Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

Because the Illona Andrews (pl) make novellas of the world of Kate Daniels, earlier this year, after I finished with Magic Gifts (the skyrim version of Kate Daniels which is a novella at the end of this book), I thought I had to wait until 2013 for a novel by these husband and wife duo since Andrea’s book was a novella before. But no…

I found out only AFTER I got the book in my kindle, bam…

Dear Mr and Mrs Andrews, Thanks for making me depressed for no reason for half a year.

Signed, the poor kitten above

Gunmetal Magic is the continuation novel after Magic Dreams and is one of the spin-off from Kate Daniels series about her Cutting Edge’s partner, Andrea Nash who is an ex-knight who got forcibly retired after the order found out that she’s in fact a bouda (werehyena). Andrea carried a horrible past where she spent 11 years being abused by a bouda clan and after she and her mother ran away, she became highly efficient gunfighter who hid her identity until she was forced to reveal her true self. Her abuse were mostly centered on the fact that she’s a beastkin, her father is actually a hyena who was infected by Lyc-v which changed it into a male human and Andrea’s abusive clan forced him to rape her mother and hence she was born out of it.

Now, she’s working as a highly trained private investigator for the Cutting Edge along with Kate Daniels, the skilled mercenary who is secretly a powerful mage and a consort for the Beast Lord, Curran. In the couple novels before this, Andrea was involved with the Atlanta pack’s bouda clan’s Raphael Medrano, who is her mate but after being faced to choose between the pack and her life-long career in the order, Raphael left her when she decided wrongly and neither of them parted their ways peacefully.

The novel started directly from Magic Dreams with Jim calling Andrea for help about the murder in one of the pack’s establishment which is unfortunately owned by Raphael. Still hurt from their separation, she decided to take on the case even knowing that she will be facing her former beau and soulmate. The establishment is actually a ruin from a skyscraper after being felled by the magic waves and Raphael’s team was working to excavate the area looking for precious metals like copper. The team found a vault in the underground with its items intact but all the shapeshifters guarding the site were killed by a multiple snake bites. Since venoms are biological matter, the Lyc-V were unable to differentiate the poison until its too late, hence a powerful snake venom would kill any shapeshifter. Andrea decided to investigate the motives surrounding the buyout of the properties and found out more than what she had bargain for.

I was highly entertained by this book. The reactions and relationships between the side characters in Kate Daniels were further enhanced in these spin offs. Raphael is initially a cocky jerk in the beginning of this novel and reacted childishly as one would expect from someone being hurt until he came back to her in full vengeance. I hate him and love him in this book and the banter between Andrea and him was unexpected but it does bring back pre-Consort Kate Daniels vs Curran motion that I enjoyed in the last several books of series. The dynamic between the characters are fascinating as with the action packed drama surrounding more death and near death experiences by the main character.

Surprisingly, although there was an overwhelming heat between Andrea and Raphael in this book, it doesn’t shake the fact that this book was exclusively an urban fantasy since it was without the unnecessary ten pages of smut.  The action are  unpredictable, the mystery are intriguing, the suffering and the torture within the psychology of these characters are the things that made the series fantastically a class of its own.

If you are new to this series, I would recommend reading the whole series because nothing is better than guns and supernatural violence in this detective-like drama series. So far, its still one of the guy-friendly novel I’ve ever read and all the hype surrounded this series are true, and its a fine book at its start but it definitely does get a lot better (read: guns and gore and mythological lore) as you go through the books.

NOTE: However, its actually a lot thinner than the rest of Kate Daniels’ novels since its published with Magic Gifts. Although I did say you CAN skip reading Magic Dreams while I was reviewing on this blog but you should read Magic Gifts before reading the book because a lot of things from that book was connected to this book. It used to be a free ebook before this so I can’t give you a link for it except that if you got the book, read the novella behind this book first (if you got accidentally read the last page of the book, well suck to be you).

Overall, the Kate Daniels series haven’t disappoint me yet. The Andrews became one of my favourite authors since last year and still is.

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