When Magic Slays, the terrific fifth installment in the absorbing Kate Daniels series begins, Kate wakes to a call from the school of her ward, Julie, as it seems the fourteen-year-old girl has once again taken off. When Kate states that she will return Julie back to school after she shows up at the Keep, the principal informs that will not be necessary. Curran convinces Kate that Julie will be safe living in the Keep, but she has to arrive first.
Distracting herself by going into her new PI office, Kate gets more than she bargained for when she receives a call from Ghastek, the Master of the Dead, telling her that a vampire is loose (meaning not being navigated by anyone), and that it may be headed her way. After evacuating the street and baiting the vampire with blood, Kate ends up in the crossfire between those sent to subdue the creature and Ghastek’s team. Dragging injured people inside her office, Kate stays holed up inside until she hears a friendly voice outside talking to law enforcement—her friend, Andrea, who has been gone for two months. Since she has been “retired” by the Order, the peacekeeping force of the paranormal community, Andrea needs a job, and Kate asks her to join her new firm.
Later the same day, Kate and Andrea get paid a visit by a woman who heads up a security firm, as it seems the man they were guarding has disappeared, along with a top-secret device, and one of the guards has been killed. When the two women go to investigate at the scene, they notice that the magic wards are down, though they should not be, and combined with the incident with the vampire earlier, Kate begins to wonder how the events may be connected.
Andrews’s rich world with its compelling characters becomes more engrossing and real as the series progresses. Despite the fantastical elements (this is urban fantasy, after all), the reader can easily picture the events of this excellent novel taking place right in front of them. Kate demonstrates growth, as well as uneasiness with her acceptance of the changes in her life, which makes her both more believable and easier to identify and sympathize with. Having gone from being a loner who really only had to worry about herself, Kate now finds herself in the position of caring for a partner and a child, adding new dimensions to an intriguing character. This series remains a must-read for urban fantasy fans, and this reviewer eagerly awaits book six.
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Ace (May 31, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441020429
- ISBN-13: 978-0441020423