Narrator: Renee Raudman
Series: Kate Daniels #5
Published by Ace Penguin Berkley on April 25th, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.
Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she's still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate's mate.
So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price.
Why did I wait so long to start this series?? It’s so good. The first few were a little slow for me, but once they got going, they didn’t stop. It seems like book three is where most of the UF series I read get good. It’s a little frustrating, because getting good at book three doesn’t mean the first two can be skipped, but they’re usually a little more difficult to get through, even on rereads.
But this series is so worth sticking through those first two. At the end of the previous book, Kate left the Order. She struck out on her own, in a PI business currently funded by the Pack, though that’s supposed to change eventually, according to their contract. She’s having trouble getting some business, though, mainly because Ted, her former boss at the Order has been telling anyone who will listen that everything that ever went wrong on an Order case was Kate’s fault. So when Ghastek (which I only know how to spell because I looked it up on the website. I would have never guessed that) calls her with reports of a rogue vampire, she immediately goes after it, not expecting that it would lead to another, bigger job. That bigger job is the main story for us here, and it’s a doozy. I don’t want to give too much of it away, because it’s fun to discover this one on your own. But it’s big.
And Andrea’s back! She’s been gone for a while, which has been worrying Kate. But she’s back, and has a good story about where she’s been. There’s a lot of heartbreak in this book. Not as much fun as we’re used to, but a lot going on. The friendship between Kate and Andrea is one of my favorite parts of this series. It’s so refreshing to see a genuine friendship between two women in an urban fantasy series. Kate was such a loner in the beginning, and she’s really come out of her shell and expanded her world. However, there were no Andrea/Raphael interactions, which was no good. I need those two to work their shit out!
I was a little concerned that Kate and Curran formalizing their relationship would take some of the fun and the back-and-forth between them away, but this book showed that I need not have worried. The snarky, fun banter between the two of them is what makes them such a fun couple to read, and I really don’t want to lose that. Something in this case gives Kate reason to doubt the authenticity of Curran’s feelings for her, but I think she managed to work through it by the end. And even their relationship is official now, they’re still having to work through the specifics and learn each other’s hard lines are and where they can compromise with each other. And I like that they are both compromising. I was a little worried that Kate would be the one to give in on everything because of Curran’s position as Beast Lord. And there are some things he can’t compromise on because of that. But he does bend when he can. And Kate is, too. She doesn’t have the Pack position to impact her ability to compromise, but, wow, she’s stubborn. She does not like to give in or give anything up, so that was a concern. And she still doesn’t, but she’s getting there. And they’re working together really well.
Overall I loved this entry in the series. I downloaded the next one immediately and started listening. I’m sorry I waited so long to start it. I can’t wait to see Kate and Roland square off. Even though we haven’t actually met him yet, I can feel him offstage manipulating events and characters, setting everything up. I think he’s a lot closer than Kate seems to think he is. That confrontation is coming, and it’s coming quickly.