what happens now, luckily, I have the next book ready to go!
Magic Strikes was an excellent read. I loved that this book notched up the action, explained the world, developed characters and relationships and continued to tease with a fun, antagonistic romance. I am a latecomer to this series, but now I can see what the fuss is about. If you have yet to check out the Kate Daniels Series, what are you waiting for? You are missing out!
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.