I really enjoyed this book. I know it's the first in a series, but it could stand alone. I think a lot of times, especially when a series is "planned" before the first book comes out, an author does not take the time to fully "create" a character, instead letting them emerge over a series of books. I feel like I could have walked away from this book and been just fine. Although my one complaint is that you never fully understand the extent of Kate's power, or how she became so powerful; I hope it is fully explained in the next book. It was a great story with some original ideas. I liked this book much more than "Staying Dead" (Retrievers, Bk 1) by Laura Anne Gilman, even though they both have some things in common. So if you liked that one, I think you'll love this one! 5 stars!! (And I'm super-picky about my paranormal, so that's a huge honor!) Also, this is NOT a "paranormal romance;" Kate goes on some dates, but there's no sex or even heavy petting.
This was a surprisngly good read. The heroine, though pretty bad-ass, has more trouble than suitors, gets depressed, is maligned by the world and though she is, of course gorgeous, she handles everything with grit and intelligence. Can I tell you this is rare in the paranormal/romance genre? Well, it is! I don't think I've ever read a book were the main love interest writes off the heroine as a liar and a psycho. it was...refreshing. the action is top notch and though the villain is a little convenient it's easily forgiven by the grippingly interesting world Ms. Andrews has created. I can't wait to here more about the Crusaders. And the Shapeshifter... all I can say is YUMMY! Enjoy!
Kate Daniels lives on the outskirts of a futuristic Atlanta, where both magic and technology exist in "waves" (one crests, another falls, everyone goes on with their lives, but magic seems to be winning). She is a mercenary with some magic skills, rather a rule breaker and impulsive, she is loathe to join the Order (sort of the magic police, independent of the actual police) - their rules and code are too stiffling for her, no matter how much her guardian Greg tries to get her to join. Greg is the knight diviner in the Order, and one day Kate gets notified of his murder. True to her nature, her reaction is to exact revenge on his killer, even if she has never done detective work before. Her style is to shake things up and get people so mad they reveal themselves, which doesn't help her very much with certain powerful people. Examples include the necromancer puppetiers that control vampires, the Pack of shapeshifters, and the killer who is even worse than either of these. Very enjoyable novel, in a style that reminded me of Patrica Brigg's Moon Called and Blood Called. Kate is an intelligent and likeable heroine, a tough, no-nonsense girl, with maybe one major personality flaw - her mouth! Sometimes I was amused about what came out, other times I winced at her ability to get herself into trouble by speaking, especially with the Curran, Lord of Beasts. I am eagerly awaiting the second book of this series (coming out in 2008!), and will most likely pre-order it. Highly recommended. I read this book in a day, I couldn't stop.
Ok, when I started this book, I thought: Man, this has it all! Mystery, magic beasts, spikes of dark magic, great fight scenes, and a main character I can like and appreciate.
In all honesty, I wasn't wrong. The book delivered on all of those aspects, and kept me reading. I wasn't on the edge of my seat, but I wanted to see what would happen in the end.
Instead of picking up steam however, the closer I got to the end, the more the plot dragged. I became sick of never really seeing who the true culprit was. I always thought that would be the end of the book, but it never was. It just seemed to go on and on.
I finally had to put it down about a chapter and a half before the end. After all of that. All the plot twists, characters and wild magic things had my head spinning, and at the end I just didn't care anymore.
I was disappointed. For a book that started off so well it became cumbersome and anti-climatic. Three stars.
I listened to this book on audio, found myself terribly confused, stopped and checked over at Goodreads to make sure I hadnt started yet another book mid-series. Nope, this appears to be book one. Phew. That news didnt help with my confusion though so I started over. There is a lot going here and the reader is thrown into the magic filled world of Kate Daniels rather abruptly. The author often references things/people/events that happened previously that only fueled my confusion. I think I just have to admit here that these current Urban Fantasy books are too much for my brain to handle.
Despite my state of confusion, I mostly enjoyed this one. Kate is an engaging, if not by now, quintessential UF heroine. Shes on her own, shes tough, she dresses in a non-frilly way, shes attractive and she knows lots of beautiful, otherworldly men and gets embroiled in a whopping big paranormal mess. Its fast-paced fun and I didnt find myself nodding off at any point.
Kates guardian has been murdered and shes determined to ferret out exactly what happened. This snooping brings her into contact with many a gorgeous beastie, paranormal being and a cosmetic surgeon (dont ask, hes kinda boring anyway). She stumbles into a potential vampire/werewolf war during her investigation which forces her into close proximity to Curran, Lord of the Beasties, who is a bit of jerk but warmed up to me towards the end..
I liked Kate. She has a sharply honed sense of humor that I enjoyed. This book is on the dark side of UF, there is gore, violent death and, imagine this, a heroine who makes it through the book without sleeping with one or more of the hunky guys in her midst. She thinks about it but doesnt follow through. Im sure this will change in upcoming books; really it has to, doesnt it? Or else Id start whining about the lack of sex but for now Im happy with the way this one ended. Too many writers go for the quickie sex and dont bother with the slow build. I also loved the scene where the young wolf (Derrick?) mentions that someone is prettier than Kate and he gets a lecture on etiquette. It was nice to see that men werent totally going gaga for her at every turn.
I hear they get better as the series goes along so Im hoping for the best.