This is a beautiful collection of short stories – five tales sweet tales that left me with a huge smile across my face. Three of these stories are from the Kate Daniels series, but the other two are completely new tales. I would actually love it if they were each part of a much larger series, the heroines are so relatable.
Magic Gifts is a cute little aside that occurs while Andrea is running around town in Gunmetal Magic. It also helps to fill in some of the gaps to the interactions between Andrea and Kate. I love the way that Andrews is able to fill in the backstory to Håkon and why Curran was so terrified of Kate’s return.
Julie is probably the cutest and sassiest of the Kate Daniels characters, which is saying something – most of the women in the Kate Daniels universe are sassy and have an attitude problem. Her cheekiness and contrary attitude translate beautifully into the narrative’s voice and left me giggling quietly throughout the story.
Kate has slowly developed and changed throughout the Kate Daniels series, but it is in Magic Slays that this change is most obvious. At the beginning of the series she is prickly and difficult, and has no close people in her life. However, as she slowly lets people in, these walls dissolve around her. Andrews does this so naturally that it is easy to picture this character evolution, and this great character development was so gradual that it is difficult to pinpoint an exact moment in which this change occurred.
Chicago Fire is a new type of procedural – at least for me, and it is fantastically done. I may also be a little biased due to the constant presence of hot firefighters and stunning paramedics. Regardless, from the first moment that I watched this series, I was in love. Not only are there great characters and unique drama, but the action sequences throughout this show are so realistic and I’ve had to cover my eyes numerous times in anticipation of future pain and agony.
So far, this is my favourite Baba Yaga novel. It’s the combination of two severely damaged leads (both physically and emotionally), and fire that seems to claw at my heart and make me want to read this story again and again and again. Being terrified to get close to someone is something that I am all too familiar with, and working through this self-constructed barrier is something that Bella does amazingly well throughout the story.
This is a fantastic sequel to Wickedly Dangerous. Beka is a starkly different heroine to Barbara and this contrast between two sister Babas was brilliantly done. Not only did Wickedly Wonderful take me on a whole new adventure, but it also let me fall in love with a new, and striking female lead. I love chief protagonists that are full of self-doubt, I think that it makes them all the more real and relatable. So to go from Barbara’s cocky self-assurance (and total lack of social skills) to Beka’s open and vulnerable persona was endearing and refreshing.
As with the rest of the books in the Baba Yaga series, Wickedly Ever After reminds us all that we get a happy ending, even not-so-wicked witches. Although Barbara and Liam get engaged at the end of Wickedly Dangerous, their story isn’t quite finished, and it was such a pleasure to revisit their love in this short story. No matter what happens in these stories, I always turn the last page with a huge smile on my lips. Who wouldn’t? They are sweet, endearing tales of triumph and love in the face of numerous obstacles.
I love old mythologies and fairy tales. If you gave me a book about ancient mythologies, I would read it page to page before coming up for air. So, when I found out about a book that took the Russian fairy tale of Baba Yaga and gave it a modern twist, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I love when authors are able to take a myth or spiritual understanding of the world that stems from the past and use it in today’s modern context, and Deborah Blake did this brilliantly well. She created a world and series that drew me in from the first moment, and I can’t wait until the next book comes out.
Reading this story left me with an amazingly warm and happy feeling. The bad guy is bested, there is a beautiful happy ending and the ending leads perfectly into the first Baba Yaga book. All in all, it is a beautiful novella that left a smile on my face long after I finished the last page.