Eight years after the end of the Kate Daniels saga, we return to a much different Atlanta under the disguise of a stranger. Or least, that’s how it appears. Really the person with a different face, different voice, different scent, different name, is Julie, Kate’s adopted daughter. She gallops into town on her carnivorous horse, Tulip. A prophecy has been foretold of Kate’s death at the hands of a newly resurrected god and if Kate knows that Julie is in Atlanta, the future becomes more certain, Kate will die.
Julie has spent the last eight years becoming as powerful as she possibly can to protect those she loves and those who need it most. She has spent the last four of those eight years doing everything she can to change the results of the prophecy. This is her last chance. If she fails, the woman who saved her from the streets will perish from this world forever.
Trying to stop a god, in your hometown, without being noticed, has it’s problems. Not everyone can be fooled by her disguise no matter the precautions she takes, and those people threaten to blow her cover. The last person she needs to find out about her return home is the man she loved, but it’s harder than hell to hide things from a werewolf.
I am not disappointed. Kate Daniels left big shoes to fill and her predecessor jumped into both boots, ax swinging and power words on her lips. Where’s book two?
The triumphant (see what I did there) conclusion to one of my favorite urban fantasy series of all time.
As if it’s not bad enough that you’re about to go to war with your own father, another heavy hitter with a personal vendetta against your family shows up and demands his very own war on your world. Plus, your thirteen month old son is beginning to express his potential magic. Such is the life of Kate and her soulmate Curran.
These two separate but equally deadly wars will take everything they have in their arsenal to keep their son alive and save the people they love, but the opposing armies are massive and Atlanta is going to have to come together if it wants to survive. Enemies must become allies or face certain annihilation.
It has been a long, exciting journey to this ending and I was so pleased that it finished on a great note. I don’t expect that it will be the very last we’ll see of Kate and Curran as their world is expanding to other series and for that I’m grateful. This has been some of the best world building I’ve seen in any urban fantasy universe. The characters were addicting and the magic system equally enticing. Ilona Andrews are a dynamite writing couple. They have yet to fail me and I suspect I’ll be running off to purchase their latest release that continues Julie’s narrative.
Travel between planets is relatively easy. Therefore, aliens, werewolves, vampires, and all manner of creatures and humanoids can show up at anytime, anywhere, on any planet.
Dina Demille is an innkeeper on Earth. Inns are neutral territories. Innkeepers do their best to remain neutral so long as it doesn’t threaten their clientele. People come to them for sanctuary and protection.
Dina’s inn was once abandoned and almost decayed beyond repair. She’s been nurturing it back to health for awhile now but with only one resident, the process is slow going. With limited money coming in, she can’t provide it with all the materials it needs to rebuild itself. (The inns themselves are considered sentient by some. They have a symbiotic relationship with their keepers.) So, when trouble comes in the form of creatures killing neighborhood dogs, the local werewolf giving her attitude and warrior vampires showing up, demanding to be let in, Dina must decide whether to get involved. If she doesn’t, her inn may never earn a higher rating from the Council, which means more business, or she does and ruins the reputation herself. A bit of a catch 22. Piss off a faction of beings who can report her or have the secrecy of her inn exposed before she can make something substantial of the inn?
I enjoyed the hell out of this. It’s short, yet full of world building and action packed. I liked Dina and her little dog creature, Beast. I loved the concepts of the inns and the healthy helping of science fiction thrown in with magic. There is a possible love triangle beginning but even that cannot deter my enjoyment.
“Good man. Only two kinds of people drink their coffee black: cops and serial killers. Sit, sit.”
I wanted fun, adventurous and snarky to start the new year off right and as usual, a Kate Daniels novel always delivers.
The witch oracle is seeing visions of the future. A dark future that Kate is willing to do anything to stop. If she marries Curran, her father kills him. If she doesn’t marry Curran, her father kills their future son. Adding to her stress, her father is frequently poking their uneasy truce. Kidnapping people when they leave Atlanta, teaching Julie how to become a Herald and eventually a Warlord for Kate, making demands on the wedding, etc. The presence of war is a constant companion to Kate, all the while her best friend is about to give birth and Roman is constantly bugging her to pick things out for the wedding. Kate is a volcano of anxiety.
As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Which means, doing some things that Curran won’t approve of and can’t know about because they’re so dangerous, he would definitely try to stop her. There are no lengths that Kate won’t go to to save his and their future son’s lives, and this means testing the magnitudes of her power while almost being consumed and controlled by it. She has to hang on to her humanity while fighting with every ounce of strength to stop her father.
