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Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, Book 3) by Ilona Andrews
Review by Beth Slater
Ace Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441017027
Date: 31 March 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Kate Daniels is dragging. She's been working non-stop through the magic shifts in Atlanta, riding her donkey from one scene to another to protect the city from the strange and obscene. Now she's got a half-naked banshee on an electric pole who won't come down or admit that she's a banshee because *gasp* what would the neighbors think? Never mind that she's (Mrs. McSweeney, not Kate) been screeching at the top of her lungs for the last WHO knows how long…. But this was her life – not just her job, and Kate did it because it was what she was meant to do.

After convincing Mrs. McSweeney that Bingo simply couldn't be missed, Kate was looking forward to her bed and homemade pie when she got a summons to the scene of a dead shape-shifter. Being one of the only beings who could liaise (more than once) with the shape-shifters, she headed Marigold (the aforementioned donkey) towards the summons, riding through the tech and magic shifts comfortably on her steed, only to find that her services as an agent of the Order of Merciful Aid were unnecessary. Or were they?

After the strange scene with the weres, Kate went home, although she couldn't find her pie (When did she eat it?). Before she could crash, however, she got a call from her contact Saiman who asked her to come rescue her young friend Derek – another shape-shifter. This trip brings Kate into some interesting conditions with Saiman and promises with Derek that she regrets not asking more about – especially when she later finds Derek so close to death that his were virus may not even help his condition.

Saiman brings Kate to the Midnight Games – illegal, preternatural fight games where teams pit off against one another in fights to the death and there are many, many bets on the outcomes. Saiman, using one of his many alias and appearances is one of the owners of the Games, and he needs Kate's expertise on evaluating one of the teams. Kate is there, though, because of Derek. Derek has asked her to pass on a message to someone, and Kate wants to know why, because under shape-shifter law it is absolutely illegal to participate or acknowledge the Midnight Games in any way, shape, or form for the Atlanta shape-shifters, by order of Curran. If found out, Curran would have to kill Derek, and Kate needs to know what is worth it to Derek to risk death. But what Kate doesn't expect are the memories…

I love this series (this is book three). Write faster. There have been many descriptions given to my sense of humor: wry, twisted, sarcastic, sardonic, demented, dry - but this book fits it perfectly. I absolutely love the relationship between Curran and Kate – I laugh out loud with the witty sarcasm and one-liners, and the sexual tension building between the couples drives me to my knees, knowing I'll have to wait for another book – maybe two…*must not think years*…arrgghhh, the frustration of a reader…

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