Magic Shifts is book eight in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews and is a ramp up in the action towards a showdown between Kate and her all-powerful father.
The last time around Kate’s father, Roland, tried to lay claim to the entire city of Atlanta, and to prevent it, Kate took on that responsibility herself. This book shows that had two consequences – that she now gets the benefit of a pool of magic from all life in the city, and that she has to deal with her crazy father more directly. Considering that she spent her whole life hiding from the man hell bent on killing her, the later scares her a bit more.
The other big event held over from the prior book is that Curran has left the Pack, and he is struggling to find a new purpose. The crumbling infrastructure of The Guild seems like a great target on the surface, but brings a myriad of problems, both in bad attitudes and wild magic. The search for George’s fiancé, Eduardo, also pushes Curran and Kate to bump heads with Pack politics, and character favorites. The key to his disappearance leads Kate down a dangerous road, full of dark magic. Just how we like it.
For those expecting wall-to-wall action, you will not be disappointed. The only negative is the false stakes of Kate’s injury midway through the story. There was a potential to really shake up the series with a personality shift, but nothing came of it. On the surface, if someone asked if I wanted that kind of change to the main heroine, the answer would be “No.” However, if the story tries to put weight on that as a real possibility, there has to be believable tension and consequences. It ended up feeling like a waste of time, instead of revealing how much power Kate can draw from the city, which it seemed was the point of the exercise.
Another small peeve is that Curran was primarily sidelined from the action this go round. He is an amazing character and that was under-utilized. On the positive side, the ramp up to “Daddy Dearest” is more intriguing. So far Roland has maintained his scare factor of ten while meeting the family at “Applebee’s.” Incredible.
This series is still great with amazing characters, but this outing was not quite as good as the last. However, we are still talking Kate Daniels so the scale is skewed upward. It’s definitely worth checking out. Magic Shifts comes out today!