Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate.
So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price . . .
Magic Slays is the fifth book in the Kate Daniels series, written by the husband and wife team, Ilona and Gordon Andrews. There aren’t many urban fantasy series that have managed to keep my interest for this long and while I was looking forward to reading the newest Kate Daniels book I was also a little bit weary of doing so. I often find that this far along in a series the story and world building that had originally drew me in has begun to lose it’s freshness and creativity. The character development takes a back seat and the romantic story-lines have been wrapped up and no longer add any sizzle to the story. I’m glad to say, though, that this did not turn out to be the case with Magic Slays and I ended up enjoying the book just as much as each of its predecessors.
After having quit the Order of Knights Kate Daniels in now running her own investigation agency, funded by Curran’s werewolf pack. Unfortunately, thanks to the Order of Knights, Kate’s reputation is in tattered and so business is non-existent . When Kate is approached by a prestigious individual for a missing-person case she is enticed by the opportunity to prove herself and repair her damaged reputation. But while Kate quickly discovers the whereabout of the missing man she soon realizes that there is something a lot more sinister going on here. The first clue is when everybody linked to the case abruptly pack up their families and runs out of town. It’s all somehow related to a mysterious device that the missing man had been working on when he disappeared. A device so dangerous that everyone that knows what it is has fled. Now Kate and her friend, and employee, Andrea, must find this device and destroy it, otherwise it will mean the end of all supernatural creatures everywhere.
Magic Slays is a fast paced, action packed story that had me throughly engrossed from beginning to end. The tension and sense of danger slowly builds to crescendo, leading to a climatic conclusion that had me whipping through the pages at super-speed. The intensity is ratcheted up a notch when Kate suffers a personal tragedy that deeply affects her at a time when she is already full of self-doubt. But some light hearted intervals and Kate’s usual humor prevent the story from becoming overly heavy.
Some interesting revelations are made about Kate’s family, particularly about her mother, which feed Kate’s insecurities about herself and her relationship with Curran. We are also reminded that sometime soon Kate will have to face her evil father for the final showdown that Kate's story has been leading to from the very beginning.
I particularly appreciated that Kate and Curran’s relationship was still interesting to read about, even though they are beyond the new-romance stage. But now that they are officially together, the two of them have to each learn to navigate this new relationship while dealing with their own issues which often get in the way and lead to tension and misunderstandings.
I am glad to say that the Andrews have proven themselves, once again, to be a very successful writing team and I can't wait to see what further adventures they have in store for Kate and Curran.