2016 was a good year for me - I got to read a lot of books, both new and old. So here is a list of my favourite fifteen reads for this year.
I haven’t read any of the Kate Daniels books for a little while, since I was waiting for this short novella to arrive, and honestly, I had forgotten how violent these stories were. And how much I LOVE them! The entire series is filled with sass and dry wit, and Magic Stars was absolutely no different. Derek’s first short story and his friendship with Julie are beautifully told in this story. As are some of the aspects of their lives that can’t make it into the main novels.
Rereading scenes from the first four books from Curran’s point of view is one of the most exciting things that I have done in a while. This also happens to be the first eBook that I have ever read (a little behind the times, I know). A great experience, and I was actually a little disappointed when the short stories ended.
Curran and Kate start a new life and a new era is ushered in with the beginning of Magic Shifts. Their new life embraces their love and small family – which you quickly realise is much bigger than just the three of them. Having a family away from The Pack was an incredibly new dynamic and one that just feels so right within their lives.
This isn’t the last book in the series; luckily. However, it acts as a bit of a midway point, a mid-end to the series. It ties up some character arcs and storylines and answers so many questions that it is actually a really safe place to pause reading the series in. Not that I would recommend pausing this series, but regardless, it is a great way to neatly tie up some lose ends. Andrews also managed to seriously surprise me with the way in which they did this – the conclusion was startling and took a turn which I never expected.
Revisiting Dali and Jim is always a pleasure, and this novella was no different. Dali and Jim’s relationship is so much more subtle than the other relationships in the Kate Daniels series, but no more passionate. Dali’s strikingly different attitude and outlook on life is so refreshing, and I am really hoping that more of her stories will be told as the series continues.
Kate and Curran are truly tested in Magic Rises. This is the most heart-stopping and gut-wrenching tale of the Kate Daniels series so far. At least for me, I cried at multiple points throughout the tale, and just couldn’t put it down until I had read it from cover to cover. Part of that was also the very frustrating relationship between the two primaries – a few times I was even torn between throwing the book across the room after Curran and Kate’s pigheadedness, and ripping through to the next page to hope that they would fix up their many blunders.
I love that Saiman lands himself in some very serious trouble and needs to be rescued. He is an interesting character, and his continual presence in the Kate Daniels series is a good point of literary humour in the writing. Plus, the fact that the big, bad, whatever he is needs rescuing is such an appealing little side story.
This was a little bit of a departure from the Kate Daniels books – it was set in the same world, but a different city and partnership. I thoroughly enjoyed this change from the usual plot line, although there is great potential to expand on these characters’ stories and lives later in the series.
The Raphael-Andrea relationship takes centre point in this story as they both try to negotiate their changes in their lives. It was actually one of the most frustrating, and difficult things that I have read in a while. I became so invested in their relationship throughout the previous Kate Daniels books, and watching two characters that I am so emotionally invested in argue and fumble around in their lives was quite painful. Although, it was so easy to understand both aspects of their argument and frustration – neither Andrea nor Raphael are completely innocent, but both too proud and guilty in their past acts.