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Magic Strikes -  Ilona Andrews Urban Fantasy junkies, this is it. The fabled book that is supposed to change your mind about this series. The book that drags the Kate Daniels series away from the average read it has been teetering towards and pulls it up out of the shadows.

For me it’s been the inability to get past Kate’s snark. Don’t get me wrong I love—love, love, love,worship—her wit and sharp tongue. Those snarky comebacks are one of the main reasons I would have read this series into the realm of one star reads. Andrew’s finally lets us into Kate’s head. What she’s running from, what she is, and her past. It was like I was meeting Kate for the first time. She’s truly one of the most wonderful bad ass woman leads out there. She’s hard and lethal, but she is a huge softy. She can kill the bad guys and right the wrongs without a worry of the price, but she can grieve over the “innocents” she doesn’t even know.

Curran and Kate are really starting to heat. To the point where they might have enough sexual tension on the page to outdo early Anita Blake books and The Night Huntress series. You’ll need a few cold showers by the time this book is done. Not only is the sexual tension good, but Curran’s real feelings for Kate become clearer and clearer. She’s not just someone he wants because she said no, he has an emotional interest.

Andrews has brought readers into the dark world of the Umpar—a cannibalistic rapist—to battles between two gods. Now we’re introduced to the world of the Midnight Games. Basically teams of people volunteer to be gladiators and make a living that way. The spectators are just as bloody as the olden times and they love a good show—meaning the more death and blood the better. It’s cold and cruel, hard believing that Kate grew up in such life. Too be quite honest the gladiator battles have to be some of the best action scenes written out there. Many times I found myself in a frenzied panic along with the characters.

Speaking of characters so much happens to them that it well makes up for the first two books. Kate gets a new friend, the were-hyena Andrea who is being wooed by a “sex god” from the local hyena clan. My favorite jaguar shifter is breaking the rules and almost defying Curran—and he gets a little silly. Then there’s poor Derek. The stuff that happens to him is heart breaking. At more than one point I had to get up leave the book behind and go on some really long runs to relieve the stress.

This book is hot. The action is on fire, the plot is burning with emotions and plot turns, Kate and Curran are sizzling with chemistry, and Curran is just smoking hot! This is the book that probably has some of the funniest moments, sexiest, and best one liners. The more Kate becomes a “real” person the more I like her. It’s a world that is well worth a visit. By the end of the book I was driven made by the cliffhanger between Kate and Curran. (As a hint I will say it has to do with a underwear served dinner.)

Sexual Content: Hot kisses, hot tub scene, and some nasty hints of rape from the villains.

4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it

Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.