It’s hard to believe that the Kate Daniels saga is coming to a close soon. This series re-read has gone by so fast; it’s hard to believe we’ve just finished the eighth book, Magic Shifts. With each one, I’m reminded more and more how much I love it. The fact that I just keep getting more and more invested in these characters, that I am constantly left wanting more, amazes me. As always, Birdie and I had a few things to hash out in this installment, and it all starts here! The discussion concludes here on Birdie’s blog, so don’t forget to follow the link so you can see how we wrapped things up!
Please keep in mind that as this is a discussion post, it will include spoilers for the series.
| Spoilers Galore Book Discussion |
Kate and Curran have separated from the pack and caused their allies to become almost split. How did the lack of interaction with Jim and Andrea affect your reading experience?
Angie Elle: I don’t felt like it affected it at all. Jim and Andrea were in this installment enough for me. Like with previous plots where it dictates who is in the book more, I don’t feel like they were needed or pertinent here.
Birdie Bookworm: I actually thought it was interesting that it was side character lite overall. I felt like all of them were in it less, even Derek who was part of the crew trying to find Eduardo. However, I did miss Andrea, and I loved that she was upset she hadn’t known or been a part of Kate’s fight. I also loved that Andrea’s absence was part of Kate’s internal dialogue. Right in the beginning she thought to herself that Andrea’s desk at Cutting Edge was empty, that she didn’t see her as often as she used to, and how she doubted Andrea would be returning to their partnership. Just as I liked how Jim’s absence was explained, with his being the new Beast Lord. Times, they are a-changing.
Angie Elle: I didn’t miss Andrea at all, but I’ll be honest and say that I read this on the heels of Gunmetal Magic (Andrea & Raphael’s story) and that book left me so frustrated that I needed an Andrea/Raphael break anyway. You’re right – it was side character lite, and times they are a-changing. I think maybe it was to change the tone of the series now that Kate and Curran are no longer part of the pack. I don’t think the story suffered for it, though. I think the story suffered for other reasons.
Kate suffered a major injury in Magic Shifts, how did you feel about the repercussions of healing?
Angie Elle: I was really mad at the situation. I was mad at the decision Kate made while also understanding it. I think, for the position she was in, she made a level-headed decision. I just think that Kate’s had so much taken from her, and this was just one more thing to add to the pot. It saddened and frustrated me.
Birdie Bookworm: I agree with that. I also feel some frustration in how I’m not sure what the point of it was. Was it only to cause Kate to forget about the earring? If so, what if they had just had her not see who picked up the earring, only that someone had. It just felt so massive for such a small reason. However, on the flipside, I loved that it gave the readers a chance to really see Curran in a different light. He’s such a strong character all the time, that taking the control away from him gave us the opportunity to see him truly vulnerable and afraid. Maybe that was the real goal of her stroke?
Angie Elle: Maybe. But we also saw that when Kate gave her blood to Julie, so it feels a bit redundant if that’s the goal. I’m thinking there are more consequences than we know, and maybe we’ll see them in time. But I didn’t think it felt out of place in the story. I was shocked, though, that Kate was so quick to give up. I mean, she came around and fought, but Kate was always someone who was willing to fight from the get-go. Her reaction was a bit of a surprise to me.
Birdie Bookworm: I think it was only because she was afraid. I think that was the first time she truly felt her mortality, and she was scared. It was Curran and Julie’s pain that jump started her grit again. It’s also true that Curran was vulnerable before, but this seemed tenfold because it was the first time he saw, and heard, Kate give up.
In Magic Shifts Kate and Curran begin interacting with Roland for the first time. Do those conversations humanize Roland as a villain?
Angie Elle: No, they didn’t humanize him at all. In fact, I felt the exact opposite. He can take a life without blinking, and I am so mad at him about everything!
Birdie Bookworm: I love when we disagree! I actually felt the opposite. Yes, he can take a life without blinking, but I think it makes sense that life has stopped being meaningful to someone who lives forever. Clearly he’s the villain, but I love that we see that he did love Kate’s mother, and I think he does care for Kate. I thought that bit of humanity is what makes him a more interesting villain. Like Kate said to Ghastek, he’s only a man. That depth is what makes him the best villain in the series, because usually it’s an area in the story I find underwhelming. The villains are too one dimensional.
Angie Elle: Kate did say that to Ghastek, but it felt like a pep talk to keep him from freaking out. Her thoughts make it clear that while Roland may just be a man, he’s a man she fears. And the more people she comes to love, the more she fears him and how things are going to end. As for her mother, he claimed to love her, but he killed her. That doesn’t scream love to me. He’s also killed every single child of his that came before Kate. I don’t feel like he loves her. I think it’s more of a ‘Look at my daughter. Look at how strong she is.’ I feel like he is more proud of how his bloodline has shaken out than loving of Kate. And I will tell you what – if this series somehow ends with Roland giving his life to save Kate, I still won’t be convinced he loves her. I will think it’s all about him going down in a blaze of glory. But despite our opposing feelings, I also find him to be an interesting villain.
Birdie Bookworm: Oh my lord, you just blew my mind! I never even imagined it could end that way! What a twist that would be!
Don’t forget to visit Birdie’s blog here to read the last half of our discussion. You won’t want to miss our thoughts on Mahon and the villain in this one, and what we thought of Kate and Curran’s new neighbors!
| Kate Daniels Series |
| Coming Soon! |
*discussion date tba
| Discussion Schedule |
Quick note – for those of you aren’t aware, the release date for Magic Triumphs was recently pushed out to August 28th. I don’t know about you, but I breathed a sigh of relief at this announcement. Birdie Bookworm and I made the decision to re-read this series very last minute, so we committed to reading a Kate Daniels book every two weeks on top of our regular review schedules. This has allowed us to spread our discussion posts out to every three weeks, giving us a bit of time before the final books is released. This is good news for those of you who want to jump on the Kate Daniels bandwagon and be all caught up for Magic Triumphs. If you’re thinking about giving this series a go, I highly recommend it. The world building and pacing of the Kate Daniels series can’t be beat!