As if that isn’t enough for one person to handle, there is also the personal truth that she wishes she didn’t have to kill her father, but when it comes down to him versus Curran, she’ll choose Curran every time. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a deep seeded sadness around the decision.
The emotional turmoil embedded with the happiness of the ones you love surrounding you and willing to come to your aid is real in this installation of the series. I can’t imagine the punch the last book in the series is going to have, while at the same time, I never want it to end.
This was a fun little dip into the character Catalina. She’s become the to go-to person to make sure everything runs smoothly for Nevada and Rogan’s wedding. Unfortunately, this means being treated like a servant by Rogan’s crazy ass family. To top it off, someone has stolen Rogan’s mother’s antique tiara that she wants Nevada to wear at the wedding.
I loved this look into what Rogan’s family is like, especially his mother. I was surprised that Nevada was being such a bridezilla but that just added another layer of drama and fun.
Catalina proves that there’s no push overs in the Baylor family.
When we last left Nevada, she was considering forming a House in order to protect her family. This jumps right into the drama as they have a family meeting and decide how to move forward. The family’s biological, homicidal grandmother has found them and she’s demanding they join her house. Grandma is the last of the Tremaine line and she’s determined to force them to join her to save her own house. If there’s one thing you don’t do, it’s demand that anyone in the Baylor family do anything.
So with middle fingers firmly flipped in Grandma’s direction, they file to form their own house. At least two people must pass the trials and be determined as Primes, then they’re theoretically safe for three years while they form their power base. It’s the best plan to this particular problem.
But as is the life of Nevada Baylor, that’s only one problem. To add to the heaping platter that is the troubles of her life, she has fallen for Mad Rogan and his ex-fiance has hired her to find her missing husband. Oh, then there’s always the secret society that is trying to overthrow the current political climate of the Prime world to usher in complete anarchy. Let’s add to that, trying to keep her sisters growing powers under wraps and how to best explain to her cousin his peculiar magic. Add a dash of interest from other Houses for Nevada’s hand in marriage and you have Rogan fit to be tied.
The drama llama came to town and crapped all over Nevada’s life and it made for a fantastic, gripping read. I was so into it, I finished it in one sitting.
I have to note that when I reviewed book two, I mentioned that this was going to be the last installment in this series. I’m thrilled to announce (if you haven’t seen it yet already) that that is no longer the case. I don’t know how many are now planned but I’ll take everything I can get.
White hot is right. Nevada Baylor and Mad Rogan have a chemistry that burns your finger tips. Once again the two are backed into an explosive corner thanks to Prime politics. Someone is murdering Primes and Significants to keep secrets and brew a war between houses. Every lead ends with someone murdered and eventually Nevada and her family become the targets of a high paid hit. Their enemies learned a heavy lesson in their failed attempt to take out their biggest threats. One, never cock block someone who’s nickname is ‘the Scourge of Mexico’. Two, never attack the Baylor family on their home turf. They’ve got a lot of tricks up their sleeves and some heavy weaponry.
As if attempted murder, potential house war and falling in love aren’t all stressful enough, a powerful, previously unknown family member is moving in on the family. Nevada’s mother is willing to kill a Prime to keep Nevada and her sister’s identities a secret, she fears this person so much. To protect those she loves, Nevada may be forced to form her own House. A world she has little interest in, but affords protections for new houses for the first three years after they are formed. In order to form a House, she would have to reveal her sister’s burgeoning powers. One of them powers no other Prime has ever possessed. A power the military would love to obtain.
Nevada’s powers are growing as well. She’ll need them to throw down the gauntlet to protect those she loves. Mad Rogan included.
One of the major reasons I love Ilona Andrews novels is that it’s almost never the hero rescuing the damsel. All these ladies are strong and independent. Alphas. They don’t need a strong man to protect them, but if they want to stand alongside them and help, well that’s perfectly fine. The men might be tempted to try to tell them what to do, but the ladies shut it down. Either help her or stand aside, otherwise you’re just in her way and she’s got shit to take care of.
I was sad to learn that the next book in the series will be the last. With the Kate Daniels series coming to an end, Nevada and Rogan seemed like prime candidates to take on the helm of new, best loved Ilona Andrews series. I feel like there is so much to this world and characters that it could definitely expand past three books. But alas, I’ll just have to be grateful for what I’ve been given.