Magic Breaks - Ilona Andrews

I enjoyed "Magic Breaks" because it moved the series along, had some original magic in it, had great fight scenes and kept me guessing about what was going to happen next but...


...well it was a little weird and I ended up with a feeling that this was a book that entertained me and disappointed or frustrated me at the same time.


The first piece of weirdness was the authors telling me in the introduction that this wasn't the last book in the series. Huh?


Then they told me they were already under contract to write more. OK. So why the warning? Having read the book, I can why (although I'm not going to tell you - no spoilers here), but I think the warning wasn't needed. If this had been the ending of the series then anti-climatic would have been an understatement.


Most of the weirdness was around Kate. For the first part of the book, she's left to lead the Pack alone, a thankless task that she is becoming rather disenchanted with. It was good to see Kate in action on her own but it really showed that she's not cut out for politics or building a power base on any other basis than being able to kill anyone who comes against her. You can feel that she's in some kind of transition but it's hard to see from what to what.


Then there's the fact that her blood magic and her parentage both seem to be known by just about everybody. They were the deep dark secrets she was desperately trying to keep in earlier books and now she's been outed and the world hasn't ended. Kate's power, the stuff she inherited from her big bad world-eating father is growing, making her less and less human and, in some ways, less and less Kate.


The parts of the book that I enjoyed most were in more traditional territory: Kate getting into traps and fighting against impossible odds. Kate and Curran taking on the world, solving puzzles, taking risks and slicing the enemies apart.


Then we got to he big climatic ending and everything twisted out of shape.

Kate goes all cold-blooded avenger, not only killing her enemy but punishing her along the way with an efficiency that was chilling. Kate's enemy was not a nice person and you could argue she deserved what she got but that doesn't make me like Kate any better for being able to mete out that kind of punishment. This whole thing was made worse because the punishment was a display put on for her father's benefit.


I can't make my mind up if the end of the book was a clever way of re-configuring all of the players so that the struggle changes from an unwinnable final conflict into something more ambiguous and complex or whether the whole thing was just anti-climatic.



The quality of the writing and the momentum of the series carried me through. Maybe book eight will help me decide if I still care what happens to Kate.