Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels World #1) – All About Awesome Andrea

Gunmetal Magic Illona Andrew Cover Andrea Nash Kate DanielsNo Kate Daniels review of mine is complete without a quote, so let’s kick it off with my favorite:

“We’re engaged to be engaged,” Rebecca said. “We’re waiting until the end of the physical year to officially announce.”
“You mean fiscal year?” Dear God, she was a moron.
“Yes, that’s what I meant.”

The Andrews clan has yet to let me down.  I really enjoyed Andrea’s short story, Magic Mourns, in the Must Love Hellhounds anthology.  So I was really looking forward to her solo novel.  As an added bonus, they even throw in the final version of the Magic Gifts novella.  This book was a gift that kept on giving.

Andrea is down and out after being ousted by her old job. To make matters worse she goes through a nasty breakup with Raphael, and just for good measure she’s still being pressured to join the Bouda clan.  This threatens her lone hyena status which she likes just fine. She’s trying to keep herself occupied by running her and Kate’s start up investigation firm, Cutting Edge.  Keeping her distance to avoid Raphael and his new main squeeze was initially going well, but unfortunately (or is it?) that becomes impossible as a string of murders ties his business into the thick of things. No, he’s not the culprit, but the two must work together to solve the grisly crime. And sparks will fly…

This book offers everything you want in a Kate Daniels read.  I laughed quite a bit, I cringed at some of the action and crime scenes, and I even found myself frustrated at times with the complicated relationship of Andrea and Raphael.  Their banter is extremely entertaining, but I definitely found myself wanting to smack sense into both of them.  So many of their issues could be solved easily through real communication, but hard heads make for soft bottoms.

I liked the addition of Ascanio, though it may have been a little formulaic. He felt like Andrea’s Julie or Derek, but I like how the youth are incorporated and have interesting story lines.  I find that I genuinely care about these characters because they are forced to grow up really fast, but they still possess threads of innocence and naivete.

The villains have interesting powers, but I wasn’t quite as enthralled with the characters themselves. I was more interested in the lasting effects their powers could potentially have throughout  the rest of the series. This felt more contained, but do hope it carries over to other novels.

Overall I thought it was a necessary novel to explore Andrea’s character and her journey of self-acceptance while she puts her life on the line for the ones she loves. Though frustrating, Andrea is a fantastically layered character which can sometimes be a challenge for writers (which is why the most interesting characters are side characters), but the Andrews handled giving her the spotlight very well.

If you love Kate Daniels novels, I can’t imagine you’ll want to miss this. Kate and Curran do make cameo appearances here and there as well. It is worth the read.

*Copy provided by publisher

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