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That's What I'm Talking About

I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent. 


Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.


A+  Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A    Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A-   Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+  Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B    Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B-   Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+  Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C    Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C-   Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D    Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E    Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish


updated July 9, 2015

Currently reading

Operation: Endgame (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Book 6) (English Edition)
Philippa Ballantine, Jeanne H. Ballantine, William Morris
Just You and Me (A Contemporary Romance Collection)
Fiona Miers, Caitlyn Lynch, Liz Durano, Deelylah Mullin, Cate Farren, Jacquie Biggar, Vicki Batman, Kate Richards, Brenna Zinn, Dalton Diaz, Tierney O'Malley, Desiree Holt, Nicole Morgan, Ashlyn Chase
Bitter Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 14
Audible Studios, Jennifer Estep, Lauren Fortgang
Progress: 27 %

Review: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Magic Breaks - Ilona Andrews

My Rating:  A, Loved It

Originally posted at That’s What I’m Talking About

Review copy provided by publisher.


Magic Breaks takes readers on a high-adrenaline journey that marks a turning point for Kate Daniels. Now that she’s been “outed” as Roland’s daughter, Kate is learning to embrace the magic she has kept hidden for her whole life. In addition, she’s forced to take on a solo-leadership role with Curran out of town and the Pack on the verge of war. It is fabulous that in this, the eighth overall book, Kate continues to grow and her character development deepen. She’s still our same beloved heroine, just with so much more. The same goes for Kate and Curran’s relationship. After the emotional turmoil in Magic Rises, I am pleased that the couple continues with forward momentum, genuinely learning from their exploits and missteps while overseas. They are still my favorite couple EVER!


During the course of the book there are a few scenes which long-time fans of the series have been waiting for. Such is the case with the overdue confrontation between the Wolf Alpha, Jennifer, and Kate. I was so happy to see Kate keep her cool, but finally tell Jennifer what she thinks of her. In addition, both Kate and Curran exorcize some demons left over from the previous book. It is scenes like these that make the book so rewarding for me.


One of the highlights of the book for me was the extended time that Kate and her Master of the Dead nemesis, Ghestek, spend together. I’ve always appreciated how Ghestek seemed to steer clear of major confrontations, meanwhile respecting Kate and her abilities, and I am please with his continuing course of actions. His backstory is to die for, and getting to read his reaction when he finally figures out just who Kate is was marvelous!  


The authors continue to expand their already impressive world, bringing in more mythology that is based in Earth’s own history and twisting it with their own unique brand. The storytelling is utterly sublime, and regardless of how many new characters or mythologies that are introduced, the plots are seamless. They weave such amazing tales which all coalesce into the perfect climax, that even with all the facts in front of me, I was still blown away. 


The only slightly negative thing I have to share is that I had trouble staying with the story during a couple of slower times. I found that I had trouble investing myself in the story during the first quarter of the book, but I blame this solely on my own issues, as I was so apprehensive and worried about what was going to happen to Kate, Curran and the gang. There is another point in the story where Kate and company are trapped and being chased within a large structure, and I just wanted them out so the story could move on. Without sharing spoilers, I will state that the authors (once again) do a fabulous job, and I think that this is a book that I will grow to love more with subsequent re-reads. If you have yet to pick up Magic Breaks, do not let your worry for the characters and what happens by the end of the book spoil your reading experience!


All in all, Magic Breaks is some of the best plot development and storytelling ever. The authors move the overall story arc in a profound forward direction, which is not superficial nor contrived. It was exhausting, yet wonderful to read. I am so invested in these characters, and I look forward to spending more time with Kate, Curran, and all the rest in upcoming books.


At the conclusion of Magic Breaks, readers are treated with a short story titled Magic Tests, which is told from Julie's POV, and occurs sometime in the past year but prior the current book. Kate is forcing Julie to go to school, and Julie doesn't feel she should have to go. There is a missing girl at the Seven Star Academy and Julie is hired via Kate to find her. 


I enjoyed this short story. Julie’s voice isn’t quite her own - sounding a lot like a young Kate. But that’s to be expected, and it works. The school reminds me of Hogwarts, full of magical kids who are jockeying for position. It is fun watching Julie think like Kate, but using her own unique magic. I like that she’s finally making friends. Overall, it’s a fun story.


If you’d like to read a more in-depth review of MAGIC BREAKS, including discussion of items that may be considered spoilerish, please check out my review at That’s What I’m Talking About. Link: http://wp.me/p3Luih-1yB